grandfather

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(one) could be (someone's) (parent/grandparent)

One is old enough to be someone else's parent or grandparent. Used in reference to two people who are or may become romantic or sexual partners, especially to indicate that the speaker thinks such a pairing would be inappropriate. He's going out with Mary from the legal department? But she could be his mother! I don't feel comfortable with this. I could be your grandfather, for heaven's sake!
See also: could

(one) is old enough to be (someone's) (parent/grandparent)

One is old enough to be someone else's parent or grandparent. Used in reference to two people who are or may become romantic or sexual partners, especially to indicate that the speaker thinks such a pairing would be inappropriate. He's going out with Mary from the legal department? But she's old enough to be his mother! I don't feel comfortable with this. I'm old enough to be your grandfather, for heaven's sake!
See also: enough, old

grandfather (someone or something)

To exempt certain people or things from new limitations or restrictions, thus allowing them to continue doing or benefiting from something as they did before. This can be done through the use of a "grandfather clause." If they change the pension plan, they better grandfather us!
See also: grandfather

grandfather clause

A clause that exempts certain people or businesses from new limitations or restrictions, thus allowing them to continue doing or benefiting from something as they did before. Originally referred to a clause added to the constitutions of some Southern US states that exempted people with relatives that had voted before 1867 from strict new voting requirements, in effect disproportionately limiting the ability of African Americans to vote. No, I still get to pay the reduced rate, thanks to a grandfather clause in my contract.
See also: clause, grandfather

grandfather in

To exempt certain people or businesses from new limitations or restrictions, thus allowing them to continue doing or benefiting from something as they did before. This can be done through the use of a "grandfather clause." A noun or pronoun can be used between "grandfather" and "in." If they change the pension plan, they better grandfather us in!
See also: grandfather
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

(a) grandfather clause

a clause in an agreement that protects certain rights granted in the past even when conditions change in the future. The contract contained a grandfather clause that protected my pension payments against claims such as might arise from a future lawsuit.
See also: clause, grandfather

grandfather someone or something in

to protect someone or a right through the use of a grandfather clause. My payments were grandfathered in years ago.
See also: grandfather
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The famine of nuanced theoretical and conceptual thinking about grandfathers may in part be addressed by this effort to expand the generative potentialities (Knapp, 2009) of understanding and describing the complexities of grandfathering and grandfather-grandchild relationships.
The introduction of commitment, a social-cognitive concept that guides and motivates behavior, to the study of grandfathering and grandfather-grandchild relationships represents an expanded approach to thinking about intergenerational relationships.
Generative grandfathering: A conceptual framework for nurturing grandchildren.
Generative grandfathering, commitment, and contact: How grandfathers nurture relationships with grandchildren and the relational and mental health benefits for aging men.
This framework enabled them to recognise the complexities and diversity of individual life experiences and the way in which men constructed their own experiences of grandfathering within normative discourses of traditional family life.
A grounded theory approach generated an examination of the stability of masculinities during the men's earlier life and explored how grandfathering opens up the opportunity for taking up more fluid notions of how to be a family man.
The literature review confirmed the necessity for further research and indicated the importance of ensuring men could voice their experience and understanding of grandfathering.