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23 skidoo

To clear out or get away in haste before getting into or causing trouble, referring either to oneself or to another. "23" may refer to the Flatirons Building in New York City (located on 23rd Street), around which great winds tend to blow. It may also derive from an older use meaning to tell someone to clear out of one's way. Primarily heard in US. It looks like there's trouble brewing here. I'd better 23 skidoo! Quit loitering around here. 23 skidoo!
See also: 23, skidoo

23 Skidoo Street

A fictitious location referring to a place away from possible or looming trouble, taken from the phrase "23 skidoo." Primarily heard in US. Those guys ahead look rough, let's head over to 23 Skidoo Street.
See also: 23, Skidoo, street

free, white, and twenty-one

dated Having the legal freedom to make one's own decisions in life, without being beholden to the influence of anyone else. The phrase arose from the time in the US when slavery was still prominent, and being white and twenty-one (the age of majority) meant that one was a free, and thus "full," citizen. Primarily heard in US, South Africa. Hell, I don't need your approval, or anyone else's, for that matter. I'm free, white, and twenty-one, so I'll do as I please!
See also: and

hindsight is (always) 20/20

It is easier to clearly reevaluate past actions or decisions than when they are being made or done; things are clearer or more obvious when they are reflected upon. A reference to the visual acuity of normal eyesight (20/20 vision). I can see now that having my brother as my legal counsel was unwise, but I guess hindsight is always 20/20. A: "I can't believe I was ever interested in such a self-absorbed jerk." B: "Don't blame yourself. Hindsight is 20/20, after all."
See also: 20, hindsight

talk twenty to the dozen

To talk (to someone) very rapidly, hurriedly, and/or energetically. My aunt can get talking twenty to the dozen if you get her on a topic she's passionate about.
See also: dozen, talk, twenty

twenty winks

A very brief nap or a short sleep. When you have a baby for the first time, you are suddenly forced to learn how to operate on only twenty winks at a time. I'm going to go grab a quick twenty winks before everyone starts arriving for the dinner party.
See also: twenty, wink

the top five/ten/etc.

The top (five, ten, twenty, etc.) best-selling or highest-ranked things in a list. The film debuted at number 1 in the box office, but it fell out of the top ten by the following week. It has constantly been ranked in the top five best games for the Nintendo Entertainment System.
See also: five, ten, top


1. adjective Of an unspecified age in one's twenties. He looks like he's in his 40s, but he's really just twenty-something.
2. noun A person who is in their twenties. Usually used in the plural. It's clear this place is geared more for twenty-somethings, judging by the loud music.

twenty-four seven

All day, every day. Short for "twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week." Another hyphen can be used between "four" and "seven" if used as a modifier before a noun. Often written as 24/7. You know you can call me twenty-four seven if you ever need anything, OK? It's the only shop in the entire city that's open 24/7. We offer twenty-four-seven customer support for anyone whose credit card is lost, stolen, or locked.
See also: seven


A term referring to the use of marijuana. It can also refer specifically to such use on the date April 20 (4/20) or the time 4:20. The origin of the term is debated. Whoa, look at all that smoke—there's some 420 action going on in here! Anybody got some weed so we can celebrate 4/20 the right way?

twenty-twenty hindsight

The ability to determine how some mistake or failure in the past could have been avoided. Often used ironically or sarcastically; sometimes stylized as "20/20 hindsight." I can see now that having my brother as my legal counsel was unwise, but I guess twenty-twenty hindsight isn't much use right now. A: "I can't believe I was ever interested in such a self-absorbed jerk." B: "Don't beat yourself about it. We all have 20/20 hindsight."
See also: hindsight

20/20 hindsight

Knowledge of what one should have done, because it is easier to clearly reevaluate past actions or decisions than when they are being made or done. A reference to the visual acuity of normal eyesight (20/20 vision). With 20/20 hindsight, I can see now that having my brother as my legal counsel was unwise. A: "I can't believe I was ever interested in such a self-absorbed jerk." B: "Don't blame yourself. We all have 20/20 hindsight."
See also: 20, hindsight

twenty-twenty hindsight

Knowledge after the fact, as in With twenty-twenty hindsight, I wouldn't have bought these tickets. This idiom uses twenty-twenty in the optometrist's sense, that is, "indicating normal vision," and hindsight in the sense of "looking back" or "reconsidering." [First half of 1900s]
See also: hindsight

twenty-four seven

all the time; twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
The phrase, which originated in the US, is often written 24/7 .
See also: seven

the ˌtop ˈten, ˈtwenty, etc.

the ten, twenty, etc. best-selling pop records each week: The song didn’t even make (= get into) the top twenty.
See also: top

twenty-four, seven

and 24-7
mod. all the time, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. He’s always at home, 24-7!
See also: seven

twenty-twenty hindsight

and 20/20 hindsight
n. an ability to figure out what one should have done after it is too late to do it. Everybody has twenty-twenty hindsight!
See also: hindsight

20/20 hindsight

See also: 20, hindsight


Also 24/7. Indication that something—a store, a service, a person—is available at all times (twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week). Used since the second half of the 1900s, at first for shops that never close, the term was soon applied in numerous other contexts. For example, “I’m not looking to get a knife in my chest. I’ve got twenty-four/seven protection on me” (David Baldacci, Hour Game, 2004). A theater review by Ed Siegel in the Boston Globe (Feb. 1, 2005) also had it: “The younger generation. What are we to do with them, with their ‘whatever’ attitude, their irony, and their 24/7 access to sex, drugs, rock’n’roll, and the Internet?” See also whatever.
See also: seven

twenty-twenty hindsight, with

With complete after-the-fact knowledge. This expression, usually preceding a statement like “I would have done or said such-and-such,” uses the optometrist’s term for perfectly normal vision. The idea that hindsight, with its superior knowledge, is better than foresight has been stated since at least the nineteenth century. “If a man had half as much foresight as he had hindsight, he’d be a lot better off,” wrote Robert J. Burdette (Hawk-eyes, 1879). The Hollywood screenwriter Billy Wilder is quoted as having said, “Hindsight is always twenty-twenty.”
References in classic literature ?
It appeared to me that the gentleman in spectacles backed his Twenty Eight against Mr.
'What is your state of mind, Twenty Eight?' said the questioner in spectacles.
'This does you credit, Twenty Eight,' returned the questioner.
'I have no doubt, Twenty Eight,' returned the questioner, 'that the gentleman you refer to feels very strongly - as we all must - what you have so properly said.
Then he counted the twenty thousand-franc notes in front of him and put the notes into the envelope, but without closing it.
Richard, ought to know better than I where the twenty thousand francs went to!"
Giry took the envelope with the twenty notes inside it and made for the door.
In some farming States, the enthusiasm for the telephone is running so high that mass meetings are held, with lavish oratory on the general theme of "Good Roads and Telephones." And as a result of this Telephone Crusade, there are now nearly twenty thousand groups of farmers, each one with a mutual telephone system, and one-half of them with sufficient enterprise to link their little webs of wires to the vast Bell system, so that at least a million farmers have been brought as close to the great cities as they are to their own barns.
"I will bet twenty thousand pounds against anyone who wishes that I will make the tour of the world in eighty days or less; in nineteen hundred and twenty hours, or a hundred and fifteen thousand two hundred minutes.
He took out and consulted a pocket almanac, and added, "As today is Wednesday, the 2nd of October, I shall be due in London in this very room of the Reform Club, on Saturday, the 21st of December, at a quarter before nine p.m.; or else the twenty thousand pounds, now deposited in my name at Baring's, will belong to you, in fact and in right, gentlemen.
He certainly did not bet to win, and had only staked the twenty thousand pounds, half of his fortune, because he foresaw that he might have to expend the other half to carry out this difficult, not to say unattainable, project.
All preliminary explanations being now cleared out of the way, I come at last to the real knot of the case--to the twenty thousand pounds.
My stipulation in regard to the twenty thousand pounds was simply this: The whole amount was to be settled so as to give the income to the lady for her life--afterwards to Sir Percival for his life-- and the principal to the children of the marriage.
His objections, in general, proved to be of the most trifling and technical kind, until he came to the clause relating to the twenty thousand pounds.
This was shown first by the fact that there were no entrenchments there by the twenty fifth and that those begun on the twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth were not completed, and secondly, by the position of the Shevardino Redoubt.
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