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What Does 'He Had a Good Innings' Mean?

Updated on November 28, 2010
This elderly couple appear to have had a good innings.
This elderly couple appear to have had a good innings. | Source

Definition and origin of the saying

The phrase "He (or she) had a good innings" is perhaps not as common as it used to be and leaves some listeners baffled. The saying pops up after someone has died. "Ah well," mourners intone with a hint of hopefulness. "He had a good innings."

Its basic meaning is "He lived a long life." To have a good innings is to live a long time. The metaphor is taken from the sport of cricket, where an innings is a session or segment of a game. If a team keeps batting long enough, they can be said to have had a good innings.

As for the word itself, according to the Online Etymology Dictionary, it comes from the Old German "innung," meaning "[a] taking in" or "putting in." The plural "innings" is common in cricket, while baseball uses "inning" (singular).


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      Johnd449 3 years ago

      Very neat article post.Much thanks again. Much obliged. ekakgebddbgg

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      awesomness queen 6 years ago

      cool. This helped. Although it is a little weird 8)

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      yoyo 7 years ago