keeper


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Am I my brother's keeper?

I'm not responsible for the actions, behavior, or whereabouts of my close relative or friend (not necessarily a brother). Often used to express frustration that such responsibility is assumed. How should I know where Mary is? Am I my brother's keeper?

be (not) (one's) brother's keeper

To be responsible for the actions, behavior, or whereabouts of one's close relative or friend (not necessarily a brother). Often used in the negative to express frustration that such responsibility is assumed. Of course I'm disappointed that Travis got arrested again, but I'm not my brother's keeper. When I'm babysitting him, I'm my brother's keeper.
See also: keeper

be (the) keeper of (something)

To be the custodian or guardian of something. Who's the keeper of the bathroom key around here? Some say the tribe who inhabited this jungle were keepers of a dark and terrible magic. We trust you more than any of our other agents, Luanne, so we want you to be keeper of the microfilm.
See also: keeper, of

be a keeper

1. To be appreciated and revered, so much so that others want to "keep" one around. I know Katie's a keeper—why do you think I asked her to be my girlfriend? You're a keeper, you know that? I love you so much.
2. To be worth retaining. This sweater's still a keeper, if you ask me. It's a great color. Look how beat-up this old pan is. Come on, it's not a keeper.
See also: keeper

finders keepers

If someone finds something, they are entitled to keep it (even if it belongs to someone else). This phrase is part of the children's rhyme "finders keepers, losers weepers." Jake yelled "finders keepers" as he dashed toward the house with the sparkling ring he had discovered. A: "Hey, that's my favorite toy!" B: "But I found it out on the playground. Finders keepers, losers weepers!"
See also: finder, keeper

finders keepers(, losers weepers)

A children's rhyme meaning that if someone finds something, they are entitled to keep it (even if it belongs to someone else). Jake yelled "finders keepers" as he dashed toward the house with the sparkling ring he had discovered. A: "Hey, that's my favorite toy!" B: "But I found it out on the playground. Finders keepers, losers weepers!"
See also: finder, loser

I'm not my brother's keeper

I'm not responsible for the actions, behavior, or whereabouts of my close relative or friend (not necessarily a brother). Often used to express frustration that such responsibility is assumed. Of course I'm disappointed that Travis got arrested again, but I'm not my brother's keeper. How should I know where Mary is? I'm not my brother's keeper.
See also: keeper, not

not (one's) brother's keeper

Not responsible for the actions, behavior, or whereabouts of one's close relative or friend (not necessarily a brother). Often used to express frustration that such responsibility is assumed. Of course I'm disappointed that Travis got arrested again, but I'm not my brother's keeper. How should I know where Mary is? I'm not my brother's keeper.
See also: keeper, not

not (one's) keeper

Not responsible for one's actions, behavior, or whereabouts. Often used to express frustration that such responsibility is assumed. Of course I'm disappointed that Travis got arrested again, but I'm not his keeper. How should I know where Mary is? I'm not her keeper.
See also: keeper, not

slip one past the goalie/keeper/goaltender/etc.

1. To score a point by getting a ball, puck, or similar object past a player assigned to protect their team's goal. The striker slipped one past the goaltender with a brilliant shot to the corner of the net. Despite the team's fantastic defensive display, the Red Wings' forward managed to slip one past the goalie with just two seconds left on the clock.
2. euphemism To impregnate a woman, especially when unplanned or undesired. Hey, I try not to judge anyone's lifestyle choices. Just make sure you don't slip one past the goalie unless you're prepared to face the consequences. A: "Tom and Kate are having another baby." B: "I thought they said they were done after three? Maybe Tom slipped one past the keeper."
See also: keeper, one, past, slip
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

be one's brother's keeper

to be responsible for someone else. (Used of others besides just real brothers.) I can't force these kids to go to school and get an education so they can get jobs. I am not my brother's keeper. You can't expect me to be my brother's keeper. Each of us should be responsible for himself! be one's own man and be one's own master to be someone who is not controlled by other people; to be an independent person. Bert longed to be his own master, but at the same time feared losing the security he had as the employee of a large company. When I go away to college, I'll be my own man. My parents won't be able to tell me what to do anymore.
See also: keeper

finders keepers(, losers weepers)

Prov. If you find something, you are entitled to keep it. (This is a children's rhyme and sounds childish when used by adults.) Bill: Hey! How come you're using my fountain pen? Fred: It's mine now. I found it on the floor—finders keepers, losers weepers. Child: That's my hat. You can't have it. Playmate: I found it. Finders keepers.
See also: finder, keeper

I am not my brother's keeper.

 and Am I my brother's keeper?
Prov. You are not responsible for another person's doings or whereabouts. (Biblical.) Fred: Where's Robert? Jane: Am I my brother's keeper? Jill: How could you let Jane run off like that? Alan: I'm not my brother's keeper.
See also: keeper, not
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

finders, keepers

A phrase meaning that whoever finds something is entitled to keep it. For example, Someone left a dollar bill in this rented car-finders, keepers. This expression alludes to an ancient Roman law to that effect and has been stated in numerous different ways over the centuries. The modern version, often stated as Finders keepers, losers weepers, dates from the mid-1800s and is no longer a legal precept.
See also: keeper
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

finders keepers

If someone, especially a child, says finders keepers, they mean that they have a right to keep something they have found. My umbrella has not been returned. Obviously, someone picked it up and has made no effort to find the owner. Finders, keepers.
See also: finder, keeper

not someone's keeper

If you are asked where someone is and you answer that you are not their keeper, you are saying in quite a rude way that you do not know where they are and you cannot be expected to know. `I've no idea where he is,' Hughes replied, `I'm not his keeper.'
See also: keeper, not

not your brother's keeper

You can say that you are not your brother's keeper to indicate that you do not accept responsibility for other people in any way. Part of me wants to help him, but part of me realizes I can't be my brother's keeper. Note: These expressions come from a story in the Bible. Cain has killed his brother, Abel, but tries to deny it. `And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper?' (Genesis 4:9)
See also: keeper, not
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

finders keepers (losers weepers)

used, often humorously, to assert that whoever finds something by chance is entitled to keep it (and the person who lost it will just have to lament its loss). informal
This expression has been widely used since the early 19th century, although the idea goes back much further and is found in the work of the Roman dramatist Plautus. A variant sometimes heard is findings keepings .
See also: finder, keeper
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

ˌfinders ˈkeepers

(saying) (often used by children) anyone who finds something has a right to keep it: I just found a pound coin on the ground. Finders keepers, so it’s mine!
See also: finder, keeper
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

keeper

n. something that can be kept; something that qualifies. This fish is a keeper. Throw the others out.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

finders, keepers

Those who obtain something simply by discovering it are entitled to keep it. There are several versions of this expression, all of them referring to the law that a person who finds something, even if it is someone else’s property, may keep it for himself or herself. The earliest references are in writings of the Roman playwright Plautus and date from approximately 200 b.c. Two millennia later, D. M. Moir (Mansie Wauch, 1824) referred to “the auld Scotch proverb of ‘he that finds, keeps, and he that loses seeks.’” Charles Reade also called it a proverb: “Losers seekers, finders keepers” (It Is Never Too Late to Mend, 1856). The modern schoolyard version is “Finders keepers, losers weepers.” Legal implications aside, the poetic rhythm of this expression no doubt helps account for its long life.
See also: keeper
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in classic literature ?
"And about the rod, sir?" went on the keeper. "Master's told we as we might have all the rods--"
The Doctor looked puzzled; but the keeper, who was a good- hearted fellow, and melted at Tom's evident distress, gave up his claim.
As ill-luck would have it, the gentleman who owned the opposite bank, after allowing it for some time without interference, had ordered his keepers not to let the boys fish on his side--the consequence of which had been that there had been first wranglings and then fights between the keepers and boys; and so keen had the quarrel become that the landlord and his keepers, after a ducking had been inflicted on one of the latter, and a fierce fight ensued thereon, had been up to the great school at calling-over to identify the delinquents, and it was all the Doctor himself and five or six masters could do to keep the peace.
The boys had this great advantage over their enemies, that they spent a large portion of the day in nature's garb by the river-side, and so, when tired of swimming, would get out on the other side and fish, or set night-lines, till the keepers hove in sight, and then plunge in and swim back and mix with the other bathers, and the keepers were too wise to follow across the stream.
The stream was deep here, but some fifty yards below was a shallow, for which he made off hot-foot; and forgetting landlords, keepers, solemn prohibitions of the Doctor, and everything else, pulled up his trousers, plunged across, and in three minutes was creeping along on all fours towards the clump of willows.
They returned at length to the cart, and as they came up, Don Quixote said to the carter, "Put your mules to once more, brother, and continue your journey; and do thou, Sancho, give him two gold crowns for himself and the keeper, to compensate for the delay they have incurred through me."
The keeper, then, in full detail, and bit by bit, described the end of the contest, exalting to the best of his power and ability the valour of Don Quixote, at the sight of whom the lion quailed, and would not and dared not come out of the cage, although he had held the door open ever so long; and showing how, in consequence of his having represented to the knight that it was tempting God to provoke the lion in order to force him out, which he wished to have done, he very reluctantly, and altogether against his will, had allowed the door to be closed.
Sancho paid the crowns, the carter put to, the keeper kissed Don Quixote's hands for the bounty bestowed upon him, and promised to give an account of the valiant exploit to the King himself, as soon as he saw him at court.
"For the friend of my friend it shall be nominal," replied the keeper, naming a figure that Gahan, accustomed to the high price of wealthy Gathol, thought ridiculously low.
"Tell me," he said, handing the money to the keeper, "when the game for the Heliumite is to be played."
Turan followed the keeper to a large court which lay between the towers and the jetan field, where hundreds of warriors were assembled.
"Take your choice of those not assigned," said the keeper, "and when you have your quota conduct them to the field.
In my judgment, you are fitter to keep a castle or a fort, eating of the fat and drinking of the strong, than to live here upon pulse and water, or even upon the charity of the keeper. At least, were I as thou, I should find myself both disport and plenty out of the king's deer.
``I would take my walk by moonlight, when foresters and keepers were warm in bed, and ever and anon, as I pattered my prayers, I would let fly a shaft among the herds of dun deer that feed in the glades Resolve me, Holy Clerk, hast thou never practised such a pastime?''
Former Liverpool and England keeper Chris Kirkland has also travelled north to see the classes in action as Fahey and Phillips look to help the next generation of Scottish goalkeepers.