What Does As Old As the Hills Mean?

As Old as the Hills Meaning

Definition: Very old.

Origin of As Old as the Hills

This expression comes from the Bible, in Job 15:7.

  • Art thou the first man that was born? Or wast thou made before the hills?

The idea behind this is that the Earth, its hills, and many other landforms are very old. Therefore, if you compare a person’s age with the hills, he or she must be extremely old.

This phrase is an example of hyperbole, which is a type of exaggeration.

Examples of As Old as the Hills

as old as hillsIn this conversation, a mother and daughter are arguing about how to deal with a problem at school.

Daughter: I don’t want to go to school tomorrow.

Mother: Why not? What’s wrong?

Daughter: There’s this girl who keeps saying mean things to me. I can’t deal with her tomorrow. I need time to think of a solution to get her to stop bothering me.

Mother: My advice for dealing with a bully is just to tell her that she is hurting your feelings, and to stop.

Daughter: I appreciate that you’re trying to help, but you wouldn’t understand. Things are different now than they were when you were young.

Mother: I was young not too long ago. I’m not that old.

Daughter: Sorry, Mom, but you’re as old as the hills. Things have changed a lot.

define as old as the hillsIn this example, two coworkers are discussing a stain that one of them accidentally made on the other’s carpet.

Dave: I’m so sorry! I was drinking this red wine ,and I just spilled it all over your carpet.

Ben: Oh, that’s okay. Don’t worry about it.

Dave: No, I feel really bad about it. Tell me where your cleaning supplies are. I’ll try to remove it before it sets.

Ben: No, seriously. It doesn’t matter at all. This carpet is as old as the hills. It’s ancient. I have to replace it anyway.

Dave: Are you sure?

Ben: Of course!

More Examples

This excerpt is about the economic decision of a large company.

  • All the recent talk of Walmart’s renewed emphasis on “working with its suppliers to cut costs” –at essentially the same time it announced wage increases for its employees estimated at $1 billion– is resulting in a wave of new and naive criticism. Of course, pointing out the tradeoff Walmart is making is as old as the hills and therefore, to be expected. –Forbes

This excerpt is about the only living person alive since the 1800’s.

  • On Friday, she was happy to hear the title had passed to her, one of her relatives told London’s Daily Telegraph newspaper. “She was told this morning and she said ‘My word, I’m as old as the hills,’ but she was very pleased,” Rosi Santoni said. –USA Today


The expression as old as the hills means ancient.