Vadim
'Doze off', 'forty winks'. Are these idioms synonyms? Are these idioms used both in USA and UK?
Feb 6, 2016 3:53 PM
Answers · 13
As Kevin says, to 'doze off' is the process of falling asleep, usually lightly and for a short while. For example, ' 'The room was so warm, and the lecture was so boring that it was hard for me not to doze off'. 'Forty winks' is a noun, meaning a short sleep or a 'nap'. 'I'm just going to lie down and have/take forty winks.' In Britain, as in the USA, 'doze off' is a common phrase, while 'forty winks' is rather cliched and old-fashioned and mainly used by elderly people.
February 6, 2016
Almost. "Doze off" is the process of falling asleep. You get "forty winks" while you are sleeping.
February 6, 2016
Kevin's answer is correct, I would like to add that forty winks is older phrase that you rarely ever hear. Doze off is used often though.
February 6, 2016
Yes these idioms are synonyms. To "Doze off" means to fall asleep when you aren't in bed-sort of like falling asleep in a chair or having a quick nap while you are watching tv-you can also say to nod off. The difference is is that to " Catch Forty winks" most often means that you are having a deliberate or planned nap. You are tired so you know you need to have a quick nap to get some energy. These are both used in Canada and the USA but I don't know about the UK. Hope that helps!
February 6, 2016
They are similar but not exactly the same. "40 winks" is used as a noun and means a short sleep, for example 20 minutes. "Doze off" is used more like a verb, as a synonym to "falling asleep". "To doze" usually means more of a rest than fully sleeping. An example might be "John dozed off", which means the same as "John fell asleep", but "dozed" is used to imply that it is not very heavy sleeping. "I think I'll take 40 winks" means "I think I'll take a short sleep". I've heard both used in the UK, I'm not sure how common they are in the USA. Hope that helps!
February 6, 2016
Show More
Still haven’t found your answers?
Write down your questions and let the native speakers help you!
Vadim
Language Skills
English, Russian
Learning Language
English