fine age


New Member
Is it possible to say "she died at a fine age of 78" meaning she died at quite an old age?
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    English - England
    (i) It cannot be "a" fine age of x", if you state the age - it must be the fine age of x"
    (ii) the usual use is "she died at the fine old age of 78." but that use is relatively rare for ages below 90 years.


    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I agree with Paul, The Newt and Cider and so does the dictionary. I would add that it implies a long and healthy (or productive) life.
    It is also used ironically to mean very young.

    She was running her own business at the ripe old age of 18.

    Ripe old age definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary

    ripe old age

    If someone lives to a ripe old age, they live until they are very old.
    He lived to the ripe old age of 95.

    I would add that this list includes older folks that did not have that implied healthy or productive aspect.

    29 Age Idioms (Meaning & Examples)

    Long In The Tooth

    To Be No Spring Chicken

    To Be Past (Your/Its) Prime

    And my personal favorite: "She is well past her use-by-date."