What to write in a 40th birthday card

Turning 40 is a major milestone, even if some people might not exactly be welcoming the beginning of middle age with open arms. But if nothing else, it’s an excuse to celebrate someone who’s really important to you, and it’s nowhere near as scary as people make it out to be.

You just need to make sure they feel the love with a special card and some sincere 40th birthday wishes from you. But what’s the best way to say ‘happy 40th birthday’ that’s a bit more original? To give you some ideas, we’ve put together this big list of sweet, clever, cute, and funny 40th birthday wishes.

We’ve even included some quotes from the greats, and some snarky 40th birthday one-liners to sneak inside their 40th birthday card that are great for anyone able to take a joke about turning the big four-oh and beyond!

Funny 40th birthday wishes

Give them a giggle with our pick of the best funny 40th birthday wishes – and if the card you’ve got is looking a bit generic, then there’s still time to order a funny 40th birthday card from thortful, with same-day dispatch if you order before 6pm.

  1.   The first 40 years of childhood are always the hardest.
  2.   You’re 40! Time to get used to cleaning the house to the music you used to get drunk to
  3.   Happy birthday – I can’t believe you’re 40 years old. I’ve never been so grateful to be so much younger than you.
  4.   Thirties? Completed it mate.
  5.   You know what rhymes with forty? Tequila.
  6.   Forty years old – sounds like 4 perfect 10s to me. Happy birthday!
  7.   Congratulations on hitting the big four-oh! (Is it less scary written like that?)
  8.   Look at it this way, at least you’re not as old as you’ll be next year.

Rude 40th birthday messages

Make them laugh – then remind them to watch out for wrinkles. If your favourite almost-40-year-old can take a bit of laughter at their expense, then these funny 40th birthday one-liners coupled with a rude 40th birthday card are sure to make their day.

  1.   Congratulations – you’re officially old enough for a midlife crisis!
  2.   Try not to think of it as turning 40. Just think of it as getting really old.
  3.   Happy birthday! For your 40th, you’ll be getting… a prostate exam.
  4.   They say maturity comes with age, but you’re 40, and you’re still a w*nker.
  5.   Happy birthday – they say life begins at 40. What the hell did you do with the rest of it?
  6.   I was going to write something snarky, but to be honest mate, we’re all impressed you made it to 40.
  7.   Don’t let turning 40 get you down. It’s too hard to get back up again.
  8.   The best part of being forty is that you did most of your stupid sh*t before the Internet existed.

40th birthday messages for her

For ladies of a certain age, they might be feeling a bit sensitive about turning 40 – so here are some sweet 40th birthday messages for her to celebrate her turning a fabulous 40.

  1.   Wishing you the happiest of birthdays – welcome to your fabulous 40s!
  2.   Happy 40th birthday to a lady who is beautiful in every way, inside and out.
  3.   Forty? You don’t look a day over fabulous.
  4.   Pop that prosecco, you’re 40! Happy birthday!
  5.   40 looks good on you – wishing you many happy returns and a fab year ahead.
  6.   Hey, pretty lady! Remember, you’re not 40 – you’re 22 with 18 years of experience.

40th birthday wishes for him

Whether it’s your brother, dad, father, or friend, help them celebrate this important milestone with one of these 40th birthday messages for him written inside a special 40th birthday card.

  • Remember, life begins at 40, so you’ve plenty of mistakes still left to make.
  • Only 40? That’s still young enough to hit the pub on a Friday night! (Within reason, of course).
  • 40 years old. The age at which fixing classic cars and taking up woodworking become acceptable hobbies.
  • Happy 40th! With 4 decades of well-earned experience under your belt, the next 4 are going to be a breeze.
  • Congratulations on turning 40! Only 10 more years until you can officially have your mid-life crisis.
  • I hear you’ve just turned 40. Buckle up for some wildly tame celebrations and a 10pm bedtime.

Sincere 40th birthday messages

They say if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all – but that won’t be an issue for you. Pick one of these sincere and sweet 40th birthday greetings to celebrate their milestone birthday, and couple it with a 40th birthday card

  1. Wishing you the happiest of birthdays – I can’t wait to see what you do with the next 40 years, because if the last 40 have shown us anything, they’re going to be amazing.
  2. Happy birthday and wishing you all the best on your 40th birthday. That’s a great milestone for a truly great human!
  3. Happy 40th birthday – I’m so grateful to have your experience and kindness in my life. I hope you have a wonderful day.
  4. Here’s to turning 40, and to many more brilliant years to come. I hope every day is as happy and joyous as this one.
  5. 40 is the perfect age – you’re old enough to recognise your mistakes, but still young enough to go out there and make some more. Happy birthday!
  6. Congratulations on four whole decades of being totally awesome.
  7. 40 years of experience, good times, happy memories, and wonderful friends. You’ve got so much to show for your time here on earth as you turn 40, and you’ve still got a lot more in store. Happy birthday, and many happy returns.
  8. In life, milestones aren’t supposed to be counted – they’re supposed to be celebrated, so that’s what we’ll be doing. Happy 40th birthday!

40th birthday quotes

Let someone wiser than you take the reigns with these smart and pithy 40th birthday quotes from famous thinkers and writers through history.

  1. “You can’t help getting older, but you don’t have to get old.” – George Burns
  2. “The first forty years of life give us the text: the next thirty supply the commentary.” – Arthur Schopenhauer
  3. “Youth has no age.” – Pablo Picasso
  4. “One of the many things nobody ever tells you about middle age is that it’s such a nice change from being young.” – Dorothy Canfield Fisher
  5. “Every man over forty is a scoundrel.” – George Bernard Shaw
  6. “Today is the oldest you’ve ever been, and the youngest you’ll ever be again.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
  7. “At 20 years of age the will reigns; at 30 the wit; at 40 the judgement.” – Benjamin Franklin
  8. “Middle age is when your age starts to show around your middle!” – Bob Hope

With all those 40th birthday greetings to choose from, you might be starting to think the card you’ve got isn’t quite special enough. So what better time to browse through our range of 40th birthday cards.

From sweet and sincere designs to hilariously funny 40 cards, all available with speedy next-day delivery. Check out some of our favourite designs below!

And don’t forget, you can send that special someone an extra-thoughtful gift with any of our cards – just add on anything from a bottle of gin or wine, to flowers or a luxury candle.

For more ideas like best birthday presents for him or gifting guides for all ages, check out the rest of the thortful blog.