Youth is wasted on the young is a quote that became a proverbial expression over several decades in modern language.
The meaning of it is that most times, young people fail to appreciate the benefits of being young.
This is typically uttered by people who are past their 30’s, with a nostalgic but ironic uptake.
The idea behind the expression has been cited for thousands of years all over the globe, since it is a common occurrence in every culture.
The current version of the proverb was coined by Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw.
There had been a bit of mystery surrounding the origin of the modern version. Youth is wasted on the young was commonly attributed to Oscar Wilde in the 1960s, along with a bunch of other famous figures of literature.
Quotations of George Bernard Shaw appeared in various newspapers as early as 1931. However, him being the term’s modern inventor only became a popular belief in the 2010s.
There have been several music releases in modern day that use the catchphrase in their title or within the lyrics. An example for it is Anden’s ‘Youth Is Wasted On The Young’, which was released in October, 2021.