never-never land

Idioms & Phrases

never-never land

A fantasy land, an imaginary place, as in I don't know what's gotten into Margeshe's way off in never-never land. This expression gained currency when James Barrie used it in Peter Pan (1904) for the place where Peter and the Lost Boys live. However, in the second half of the 1800s Australians already were using it for vast unsettled areas of their continent (the outback), and there the term became popular through Mrs. Aeneas Gunn's We of the Never Never (1908). In Australia it still refers to northwest Queensland or northern Australia in general. Elsewhere it simply signifies a fantasy or daydream.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
Cite This Source
Explore Dictionary.com
Previous Definition: never say never
Next Definition: new
Words Near: never-never land
More from Thesaurus.com
Synonyms and Antonyms for never-never land
More from Reference.com
Search for articles containing never-never land
Dictionary.com Word FAQs

Dictionary.com presents 366 FAQs, incorporating some of the frequently asked questions from the past with newer queries.

Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature