In order to begin to know the meaning of the term that once concerns us, we have to expose that it is a word whose etymological origin is in Latin. Specifically, it is the result of the sum of these two components:
-The prefix “ante-“, which can be translated as “before”.
-The noun “annum”, which is synonymous with “year”.
According to DigoPaul, the concept of yesteryear refers to a past time period: that is, it is located in the past. For example: “Children no longer study like they used to: they now use technology to search for information and read”, “In this small town, several rituals of yesteryear are still preserved”, “The stadiums of yesteryear were smaller and had structures of wood ”.
When the phrase “like yesteryear” is used, it is usual for a comparison to be made between the past and the present. If a man mentions that he would like to spend the entire summer on the beach “like in the past”, he is implying that, at present, he no longer enjoys the entire summer season in a beach setting. In the same way, whoever says that he would like to have a family Sunday lunch “like before” reveals that this shared family rite is no longer carried out.
You can also use the phrase “of yesteryear” to name what is typical of previous years, decades or centuries. It could be said, in this sense, that sending a fax is an action “of yesteryear”: today it is much more common to establish written communications via email. Traveling on horseback, writing on a typewriter, sending letters by post and listening to music on cassettes are also customs or activities “of yesteryear” that were left in the past by the advancement of technology (and the invention of the automobile, the computer and the Internet that allowed them to be replaced).
There are numerous famous phrases that use the word that we are now addressing. Among the most significant, some such as these stand out:
– “Don’t look in nests of yesteryear, birds flying” (Miguel de Cervantes, writer).
– “I think with the Romans of yesteryear that the general of today must be tomorrow, if necessary, a private soldier” (Thomas Jefferson, the Third President of the United States of America).
– “Today’s pilots are athletes who sell their abilities for money. The pilots of yesteryear did not risk their lives for nothing, but the sport came before the money ”(Enzo Ferrari, Founder of the Escudería Ferrari).
– “The great lords are almost the only people from whom you can learn as much as from the peasants; their conversation is adorned with everything that refers to the land, the mansions as they were once inhabited, the ancient uses, everything that the world of money ignores deeply ”(Marcel Proust, writer).
It should not be overlooked that we also find its use in terms of wines. Thus, there is a winery in Spain, Bodegas Carrión, which sells what are “Wines of Yesteryear”. They have the Rioja Denomination of Origin and present varieties such as crianza, reserva or tempranillo, etc.