What does the idiom "once in a blue moon" mean?

once in a blue moon is an idiom used by many writers. When idioms are used in the right place, they open the doors of effective communication and increase your descriptive power. In this way, you will be better understood. The meaning of the expression once in a blue moon is also remarkable in this respect.

Meaning of "once in a blue moon"


The idiom “once in a blue moon” is used to describe a rare occurrence or something that doesn’t happen very often. It suggests that something is incredibly uncommon and is used to emphasize how unusual a certain event or occurrence is. The phrase is often used when referring to moments that are quite special or extraordinary.


The phrase “once in a blue moon” dates back many centuries, though its exact origin is unknown. The phrase first appeared in print in the year 1528 in a novel written by a British author named William Barlow. Since then, the phrase has become popularized and is now used in everyday conversation.


The phrase “once in a blue moon” is best used to emphasize how rare a certain occurrence is. It is most often used to describe a moment or event that is special or unique and not likely to happen again soon. It can also be used to give something a sense of importance or significance and make it stand out from the everyday mundane.

Example Sentences

  • Winning the lottery is like once in a blue moon. Most people never get the chance.
  • Seeing a rainbow is always a beautiful sight, but seeing a double rainbow is once in a blue moon.
  • We only get to spend time with each other once in a blue moon, so let’s make the most of it.
  • I feel like I only get to take a vacation once in a blue moon. I need to make the most of it.
  • Getting an A on the exam was once in a blue moon! I can’t believe it.

The meanings of the words in the "once in a blue moon" idiom

Idioms have a common language

"The early bird catches the worm" is an English idiom that means that those who wake up early and start their day early are more likely to succeed. A similar idiom in Spanish is "El que madruga, Dios le ayuda," which translates to "God helps those who rise early." This idiom emphasizes the importance of starting the day early in order to achieve success.


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