Sign up ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

A recent CNN report reads:

In an after-midnight session the U.S. Senate passed a bill Saturday ...

Google returns few results for after-midnight, other than references to a certain horror film, (another earlier film), a Clapton song, and things related to one or the other of these.

Q. Has after-midnight been used in this sense in popular writing? Will it be considered ungrammatical/ incorrect to do so?

CNN uses it again down the report "In a previous after-midnight vote, the Senate overwhelmingly passed a non-binding resolution ..."

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

There's nothing ungrammatical or incorrect about it. It's simply a time adjective and can be replaced by late or very late. Normally, the US Senate doesn't stay up so late working, only partying.

The origin and first recorded use of the expression is probably something you'd want to ask Michael Quinion about.

Looks like a perfectly normal adjective to me.

share|improve this answer
It did look like a perfectly normal adjective to me as well, except that I can find no precedents. – Kris Sep 22 '12 at 11:24
There's always a first time. :-) – user21497 Sep 22 '12 at 12:03

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.