...than the day is long

Posted by ESC on December 16, 2004

In Reply to: ...than the day is long posted by TheFallen on December 15, 2004

: : I have heard my dad say this phrase millions of time and just recently I was wondering what it meant. I hope someone can help me out because it is bugging me since I have know clue of the meaning or its orgin.

: "...than the day is long" is a traditional comparative intensifying phrase - in the UK, a more common usage would be "you're as crazy as the day is long". The "day" in question is without doubt the working day and my gut feeling is that it stems from the long working hours that agricultural workers used to work in the fields, where days seemed back-breakingly endless.

Here's a similar expression that I'm familiar with:

HONEST AS THE DAY IS LONG -- "A consistently reliable person. The implication seems to be that he or she is honest all the time. 24 hours a day...The phrase seems to be of fairly recent origin: it was used in print by Richard Shattuck in 'The Snark Was a Boojum' ." From The Dictionary of Cliches by James Rogers (Wings Books, Originally New York: Facts on File Publications, 1985).

A favorite phrase of mine: crazier than a rat in a can.