What does threescore mean?

All sorts of people read this blog! A number are checking what threescore means.

A score is another word for twenty. I chose the name threescore for this website as it was borne out of the feelings which arose after my dad had a heart attack, aged 60.

Dad doesn’t like the word, partly because it has connotations. In the King James Version in Psalm 90 our days are listed as ‘threescore years and ten’. It has become an English idiom about the length of time people live; even Shakespeare refers to it in Macbeth. So there are implications about mortality. However, I believe the Psalm is talking about a right relationship with God and managing our time. It goes on to say ‘teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom’ (KJV). It is crucial that we use all our days well. God is outside of time, but we must choose how we use it. This has been a theme of my blog too.

There are other meanings, which is reasonable when you consider my fondness for ambiguity. Three is the number of children dad has, all of whom are in their twenties. Just. In fact we have now collectively lived longer than he has. [Technically, this first happened when dad was 48]. I am the first to reach half dad’s age, which will happen when I am 30.

A score is a positive thing, and part of my intentions here are to note some of dad’s qualities and weight. I mean weight in the Hebrew sense of כבוד = kavod (weight, glory, see also 1 Samuel 1-4).  He has done much good in his life already, and the score should be recognised.

I also want to celebrate dad’s age and not let it be a thing to hold him back. Here are some examples of people the same age as dad (a baby boomer):

David Lynch, Alan Rickman, Timothy Dalton, Cher, George Best, Donald Trump, Noddy Holder, George W. Bush, Sylvester Stallone, Jack Straw, Bill Clinton, Keith Moon, Edwina Currie, Philip Pullman, Jose Carreras, Sonia Gandhi, Steven Spielberg, Steven Biko, Janet Street Porter.

Hum. Make of that what you will. Some have stopped; some are still going!

Interestingly, people older than dad have done great things in their life, including people with social and political agendas. Sixty is the new twenty.


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