I found the phrase ““She was young and blithe, 22 going on 16” in the article of the Time magazine (July 6 issue) dealing with the Casey Anthony Verdict, under the title, “The Casey Anthony Verdict The Jury Did the Right Thing.”
I know Casey Anthony was 22 when her 2-years old daughter was killed, but I have no idea about “goes on 16.” What does it mean? “Is the phrase, “go on 16” understood without question to any native English speakers?
The sentence in question reads:
“And yet, why would Anthony kill her daughter? When Caylee died in 2008, her mother was young and blithe, 22 going on 16. Anthony lived with her parents, dated lots of guys and wasn't thrilled about having to care every day for a 2-year-old. And so she chloroformed the girl? Or duct-taped her face?”