black sheep


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to black sheep: Black Sheep of the Family
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!

black sheep

One who is unlike other members of a family, group, or organization, sometimes due to intentional rebelliousness, and often viewed unfavorably by them. (Sometimes used in the expanded phrase "the black sheep of the family.") Everyone likes me because I'm so quiet and obedient. The same cannot be said for my wild cousin Nathan, who's been the black sheep since we were kids. The studio is proving to be quite the black sheep of the movie industry, making big-budget films that fly in the face of Hollywood's conventions.
See also: black, sheep

black sheep

The least reputable member of a group; a disgrace. For example, Uncle Fritz was the black sheep of the family; we always thought he emigrated to Argentina to avoid jail . This metaphor is based on the idea that black sheep were less valuable than white ones because it was more difficult to dye their wool different colors. Also, in the 16th century, their color was considered the devil's mark. By the 18th century the term was widely used as it is today, for the odd member of a group.
See also: black, sheep

the black sheep

or

the black sheep of the family

COMMON If you describe someone as the black sheep or the black sheep of the family, you mean that the other people in their family disapprove of them and consider their behaviour to be bad. `I was always the black sheep,' he says. `Everyone else stayed in New Jersey but I was the one to go.' My uncle was the black sheep of the family and we were never encouraged to talk about him. Note: Black sheep are less valuable than white sheep since their wool cannot be dyed. In addition, people used to associate the colour black with evil.
See also: black, sheep

the black sheep

a person considered to have brought discredit upon a family or other group; a bad character.
See also: black, sheep

black sheep

A disreputable or unloved family member. Since the majority of domestic sheep have white fleece, a black one would be different from the rest of the flock. And because the word “black” has a historically strong negative connotation, one of that color would be unwanted (in real life, sheep farmers don't like them because black fleece, which can't be dyed, is less commercially valuable). In the age of politically correct speech, the phrase is now infrequently used, and that's not because family members now get along in greater harmony than they once did.
See also: black, sheep
References in periodicals archive ?
Derek Sheppard, skipper of Black Sheep said, "From our perspective, in the bigger fleet, it's hard to get clear air until you're out of the Heads.
The young restaurateur is taking it slow for the meantime after Black Sheep and Tunnl: We want to make sure that this works out.
A lead generation specialists Black Sheep has been purchased by the OneCom, with CEO Darren Ridge claiming the deal will give it a significant advantage over its rivals because it will have a full overview of the business leads they are buying.
In a world of instant gratification, the Black Sheep Gathering celebrates a process that takes years: Raising wool-producing animals, spinning that wool into yarn and turning that yarn into products: clothes, hats, blankets, shawls, whatever.
Black Sheep Tavern, 261 Leominster Road (Route 12), Sterling.
For their actions, the original Black Sheep were awarded the Presidential Unit Citation for extraordinary heroism in action.
I am still the black sheep, despite the fact that I am now a doctoral student, a successful trainer and education consultant, and a person who has persisted toward many great achievements in life.
When the Black Sheep Brewery invested in a new cask line four years ago they opted for a Boge SD 40 screw compressor to power the cask filling process.
A tranquil woodland cottage close to the River Ure, the Black Sheep Brewery is just a 10-minute drive away.
Black Sheep Adventures Ltd, which trades as Mad Dog River Boarding, and company director Brad McLeod had both denied three charges each of failing to ensure the safety of their customers.
Black Sheep Adventures Ltd faces sentencing under New Zealand's Health and Safety in Employment Act today.
Black Sheep is a triumph of an album, an uncompromising, truthful and inspirational work that also happens to be extremely enjoyable to listen to.
There is a black sheep in every flock," says Proverbs.
BLACK SHEEP (Cert 15) Black Sheep is a blood-drenched hoot, putting a ghoulish spin on 'ram-raiding'.