I have two sentences:

  1. What is your overall opinion of this school?

    The campus is beautiful in the snow but it gets old pretty fast. Most students tend to stay indoors for the long winter unless they are out at a mountain...

  2. Have you ever been to a party or gathering and been seated next to someone who just spends the whole night talking about themselves? It gets old pretty fast.

What does "it gets old pretty fast" mean in these sentences?

  • 1
    Are you sure that it isn't "it gets cold pretty fast"?
    – Mick
    Nov 24, 2016 at 2:31
  • 2
    @Mawg: fast is an adverb as well as an adjective. Go to this Merriam-Webster link, and search for "in a rapid manner ".
    – TonyK
    Nov 24, 2016 at 13:20
  • No one has mentioned that initially the two situation seems"new" and "different". In sentence no.1 the first snow, in sentence no.2 meeting someone for the first time both express a change from the usual hum drum of everyday life. But when that situation drags on, then the novelty wears off and it becomes "boring*=*old" again.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Nov 24, 2016 at 18:28
  • 1
    @TonyK I thought that "quickly" was the adverb, and that "fastly" only isn't for historical reasons... Oh, sorry. Dialect barrier. :-/
    – wizzwizz4
    Nov 24, 2016 at 19:44
  • I guess that a moderator deleted my comment, although I cannot imagine why. @TonyK I will qualify it by saying that in British English, fast is an adjective and quickly is an adverb. Thus, the Queen, might say that something gets old pretty quickly :-) (she wouldn't use pretty), but she would never say that something gets old fast Things are fast (race cars & the like), or happen quickly (like volte-faceing on one's election promises as soon as one is elected)
    – Mawg
    Nov 25, 2016 at 8:26

5 Answers 5


It means you get tired of it pretty fast. It seems "old" after a few days, because the time drags and seems to last longer and longer. And you wonder how much longer it can last, and still there's more, and more, and more.

(After living through winters in Chicago and Massachusetts, believe me, I can tell you it does get old. See the picture below for an example. And there were another six or eight weeks of winter left! )

enter image description here


It means that you grow tired of it quite quickly.

In the example you have given, the person is saying that the campus looks beautiful in the snow, however when you have to deal with the negatives that come with it (harder to get from A to B, cold, wet feet, etc), the negatives outweigh the positives quite quickly.

  • 1
    +1. I think "gets old fast" also has the implication that it is pleasant at first, but that quickly wears off. The snow is beautiful and magical, especially if you haven't been around snow before... but soon reality hits and it turns out snow is more beautiful to look at than to move through.
    – Wayne
    Nov 25, 2016 at 15:12

"Gets old fast" Think about a pair of shoes or jeans. If they're not made well they literally get old fast/quickly. Meaning they wear out and maybe can't be used anymore. In the same way a situation can be judged as getting old. Meaning it's not as good as it was in the beginning. At least it's perceived that way. I'm no longer happy with it. It no longer satisfies me. So I say it's old.

To get old fast means I expected it to be good for a long time but it wasn't that way. It feels like it quickly(fast) got worse for me. So it got old fast.


'Old' in this context means that you are bored of it; it's not new. So you might have a new hat that reminds your friend of a carton character, for example, and they call you by that character's name . It might be amusing to start with but soon got annoying "Yeah, it was funny at first but that joke got old pretty fast".

If you've ever watched the TV comedy show 'Blackadder', specifically series 4, then in interviews the writers have said that they were concerned that calling General Melchet's assistant 'Darling' would have been a joke that got old pretty fast. "Come here Darling!" etc. Fortunately it didn't.

Using it with respect to the image of the campus in the snow though sounds very odd - in British English, you don't usually refer to a view as 'getting old' - a more usual phrase would be to say that the "attraction wears off quickly/soon".


It's very much clear from the scenario you mentioned that it snows, and then it gets old pretty fast, so people get used to the situation (the snow, the cold) very fast.

And as in the second example, people talking about themselves also gets old pretty fast, as they soon get used to hearing the topic. In other words, you cannot enjoy any situation for a long time as it's human nature.

  • 4
    Downvoted. When something "gets old fast", it means you become weary of it - not that you necessarily get used to it. This answer lacks clarity.
    – flith
    Nov 24, 2016 at 11:28
  • Both terms lead to same human psychological state. But the fact is also that if a thing "gets old quickly", it does not make you WEARY necessarily, as for example your new class teacher or new girl friend, when they become old very quicklY, so you get use to it, NOT weary of it. cheer Nov 24, 2016 at 14:25
  • 3
    @MuhammadKashifKhattak - The saying "it gets old quickly" in fact very much implies that the speaker is growing weary of the situation. "Getting old", in this context, is definitely not a statement about chronological time.
    – Mico
    Nov 24, 2016 at 15:26
  • 2
    It's the distinction between "this apple gets old fast" (it starts to rot) and "eating apples gets old fast" (given an unlimited steam of fresh apples to eat, but nothing else, the lack of variety grows wearisome).
    – flith
    Nov 24, 2016 at 20:59
  • Thank you mates for warm discussion. And at the end i would just like to say that we have different view point on getting old things result in what kind of situation for human being, as i mentioned it makes you use to it so leaving no more charm in it, And you guys have the opinion that getting old thing makes it weary for human being. And we are giving different examples to support our views like apples and school teachers etc.... Nov 28, 2016 at 13:15

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