accident of birth


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accident of birth

Any and all particulars surrounding one's birth (physical characteristics, social background, and even nationality) that are considered a result of parentage and the specific circumstances of birth, and are therefore entirely out of one's control. My poverty when I was young was merely an accident of birth; through hard work and determination, I was able to overcome it and lead a successful life.
See also: accident, birth, of
References in classic literature ?
The crowds of men who merely spoke the Greek and Latin tongues in the Middle Ages were not entitled by the accident of birth to read the works of genius written in those languages; for these were not written in that Greek or Latin which they knew, but in the select language of literature.
It was voted low to sneer at Dobbin about this accident of birth.
For the first time, innovation, technical knowledge and entrepreneurial skills - rather than an accident of birth - were rewarded with wealth.
I do love my role but am very aware I am here because of an accident of birth and live with the overwhelming sensation that I haven't done anything to deserve it.
S]ince sex, like race and national origin, is an immutable characteristic determined solely by the accident of birth, the imposition of special disabilities upon the members of a particular sex because of their sex would seem to violate "the basic concept of our system that legal burdens should bear some relationship to individual responsibility .
At the other end of the spectrum a woman who had made her way in a man's world through hard work, brains and determination, rather than an accident of birth, became almost as famous overnight.
We boast we are the mother of parliaments and yet we have a constitutional monarch who was not elected and sits on her throne by an accident of birth.
What Ron needs to understand is that people from all walks of life instinctively exploit whatever hand the accident of birth has dealt them.
It delights me beyond measure that instead she will, like the rest of the Royal Family, be paid handsomely from the taxes of ordinary working men and women who struggle to maintain a decent lifestyle for themselves, yet fork out for a bunch of misfits whose status is an accident of birth.
The Windsors are on the throne simply through an accident of birth and if Andrew had happened to be the Queen's eldest son we would be faced with the prospect of King Andrew as our next Head of State.
Enthuthiathm," came the knowing reply from Eubank, whose accident of birth prevented him from being known as the Louisville Lisp.
There is a real risk that our society is sleepwalking into a world where children grow up in a state of social apartheid, with poor children destined to experience hardship and disadvantage just by accident of birth, and their more affluent peers unaware of their existence.
You can't fault the present Queen, who has fulfilled her role with quiet dignity, but when the candidate for such a weighty role is appointed through an accident of birth it gives rise to a few misgivings.
It is nice people are friendly to me, of course, but if the reason for it is based on an accident of birth rather than who I am, I think it reflects poorly on those offering the kindness.
Historian Dominic Sandbrook "This is the 21st century and to simply rely on an accident of birth to provide us with a new head of state is simply not acceptable anymore.
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