brother


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everyone and their brother

A large number or a majority of people. Used hyperbolically. Everyone and their brother is going to be at the wedding this July, I hope I can make it too.
See also: and, brother, everyone

Big Brother is watching you

A phrase taken from George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four, meaning one's actions and intentions are being monitored by the government as a means of controlling and suppressing the will of the populace. You have to be careful what you write in an email these days. Big Brother is watching you, after all.
See also: big, brother, watch

everybody and their brother

Used hyperbolically to express a large number or a majority of people. I'm so jealous, everybody and their brother is going on a vacation this summer except for me.
See also: and, brother, everybody

blood brother

A boy or man who has sworn loyalty to another despite not being biologically related. When Jake and Tim entered the battlefield, they became blood brothers, vowing to protect each other from harm's way.
See also: blood, brother

older brother

A male who is older than one or more of his siblings. I'll ask my older brother to help us with the move. Connie's older brother will be there on Saturday, and I'd really like you to meet him. Our neighbor Jim was like an older brother to me when I was growing up.
See also: brother, older

younger brother

One's younger male sibling. Yeah, I have a younger brother—his name is Jim. Johnny is Bella's younger brother.
See also: brother, young

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

big brother

1. One's older brother. My big brother said he would help us move the couch. Andrew is Julie's big brother.
2. A shorthand reference to oppressive rule that was popularized by George Orwell's dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. In this usage, the phrase is usually capitalized. You have to be careful what you write in an email these days. Big Brother is watching you, after all.
See also: big, brother

everybody and his brother

A lot of people. The phrase is not only used to apply to men. Geez, everybody and his brother was riding the subway with me this morning—I could barely push through the crowd at my stop!
See also: and, brother, everybody

everyone and his brother

A lot of people. The phrase is not only used to apply to men. Geez, everyone and his brother was riding the subway with me this morning—I could barely push through the crowd at my stop!
See also: and, brother, everyone

be (all) brothers/sisters under the skin

Said of people who have thoughts or feelings in common, despite other obvious differences between them. As much as you dislike your chatty new co-worker, she's as nervous and insecure as you are—you're really sisters under the skin.
See also: brother, sister, skin

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

everybody and his brother

 and everybody and his uncle
Fig. everybody; lots of people. The state fair was packed. Everybody and his brother was there. Everybody and his uncle was asking me where you was today.
See also: and, brother, everybody

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

(soul) brother

a black person's male, black friend. Another brother took a fall last night. Terry's a soul brother, and I'll do anything for him.

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

Big brother

the state perceived as a sinister force supervising citizens' lives.
Big brother comes from the slogan Big Brother is watching you in George Orwell's novel 1984.
See also: big, brother

ˌBig ˈBrother (is watching you)

a leader, a person in authority or a government that tries to control every aspect of people’s lives: We live in a society where all kinds of information about the individual may be stored on computer. Big Brother, if not actually watching you, can quickly check on you if he wants to.This comes from the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell, in which the leader of the government, Big Brother, had total control over people. The slogan ‘Big Brother is watching you’ reminded people that he knew everything they did.
See also: big, brother

be (all) brothers/sisters under the ˈskin

be men/women with similar feelings, in spite of outside appearances, position, etc: Actors and politicians are brothers under the skin. They both need public approval.
See also: brother, sister, skin

big brother

1. n. a personification of the totalitarian state. (From George Orwell’s 1984.) Big brother has changed the tax laws again.
2. n. someone who personifies the totalitarian state: the police, parents, teachers. Big brother says the paper is due tomorrow, or else.
See also: big, brother

blood (brother)

n. a fellow black male. (see also blood.) One of the bloods came up to say hello.
See also: blood, brother

brews brothers

n. (male) beer-drinking college students. (A play on The Blues Brothers, a popular movie released in 1980.) You guys look like the devil and you smell like the brews brothers.
See also: brew, brother

(soul) brother

n. a black person’s male, black friend. Another brother took a fall last night.
See also: brother, soul

brother

verb
References in classic literature ?
This plaint is thine, as I learn, brother Ambrose," said he.
Three, most holy father," the brother answered in a low and quavering voice.
I have come to look very differently and more charitably on what is called infamous since brother Nikolay has become what he is.
That's the only favor I ask of my gracious brothers.
The mess-room will drink Isabella Thorpe for a fortnight, and she will laugh with your brother over poor Tilney's passion for a month.
Brother, little brother, come to me,' the swifter he fled after his brothers the wolves, and the heavier grew his skin, till, with a long howl, he vanished into the depths of the forest.
So, with shame and anguish in his soul, the elder brother went back to his village, and, with his sister, mourned the little boy and the broken promise till the end of his life.
It is enough, my dear brother, that you say we should,' returned the other.
How," says the trooper, folding his arms and looking with indomitable firmness at his brother, "how is my mother to be got to scratch me?
To the last, brother, so long as one is left to lead them, after that I do not know
A man in a blue and white blazer addressed my brother, full of strange tidings.
I thanked the fairy for all that she had done for me, but I begged her not to kill my brothers.
While they were in sight of those at the inn, the brothers walked their horses soberly, not caring to make ill matters worse by seeming to run away from Little John, for they could not but think how it would sound in folks' ears when they heard how the brethren of Fountain Abbey scampered away from a strolling friar, like the Ugly One, when the blessed Saint Dunstan loosed his nose from the red-hot tongs where he had held it fast; but when they had crossed the crest of the hill and the inn was lost to sight, quoth the fat Brother to the thin Brother, "Brother Ambrose, had we not better mend our pace?
As I turned my eyes to the elder brother, I saw him looking down at this handsome boy whose life was ebbing out, as if he were a wounded bird, or hare, or rabbit; not at all as if he were a fellow-creature.
I will give you so much that you shall be even richer than your brother.