This is a French (south of France) expression: "cela va durer la vie des rats".

It means "it will last very long". Probably because, in ancient times, rats were very difficultly eradicated so that they seemed to be nearly everlasting...

Is there an equivalent in English?

(this is my first post in this SE site, I hope my question is meeting the rules here).

  • When pigs fly.
    – Dan Bron
    Apr 23, 2017 at 17:15
  • 1
    @DanBron, thanks, but I think it's not the same: "when pigs fly" is "in a very long time (in the future)", here it is "a very long duration". Am I right?
    – lemon
    Apr 23, 2017 at 17:17
  • 1
    "Forever and a day"?
    – Řídící
    Apr 23, 2017 at 17:52

1 Answer 1


Go on for an age or Go on for ages:

Fig. to continue for a very long time. The symphony seemed to go on for an age. It seemed to go on for ages.

(McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs)

  • Can that be used in "last for ages" too as I think this is not exactly the same concept of action (compared to "go on" or "continue")?
    – lemon
    Apr 24, 2017 at 7:28

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