a man is as old as he feels, and a woman as old as she looks

Both parts of the proverb are sometimes used on their own (see also quot. 1990).

1871 V. LUSH Thames Journal 27 Aug. (1975) 114 She is always making me out so much older than I am and that’s not fair, for a man is only as old as he feels and a woman is only as old as she looks.

1891 W. MORRIS News from Nowhere iii. ‘How old am I, do you think?’ ‘Well,’ quoth I, ‘I have always been told that a woman is as old as she looks’.

1907 Illustrated London News 25 May 794 The adage that a man is as old as he feels, and a woman as old as she looks, may be said to contain much inherent truth.

1990 ‘C. AIRD’ Body Politic (1991) xi. 123 ‘He might still marry.’ Sloan was bracing. ‘A man is only as old as he feels.’


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