Learn 20 Interesting Family Expressions

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Family expressions often capture the bonds, challenges, and dynamics unique to families. Here are 20 idioms and phrasal verbs related to family.

Family Expressions

  1. Chip off the old block
    • Meaning: Resemble a parent closely.
    • Example: He’s a chip off the old block.
  2. Blood is thicker than water
    • Meaning: Family relationships are the strongest.
    • Example: He helped his sister; blood is thicker.
  3. Black sheep of the family
    • Meaning: The odd one in the family.
    • Example: He’s the black sheep of the family.
  4. Run in the family
    • Meaning: A common family trait.
    • Example: Good looks run in the family.
  5. Like father, like son
    • Meaning: Sons resemble their fathers.
    • Example: He’s just like his dad—like father, like son.
  6. Bring home the bacon
    • Meaning: Earn a living for the family.
    • Example: She works hard to bring home the bacon.
  7. Apple of someone’s eye
    • Meaning: Someone’s cherished family member.
    • Example: His daughter is the apple of his eye.
  8. Born with a silver spoon in mouth
    • Meaning: Born into a wealthy family.
    • Example: He was born with a silver spoon.
  9. Mama’s boy
    • Meaning: A boy overly attached to his mother.
    • Example: He’s always calling his mom—a mama’s boy.
  10. Tie the knot
    • Meaning: Get married and start a family.
    • Example: They tied the knot last spring.
  11. Family man
    • Meaning: A man devoted to his family.
    • Example: He’s a family man; loves his kids.
  12. Have skeletons in the closet
    • Meaning: Have hidden family secrets.
    • Example: Every family has skeletons in the closet.
  13. Wear the pants in the family
    • Meaning: Be the decision-maker at home.
    • Example: His wife wears the pants in the family.
  14. Breadwinner
    • Meaning: The primary earner in the family.
    • Example: As the breadwinner, he pays the bills.
  15. Family ties
    • Meaning: Strong connections within a family.
    • Example: Despite everything, their family ties remain.
  16. Meet the parents
    • Meaning: Introduce a partner to one’s parents.
    • Example: She finally met the parents last weekend.
  17. Empty nest
    • Meaning: Parents whose children have left home.
    • Example: They are adjusting to their empty nest.
  18. Get along with
    • Meaning: Have a good relationship with someone.
    • Example: She gets along well with her cousins.
  19. Close-knit family
    • Meaning: A family with strong relationships.
    • Example: They’ve always been a close-knit family.
  20. Family affair
    • Meaning: Something involving the entire family.
    • Example: Sunday dinners are always a family affair.

family expressions

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