Searching on Google Books I discovered that 'a day that never comes' has 2.060 results.

As an example usage, among a lot of others, in 'Healing Words' by Susan Brozek it is written:

If we wait until we feel like obeying, we will be waiting for a day that never comes!

I would like to know whether there is a short phrase or expression to refer to a day that never comes.

I focused my attention on 'a never day', but, checking for this phrase, I didn't found anything confirming it is a common usage.

Thus, what do you call a day that never comes?

  • 6
    The 12th of never, when hell freezes over, When Godot gets here, 'never today, always tomorrow'. Sep 13 '13 at 11:29
  • 2
    I would call it tomorrow... Sep 13 '13 at 11:32
  • 3
    Why downvotes and closevotes! Should I have asked this question tomorrow?
    – user51029
    Sep 13 '13 at 12:36
  • 1
    Upvoted - as no reasons given for downvoting. Sep 13 '13 at 13:04
  • 2
    @user814064 the OP is searching for words to describe a day that never comes, how is forever relevant?
    – terdon
    Sep 13 '13 at 16:10

The commonest idiomatic phrase for this is

When Hell freezes over.

I have to say I loved @Wayfaring Stranger's when Godot gets here but I doubt it will be widely understood. I often use the 30th of February but it is not an idiomatic phrase as such.

  • 1
    We should also mention "when pigs fly" and others. It frame the question; should the word express ridiculousness? Expressions like these have an inherent absurdity that other terms do not. Interesting Sep 15 '13 at 5:08
  • They said America would have a black president when pigs fly. Obama became president, and Swine Flu. Sep 20 '13 at 10:58

English has a term:


e.g. an epagomenal day. It's an adjective, though – from the Greek root epagein.

It refers to a "day out of time". We mostly use it to mean an intercalation day, but its origin is regarding a mythic day that does not and cannot occur in the time we experience. These were days reserved for gods and the like, and as such those days never did come for mortals.

I have heard speakers of Español use the word "Mañana" in this way.

it is not the only way to use 'mañana' - the word's most-basic meaning is 'tomorrow'. But there is a sad usage of it in this way — said with longing — that expresses that suggests the idea that tomorrow will never come. It is implied or inferenced in many contexts.

When will my suffering end? Mañana, my friend. Mañana....

It's the best fit for what you're looking for, I think.

Pardon that's not an English answer.

  • Could you give a reference and definition for this usage of epagomenal? Also, I would understand mañana to simply mean in the future or eventually not never.
    – terdon
    Sep 13 '13 at 16:05
  • Of course; a google search returned both my examples in the first results. Remember you can always check google if something sounds unfamiliar. Sep 13 '13 at 16:23
  • 1
    Thank you for that insight. I had and I did not find it which is why I asked. In any case, the whole point of answering here is so we don't need to search Google. Anyway, The M&W link you gave does not work for me because I don't have a subscription (that was the page I had found and the main reason I asked you for the definition). The second link just uses the term as days that don't exist and not as days that never come.
    – terdon
    Sep 13 '13 at 17:03
  • 1
    Interestingly, M-W asks for money only if linked from another site. if you went to it through google then it's free. huh. Also, days that don't exist cannot come Sep 13 '13 at 17:57
  • 1
    I am not contesting the term, I just have not seen it used this way which is why I asked for a reference. I thought it was interesting and it was a word I did not know and the meaning in modern Greek is very different. The only definition I found in my cursory Google search was the M&W site which defines it as intercalary and explains that he full definition (which presumably supports your usage of the word) is only available to paying subscribers. In any case, adding definitions and references for any usage is considered good form here so I asked for one.
    – terdon
    Sep 13 '13 at 19:08

Tomorrow never comes

Prov. When the day arrives that you are now calling "tomorrow," you will call that day "today" and a different day will be called "tomorrow." (Therefore, you should not resolve to do something tomorrow, since that day will never arrive.) Jill: When are you going to go to lunch with me? Jane: Tomorrow. Jill: Tomorrow never comes.

This is a very common idiom, apparently American in origin (the Freedictionary).


Eternity is one word that's often used


There are various localised phrases, but my favourite is the Greek Calends (Calends being a Roman date, an equivalent might be 'till the Buddhist Christmas').


Someday, maybe.

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Would you consider the following words?



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