Last modified on 21 June 2013, at 00:21

four score and seven years ago

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EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

In Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, he used this (at the time) commonplace measure of score, meaning "20 years". In modern language, it would be simply "87 years ago". However, the widespread notoriety of Lincoln's address, the unusual wording and its status as the first words of the speech have caused the phrase to enter the public consciousness.

AdverbEdit

four score and seven years ago

  1. (idiomatic) As an opener, a sometimes sarcastic indicator to indicate a past event being mentioned is particularly important.