umpteen number of years

Mary R Carter

Thai - Thailand
Hello teachers,

This excerpt is from New Headway advanced student's book (Oxford)

Two East African brothers who became multimillionaires in the UK were interviewed by the media. One of them mentioned how great their mother was and how she took sacrifice for the two of them after the death of their father. He said, "she sacrificed her entire life. You know she just worked twelve hours a day, seven days a week for umpteen number of years till we were grown up enough to leave the nest, as it were.

Is the expression umpteen number of years natural to you?

Thank you so much in advance.

Last edited:
  • PaulQ

    English - England
    Yes. Although "umpteen years" would be more logical, this is a colloquialism and simply reflects what people do say.
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