Community Comment

A Word A Day never-never-land

August 24, 2012

Word of the Day

  • never-never land
  • audio pronunciation
  • \nev-er-NEV-er-LAND\


: an ideal or imaginary place

Lester seems to think he lives in some kind of never-never land where people don't have to accept responsibility for their actions.

"China's pride of ownership is all too familiar to most Taiwanese, who are constantly bombarded by Beijing's assertions that they live in a political never-never land, lacking all the elementary accouterments of statehood." — From an Associated Press article by Annie Huang, February 16, 2012


The phrase "never-never land" is linked to Peter Pan, although it did not originate with that creation of the Scottish playwright Sir James Barrie. In Barrie's original 1904 play, Peter befriends the real-world children of the Darling family and spirits them off for a visit to Never Land, where children can fly and never have to become adults. Then, in his 1908 sequel When Wendy Grew Up, Barrie changed the name to Never Never Land, and subsequent versions of the earlier play incorporated that change. People had been using "never-never land" for a place that was overly idealistic or romantic since at least 1900, but the influence of Peter Pan on the word's popularity and staying-power cannot be discounted.


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