the black sheep

black sheep

One who is unlike other members of a family, group, or organization, sometimes due to intentional rebelliousness, and often viewed unfavorably by them. (Sometimes used in the expanded phrase "the black sheep of the family.") Everyone likes me because I'm so quiet and obedient. The same cannot be said for my wild cousin Nathan, who's been the black sheep since we were kids. The studio is proving to be quite the black sheep of the movie industry, making big-budget films that fly in the face of Hollywood's conventions.
See also: black, sheep

black sheep

The least reputable member of a group; a disgrace. For example, Uncle Fritz was the black sheep of the family; we always thought he emigrated to Argentina to avoid jail . This metaphor is based on the idea that black sheep were less valuable than white ones because it was more difficult to dye their wool different colors. Also, in the 16th century, their color was considered the devil's mark. By the 18th century the term was widely used as it is today, for the odd member of a group.
See also: black, sheep

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

a/the black ˈsheep (of the family)

a person who is different from the rest of their family or another group, and who is considered bad or embarrassing: Debbie is the black sheep of the family, having left home at seventeen to live with her boyfriend.Shepherds used to dislike black sheep because their wool was not as valuable as white wool.
See also: black, sheep

black sheep

A disreputable or unloved family member. Since the majority of domestic sheep have white fleece, a black one would be different from the rest of the flock. And because the word “black” has a historically strong negative connotation, one of that color would be unwanted (in real life, sheep farmers don't like them because black fleece, which can't be dyed, is less commercially valuable). In the age of politically correct speech, the phrase is now infrequently used, and that's not because family members now get along in greater harmony than they once did.
See also: black, sheep
References in classic literature ?
The third, Rodger, was the black sheep of the family.
He had called Martin the black sheep of the family and repudiated him.
He said that you had been convicted on circumstantial evidence; that was why you had got life imprisonment instead of hanging; that you had always stoutly maintained your innocence; that you were the black sheep of the Maryland Dettmars; that they moved heaven and earth for your pardon; that your prison conduct was most exemplary; that he was prosecuting attorney at the time you were convicted; that after you had served seven years he yielded to your family's plea and pardoned you; and that in his own mind existed a doubt that you had killed McSweeny.
The official sources told reporter here on Friday that the district food department received information that the owner of a restaurant and hotel had stocked 600 bags of wheat flour which he got on special subsidized rates in connivance with the black sheep in the department concerned.
Whether you're locating the black sheep in your family tree, discovering more about an ancestor who was the victim of crime or even unearthing some infamous criminals, these records can help reveal the details.
Theakston's Brewery IN Masham you have the choice of not just one but two brewery tours - Theakston's Brewery, left, is a short stroll away from the Black Sheep Brewery.
Had his early leaders understood Boyington's potential, he could have experienced success much earlier--evidenced by his achievements in leading the Black Sheep Squadron as his superiors recognized and molded his talent.
He expected the Congress party leadership to deal with the black sheep in his government, just as he expected the allies to deal with their black sheep.
Her works include the Black Sheep knitting series and the Thomas Kinkade series.
The Black Sheep Gathering that winds up today at the Lane Events Center is just the opposite: Back to the past.
May 5 at the Black Sheep Tavern on Route 12 in Sterling.
This is the squadron that would later be made famous in the television show "Black Sheep Squadron," but as the book title indicates, he was there fighting in the Pacific "Before They Were the Black Sheep.
Before They Were the Black Sheep offers a rare glance into the life of a young cadet in the months following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
The author argues that Boyington had a spotty record with the Flying Tigers because they treated him as an outsider, and demonstrates that he excelled as the leader of the Black Sheep Squadron.
We have to identify the black sheep among our ranks supporting the terrorist elements," he said.