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Salad days

Salad days means the period of time encompassing someone’s youth, the time in a person’s life when he is inexperienced, innocent, exuberant and idealistic. Salad days may also refer to the time in someone’s life when he is at the peak of his skill and strength, which might not necessarily refer to his youth. This meaning is most often used in American English and has been established for around twenty years. The term salad days comes from Shakespeare’s play Antony and Cleopatra, Act I Scene 5. In the play, Cleopatra says, “My salad days, When I was green in judgment: cold in blood, To say as I said then!”


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Examples

The salad days when top-performing mortgage brokers could enjoy holidays in exotic places paid out of the commission income earned from writing home loans would appear to be numbered. (The Australian Financial Review Magazine)

Back then, in those heady salad days when the Cats were still flag favourites, Geelong sliced up Adelaide by tapping the ball into space. (The Australian)

Back in my salad days, we hung out in the cemetery after dark and lay on the graves, sometimes intertwined with another, and whispered and touched each other in thrilling ways, knowing that the authorities would not bother us there, and looked up at the Milky Way, our backs to a man our age who had perished of his wounds in Korea, and talked about great things we’d do in the world and lands we’d see, enjoying the privacy of proximity to the dead. (The Ames Tribune)

Though we’re constantly reminded of their salad days, Follies is Sondheim’s great gift to female musical theatre performers “of a certain age”. (The Guardian)

 

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