Idiom: 'Rip van Winkle'

What does 'Rip van Winkle' mean?

Meaning: Rip van Winkle is a character in a story who slept for twenty years, so if someone is a Rip van Winkle, they are behind the times and out of touch with what's happening now.


All idioms have been editorially reviewed, and submitted idioms may have been edited for correctness and completeness.

If you have a question about idioms, ask us about it in our Idioms Discussion Forum.

If you know of an idiom that you would like to be listed here, please use our online form to suggest an idiom.

See also: