When someone you care about reaches their fourth decade, it’s time to tell them what they mean to you with a meaningful 40th birthday message.
After all, the Big Four-Oh is a big year in terms of birthdays! It’s okay, we have it on good authority that 40 is the new 30. And 30 is… perpetually 25? Anyway, when you’re stuck regarding what to write in the card, here are some ideas for birthday wishes to get you started.
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What to Write in a 40th Birthday Card
You thought endlessly reading each and every card at the Hallmark was the hard part, but no. Picking out a funny or sweet card is easy. The challenge comes with what to write inside!
Here are some ideas on what to say and how to say it. Since the first point (and the space allowed on your card) requires brevity in your 40th birthday wishes, you’ll want to only choose a few of these attributes to include in your card.
Keep it short and sweet. Think of a few words that convey what you want to say. Keep it heartfelt – unless of course, you’re going for straight-up witty and funny! Either way, the key to a sweet sentiment or gut-busting humor is to aim for brevity.
Congratulate them on their achievement. Staying alive for forty years is quite the workout. They deserve a pat on the back!
Share a story or memory. Tell them about a time in your relationship that really meant something to you. Whether it is a shared memory that brings joy, a time when they encouraged or helped you, or a reminder of your quirky history together, the stories you share together are a wonderful part of what makes relationships so meaningful.
Share a prayer or blessing. This is a way to show your unity in spirit and your desire for them to experience all that God has for them.
Drop in humor. Everyone loves to laugh!
Sign your name. Don’t forget to tell them who the card is from! Hopefully they’ll know just from your handwriting, but still, it’s polite and helpful to sign off with your love or best wishes.
10 Best Ways to Say Happy Birthday (that aren’t “Happy Birthday”)
A little bit of humor, a little bit of wit, and a whole lot of affection to express your happy birthday wishes.
1. You’re almost as good as two twenty-year-olds put together!
2. You’re not old – you’re “broken in” just right.
3. Not sayin’ you’re over the hill, but you can at least see it from where you are.
4. Happy anniversary of the day your mama brought you into this world!
5. Forty years – What a great achievement! Thank you for sharing it with me.
6. Getting old… it sure beats the alternative.
7. You’re looking better than ever – how do you do it?
8. Let’s grow old together. Hey, you go first!
9. Thanks for being born so I could have cake on this day.
10. You’re the best at everything you do – that includes getting older!
40th Birthday Wishes
Sweet, fitting, and funny birthday messages for all your special relationships. Whether you’re wishing the best for your spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, son, daughter, or a close friend, these birthday sentiments will help you compose the best birthday card yet.
40th Birthday Wishes for Son
“Forty isn’t old, if you’re a tree.”
– Unknown author
11. Happy birthday to the man who made ME a real man. Love, Dad.
12. Each day has gotten sweeter. So glad I’m your dad/mom.
13. Sometimes I never thought we’d get here with all of your shenanigans!
14. Happy birthday to my not-so-little man!
15. Happy anniversary of the Best Day Ever.
16. You’re the reason I’m happy in life. Happy birthday!
17. Put your feet up and relax – it’s your day, son!
18. Happy birthday to the reason I have gray hair.
19. You’ve always been a firecracker! Happy birthday, son.
20. Happy birthday, even though I did literally all the work 40 years ago. Love, Mom.
40th Birthday Wishes for Daughter
“Life begins at 40 – but so does fallen arches, rheumatism, faulty eyesight, and the tendency to tell a story to the same person, three or four times.”
– Helen Rowland
21. Happiest of birthdays to the prettiest and bestest of daughters!
22. Once upon a time, we were mortal enemies (remember age 12?), and now look at us!
23. Happy birthday to my pretty pretty princess. Love, Dad.
24. 40 looks good on you! You must take after your parents.
25. You get your sense of humor from your dad, and your fabulous good looks from me. Love, Mom.
26. You’ve always made us so proud. Happy birthday!
27. Still the queen of the day!
28. Love you to the moon and back.
29. You’re still our favorite (shhh, don’t tell your brother).
30. You’ll always be our baby girl.
Related: Best Birthday Wishes for Everyone
40th Birthday Wishes for a Friend
“What most persons consider as virtue, after the age of 40 is simply a loss of energy.”
31. Happy birthday to my BFF! Let’s get this party started!
32. Know what time it is? It’s birthday party time!
33. It sure looks like you’re aging more gracefully than I am. What is your secret?!
34. Happy birthday to the man/woman who makes my days brighter.
35. Cheers to another year of putting up with me! (I know it’s such a privilege.)
36. You’re the SHE to my NANIGANS.
37. Oh hey, I have an idea. Let’s pretend we’re 29 again.
38. You’re the greatest – now pass the cake!
39. Man, you have great taste in friends. Happy birthday, wise one!
40. When it comes to friends, I won the lottery. Happy birthday!
40th Birthday Wishes for Boyfriend
“I’m very pleased with each advancing year. It stems back to when I was forty. I was a bit upset about reaching that milestone, but an older friend consoled me. ‘Don’t complain about growing old many, many people do not have that privilege.’”
– Earl Warren
41. You are seriously making 40 look GOOD.
42. Happy birthday to the man who still makes me weak in the knees.
43. You swept me off my feet, now you’re my favorite arm candy.
44. Happy birthday to my jungle stud! Love, your love monkey.
45. Like we needed a reason to celebrate you! But we’ll take it.
46. Take me out, tell me I’m pretty, and feed me cake.
47. Happy birthday to the best boyfriend on planet earth. (Haven’t explored other planets yet, but it’s looking good for you.)
48. 2, 4, 6, 8, who do we appreciate?! YOU!
49. I never thought 40 would be this sexy, yet here you are.
50. Looking good, my birthday man! Let’s paint the town!
40th Birthday Wishes for Girlfriend
“Middle age is having a choice between two temptations and choosing the one that’ll get you home earlier.”
– Dan Bennett
51. I never thought you could get more beautiful, yet here you go proving me wrong again!
52. Happy birthday to the woman who makes me look really good and really smart!
53. All the men are jealous of me today! Happy birthday, sweetie!
54. Another year gone by, and you still make my heart skip a beat.
55. Happiest of birthdays to the best thing that ever happened to me.
56. You’re making this growing-up thing look awfully good … should I join you?
57. When it comes to girlfriends, you take the (birthday) cake!
58. I love you, a bushel and a peck! (Whatever those units of measurement are…)
59. It’s your birthday – prepare to be spoiled!
60. I’ve been waiting for this day all year, and now it’s here! Happy birthday, princess!
40th Birthday Wishes for Husband
“Life really does begin at forty. Up until then, you are just doing research.”
– Carl Jung
61. Somehow you’re making this whole getting older thing awfully sexy!
62. Happy birthday to the best husband ever (I did a survey).
63. So glad you were born so I could have the brainiest and greatest looking hubby around!
64. After the party … wanna celebrate?
65. Happy birthday to the man who always makes my heart smile.
66. You’re my sun and moon and stars! Happy birthday, darling!
67. When it comes to husbands, you take the cake.
68. It’s no secret that occasionally your mother drives me crazy, but boy am I glad she went through what she did 40 years ago!
69. Love you to the moon and back.
70. Happy birthday to my favorite husband. Love, your favorite wife.
40th Birthday Wishes for Wife
“I’m at an age when my back goes out more than I do.”
– Phyllis Diller
71. Dang, you make me look good!
72. Happy birthday, darling! My days are better with you in them!
73. You are still the greatest thing to have ever happened to me. Happy birthday!
74. Happy birthday to my lady.
75. What is a gal like you doing with a guy like me?! Never mind. Don’t answer that.
76. Not a day goes by that I don’t thank my lucky stars you’re in my life!
77. So glad to spend another 40 years with you!
78. Happy birthday to my wonderful woman – here’s to soooo many more!
79. People ask me what you’re doing with a guy like me and I say I didn’t marry you for your brain…
80. Happy birthday to my best friend and a remarkable woman!
Funny 40th Birthday Quotes
“The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age.”
– Lucille Ball
81. Wow. 40 years old. If this were the 1700s you’d be dead by now.
82. Welcome to your 40s! I hope you like Ibuprofen.
83. The first 40 years of childhood are always the hardest.
84. I may be in my 40s but I still feel like I’m in my 20s! Until I hang out with twenty-year-olds and then I’m like, nope.
85. The best years of a woman’s life are the ten years between ages 39 and 40.
86. Don’t let turning 40 get you down! It’s too hard to get back up again.
87. Enjoy back pain, colonoscopies, night sweats, and eating dinner at 4 pm? Then ask your doctor if turning 40 is right for you!
88. Every man over 40 is responsible for his face. – Abraham Lincoln
89. Plenty of people will turn 40 this year, and they’ll all whine and mope about it. Cuz that’s what old people do…
90. 40 years old, huh? Halfway between diapers and Depends …
Best 40th Birthday Cards
More: Printable Birthday Cards
40th Birthday Captions
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