Every Now and Then

Also used:
Every now and again
Now and then
Now and again

Meaning of Idiom ‘Every Now and Then’

Every now and then means sometimes; occasionally; periodically; or infrequently.


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Examples Of Use

“I stopped smoking ten years ago but every now and then I still crave a cigarette.”

“Do you ever see Uncle Joe? I don’t even know where he lives.” “Oh, we talk every now and again. He’s doing fine.”

“I go out to eat every now and then but I really like a good home-cooked meal.”

“My ex-wife and I are still good friends. We get together for lunch now and then.”

Usage

This idiom has several synonyms which can be used interchangeably:
Once in a while,
Every once in a while,
From time to time
Every so often

Note that the idiom once in a blue moon is often listed as a synonym for these idioms, but while the present idioms mean sometimes, once in a blue mean actually means, hardly ever.

A similar idiom is ‘on the odd occasion’ which means at various times but not regularly. “On the odd occasion when I want something sweet, I usually go for a chocolate bar.”

Origin

Used since the first half of the 1700s.

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