Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. #1
    yuriya's Avatar
    yuriya is offline Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Korean
      • Home Country:
      • South Korea
      • Current Location:
      • South Korea
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    167

    Smile thousands upon thousands

    Thousands upon thousands of people lived in the rubble like rats.
    Is this (thousands upon thousands) an idiom or just an extension of the preposition upon as in something is heaped upon something else? Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    13,531

    Re: thousands upon thousands

    Not a teacher.

    It's idiomatic.

  3. #3
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    15,916

    Re: thousands upon thousands

    Quote Originally Posted by yuriya View Post
    Is this (thousands upon thousands) an idiom or just an extension of the preposition upon as in something is heaped upon something else? Thanks in advance!
    Both. As SD says, it's just idiomatic now, but the phrase was first coined by using the usual preposition sense of 'upon'.

    b

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    167

    Re: thousands upon thousands

    In addition to what others have said, it's worth noting that "thousands upon thousands" is not the only variant of this expression. I've also heard "hundreds upon thousands," "millions upon millions," etc. Curiously, I've noticed that the numbers are either the same, or the first is smaller; i.e. "hundreds upon thousands," or "thousands upon thousands," but never "thousands upon hundreds."

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •