Reply Mon 23 Nov, 2015 11:43 am
p.47 [...] who was eighty if he was a day, [...]

What does it mean?
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Tes yeux noirs
Reply Mon 23 Nov, 2015 12:17 pm
If someone says that a person is [some age] if they are a day it is an idiomatic way of expressing the opinion, about a person of unknown age, that they are at least the age mentioned, and probably older. A decidedly old fashioned expression, probably more common in British English. Often said to someone who supposed the person to be younger.

Mrs Jones is fifty if she's a day - If she is over one day old (i.e. any age at all) then she is fifty.

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Tes yeux noirs
Reply Mon 23 Nov, 2015 04:50 pm
Stella: Jane Taylor tells me that she is going to retire at the end of the year.
Ralph: Really! She must be taking early retirement, she’s only about fifty.
Stella: No way! She’s sixty if she’s a day! She went to the same school as my Dad and he retires next year.
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Reply Mon 23 Nov, 2015 05:00 pm
The expression is common in American usage, too.
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Reply Tue 24 Nov, 2015 12:38 pm
Excellent answers. Thank you.
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