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90s Slang You Should Know

back number

an out-of-date issue of a serial publication.
Informal. anything out-of-date.
Origin of back number
An Americanism dating back to 1805-15 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for back number
Historical Examples
  • If I've got to be a back number I want to romp right back far enough to have some fun out of it.

    At Good Old Siwash George Fitch
  • If I have I'm a back number—and I'd a great deal rather be dead.

    The Harbor Ernest Poole
  • I am a back number; I am out of date; I was a loafer and a blackguard.

    The Exiles and Other Stories Richard Harding Davis
  • Yes ma'am, I've read it and I've found out what a back number I've been.

    Cap'n Dan's Daughter Joseph C. Lincoln
  • Bob Pillin walked beside him, thinking: 'Poor old josser, he is gettin' a back number!'

    Five Tales John Galsworthy
  • Jim realized that he was a back number, but he hung on just the same.

    The Easiest Way Eugene Walter and Arthur Hornblow
  • A man of large experience and important achievement said to me not long ago: "I am afraid I am getting to be a back number."

    The Young Man and the World Albert J. Beveridge
  • "Oh, well, it's not so bad for a back number," answered Matt.

  • You once nobble that, congregation, and a buck joyride to heaven becomes a back number.

    Ulysses James Joyce
  • He's a back number, and I'll tell her so, too, if she asks me to say any of her old pieces.

    Aunt 'Liza's Hero and Other Stories Annie Fellows Johnston
British Dictionary definitions for back number

back number

an issue of a newspaper, magazine, etc, that appeared on a previous date
(informal) a person or thing considered to be old-fashioned
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Slang definitions & phrases for back number

back number

noun phrase

Someone or something out of date; has-been: Mr Stale is a back number (1880s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with back number

back number

Dated, out of style. For example, That hat is really a back number, or The game has changed so fast that a player who returns to the circuit after several years' absence usually finds he or she is a back number. This term originally referred to back issues of periodicals, which are no longer newsworthy. [ Late 1800s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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