Thirty-Somethings: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
November 27, 2023

"Thirty-somethings" refers to individuals in their thirties, aged between 30 and 39. The term is not merely an age descriptor but often encapsulates a stage of life that encompasses numerous critical milestones and experiences. This demographic is frequently navigating through pivotal life and career moments, such as solidifying career paths, establishing long-term relationships, possibly starting a family, and often grappling with the balance of personal and professional aspirations.

In short:

"Thirty-somethings"mean that individals are in the age of 30-39.

What Does "Thirty-Somethings" Mean?

The term "thirty-somethings" typically pertains to the age group between 30 and 39. It carries with it several implications and connotations:

  • The transitional phase between young adulthood and middle age.
  • It is a period where many face career, relationship, and family pressures.
  • Often used to discuss cultural, social, and economic issues related to this age group.

Where Does "Thirty-Somethings" Come From?

The term gained popularity in the late 20th century, especially with the rise of television shows and media focused on the lives of individuals in this age range. One significant influence was the American drama series "Thirtysomething," which aired from 1987 to 1991, diving into the lives of baby boomers in their thirties. Later on, the term became popular in magazines and advertisements.

Historical Usage

"There's a lot of us '30 somethings' who drive nice cars and wear ties to work that love 97x, too. - an excerpt from a 1992 Cincinnati Magazine.

10 Examples of "Thirty-Somethings" in Sentences

Here are sentences showcasing different uses of the idiom:

  • Many thirty-somethings find it challenging to balance work, family, and personal time.
  • You'd think these thirty-somethings would be more mature, but some still throw a fit over minor issues.
  • The bar downtown primarily attracts thirty-somethings looking for a relaxed evening.
  • Several thirty-somethings are going back to school for further studies.
  • She believes that most of her customers are thirty-somethings due to the style of clothes she sells.
  • When speaking to that group of thirty-somethings, always watch your language; they're quite particular about respect.
  • His book is aimed at thirty-somethings undergoing a mid-life crisis.
  • Travel companies are creating packages designed for thirty-somethings seeking adventure.
  • The club was filled with lively thirty-somethings dancing the night away.
  • These days, it seems like all the thirty-somethings meet up at the local coffee shop for their weekly catch-ups.

Examples of "Thirty-Somethings" in Pop Culture

  • The song "30 Something" by Jay-Z talks about the idea.
  • Numerous books, such as "The 30 Somethings" by Elizabeth McKenzie, explicitly use the idiom.
  • A drama series from the 1980s is entitled "Thirtysomething."

Synonyms: Other/Different Ways to Say "Thirty-Somethings"

Here are some alternate phrases to refer to the 30-39 age group.

  • The post-millennial crowd
  • Matured millennials
  • Late bloomers of the 90s
  • The Y-generation adults

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Thirty-Somethings":

  • What does "thirty-somethings" mean?

It refers to people in their thirties, typically aged 30 to 39.

  • When did the term become popular?

The term gained popularity, especially in the late 20th century, influenced in part by media portrayals of this age group.

  • Why is this age group significant?

Being in one's thirties is often viewed as a transitional phase involving important life decisions in careers, relationships, and family.

  • Is "thirty-somethings" a formal term?

No, it's an informal term and is often used colloquially.

  • Can the term refer to things or just people?

It mainly refers to people but can be used metaphorically for trends or behaviors typical of that age group.

  • Are there terms like this for other age groups?

Yes, similar terms include "twenty-somethings" for people in their twenties or "forty-somethings" for those in their forties.

  • How has the perception of "thirty-somethings" changed over time?

Perceptions shift with societal changes. For instance, today's "thirty-somethings" are more tech-savvy than the previous generations.

  • Do all countries perceive "thirty-somethings" similarly?

No, cultural contexts can shape distinct perceptions and experiences for this age group in different regions.

  • Why do people highlight the age group in discussions?

It's a significant life phase with unique challenges, and many can relate to or are curious about the experiences of "thirty-somethings."

  • Does the media accurately represent "thirty-somethings"?

It varies. While some media representations capture the essence, others might stereotype or exaggerate certain aspects.

Final Thoughts About "Thirty-Somethings"

"Thirty-somethings" refers to individuals who are in their thirties. It captures a particular phase of adulthood where people are typically balancing career growth, family, and the onset of midlife reflections. These are the folks who might remember cassette tapes, the early internet days, and the transition into the digital age.

Here's a quick wrap-up:

  • The phrase encapsulates the experiences of people aged 30 to 39.
  • This age range involves a myriad of decisions about career, love, family, and personal growth.
  • The term is popular in various media over the years.

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