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Family Idioms | 10 Useful Idioms about Family in English

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Family idioms are a great way to add color and depth to your conversations. In this article, we’ll cover a range of family idioms, including those related to parents, siblings, and extended family members. We’ll provide clear explanations and examples of each idiom, so you can start using them confidently in your own conversations. So, let’s dive in and explore the fascinating world of family idioms together!

Family Idioms in English

family idioms

Helicopter Parenting

  • Meaning: Over attentive child-raising

Bobs Your Uncle

  • Meaning: The rest is easy; you’re almost finished

My Old Man, My Old Lady

  • Meaning: My spouse

Pop the Question

  • Meaning: Propose marriage

Up the Duff

  • Meaning: Pregnant

Like Taking Candy from a Baby

  • Meaning: Very easy

Accident Of Birth

  • Meaning: Luck in something due to family good fortune

One Big Happy Family

  • Meaning: A group of people who live or work together or in close proximity

Family Man

  • Meaning: A man devoted to taking care of his wife and children

Spitting Image

  • Meaning: Have a strong resemblance, often familiar

Common Family Idioms

In this section, we will cover some of the most common family idioms that you might encounter in everyday conversations. These idioms are a great way to express your thoughts and feelings about your family members and their relationships.

Parental Idioms

Parental idioms refer to expressions that are related to parents and their roles in a family. Here are some examples:

  • Like father, like son: This idiom means that a son is similar to his father in terms of personality or behavior.
  • Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree: This idiom means that a child’s behavior or personality is similar to their parent’s.
  • Spare the rod and spoil the child: This idiom means that if you don’t discipline a child, they will become spoiled and misbehave.
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Sibling Idioms

Sibling idioms refer to expressions that are related to brothers and sisters and their relationships. Here are some examples:

  • Blood is thicker than water: This idiom means that family relationships are stronger than any other kind of relationship.
  • Sibling rivalry: This idiom refers to the competition or jealousy between siblings.
  • Big brother is watching you: This idiom means that someone is monitoring your actions or behavior.

Extended Family Idioms

Extended family idioms refer to expressions that are related to relatives beyond parents and siblings. Here are some examples:

  • Black sheep of the family: This idiom refers to a family member who is seen as a disgrace or disappointment.
  • Family tree: This idiom refers to a diagram that shows the relationships between family members.
  • In-laws: This idiom refers to the family members of your spouse or partner.

These are just a few examples of the many family idioms that you might encounter in English. By learning and using these idioms, you can express your thoughts and feelings about your family members in a more colorful and interesting way.

Usage of Family Idioms in Everyday English

Family idioms are commonly used in everyday English conversations. They add color and depth to the language, making it more interesting and engaging. In this section, we’ll explore how family idioms are used in casual conversations and formal settings.

In Casual Conversations

Family idioms are often used in casual conversations among friends, family, and colleagues. They can be used to describe relationships, personalities, and behaviors. For example, if someone is acting bossy, you might say, “She’s wearing the pants in that relationship.” Here are some other examples of family idioms used in casual conversations:

  • “My sister is the black sheep of the family.”
  • “He’s a mama’s boy.”
  • “She’s a chip off the old block.”
  • “My brother is the apple of my eye.”
  • “My dad is a couch potato.”
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In Formal Settings

Family idioms can also be used in formal settings, such as business meetings, presentations, and interviews. They can be used to illustrate a point or add emphasis to a statement. However, it’s important to use them appropriately and in the right context. Here are some examples of family idioms used in formal settings:

  • “Our company is the breadwinner for our family of employees.”
  • “We need to be the big brother in this industry and lead by example.”
  • “We can’t afford to be a one-man band. We need to work as a team.”
  • “Our company is like a well-oiled machine, with each department playing a vital role.”
  • “We need to be the backbone of our industry and set the standard for excellence.”

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some common family idioms used in English?

There are many idioms used in English to describe family relationships. Some of the most common ones include “blood is thicker than water”, “family ties”, “like father, like son”, “a chip off the old block”, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree”, and “cut from the same cloth”.

Can you provide examples of family idioms used in daily conversation?

Sure! Here are some examples:

  • “I take after my mother. We both have a passion for cooking.”
  • “My sister and I are as different as night and day.”
  • “He’s a real mama’s boy.”
  • “My grandfather always said, ‘blood is thicker than water’.”

What do family idioms about love and relationships mean?

Family idioms about love and relationships often describe the strong bonds between family members. For example, “family ties” refers to the strong connections between family members, while “blood is thicker than water” means that family relationships are more important than any other relationships.

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Are there any idioms specifically for father-daughter or brother-sister relationships?

Yes, there are! Some idioms specifically for father-daughter relationships include “daddy’s little girl” and “apple of his eye”. For brother-sister relationships, there is “two peas in a pod” and “partners in crime”.

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