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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

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.

Big Brother

a government or a large organization which tries to control every part of people's lives and to know everything about them
Usage notes: In the book 1984 by George Orwell, Big Brother is the very powerful ruler.
Many people are concerned about Big Brother having computer files on them to which they do not have access.
See also: big, brother

a blood brother

a man who has promised to treat another man as his brother, often in a ceremony in which they cut themselves and mix their blood together We were blood brothers - I was ready to die for him.
See also: blood, brother

everyone and his brother

a very large number of people We couldn't get in to see the movie - everyone and his brother had decided to go.
See be on everyone's lips
See also: and, brother, everyone

not be your brother's keeper

  also not be somebody's keeper
to not be responsible for what someone does or for what happens to them It's all too easy for us not to intervene in another country's problems, telling ourselves that we're not our brother's keeper. You shouldn't blame yourself for what's happened to Simon. You're not his keeper, you know.
See also: keeper

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


References in classic literature ?
Thus, through an uninterrupted scene of sylvan pleasures, I spent the time until the 27th day of July following, when my brother, to my great felicity, met me, according to appointment, at our old camp.
Looking round as I resumed my seat, I found both the brothers intent upon me.
Do not be surprised to see these dogs; they are your two brothers.
When the day came on which the sentence was to be executed, it was the last day of the six years in which she must not speak or laugh, and now she had freed her dear brothers from the power of the enchantment.
That brave captain that you speak of is my eldest brother, who, being of a bolder and loftier mind than my other brother or myself, chose the honourable and worthy calling of arms, which was one of the three careers our father proposed to us, as your comrade mentioned in that fable you thought he was telling you.
exclaimed Jacob, giving his dear brother another hug, which crushed Mr.
The eldest brother set out, and sought for the pearls the whole day: but the evening came, and he had not found the first hundred: so he was turned into stone as the tablet had foretold.
His brother starts up, calls him by his name, and grasps him by both hands.
He was more than a brother to the child; he became a mother to him.
Nay, if these most holy brothers of mine do but give me the word, I'll beat thy head with this stout staff till it is as soft as whipped eggs.
I consider, above all things, that the brothers De Witt must necessarily save their lives, to be able to save their character.
Montbarry's brother made a sign, admitting that he had no objection to offer so far.
A stranger who knew nothing either of the Abbey or of its immense resources might have gathered from the appearance of the brothers some conception of the varied duties which they were called upon to perform, and of the busy, wide-spread life which centred in the old monastery.
Here the assembly, seeing but not hearing the colloquy between the two brothers, became uneasy on the subject of the coming race.
The only inscription on the door-post was 'Cheeryble, Brothers;' but from a hasty glance at the directions of some packages which were lying about, Nicholas supposed that the brothers Cheeryble were German merchants.