http://underscorejs.org/ has a paragraph:

Underscore [library] provides 80-odd functions that support both the usual functional suspects: map, select, invoke...

What does '80-odd' stand for? From the context it looks like it means 'approximately eighty', is that correct?

  • 1
    Correct. Maybe that sounds odd, but see Definition 6. – J.R. Mar 25 '13 at 10:24
  • Great explanations and examples. I decided to check this out after receiving a Facebook message that read in part, "I cooked that dish 20-ought years ago, whatever that means, LOL." I knew she must have meant 20-odd years ago, but got to wondering about the expression itself. – M-L Chadwick Nov 24 '16 at 19:13

According to some sources, n odd (with n a number) means slightly more than n. The above link shows:

6. 20-odd/30-odd etc spoken a little more than 20 etc: [eg] I have another 20-odd years to work before I retire.

The ELU question Where did the "odd" in "N odd years" come from?, on the other hand, suggests odd implies give-or-take, rather than slightly more. The accepted answer agrees with the dictionary entry quoted above, and refers to a paper about the expression. Here is part of a quote from the paper:

odd became used in constructions of the type NUM N1 (and) odd N2, where N2 is a count noun of lower rank than N1 (OED lemma 3b,c). The meaning of the adjective odd is still one of ‘surplus’, ‘extra’ [eg] Than leveth there 38 degrees and odde minutes

Different people may differently interpret odd, as noted in comments to the ELU question, and as illustrated by differences between the Longman Dictionary entry quoted above (in brief, “ a little more than”) and the MacMillan Dictionary entry mentioned in J.R.'s comment: “in the region of: used after a number for saying that it is not exact”.

When the lower rank count noun N2 is left off, we get examples as mentioned in another ELU answer:

“The horse was bought for fourteen pounds and odd”, meaning “between fourteen and fifteen pounds”

When both of N1 and N2 are elided, the number of significant digits used may imply a range. Here is my interpretation of “a hundred odd”: most likely in the range 100 to 120, possibly up to 150, definitely less than 200. My interpretation of “80-odd” is: most likely in the range 80 to 85, possibly up to 89, definitely less than 90.

  • Very interesting! It had never occurred to me that people interpret might this expression in different ways. I agree with your interpretation of "80-odd", and I also say "80-some-odd" with the same meaning. – snailboat Mar 25 '13 at 7:12
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    Both definitions can be found, as you pointed out. That said, since we're dealing with an approximation anyway, either meaning seems to work okay. If I say, "My grandmother was 60-odd years old when she broke her hip," there's not much sense in debating if that means, say, somewhere between 60 and 66, or somewhere between 58 and 66. Either way, it means she was around 60 when it happened, and it means I don't seem too sure of her exact age. If I knew for a fact she was at least 60, and wanted to emphasize that, I'd probably say, "My grandmother was in her 60s when she broke her hip." – J.R. Mar 25 '13 at 19:47

It means "eighty-something." Basically between 81 and 89, more likely toward the lower end, because 87, 88, and 89 might be referred to as "almost 90."


Note that it is not ussually used after numbers under 20, and is normally uised with full tens : "thirty odd" "forty odd" etc

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