General Question

brownlemur's avatar

29 going on 30? Whence does this expression originate?

Asked by brownlemur (4086points) June 25th, 2008

From where does the phrase “29 going on 30” originate? For example, when someone asks “How old are you?” and the respondent answers, “I’m 18 going on 19,” as if there is any alternative. You can’t be 18 going on 20 (unless we’re dealing with leap years and sarcasm). Maybe my question is not one of origins, but one of, “why do people say this?”

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

13 Answers

marinelife's avatar

It’s as simple as young people wanting to appear older. You never hear an octogenarian say “80 going on 81.” They might say “80 going on 29” to imply their youthful vigor.

janbb's avatar

I think it is intended to mean that you are approaching the next birthday – that is you are closer to the older age. Mainly used by younger people who want the credit for age.

Don’t here too many 59 year olds say 59 going on 60!

Randy's avatar

I’m going to guess that it’s used for when someone is less than 29 1/2. You have three stages in birth years, in order:
1) (Your age)-going on (next age)
2) (Your age) plus 0.5
3) (your age)-almost (next age)

pplufthesun's avatar

I think they are getting a year older…just saying

Knotmyday's avatar

Makes an excellent song, though:

“I-AY-‘ll take ca-AIR, of you!”

Rolfe and Leisl, The Sound of Music

tinyfaery's avatar

Damn knotmyday, you beat me to it!

marinelife's avatar

And Rolfe did come through in the end, didn’t he, the little Nazi?

AstroChuck's avatar

I always tell people that my youngest is “8 going on 18” because of the way she acts and the things she says.

waterskier2007's avatar

@randy, that makes no sense, why would 29 going on 30 be closer to 29 than 30?

charliecompany34's avatar

you can thank hallmark for that bro. ya got sweetest day, flag day, secretary day, boss day, janitor day, stepson day, best friend day.

Randy's avatar

@waterskier- you’ve got it all wrong. 29 going on 30 is the farthest away meaning after you turn 29, your going on 30. Then in 6 months, you go from 29 going on 30 to 29 and a half. Then in 3 months you change over to almost 30. I’m just bull shitting because I have no clue what the answer is.

chill_out's avatar

I think the expression is not meant to be used as your actual age ie. 29 going on 30. Never actually heard it used to describe your age that way. That’s just too obvious and redundant.

Rather it is meant to be used sarcastically as noted by AstroChuck & Marina…. Makes more sense to me.

Strauss's avatar

I remember using the expression when I was a kid, implying that because I was closer to the older age, I was more “grown-up”.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther