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be (not) (one's) brother's keeper

To be responsible for another person's actions. This phrase is often used in the negative and can refer to anyone (not just one's literal brother). Of course I'm disappointed that Travis got arrested again, but I'm not my brother's keeper. When I'm babysitting him, I'm my brother's keeper.
See also: keeper

finders keepers(, losers weepers)

A children's rhyme meaning that if someone finds something, they are entitled to keep it (even if it belongs to someone else). Jake yelled "finders keepers" as he dashed toward the house with the sparkling ring he had discovered. A: "Hey, that's my favorite toy!" B: "But I found it out on the playground. Finders keepers, losers weepers!"
See also: finder, loser

not (someone's) keeper

A rude or flippant way to say that one is not be responsible for another person's actions, behavior, or whereabouts. Of course I'm disappointed that Travis got arrested again, but I'm not his keeper. How should I know where Mary is? I'm not her keeper.
See also: keeper, not

not (one's) brother's keeper

A rude or flippant way to say that one is not be responsible for another person's actions, behavior, or whereabouts. Of course I'm disappointed that Travis got arrested again, but I'm not my brother's keeper. How should I know where Mary is? I'm not my brother's keeper.
See also: keeper, not

be one's brother's keeper

to be responsible for someone else. (Used of others besides just real brothers.) I can't force these kids to go to school and get an education so they can get jobs. I am not my brother's keeper. You can't expect me to be my brother's keeper. Each of us should be responsible for himself! be one's own man and be one's own master to be someone who is not controlled by other people; to be an independent person. Bert longed to be his own master, but at the same time feared losing the security he had as the employee of a large company. When I go away to college, I'll be my own man. My parents won't be able to tell me what to do anymore.
See also: keeper

finders keepers(, losers weepers)

Prov. If you find something, you are entitled to keep it. (This is a children's rhyme and sounds childish when used by adults.) Bill: Hey! How come you're using my fountain pen? Fred: It's mine now. I found it on the floor—finders keepers, losers weepers. Child: That's my hat. You can't have it. Playmate: I found it. Finders keepers.
See also: finder, keeper

I am not my brother's keeper.

 and Am I my brother's keeper?
Prov. You are not responsible for another person's doings or whereabouts. (Biblical.) Fred: Where's Robert? Jane: Am I my brother's keeper? Jill: How could you let Jane run off like that? Alan: I'm not my brother's keeper.
See also: keeper, not

finders, keepers

A phrase meaning that whoever finds something is entitled to keep it. For example, Someone left a dollar bill in this rented car-finders, keepers. This expression alludes to an ancient Roman law to that effect and has been stated in numerous different ways over the centuries. The modern version, often stated as Finders keepers, losers weepers, dates from the mid-1800s and is no longer a legal precept.
See also: keeper

finders keepers

If someone, especially a child, says finders keepers, they mean that they have a right to keep something they have found. My umbrella has not been returned. Obviously, someone picked it up and has made no effort to find the owner. Finders, keepers.
See also: finder, keeper

not someone's keeper

If you are asked where someone is and you answer that you are not their keeper, you are saying in quite a rude way that you do not know where they are and you cannot be expected to know. `I've no idea where he is,' Hughes replied, `I'm not his keeper.'
See also: keeper, not

not your brother's keeper

You can say that you are not your brother's keeper to indicate that you do not accept responsibility for other people in any way. Part of me wants to help him, but part of me realizes I can't be my brother's keeper. Note: These expressions come from a story in the Bible. Cain has killed his brother, Abel, but tries to deny it. `And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?' (Genesis 4:9)
See also: keeper, not

finders keepers (losers weepers)

used, often humorously, to assert that whoever finds something by chance is entitled to keep it (and the person who lost it will just have to lament its loss). informal
This expression has been widely used since the early 19th century, although the idea goes back much further and is found in the work of the Roman dramatist Plautus. A variant sometimes heard is findings keepings .
See also: finder, keeper

ˌfinders ˈkeepers

(saying) (often used by children) anyone who finds something has a right to keep it: I just found a pound coin on the ground. Finders keepers, so it’s mine!
See also: finder, keeper


n. something that can be kept; something that qualifies. This fish is a keeper. Throw the others out.
References in classic literature ?
How changed and stern the Doctor seemed from the last time that Tom was up there, as the keeper told the story, not omitting to state how Tom had called him blackguard names.
The Doctor looked puzzled; but the keeper, who was a good- hearted fellow, and melted at Tom's evident distress, gave up his claim.
Turan followed the keeper to a large court which lay between the towers and the jetan field, where hundreds of warriors were assembled.
Take your choice of those not assigned," said the keeper, "and when you have your quota conduct them to the field.
Summary: Keepers must evolve or die following landmark moments in goal
That's because Keepers plans for his final season of junior hockey eligibility have taken a significant twist.
within this land, a story sleeps the world you see is a dream this story, the ancient Keepers keep and always has it been I am the dunes, their story I have kept for I am the Keeper but long have I slept look around you now, as I wake look at my world as it changes day by day here there is the end of the sea, the start of the land here all is connected from the turning of the tides to the shifting of the sands here, all is one, I am the dunes.
ondon Zoo may spot keepers taking a more DOG WAW LKING is a familiar sight to most people, but visitors to London Zoo may spot keepers taking a more unusual walk on the wild side - with a pair of vultures.
Top Irish league net minders Sean O Neill and Conor Devlin, along with former Antrim keeper Sean McGreevy, will be among the coaches on hand to help develop young keepers aged nine upwards.
DVLA also suggest that motor traders may want to remove existing tax discs from vehicle windscreens to help new keepers understand that vehicle tax is no longer transferrable and must be taxed before being used on the road.
KEEPERS at Chester Zoo have begun their annual count of all their animals and insects ahead of the opening of a major new attraction.
Cricket Wales' recentlyappointed national wicketkeeping coach, Lee Herring, has completed a series of group sessions for Wales' young keepers, and has hailed them a success.
And he is also hoping the club's academy keepers will pay extra attention to the men between the posts.
REMODELLED enclosures in the Reptile House at Dudley Zoo (DZG) have given visitors a clearer view while allowing keepers better access for cleaning.
Also concerning the above 2 risks, chicken keepers had more accurate knowledge than duck keepers (Table 1).