20 English Idioms About Family

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Family is at the heart of many cultures and languages, including English. Idioms about family offer a window into the values, humor, and the daily life of English speakers. In this blog post, we explore 20 common family-related idioms that spice up conversation, delivering both charm and depth. These expressions are used widely, from casual chats to formal discourse, illustrating the integral role family plays in communication.

Idioms About Family

1. Blood is thicker than water

Meaning: Family relationships are stronger than others.

Example: She always supports her brother because blood is thicker than water.

2. Black sheep of the family

Meaning: A family member who is considered odd or disreputable.

Example: Being the black sheep of the family, he rarely attends gatherings.

3. Like father, like son

Meaning: A son’s habits or traits resemble those of his father.

Example: He loves fishing just like his dad—like father, like son.

4. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree

Meaning: Children are very much like their parents.

Example: She’s also a talented singer—the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

5. Family ties

Meaning: Connections and relationships among family members.

Example: Family ties kept them strong despite the challenges.

6. Flesh and blood

Meaning: Relatives, especially immediate family.

Example: I couldn’t cheat my own flesh and blood.

7. In the family way

Meaning: Pregnant.

Example: She’s in the family way, expecting their first child soon.

8. Chip off the old block

Meaning: Someone who resembles their parent in appearance or behavior.

Example: He’s a chip off the old block, very much like his father in demeanor.

9. Like mother, like daughter

Meaning: A daughter’s habits or traits resemble those of her mother.

Example: Both are excellent in academics—like mother, like daughter.

10. Skeletons in the closet

Meaning: Secrets or hidden embarrassments within a family.

Example: Every family has skeletons in the closet they don’t talk about.

11. Blood relatives

Meaning: Family members related by birth.

Example: We’re not just friends; we’re blood relatives.

12. Born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth

Meaning: Born into a rich family.

Example: He’s always had luxuries, born with a silver spoon in his mouth.

13. Family feud

Meaning: A long-lasting quarrel within a family.

Example: Their family feud has lasted for decades.

14. Kiss and make up

Meaning: To reconcile after a disagreement.

Example: After the argument, it was time to kiss and make up.

15. Run in the family

Meaning: A trait or characteristic that many family members have.

Example: Musical talent seems to run in the family.

16. At each other’s throats

Meaning: Arguing or fighting intensely.

Example: At Thanksgiving, they were at each other’s throats over politics.

17. Wear the pants in the family

Meaning: To be the decision-maker in the family.

Example: It’s clear who wears the pants in their family.

18. Family man

Meaning: A man devoted to his family.

Example: He’s a true family man, always putting them first.

19. It runs in the blood

Meaning: A natural trait or ability shared within a family.

Example: Their love for adventure definitely runs in the blood.

20. Blood brother

Meaning: A close friend treated as a family member.

Example: They are not just friends; they are blood brothers.

Idioms About Family


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