age before beauty: Idiom Meaning and Origin

What does ‘age before beauty’ mean?

The idiom "age before beauty" is used to humorously suggest that older people should go before younger, more attractive individuals, especially when it comes to priorities or social situations.

Idiom Explorer

Wisdom prioritized

The idiom "age before beauty" is a well-known phrase that has been in use for centuries. It is typically used to give precedence or respect to someone who is older, regardless of their physical appearance.

The origin of this idiom is unclear, but it likely emerged from the societal norms of respecting one's elders. This respect for age is deeply rooted in many cultures around the world, and the idiom "age before beauty" reflects this sentiment.

While the idiom is generally understood and accepted, it is important to consider the potential implications and sensitivities around age and beauty. While it is typically used in a light-hearted manner, it can inadvertently reinforce ageism or emphasize the importance of physical appearance.

When using this idiom, it is essential to do so with care and sensitivity, ensuring that it does not perpetuate stereotypes or cause harm.

Prioritization of youthful appearance over age and beauty.

The idiom "before it was cool" is related to "age before beauty" in that it also emphasizes the importance of precedence. It suggests that something was popular or desirable before it became mainstream or widely accepted. In the context of age and beauty, it can imply that being older or having more experience is more valuable than being physically attractive.

Similarly, the idiom "pearls before swine" is related to "age before beauty" as it also speaks to the idea of valuing something based on its intrinsic worth rather than its outward appearance. It suggests that something valuable or precious is being wasted or unappreciated by those who do not recognize its true value.

The idiom "come first" is related to "age before beauty" as it also speaks to the idea of giving precedence or priority to someone or something. It suggests that there is a hierarchy or order in which things should be done or people should be treated.

Lastly, the idiom "act one's age, not one's shoe size" is related to "age before beauty" as it emphasizes the importance of behaving or conducting oneself in a manner that is appropriate for one's age. It suggests that maturity and wisdom should be valued over physical appearance or immaturity.

Overall, the idiom "age before beauty" and its related idioms highlight the significance of giving respect and precedence to those who are older or have more experience. They remind us to value wisdom, maturity, and intrinsic worth over superficial qualities or trends. When using these idioms, it is important to do so with care and sensitivity, ensuring that they do not perpetuate stereotypes or cause harm.

Example usage

Examples of how the idiom "age before beauty" can be used in a sentence:

  1. "I'll let you go first, age before beauty," said the old man to the young woman at the door.
  2. When two friends were competing for the last slice of pizza, one of them said, "Okay, age before beauty!" and let the other friend take it.
  3. In a group photo, an older cousin jokingly told his younger cousin, "Remember, age before beauty," and positioned himself in front of her.

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