WOTW: old

| - Gorka Dieitz-Sanxurxo |

triplo word of the week - old


今週のWOTWは ‘old’ です。Since the year is coming to an end, we thought we’d talk about the word ‘old’. ’Old’ is an adjective that most of you are familiar with but, do you know all its nuances? It is also used in some phrases that you probably are not that familiar with. Incidentally, Old is also a surname.


Let’s have a look, shall we?


- My nan is very old. (Having lived for a long time; no longer young.)

- Shokufu-ji is the oldest building in Tokyo. (Made or built long ago.)

- He likes to wear his father’s old coat. (Possessed or used for a long time.)

- Stop it already! It’s getting old! (Boring or tiresome, especially as a result of repetition. This Northamerican informal)

- Our old house was bigger. (Belonging to the past; former.)

- Wow, the ring looks exactly like the old one. Your husband won’t know the difference. (Used to refer to a thing which has been replaced by something similar.)

- We’re old friends. (Dating from far back; long-established or known.)

- I hate my job. It’s the same old thing every day. (Same as above)

- It’s old Etonians who are behind the Brexit disaster. (Of someone who formerly attended a specified school.)

- People today don’t understand Old English. (Of a form of a language as used in former or earliest times.)

- a: How old are you? b: I’m 7 years old. (Of a specified age.)

- I have a nine-month-old baby and it’s driving me nuts. (As above. This is a noun specifying someone’s age.)

- Cheers for helping, old chap. (Used to express affection or familiarity.)

- When will you be getting rid off of your old books? (Used to express contempt.)


Let’s have a look at the phrases now.


- [any old] Any old glass is okay. (Any item. Used to show no preference.)

- [any old how] You can’t just do things any old how. Start with this. (In no particular order.)

- [as old as the hills] What is this? A flip phone? It’s as old as the hills! (Very old, often used in exaggerated statements.)

- [be old enough to be someone's father (or mother)] I’m sorry, I’m old enough to be your father. You should be with someone your age. (Be much older than someone. Used to suggest that a romantic or sexual relationship between the people concerned is inappropriate. This is informal.)

- [of old] I know him of old. (In or belonging to the past.)

- [of old] She is nicer now than of old. (See above.)

- [the old days] We used to play in the streets in the old days. (A period in the past, typically regarded as significantly better or worse than the present.)


Finally, we’d like to finish it off with a proverb.

You can't put an old head on young shoulders.

It means that you can't expect a young person to have the wisdom or maturity of older people.