a long ago

From Ned Sublette’s “Cheaters’ Motel” (lyrics in my BlogX posting “Lounges and motels”, here):

We could never live together
We knew that a long ago

That’s a long ago as an alternative to a long time ago and long ago — possibly originating as a blend of those two expressions, but now apparently serving as an idiom on its own for some people.

Two more instances of “knew that a long ago” from writers who seem to be native speakers of English:

You are usually the most uninformed person. Years later, when you find out, you will be wishing that you knew that a long ago. (link)

[in reply to “now we know the meaning of Z.M lol”]
We knew that a long ago (link)

And some in other contexts:

Haha I went there a long ago started kindergarten in 1978-1979 and finished 1989 I think lol it has been so long. (link)

Okay book clubbers, here’s your summary of the second half of the book to refresh your memory in case you finished it a long ago and/or possibly blocked all traces of it from your brain due to feeling that a world without clean air and sun and water and seasons and cocktails is not a world you want to live in. (link)

I know that it’s a long ago; I’ve tried to find a way… [song lyrics] (link)

So fantastic to finally be able to identify this song… I heard it a long ago and instantly fell in love with it, but I never knew who performed it, until now. (link)

There are plenty more hits for {“it a long ago”}.

Another possible contribution to these adverbial uses of a long ago is the use of long-ago or long ago as a prenominal modifier, as in a long-ago murder, a long-ago plague, a long ago trip to China, a long ago day, and so on.


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