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latchkey child

A child who is home alone after school or in general because their parents or guardians are at work. I know it makes me sound horrible, but I just don't want Tommy hanging out with those latchkey children from down the road. Being a latchkey child was tough at times, but it taught me the value of self-reliance at an earlier age than most.
See also: child, latchkey

Thatcher's children

A nickname for the generation of people who grew up with Margaret Thatcher as a major political figure in the UK. Primarily heard in UK. Because we are Thatcher's children, we are very familiar with her political leanings and accomplishments.
See also: children

think of the children

Consider how a particular course of action will affect young people. The phrase is often used in a panicked way, to draw attention or support to a cause. Think of the children—if they don't have a park to play in, they will turn to unsavory activities instead. We need to band together to discourage drunk driving. Think of the children!
See also: children, of, think

boomerang child

An adult child who has resumed living with their parents after previously moving out. I never planned to be a boomerang child—but then I got laid off.
See also: child

children and fools tell the truth

Children and fools do not know that lying can sometimes be useful, helpful, or preferable to the truth. A: "I was mortified when my son told that woman her hairstyle was ugly." B: "Well, children and fools tell the truth."
See also: and, children, fool, tell, truth

children should be seen and not heard

Children should not speak among adults unless they are addressed; children should be quiet and well-behaved. My grandmother was always shushing us because she was of the opinion that children should be seen and not heard.
See also: and, children, hear, not, seen, should

poster child

A person (usually an adult, not a child) who typifies or is the perfect example of a particular characteristic, attitude, opinion, cause, or type of person. Pete managed to disassemble their washing machine, fix the problem, and then reassemble it all by himself? Wow, he's like the poster child of DIY. Ms. Walsh built her fortune from nothing, through her own tireless work and intense ambition. She really is the poster child for the rags-to-riches American Dream.
See also: child, poster

the devil's children have the devil's luck

People who do evil things often seem to have good luck despite their actions. Naturally, the criminal carried out another attack—the devil's children have the devil's luck, after all.
See also: children, have, luck

Children and fools tell the truth.

Prov. Children have not yet learned, and fools never did learn, that it is often advantageous to lie. Fred: What will I tell Ellen when she asks why I'm so late getting home? Alan: Tell her the truthwe were out having a few drinks. Fred: Children and fools tell the truth, Alan.
See also: and, children, fool, tell, truth

children should be seen and not heard

Prov. Children should not speak in the presence of adults. (Often used as a way to rebuke a child who has spoken when he or she should not.) You may come out and meet the party guests if you'll remember that children should be seen and not heard.
See also: and, children, hear, not, seen, should

devil's children have the devil's luck

Prov. Evil people often seem to have good luck. The police thought they had trapped the murderer, but he escaped. The devil's children have the devil's luck.
See also: children, have, luck

Heaven protects children(, sailors,) and drunken men.

Prov. Children(, sailors,) and drunk(ard)s often escape being injured in dangerous situations. (Often used to express amazement that a child, sailor, or drunk person has escaped injury.) Jill: Did you hear? A little girl fell out of a second-floor window in our apartment building. Jane: Was she killed? Jill: She wasn't even hurt. Jane: Heaven protects children, sailors, and drunken men. Mike was so drunk he shouldn't even have been conscious, but he managed to drive home without hurting himself or anyone else; heaven protects children and drunkards.

poster child (for something)

Fig. someone who is a classic example of a state or type of person. She is a poster child for soccer moms.
See also: child, poster
References in classic literature ?
He could not play about any more, so he sat in a huge armchair, and watched the children at their games, and admired his garden.
And when the children ran in that afternoon, they found the Giant lying dead under the tree, all covered with white blossoms.
I have served you all these years and you never even threw me a bone, but the dear children gave me their own piece of ham.
Then the witch was furious with the watch-dog and with the birch-trees, because they had let the children pass.
I have served you all these years and you never gave me so much as a hard crust, but the dear children gave me their own loaf of bread.
And the birch rustled its leaves, and said: 'I have served you longer than I can say, and you never tied a bit of twine even round my branches; and the dear children bound them up with their brightest ribbons.
And as the children ran they heard the sound of the broom sweeping the ground close behind them, so instantly they threw the handkerchief down over their shoulder, and in a moment a deep, broad river flowed behind them.
And she saw Violet and Peony,--indeed, she looked more at them than at the image,--she saw the two children still at work; Peony bringing fresh snow, and Violet applying it to the figure as scientifically as a sculptor adds clay to his model.
They do everything better than other children," said she, very complacently.
The children, likewise, kept busily at work in the garden, and still the mother listened, whenever she could catch a word.
Accordingly, the mother heard two smart little smacks, as if both her children were kissing the snow-image on its frozen mouth.
Little by little we got into the way of conversing together, the children and I.
It was two weeks before her mother died that I had kissed Marie; and when the clergyman preached that sermon the children were all on my side.
The children were forbidden to meet her; but they used to run out of the village to the herd and take her food and things; and sometimes just ran off there and kissed her, and said, 'Je vous aime, Marie
There was a spot there which was quite closed in and hidden from view by large trees; and to this spot the children used to come to me.
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