Family Idioms: 20+ Useful Phrases & Idioms about Family


Family Idioms & Sayings! Learn frequently used phrases and idioms about Family with meaning, ESL worksheet and example sentences. Learn these family sayings and idioms to increase your vocabulary and improve your fluency in English.

Family Idioms and Phrases

List of Family Idioms and Sayings in English

  • (Be the) Spitting Image
  • (Born) Out of Wedlock
  • Accident Of Birth
  • And His Mother
  • Big Brother
  • Blue Blood (adj.: blue-blooded)
  • Bob’s Your Uncle
  • Father Figure
  • Flesh and Blood
  • Helicopter Parenting
  • Kith and Kin
  • Like Father, Like Son
  • Like Taking Candy from a Baby
  • My Old Man, My Old Lady
  • Pop the Question
  • Run in the Family
  • Small Fry
  • Spare The Rod And Spoil The Child
  • This Is Not Your Father’s ____
  • Throw the Baby Out with the Bath Water
  • Up the Duff

Family Idioms with Meaning and Examples

(Be the) Spitting Image

  • Meaning: Have a strong resemblance, often familial
  • ExampleLook at Madeleine. She’s the spitting image of her mother.

(Born) Out of Wedlock

  • Meaning: Illegitimate, born to unmarried parents
  • Example: I was born out of wedlock and raised by a single mother.

Accident Of Birth

  • Meaning: Luck in something due to family good fortune
  • ExampleYes, he became company vice-president when he was only 23, but that’s an accident of birth – his father is one of the major stockholders.

And His Mother

  • Meaning: An intensifier for an inclusive noun or phrase such as everyone, everybody
  • ExampleEverybody and his mother is going to be at the fireworks. Let’s watch the on television.

Big Brother

  • Meaning: Government, viewed as an intrusive force in the lives of citizens; government spying
  • ExampleBig Brother seems to grow more and more powerful as data about individuals is accumulated on social networks.

Blue Blood (adj.: blue-blooded)

  • Meaning: Person of aristocratic background
  • ExampleThe blue bloods generally keep to themselves, but a charity dance is a good place to see them dress up.

Bob’s Your Uncle

  • Meaning: The rest is easy; you’re almost finished
  • ExampleJust enter the update code, register the new software, and Bob’s your uncle.

Father Figure

  • Meaning: A mentor, a person who offers guidance
  • ExampleAfter I joined the company, Frank was a father figure to me. He gave me lots of valuable advice.

Flesh and Blood

  • Meaning: Blood relatives, close relatives
  • ExampleWhen all is said and done, few people understand you like your own flesh and blood, even if you don’t get along with them.

Helicopter Parenting

  • Meaning: Overattentive child-raising
  • ExampleThe trend these days is toward helicopter parenting. When I was young children had much more independence, and I think it helped them.

Kith and Kin

  • Meaning: Family (collectively)
  • ExampleWhen you go on a trip, it’s important to buy souvenirs for your kith and kin back home.

Like Father, Like Son

  • Meaning: Sons inherit their fathers’ traits and preferences, often even without realizing it.
  • ExampleJohn was a great fisherman, and there’s his son Matt out on the water. Like father, like son.

Like Taking Candy from a Baby

  • Meaning: Very easy
  • ExampleJust watch. Getting her to go out with me will be like taking candy from a baby.

My Old Man, My Old Lady

  • Meaning: My spouse
  • Example: I’d love to go to the mall with you, but I told my old man I’d go to the football game.

Pop the Question

  • Meaning: Propose marriage
  • ExampleI bought a ring, and I’m ready to pop the question to Patricia.

Run in the Family

  • Meaning: Be inherited (as a trait) by multiple members of a family
  • ExampleI’m not surprised Maria has started playing in a band. Musical talent runs in her family.

Small Fry

  • Meaning: People or organizations with little influence; children
  • ExampleWe’re still small fry compared to the major companies in the field.

Spare The Rod And Spoil The Child

  • Meaning: It is necessary to physically punish children in order to raise them right.
  • ExampleMarlena is to permissive with her children. Spare the rod and spoil the child, I say.

This Is Not Your Father’s ____

  • Meaning: This item has been much updated from its earlier versions.
  • ExampleYou may not have liked this bat in the past. But this is not your father’s Louisville Slugger.

Throw the Baby Out with the Bath Water

  • Meaning: Eliminate something good while discarding the bad parts of something
  • ExampleYes, the sales presentation has problems, but I don’t think we should start fresh with a new one. We don’t need to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Up the Duff

  • Meaning: Pregnant
  • ExampleThey hadn’t planned to get married, but Janice found out she was up the duff.

Idioms about Baby and Children | Family Idioms

List of useful baby idioms in English with meaning.

  • (Having a) Bun in the Oven: Pregnant
  • Babe In Arms: A baby being carried
  • Babe In The Woods: An innocent, naive person
  • Baby Boomer: A person born in the years following World War II, when there was a temporary marked increase in the birth rate
  • Born on The Wrong Side of the Blanket: Born to parents who were not married
  • Boys will be Boys: A phrase of resignation used when boys get into trouble or are stereotypically reckless or rowdy
  • Child’s Play: A very easy task
  • Chip off the Old Block: Someone who resembles a direct ancestor, usually the father
  • Like a Kid in a Candy Store: To be so excited about one’s surroundings that one acts in a childlike or silly way
  • Sleep Like a Baby: To experience a very deep and restful sleep; to sleep soundly
  • Throw the Baby Out with the Bath Water: To discard something valuable or important while disposing of something worthless
  • Wet Behind the Ears: Inexperienced, immature, new to something

Idioms about Mothers | Family Idioms

Idioms about Mothers | Family Idioms

List of useful mother idioms in English with meaning.

  • A face only a mother could loveA very ugly face
  • A mama’s boyA boy or man who allows his mother to have too much influence on him.
  • A mother henA person who looks out for the welfare of others, especially to an overprotective degree
  • A tiger motherA strict and demanding mother
  • At one’s mother’s kneeIf you learned to do something when you were a young child.
  • Be tied to (one’s) mother’s apron stringsAn adult make deeply attached and needing his mother. Dating from the era when mothers wore aprons
  • Everyone and his motherUsed to express a large number or a majority of people.
  • Expectant motherA pregnant woman.
  • Experience is the mother of wisdomThis idiom is used to mean that people learn from what happens to them.
  • He that would the daughter win, must with the mother first beginThis is a proverb which means that if you intend to marry a woman, first try to win her mother on your side.
  • Like mother, like daughterDaughters tend to do what their mothers did before them.
  • Mother houseThe principle house in a religious order
  • Mother NatureThe force that controls the natural world
  • Mother’s milkSomething necessary and important
  • The mother of all (something)A large collection of a particular type of thing
  • To keep mumTo keep quiet about something

Idioms about Family | Family Idioms and Sayings | Image

Useful idioms about Family in English

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