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I was telling my kids that sometimes there are many ways to say the same thing, especially with idiomatic phrases. I don't know why, but the simple phrase "a really long time" came to mind, and I started thinking of idiomatic phrases that relate that.

After coming up with the list below, I started trying to think of more out of my own curiosity to see how many I could think of, but could not think of any more. I am sure there are more. Can anyone think of any more?

  • DAY IN DAY OUT
  • ALL NIGHT LONG
  • FOREVER AND A DAY
  • TO THE END OF TIME
  • ALL DAY EVERY DAY
  • AROUND THE CLOCK
  • TWENTY FOUR SEVEN
  • WITHOUT STOPPING
  • ALL DAY AND ALL NIGHT

closed as too broad by Marthaª, Elian, Jim, Mitch, Sven Yargs Oct 10 '15 at 8:27

Please edit the question to limit it to a specific problem with enough detail to identify an adequate answer. Avoid asking multiple distinct questions at once. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    I'm afraid this type of question is not a good fit for the SE model: the list of possible answers is endless, and no answer is better than any other answer. – Marthaª Oct 9 '15 at 2:44
  • How else are we supposed to be able to use the open forum to ask people questions? I don't exactly agree that the list is endless. There may be many possibilities, but it won't be so long as to be onerous. And the suggestions give so far are very good and have helped me a lot. And why does it matter that "no answer is better than any other answer."? Can't it be that they all help? I didn't realize it was supposed to be a competition. I thought that StackExchange was to an open forum / crowdsourcing question and answer repository. I could still nominate one as having helped more than others. – verbatim Oct 9 '15 at 2:50
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is explicitly called out in the Help Section: your answer is provided along with the question, and you expect more answers: “I use ______ for ______, what do you use?” – Jim Oct 9 '15 at 4:12
  • So it would have been all right if Verbatim had just asked, "What are idiomatic expressions in English that mean a long time span?" No, no, what am I thinking? If he'd done that, we could ding him for not providing his "research." – deadrat Oct 9 '15 at 4:58
  • Questions framed as "I have a list of phrases; what other phrases should be on my list?" or as "I haven't done any research; what is a phrase that means X?" are likely to be closed. You might instead ask this way: "I am trying to think of a phrase that means X, but the phrases I have thought of so far [include list of phrases here] seem deficient in one way or another. Is there a phrase that satisfies all of the criteria that I've identified above?" It still might be closed as seeking an ideal word or phrase, but it is likelier to remain open than the list request or the no-research request. – Sven Yargs Oct 10 '15 at 8:26
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It's been ages...!
Seems like It's been forever
Way before/After
An Eternity
Light years away(an ​extremely ​long ​time from now in the past or ​future)
Aeon

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  • PERPETUAL

  • IN PERPETUITY

  • AGES

  • EON (AEON)

  • LIGHT YEARS

  • AN ETERNITY

  • A COON'S AGE (As in "I haven't seen you in a coon's age," meaning: within the lifetime of a raccoon.)

  • A MONTH OF SUNDAYS

  • UNTIL THE TWELFTH OF NEVER

  • A LIFETIME

  • GENERATIONS

  • MILLENNIA

  • ICE AGE

  • UNTIL THE COWS COME HOME

  • DECADES

  • ENDLESS

  • CENTURIES

  • FOUR SCORE AND SEVEN YEARS (AGO)

This is where I quit. I'm sure there are many more, however.

  • Light years are a unit of distance, not time. I've never heard "ice age" used as a term of long duration. Given its provenance, "Four score and seven years ago" is not used to compare durations. Interestingly, some of these are metaphoric, but most of them aren't idiomatic. Centuries just means hundreds of years, directly. – deadrat Oct 9 '15 at 5:03
  • @deadrat: All good points. In my defense, however, why does the word "years" appear in the expression "light years"? As for the non-idiomatic ones, OK, I agree with you. There are a few diamonds amongst the lumps of coal, yes? Don – rhetorician Oct 9 '15 at 13:46
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It's Been a Dog's Age.

Time Immemorial

Are We There Yet? (interminable)

For never going to happen

When Pig's (Donkey's) Fly

When Hell Freezes Over (Which happens quite often in Norway)

Until The Cows Come Home

  • The more usual idiom is "until the cows come home." "When pigs fly" is an expression of impossibility, not really a measure of time. I assume you're talking about the village in the Lånke area of the municipality of Stjørdal in Nord-Trøndelag county. – deadrat Oct 9 '15 at 5:10
  • If something is an impossibility, then it will never happen, and never can be viewed as an expression of time. If someone asks, "So, when are you going to get married?" and the answer is "When pig's fly!" It means not in a lifetime, which can be a long time. – AMR Oct 9 '15 at 5:29

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