father(redirected from fathers)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.
not your father's
Very modern or updated; no longer what an older generation would expect or be used to. With every building now featuring wireless Internet and touch-screen monitors integrated into the desks in each classroom, this is certainly not your father's high school anymore.
See also: not
be gathered to (one's) fathers
euphemism To die. It's such a shame that Tom has been gathered to his fathers. When is his funeral?
a bit of how's your father
A playful euphemism for sexual activity. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. Jeremy snuck under the bleachers with his girlfriend to have a bit of how's your father but ended up getting caught by the school's principal.
success has many fathers, failure is an orphan
People are quick to associate themselves with successful ventures and distance themselves from failures. A: "All the people who were so excited about this project in the beginning now act like they've never even heard of it." B: "Well, success has many fathers, failure is an orphan."
twinkle in (one's) father's eye
A phrase used to describe the time before one's birth. I never knew my grandparents; they died when I was just a twinkle in my father's eye.
the child is father of the man
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.
experience is the father of wisdom
Most wisdom is gained by experiencing different things (compared to acquiring knowledge through schooling or other means). A few years ago, I couldn't even get behind the wheel without having panic attacks, but, with practice, I'm much calmer and can drive with no problems. Experience is the father of wisdom after all.
when (one) was a twinkle in (one's) father's eye
Before one was born. I never knew my grandparents—they died when I was a twinkle in my father's eye.
Someone who was instrumental in the beginning or creation of something. Capitalized when used to refer to a member of the US Constitutional Convention. As the founding fathers of this club, we really want to see it thrive after we graduate. Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson were among the nation's Founding Fathers.
a spot of how's your father
euphemism Sexual intercourse or activity. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. Jeremy snuck under the bleachers with his girlfriend to have a spot of how's your father, but ended up getting caught by the headmaster.
how's your father
euphemism Sexual intercourse or activity. Usually preceded by "a bit of" or "a spot of." Jeremy snuck under the bleachers with his girlfriend to have a spot of how's your father, but ended up getting caught by the headmaster. It's well known that having kids is going to drastically reduce the how's your father in your relationship, but it's something many couples still struggle with.
See also: father
like father, like son
Said when a son shows similarities to his father in mannerisms, interests, behavior, etc. Tommy's headstrong and impatient—like father, like son. A: "My only interest is in making money." B: "Like father, like son, I see."
old enough to be (one's) father
Of a man, much older than one, especially 20 or more years older (or around the age of one's actual father). Used especially when referring to a man who is or might be in a romantic or sexual relationship with a younger person (especially to indicate that the speaker thinks such a pairing would be inappropriate). How could you find him attractive—he's old enough to be your father! Everyone raised their eyebrows when they met Mark's new husband, as he's old enough to be Mark's father. But they do seem very happy together.
founding father (of something)
A man who was instrumental in the creation or pioneering of something. Many consider Alexander Fleming to be the founding father of modern antibiotics. The day is a celebration of the founding fathers of the small country.
the mother and father of all (something)
The largest, most extreme, or ultimate example of a particular kind of thing. The word that follows "of" is usually plural. Wow, that is the mother and father of all sandwiches. It's a foot high!
the wish is father to the thought
People are more inclined to believe that which they wish or hope to be true. She's convinced that all of the company was getting ready to promote her, but to my it looks like the wish is the father to the thought. My father always said that people only believed in religion because of the desire to spend eternity in heaven, and the wish is father to the thought.
A male caregiver of a child who assumed the parental role through marriage to one of the child's original (usually biological) parents. Most commonly, a step-father is the second husband of a child's biological mother. I live with my dad during the week and then visit my mom and step-father every other weekend.
it is a wise child that knows its own father
It is difficult to truly know who one's father is, especially in the case of a child born to unwed parents. A: "Ben was actually raised by his stepfather and didn't know it until years later." B: "Wow, I guess it's true what they say—it is a wise child that knows its own father."
child is father of the manand 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.
Experience is the father of wisdom,and Experience is the mother of wisdom.
Prov. The more that happens to you, the more you will learn. I never understood why supervisors got so frustrated with me until I became a supervisor and got frustrated with my subordinates. Experience was definitely the mother of wisdom, in my case.
father something on someone
Fig. to regard someone as the author or originator of something. Do not attempt to father that stupid idea on me! We fathered the whole plan on the president. And we learned later she had nothing to do with it.
It is a wise child that knows its own father.
Prov. You can never have certain proof that a certain man is your father. (Implies that the child in question might be illegitimate.) It is a wise child that knows its own father, but Emily is so much like her dad that there's very little uncertainty.
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.
old enough to be someone's motherand old enough to be someone's father
as old as someone's parents. (Usually a way of saying that a person is too old.) You can't go out with Bill. He's old enough to be your father! He married a woman who is old enough to be his mother.
The wish is father to the thought.
Prov. People sometimes come to believe something that they wish were true. Jane hoped that her boss would resign, and the wish was father to the thought. Soon she had told everyone in the office that she was sure her boss was leaving.
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.
how's your fathersexual intercourse. British informal
A pre-World War I music-hall catchphrase, how's your father was earlier used to mean ‘nonsense’ before acquiring its present sexual sense. It is now used also to refer to a man's penis.
See also: father
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’.
founding fathersomeone who establishes an institution.
Founding Father is used in particular of an American statesman at the time of the Revolution, especially a member of the Federal Constitutional Convention of 1787 .
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.
old enough to be someone's father (or mother)of a much greater age than someone. informal
1997 Nelson DeMille Plum Island He was probably old enough to be their father, but girls paid attention to money, pure and simple.
the wish is father to the thoughtwe believe a thing because we wish it to be true.
This expression is used by Shakespeare in 2 Henry IV: ‘Thy wish was father, Harry, to that thought’. However, observations on this kind of self-delusion are found in much earlier writings, including those of Julius Caesar and Demosthenes.
1980 Alice Thomas Ellis The Birds of the Air Somewhere in that area of the human mind where the wish is father to the thought activity was taking place. Hunter, Barbara decided, had wangled this invitation in order to be with her.