family


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crown jewels

1. The precious jewels, and the regalia or which they are featured, of a monarch or sovereign, as worn or used on a state occasion. One of the greatest mysteries of 20th-century Ireland was the case of the Irish Crown Jewels, which were stolen from Dublin Castle in 1907 and never recovered.
2. slang A man's genitals, especially the testicles. When she heard he had an affair, she kicked him right in the crown jewels.
See also: crown, jewel

family jewels

slang Male genitalia, especially the testicles. An allusion to the testes' role in producing offspring and thus maintaining the family line. When she heard he had an affair, she kicked him right in the family jewels.
See also: family, jewel

family man

A man devoted to taking care of his wife and children. Paul goes home every night after work and never likes to spend time away from his wife and kids. He's a real family man.
See also: family, man

the black sheep of the family

One who is unlike other family members, sometimes due to intentional rebelliousness, and often viewed unfavorably by them. Everyone likes me because I'm so quiet and obedient. The same cannot be said for my wild cousin Nathan, who is the black sheep of the family.
See also: black, family, of, sheep

run in the/(one's) family

To be a hereditary trait or a characteristic frequently exhibited by members of a family. I wonder if she's pregnant with twins—they do run in our family, you know. Cassie's drawing will probably win the contest—artistic ability just runs in her family.
See also: family, run

in a/the family way

euphemism Pregnant. Did you hear the good news? Kristin is in the family way!
See also: family, way

one big happy family

A group of people who live or work together or in close proximity, with the characteristics of a family whose members have strong, loving relationships. Sometimes used ironically. I lived in a house during college with five other people. We shared every part our lives with one another, like one big happy family. Three departments that don't communicate properly and blame each other for their own mistakes—yeah, we're one big happy family.
See also: big, family, happy, one

sell the family silver

To sell or part with a very valuable resource for a quick and immediate gain or advantage, rather than holding onto it for future use or to accrue even greater value. Unfortunately, the government sold the family silver during the economic crash, auctioning off some of the most valuable land in the country to private investors to help meet its debt obligations. To avoid bankruptcy, the company had to offload some of its most valuable intellectual property, but many investors worry they may have doomed themselves in the long run by selling the family silver.
See also: family, sell, silver

run in the blood

To be innate, as of a skill or quality. All of my relatives are doctors—medical prowess just runs in the blood. That type of passion can't be taught—it has to run in the blood.
See also: blood, run

start a family

To begin having children. I just think you need a more stable job if we're going to start a family. Why does everyone as when we'll start a family now that we're married? Not every married couple wants kids!
See also: family, start

like one of the family

Said of a person or animal who is so beloved and accepted by a family that it seems as if they or it were an actual member. We were all terribly fond of Chris when Janet started dating him—he was like one of the family, which is why it was especially hard when they broke up. You can't treat your livestock like pets. The more they're like one of the family to you, the harder it will be to sell them.
See also: family, like, of, one

the family that prays together stays together

Praying or engaging in other religious practices together as a group keeps a family unified (by helping it to avoid dysfunction, etc.). When I was growing up, my whole family always had to go to church together. My parents would say, "The family that prays together stays together."
See also: family, pray, stay, that, together

(all) in the family

restricted to one's own family, as with private or embarrassing information. Don't tell anyone else. Please keep it all in the family. He only told his brother because he wanted it to remain in the family.
See also: family

black sheep of the family

Fig. the worst member of the family. Mary is the black sheep of the family. She's always in trouble with the police. He keeps making a nuisance of himself. What do you expect from the black sheep of the family?
See also: black, family, of, sheep

family that prays together stays together

Prov. Families who practice religion together will not break apart through divorce or estrangement. Mother believed that the family that prays together stays together and insisted that we all say prayers every night.
See also: family, pray, stay, that, together

How's the family?

 and How's your family?
an expression used on greeting to ask about the state of the person's immediate family. Bob: Hello, Fred. How are you? Fred: Fine, thanks. Bob: How's the family? Fred: Great! How's yours? Bob: Couldn't bebetter. "How's the family?" asked Bill, greeting his boss.

*in a family way

 and *in the family way
Fig. pregnant. (*Typically: be ~; get someone ~.) I've heard that Mrs. Smith is in a family way. Our dog is in the family way.
See also: family, way

like one of the family

as if someone (or a pet) were a member of one's family. We treat our dog like one of the family. We are very happy to have you stay with us, Bill. I hope you don't mind if we treat you like one of the family.
See also: family, like, of, one

run in the family

[for a characteristic] to appear in many (or all) members of a family. My grandparents lived well into their nineties, and it runs in the family. My brothers and I have red hair. It runs in the family.
See also: family, run

crown jewels

1. A prized possession or asset, as in The Iliad and Odyssey are the crown jewels of ancient literature, or The software products are the company's crown jewels. This usage transfers the value of royal jewels to some other object. [Late 1800s]
2. Also, family jewels. The male genitals, especially the testicles. For example, She gave the would-be mugger a hard kick in the family jewels. A slang euphemism, the term dates from the 1970s, and the variant from the early 1900s.
See also: crown, jewel

in the family way

Pregnant, as in Mary's in the family way again. This euphemistic expression dates from the late 1700s and may be dying out.
See also: family, way

run in the blood

Also, run in the family. Be characteristic of a family or passed on from one generation to the next, as in That happy-go-lucky trait runs in the blood, or Big ears run in the family. The first term dates from the early 1600s, the second from the late 1700s.
See also: blood, run

sell the family silver

If you accuse someone of selling the family silver, you mean that they are getting rid of something valuable in order to get a quick advantage when it would be better to keep it for an advantage in the future. He accused the government of selling the family silver by allowing foreign investors to purchase the buildings. As Maureen Freely says, from bitter experience: `Writing about these things is like selling the family silver. You can only do it once.'
See also: family, sell, silver

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

the (or your) family jewels

a man's genitals. informal
See also: family, jewel

in the family way

pregnant. informal
See also: family, way

sell the family silver

part with a valuable resource in order to gain an immediate advantage.
In 1985 , the former British prime minister Harold Macmillan made a speech to the Tory Reform Group on the subject of privatization (the selling off of nationalized industries to private companies). He likened it to the selling of heirlooms by impoverished aristocratic families: ‘First of all the Georgian silver goes…’.
See also: family, sell, silver

one ˌbig ˌhappy ˈfamily

(informal) a group of people who live or work together happily and without disagreements: We were always together. We were like one big happy family. ♢ (ironic) ‘Is your office a happy place to work in?’ ‘Oh sure, we’re just one big happy family. Everybody hates everybody else.’
See also: big, family, happy, one

in the ˈfamily way

(old-fashioned, informal) pregnant
See also: family, way

run in the ˈfamily

(of a physical characteristic or moral quality) be something that many members of a family have: He was never going to live long because heart disease runs in both families.Good looks run in the family.
See also: family, run

family jewels

n. the testicles. (Jocular and euphemistic. They are necessary to produce a family.) Hey, careful of the family jewels!
See also: family, jewel

in a family way

and in the family way
mod. pregnant. I hear that Britney is in a family way.
See also: family, way

in the family way

verb
See also: family, way

in the family way

Pregnant.
See also: family, way

start a family

To conceive or have a first child.
See also: family, start

family jewels

A vulgar epithet for the male genitals. The term dates from the early 1900s and is used in such locutions as “The pitcher nearly hit the batter in his family jewels.”
See also: family, jewel

run in the blood/family, to

To be characteristic of a family or peculiar to a nation, ethnic group, or other group. Richard Brinsley Sheridan used this expression in 1777 in The School for Scandal (3.3): “Learning that had run in the family like an heirloom!”
See also: blood, run
References in classic literature ?
"None; though you once had 'em in abundance, as I said, for you family consisted of numerous branches.
There's not a man in the county o' South-Wessex that's got grander and nobler skillentons in his family than I."
To make up for this, at home Pierre had the right to regulate his life and that of the whole family exactly as he chose.
And yet Captain Wragge had plainly declared that the name on his card would recall "a family matter" to Mrs.
To come back to the house again, it was the woman of the next family that had died.
They had begun to question the old lady as to why one family had been unable to pay, trying to show her by figures that it ought to have been possible; and Grandmother Majauszkiene had disputed their figures-- "You say twelve dollars a month; but that does not include the interest."
For the rest of the troubles and adventures of the good Vicar and his family you must go to the book itself.
" I was then almost assured that the inheritance had neither profited the Borgias nor the family, but had remained unpossessed like the treasures of the Arabian Nights, which slept in the bosom of the earth under the eyes of the genie.
"No, no, be easy on that score; the family is extinct.
But again, amidst the incontrovertible facts just recorded, one more, equally significant, rose up to confront the family; and this was, that the eldest daughter, Alexandra, had imperceptibly arrived at her twenty-fifth birthday.
Evidently the quiet, pleasant current of the family life of the Epanchins was about to undergo a change.
View the poor, helpless, orphan infant; and when your mind hath dwelt a moment only on such ideas, consider yourself as the cause of all the ruin of this poor, little, worthy, defenceless family. On the other side, consider yourself as relieving them from their temporary sufferings.
Sir Walter had once been in company with the late viscount, but had never seen any of the rest of the family; and the difficulties of the case arose from there having been a suspension of all intercourse by letters of ceremony, ever since the death of that said late viscount, when, in consequence of a dangerous illness of Sir Walter's at the same time, there had been an unlucky omission at Kellynch.
Under such conditions no RAPPROCHEMENT was to be looked for, and an utter indifference, founded at best on ignorance, took the place of family affection--even on community of interests.
Micawber, setting down her tin pot, 'that it is a member of my family!'