English Idioms ~ Keeping it in the family


In honor of International Day of Families, and my own family in from out of town this weekend, I’ve decided to dedicate this week’s idioms to family.   So what are some common idioms related to family? Find some of them here! Be sure to check out tomorrow’s Cartoon Friday post, which will also feature some of these idioms in use, as well as other funny pictures relating to family.

*remember, to practice, I encourage you to write a comment below using the new idioms in context. Write a story, a sentence, anything to utilize them. Or, introduce your own family related idiom to help others!*

  1. like one of the family : (expression) used as a way to say that someone or something (ex: a pet) is a part of the family, or a member of the family.           example: Vitor is like one of the family, he always spends time with us during the holidays and weekends, and even though he isn’t my brother, I feel that he is!
  2. blood is thicker than water: (expression) used to describe how strong family ties and relationships are, especially when comparing to non-family relationships.                                                                                                                     example: It was Lucy’s best friend’s birthday on Saturday; however, it was also her grandmother’s 100th birthday. Her dad told her that she had better spend the day with her grandmother, because blood is thicker than water.
  3. the black sheep of the family: (noun) a member of the family who is odd, or not like the rest (usually for negative reasons).                                                  example: Melissa and her brother have always been straight-A students in high school, and both got scholarships to universities due to their hard work and dedication. Mark, however, has spent most of his high school career in and out of juvenile hall. He has always been the black sheep of the family!
  4. your own flesh and blood: (expression) a member of the family             example: I was really shocked at how Dylan’s brother treated Dylan on the phone after completely misunderstanding that situation. The way is was yelling, and the bad names he called him was extremely unforgivable. It hard to believe he would treat his own flesh and blood that way.


Practice questions:

1. Who is something that is like one of the family for you?

2. Do you think blood is always thicker than water? When is it not?

3.  Are you the black sheep of your family? Who do you know that is the black sheep?

4.  Have you ever treated your own flesh and blood poorly? Why?



Although “keeping it in the family” means to not spread or share information to people outside of your family, please….share these idioms with your friends, or anyone who would find them useful!

Happy Studying! ♥


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  1. expat on September 23, 2015 at 4:59 pm

    If some one wants to be updated with most up-to-date technologies afterward
    he must be visit this web site and be up to date all the time.

  2. Free Friday: #FBF | English Outside The Box on September 26, 2014 at 4:33 pm

    […] Food, Family, Body, […]

  3. Michel on May 18, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    Once got a discussion with my mother by a stupid thing. The motive I don’t remember but I I am sorry until today.

  4. Michel on May 18, 2014 at 5:36 pm

    The black sheep into my family is my younger sister, because she is the only that has tattoos in almost all her body.

  5. Michel on May 18, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    I think blood is always thicker than water, because we always take more care with our family .

  6. Michel on May 17, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    My dog is always waiting myself, to me he is like one of the family.

  7. garima on May 15, 2014 at 10:31 pm

    My cousin brother has sent his father to adult home, he saying he cannot look after him he really behaving his own flesh and blood badly.

  8. garima on May 15, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    My brother never call mom whenever he is away, out of home he always been a black sheep of the house.

  9. garima on May 15, 2014 at 10:24 pm

    Nobody in day care can better take care of my daughter then me because blood is thicker than water.

    • Jennifer on May 16, 2014 at 6:41 pm

      Yes, no one would be better than* you!

      • garima on May 16, 2014 at 9:24 pm

        thanks i like the way u teaching

  10. garima on May 15, 2014 at 10:18 pm

    Mr. Ramesh is working under my dad for last 15 years, he assists dad in his business, but now he is like one of the family to us.

    • Jennifer on May 16, 2014 at 6:40 pm

      Great job Garima! (Mr. Ramesh has been working…*) 🙂

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