Results 1 to 3 of 3
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Korean
      • Home Country:
      • South Korea
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Feb 2014
    • Posts: 29
    #1

    There's four and twenty million doors

    Hi,

    If someone says "There's four and twenty million doors", then it means..420 million? Actually it's a lyric from the song "the masterplan" from Oasis and I am confused...

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 12,310
    #2

    Re: There's four and twenty million doors

    First, no one would ever say this in real life.

    But "four and twenty" is 24. So "four and twenty million" would be 24 million.

    You have to know that there is an old nursery rhyme about "four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie."

    This is not a normal way to say "twenty-four" now, if it ever was in the past.

    Also note that this may be a reference to "4:20" which is a code for smoking marijuana. Supposedly from a group of kids who used to indulge every day after school at this time.

  1. Raymott's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
    • Posts: 24,103
    #3

    Re: There's four and twenty million doors

    It might also help to know that, at least in German, 24 is still 'vier-und-zwanzig' (four and twenty). This probably applies to some other northern European languages where many of our fairy tales and nursery rhymes come from. There was possibly also a more direct effect on the language.
    "Sing a song of sixpence" which contains the line "four and twenty blackbirds" is described as an English nursery rhyme. This traces it to at least 1744:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sing_a_Song_of_Sixpence
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 06-Apr-2014 at 22:31. Reason: Fixing typos

Similar Threads

  1. Twenty hours' sleep. / Twenty hour sleep.
    By sb70012 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 18-Nov-2013, 11:58
  2. 5 doors away
    By princesabharwal in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 26-Apr-2012, 11:27
  3. Hollow doors
    By Bushwhacker in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 27-Feb-2010, 19:51
  4. three doors down
    By user_gary in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 07-Mar-2007, 21:17

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

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