Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
A well-known person, especially a politician, who is supported and celebrated by people in his hometown. Ray was the favorite son of his hometown of Twin Falls, Idaho.
A well-known person, especially a politician, who is supported and celebrated by people in his hometown. Ray was the favourite son of his hometown of Manchester.
One's only male child. I'm so sad to send my only son off to college! Of course my mom showed my brother some favoritism—he's her only son, after all.
See also: son
son of a gun
1. A mean or unpleasant man. Julie's ex-husband was such a mean son of a gun, it's no wonder she divorced him.
2. An emphatic expression of affection for a man one considers daring, mischievous, or tough. That son of a gun really pulled through for us when we needed him!
3. An inanimate object that is problematic. My car broke down, and I can't figure out how to fix the son of a gun!
son of Belial
An evil person. "Belial" is a demon or another name for Satan. The phrase originated in the Bible. Eric spread horrible rumors about me, so he's the son of Belial as far as I'm concerned!
son of thunder
A speaker who attracts listeners by using an impassioned, often aggressive, delivery. The phrase originated in the Bible. I can't listen to that son of thunder bluster about his idiotic worldview anymore. A son of thunder has everyone mesmerized in the town square right now.
every Tom, Dick, and Harry
Every kind of common, undistinguished person; anyone at all, indiscriminately. You don't want every Tom, Dick, and Harry coming to your performance, but then you don't want to limit the amount of business you might bring in, either. Kate's being very selective as to who gets invited to the wedding, as she doesn't want every Tom, Dick, and Harry turning up.
every mother's son of them
Everyone in a particular group. I don't know how many people live in this city, but every mother's son of them was riding the subway with me this morning!
the prodigal son
One who has returned after spending time away doing or pursuing something that was not condoned by the family or organization they had left, and who is now repentant for their actions. The phrase comes from a parable in the Bible about a son who leaves his father to seek his fortune and returns humbled. Well, looky here, the prodigal son has returned. Guess you didn't like that fancy new company that poached you last year.
every mother's son (of them)
Fig. every one of them. The scout leader said that unless the scouts told him who had stolen the money, he would punish every mother's son of them. When the football team won the championship, they were all crying, every mother's son of them.
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.
son of a bitch
1. Inf. a very horrible person. (Use with caution. Usually intended as a strong insult. Never used casually.) Bill called Bob a son of a bitch, and Bob punched Bill in the face. This guy's a son of a bitch. He treats everybody rotten.
2. Inf. a useless thing. This car is a son of a bitch. It won't ever start when it's cold. This bumpy old road needs paving. It's a real son of a bitch.
3. Inf. a difficult task. This job is a son of a bitch. I can't do this kind of thing. It's too hard—a real son of a bitch.
son of a gunand son of a bachelor
a worthless person. (A substitute for son of a bitch.) That tightfisted son of a gun won't buy me a beer. He can be a real son of a bachelor when he's in a bad mood.
son of a sea biscuit
Euph. a person, usually a male. (sometimes a substitute for son of a bitch.) Why, good to see you, you old son of a sea biscuit. You son of a sea biscuit! You make me so mad I could slug you.
each and every one
Also, every last one; every single one. Every individual in a group, as in Each and every student must register by tomorrow, or I've graded every last one of the exams, or Every single one of his answers was wrong. All of these phrases are generally used for emphasis. The first, although seemingly redundant, has replaced all and every, first recorded in 1502. The first variant dates from the late 1800s, and both it and the second are widely used. Also see every tom, dick, and harry. Every mother's son (late 1500s) and every man Jack (mid-1800s) are earlier versions that refer only to males.
every Tom, Dick, and Harry
Also, every mother's son; every man Jack. Everyone, all ordinary individuals, as in This model should appeal to every Tom, Dick, and Harry. The use of masculine names in this way dates from Shakespeare's time (he used Tom, Dick, and Francis in 1 Henry IV), but the current one dates from the early 1800s. The two variants are largely British usage but occasionally are used in America. The first is recorded as early as 1583, whereas the second dates from the first half of the 1800s.
A person valued by his or her hometown or organization for his or her achievements, usually political, as in Mary hoped they would treat her as a favorite son and nominate her for state senator. This term was originally employed for a candidate nominated for office by his own locality. Today this usage may ignore gender, as in the example. [c. 1780]
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.
son of a bitch
Also, SOB; son of a gun. A mean, disagreeable individual, as in He was regarded as the worst son of a bitch in the industry, or He ran out on her? What an SOB, or He's a real son of a gun when it comes to owing you money. The first of these terms, calling a man the son of a female dog, dates from the early 1300s and is considered vulgar enough to have given rise to the two variants, both euphemisms. The first variant, an abbreviation, dates from World War I. The second, first recorded in 1708, gave rise to the theory that it originally applied to baby boys born at sea (in the days when women accompanied their husbands on long voyages). The explanation seems unlikely, especially since presumably some of the babies were girls. It also once meant the illegitimate son of a soldier (or "gun"). More probably, however, son of a gun evolved simply as a euphemism for the first term and appealed because of its rhyme. Both it and son of a bitch are also put as interjections expressing surprise, amazement, disgust, or disappointment, as in Son of a bitch! I lost my ticket, or I'll be a son of a gun! That must be the governor.
every Tom, Dick, and Harryor
every Tom, Dick, or Harry
People say every Tom, Dick, and Harry or every Tom, Dick, or Harry to talk about many different people, especially people they do not think are special or important. These days, the hotel is letting in every Tom, Dick and Harry. Note: This expression is very variable, for example, any can be used instead of every, and Harriet and other names are sometimes used instead of Harry. You cannot sell a gun to any Tom Dick or Harry, can you? Any Tom, Dick or Harriet can put on a jacket and say, `I'll be a producer.' Note: All of these names used to be very common, and so they began to be used to refer to ordinary people in general.
like father, like sona son's character or behaviour can be expected to resemble that of his father.
The Latin version of this expression is qualis pater, talis filius . The female equivalent, like mother, like daughter , is based on Ezekiel 16:44: ‘Behold, every one that useth proverbs shall use this proverb against thee, saying, As is the mother, so is the daughter’.
favourite sona famous man who is particularly popular and praised for his achievements in his native area.
In the USA, the term is used specifically of a person supported as a presidential candidate by delegates from the candidate's home state.
like —, like —as — is, so is —.
Two familiar sayings which appear in this form are like father, like son , recorded in this form from the early 17th century onwards, and like mother, like daughter .
1982 Anita Desai A Village by the Sea Did he teach you to tell me that—that rogue, your father? Like father, like daughter. A family full of liars, no-goods.
son (or daughter) of the mansethe child of a minister, especially a Presbyterian.
prodigal sona person who leaves home to lead a spendthrift and extravagant way of life but later makes a repentant return.
The biblical parable of the prodigal son in Luke 15: 11–32 tells the story of the spendthrift younger son of a wealthy man who leaves home and wastes all his money. When he repents of his extravagant ways and returns home, he is joyfully welcomed back by his father. See also kill the fatted calf (at fatted).
son of a guna humorous or affectionate way of addressing or referring to someone. informal
The term arose with reference to the guns carried on board ships: it is said to have been originally applied to babies born at sea by women accompanying their husbands.
like ˌfather/ˌmother, like ˈson/ˈdaughter(saying) a child is similar to its father/mother in a particular way: Young Jim is turning out to be as hard-working as his dad — like father, like son.
somebody’s favourite ˈsona performer, politician, sports player, etc., who is popular where they were born: Everyone in the town was proud and excited to see their favourite son nominated for an Oscar.
a/the prodigal ˈson(formal, disapproving or humorous) a person who leaves home as a young man and wastes his money and time on a life of pleasure, but who is later sorry about this and returns to his family: All the family went to the airport to welcome home the prodigal son.This expression comes from a story in the Bible.
a/the ˌson of a ˈbitch(also SOB especially in American English ) (taboo, slang) an offensive way to refer to a person that you think is bad or very unpleasant: That’s the son of a bitch who stole my car!
a/the ˌson of a ˈgun(American English, informal, spoken) a person or thing that you are annoyed with: My car’s at the shop — the son of a gun broke down again.
son of a bitch
1. n. a despicable person, usually a male. (Rude and derogatory. Abbreviated SOB.) Tell that son of a bitch to get out of here, but fast.
2. n. old buddy. (Used between close male companions.) Where you been keeping yourself, you son of a bitch?
3. exclam. Dammit! (Usually objectionable. Usually Son of a bitch!) Son of a bitch! I didn’t even see that car pull out.
son of a gun
1. n. a despicable person, usually a male. (Euphemistic for son of a bitch.) If that son of a gun thinks he can boss me around like that, he’s got another think coming.
2. n. old buddy. I went to school with this son of a gun! He’s my old buddy.
3. exclam. I am totally surprised!; I am shocked! (Usually Son of a gun!) The thing just blew up! Son of a gun!