There's a Netflix series called "The Gentlemen". The following dialogue takes place in it.

Man: "So I hear your dad's caught a nasty cold. How long's he got left?"

Woman: "He's four into a ten stretch."

Man: "Ouch."

What does "four into a ten stretch" mean?

  • 6
    He's 4 years into a 10 year sentence. Commented Mar 12 at 21:27
  • Specifically, a prison sentence. Commented Mar 12 at 22:24
  • Although "do a stretch" could easily refer to yoga these days, in the U.S. more than, say, 20 years ago, it would almost certainly mean being in prison. You could usually rely on context to figure out which sense is intended, although if people are doing yoga in prison I don't know what you'd do.
    – JonathanZ
    Commented Mar 13 at 1:22
  • 1
    The phrase, with the meaning explained by @KillingTime, is fairly common. What isn't is the previous line - "caught a cold" isn't common slang for being sent to prison. This misdirects the reader.
    – Chris H
    Commented Mar 13 at 8:05
  • 1
    @JonathanZ "stretch" has a number of meanings, but the only sense where "four into ten" makes sense is a prison sentence (or something being treated as a metaphoric sentence). It's hard to imagine how one could make this apply to yoga.
    – Barmar
    Commented Mar 13 at 20:33

2 Answers 2


One meaning of stretch according to Green's Dictionary of Slang:

in prison/Und. uses [abbr. SE stretch of time].

  • a twelve-month sentence; thus two stretch, two years; three stretch, three years etc

Thus: four [years] into a ten [year] stretch [of prison time]

  • Isn't Green's Dictionary one of the favoured few now? It's certainly in the sensible list of 'common reference works' we used to use. Commented Mar 29 at 15:49

Four years served out of a ten year prison sentence.

  • 1
    Your answer could be improved with additional supporting information. Please edit to add further details, such as citations or documentation, so that others can confirm that your answer is correct. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    Commented Mar 28 at 23:00

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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