black sheep


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Related to black sheep: Black Sheep of the Family
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black sheep

One who is unlike other members of a family, group, or organization, sometimes due to intentional rebelliousness, and often viewed unfavorably by them. (Sometimes used in the expanded phrase "the black sheep of the family.") Everyone likes me because I'm so quiet and obedient. The same cannot be said for my wild cousin Nathan, who's been the black sheep since we were kids. The studio is proving to be quite the black sheep of the movie industry, making big-budget films that fly in the face of Hollywood's conventions.
See also: black, sheep

black sheep

The least reputable member of a group; a disgrace. For example, Uncle Fritz was the black sheep of the family; we always thought he emigrated to Argentina to avoid jail . This metaphor is based on the idea that black sheep were less valuable than white ones because it was more difficult to dye their wool different colors. Also, in the 16th century, their color was considered the devil's mark. By the 18th century the term was widely used as it is today, for the odd member of a group.
See also: black, sheep

the black sheep

or

the black sheep of the family

COMMON If you describe someone as the black sheep or the black sheep of the family, you mean that the other people in their family disapprove of them and consider their behaviour to be bad. `I was always the black sheep,' he says. `Everyone else stayed in New Jersey but I was the one to go.' My uncle was the black sheep of the family and we were never encouraged to talk about him. Note: Black sheep are less valuable than white sheep since their wool cannot be dyed. In addition, people used to associate the colour black with evil.
See also: black, sheep

the black sheep

a person considered to have brought discredit upon a family or other group; a bad character.
See also: black, sheep

a/the black ˈsheep (of the family)

a person who is different from the rest of their family or another group, and who is considered bad or embarrassing: Debbie is the black sheep of the family, having left home at seventeen to live with her boyfriend.Shepherds used to dislike black sheep because their wool was not as valuable as white wool.
See also: black, sheep

black sheep

A deviant or eccentric; the least successful, least admirable member of a group. Black sheep were long considered less valuable than white ones because their wool could not readily be dyed. Several sixteenth-century writers wrote of the black sheep as a dangerous (“perilous”) animal, among them John Lyly. In the eighteenth century, the application to the human deviant became common. Sir Walter Scott wrote, “The curates know best the black sheep of the flock” (1816), and “the black sheep of the family” was an increasingly common way of singling out the odd member.
See also: black, sheep

black sheep

A disreputable or unloved family member. Since the majority of domestic sheep have white fleece, a black one would be different from the rest of the flock. And because the word “black” has a historically strong negative connotation, one of that color would be unwanted (in real life, sheep farmers don't like them because black fleece, which can't be dyed, is less commercially valuable). In the age of politically correct speech, the phrase is now infrequently used, and that's not because family members now get along in greater harmony than they once did.
See also: black, sheep
References in periodicals archive ?
A woman who regards herself as an average housewife recalls becoming a spokeswoman for people with disabilities in her uplifting memoir, The Reigning Black Sheep.
Competition is definitely hot, but Black Sheep is proving itself by not following the herd.
Known to customers at the time as Lousifa, Louis has happy memories of his time at the Black Sheep as both a customer and employee.
List three ideas to help the Black Sheep separate the wool into three different bags.
Baa Baa Black Sheep releases on March 9 in India, and is directed by Vishwas Paandya.
With the handicaps applied, Bravo beat Derek and Martin Sheppard's B45, Black Sheep, and Ron Forster and Phil Damp's B40, Ariel, by 25 minutes plus.
You have proven that, ironically, there in only one slot in the family worth vying for - that of the Black Sheep.
Ingredients: 8oz grated mature Cheddar 1oz butter A dash of Worcestershire sauce 1 tsp Dijon mustard BAKED BLACK SHEEP RAREBIT 1 oz flour 5 fluid oz Black Sheep beer Extra cheese and breadcrumbs to top!
Renowned Yorkshire brewer Black Sheep has made the exclusive pale ale for Ember Inns, run by Jewellery Quarter-based Mitchells & Butlers.
MORE than 100,000 criminal records from the Victorian era have been published online, giving people the chance to discover any black sheep in their family.
Black Sheep: Blitzen First released in 2014, Black Sheep Brewery in Masham is bringing back its limited edition festive beer.
Dr Stephens researched the upside of activities that we would usually consider to be detrimental for his book Black Sheep: The Hidden Benefits Of Being Bad.
Black Sheep: The Life of Pappy Boyington by John F.
The word "black" in the nursery rhyme Baa Baa Black Sheep is derogatory and racial for its allusion to black people-an implication that can be derived from the decision of staff at childcare centres in the Southeastern suburbs to change the lyric of the song.