father


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not your father's

Very modern or updated; no longer what an older generation would expect or be used to. With every building now featuring wireless Internet and touch-screen monitors integrated into the desks in each classroom, this is certainly not your father's high school anymore.
See also: not

be gathered to (one's) fathers

euphemism To die. It's such a shame that Tom has been gathered to his fathers. When is his funeral?
See also: father, gather

a bit of how's your father

A playful euphemism for sexual activity. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. Jeremy snuck under the bleachers with his girlfriend to have a bit of how's your father but ended up getting caught by the school's principal.
See also: bit, father, of

success has many fathers, failure is an orphan

People are quick to associate themselves with successful ventures and distance themselves from failures. A: "All the people who were so excited about this project in the beginning now act like they've never even heard of it." B: "Well, success has many fathers, failure is an orphan."
See also: failure, many, success

twinkle in (one's) father's eye

A phrase used to describe the time before one's birth. I never knew my grandparents; they died when I was just a twinkle in my father's eye.
See also: eye, twinkle

child is father of the man

 and child is father to the man
Prov. People's personalities form when they are children; A person will have the same qualities as an adult that he or she had as a child. (From William Wordsworth's poem, "My Heart Leaps Up.") In Bill's case, the child was father of the man; he never lost his childhood delight in observing nature.
See also: child, father, man, of

Experience is the father of wisdom,

 and Experience is the mother of wisdom.
Prov. The more that happens to you, the more you will learn. I never understood why supervisors got so frustrated with me until I became a supervisor and got frustrated with my subordinates. Experience was definitely the mother of wisdom, in my case.
See also: experience, father, of, wisdom

father something on someone

Fig. to regard someone as the author or originator of something. Do not attempt to father that stupid idea on me! We fathered the whole plan on the president. And we learned later she had nothing to do with it.
See also: father, on

It is a wise child that knows its own father.

Prov. You can never have certain proof that a certain man is your father. (Implies that the child in question might be illegitimate.) It is a wise child that knows its own father, but Emily is so much like her dad that there's very little uncertainty.
See also: child, father, know, own, wise

like father, like son

Prov. Fathers and sons resemble each other, and sons tend to do what their fathers did before them. Jill: George's father smoked all the time, and now George is smoking excessively, too. Jane: Like father, like son, eh? I think my son will grow up tall, just like his father. Like father, like son.
See also: like, son

old enough to be someone's mother

 and old enough to be someone's father
as old as someone's parents. (Usually a way of saying that a person is too old.) You can't go out with Bill. He's old enough to be your father! He married a woman who is old enough to be his mother.
See also: enough, mother, old

The wish is father to the thought.

Prov. People sometimes come to believe something that they wish were true. Jane hoped that her boss would resign, and the wish was father to the thought. Soon she had told everyone in the office that she was sure her boss was leaving.
See also: father, thought, wish

a bit of how's your father

  (British & Australian humorous)
sexual activity Apparently he came home and discovered them having a bit of how's your father in the kitchen.
See also: bit, father, of

when somebody was a (mere) twinkle in their father's eye

  (humorous)
at a time before someone was born All this happened a very long time ago, when you were a mere twinkle in your father's eye.
See also: eye, twinkle

like father, like son

In the same manner from generation to generation, as in Kevin decided to run for mayor-like father, like son. This ancient proverb has been stated in English in slightly varying versions since the 1300s, sometimes appearing with a counterpart, like mother, like daughter. Thomas Draxe had it in Bibliotheca (1616): "Like father, like son; like mother, like daughter." Also see chip off the old block; follow in someone's footsteps.
See also: like, son
References in classic literature ?
Now, my little pilgrims, suppose you begin again, not in play, but in earnest, and see how far on you can get before Father comes home.
My father is going to take me to the palace to celebrate my marriage with the Sultan.
Her father said to Zoraida, "Daughter, retire into the house and shut thyself in while I go and speak to these dogs; and thou, Christian, pick thy herbs, and go in peace, and Allah bring thee safe to thy own country.
Nicholson, at last, 'that I am an ungenerous father.
Yes, my dear father," replied Edmond, smiling at his father's astonishment at the excessive honor paid to his son.
Ilus feared the ever-living gods and would not give him any, but my father let him have some, for he was very fond of him.
My children, join your hands," said Father Ephraim.
Because," replied the father, "to absolve you for that motive would be a sin for which the king would never absolve me, my lord.
Do you wish to see your father on his knees, his white hairs prostrate before you?
The little man crawled about in the hay-loft, and at last found a snug place to finish his night's rest in; so he laid himself down, meaning to sleep till daylight, and then find his way home to his father and mother.
His father seemed to think this idea not unreasonable; and then Angel put the question--
said the ungraceful, awkward princess with such an indescribable charm of sorrow and self-forgetfulness that her father could not bear her look but turned away with a sob.
I am sure my father will not ask him for anything; and even if I chose to beg of him, it would be of no use.
It was this same influence, though, which won for Father Claude his only enemy in Torn; the little, grim, gray, old man whose sole aim in life seemed to have been to smother every finer instinct of chivalry and manhood in the boy, to whose training he had devoted the past nineteen years of his life.
You were told always that your father had died in prison.