child is father of the man

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the child is father of the man

proverb The personality traits that one displays as an adult form in childhood. He's always been a quiet, analytical person—the child is father of the man, after all.
See also: child, father, man, of
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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