Do you have an idiom or a common expression about the following: "Old age isn’t pleasant. / Old age isn’t a joy."? It's a translation from my native language. I try to say that in their younger days one's life was better, more curious, jollier, with good health.

  • 1
    I'd put it, "Aging is no fun/There's no joy in old age/It's no fun to be old".
    – Victor B.
    Jul 22, 2021 at 7:41

2 Answers 2


The most common one I've heard is "Getting old stinks/sucks." (AmE)

  • As I understand it, that phrase is very informal. It looks like rude expression, isn't it? What about another phrase? I need a little bit warmer words, maybe, with some nostalgia.
    – Sergei
    Jul 22, 2021 at 10:03
  • It is informal, and the latter can be offensive. You are right. Ok, fair enough. Jul 22, 2021 at 13:13
  • "The feet are slow when the head wears snow." - sounds good, but it's used rarely. Do you use it in the US?
    – Sergei
    Jul 26, 2021 at 5:47

Given how the old person doesn't like the current situation and wants to reminisce the good old days it is quite fitting to come across as somewhat rude. So FeliniusRex's answer of Getting old stinks could be quite fitting.

If you want to focus more about what was better about the past you word it exactly like that, as something in the past:

  • When I was your age I could easily lift ...
  • In the good old days we actually talked to each other over dinner.
  • We used to play in the woods for hours, climbing trees, chasing rabbits, those were the days ...

When thinking about someone in the situation where it's relevant to say old age isn't a joy I fail to picture anything other than a grumpy old grandpa who complains to everyone around him, hence why I cannot think of an idiom that means the same but doesn't have that grumpiness to it.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .