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A chip off the old block

刊登日期: 2016.06.18
作者: Grace Tse  

When people say that the son or the daughter is the same as the father or the mother, you might hear the following two proverbs:

Like father, like son. (有其父必有其子)

Like mother, like daughter. (有其母必有其女)

By looking at these two proverbs, you might easily guess that the children look like or behave like their parents. How about the idiom “a chip off the old block” in the following sentence?

Everyone says that John is a chip off the old block.

A person is described as a chip off the old block(酷似父母)if he or she is very much like one of the parents, usually the father.

A block is a piece of wood. A chip is a small piece of something which is removed in the process of cutting or chopping. When a carpenter hits a piece of wood with a hammer, a little chip falls off. In the idiom “a chip off the old block”, the father is a big piece of wood and the child is like a chip having the same characteristics as his or her father’s.

The idiom appeared as early as in 1621 in a different form, “a chip of the same block”, in a sermon given by Robert Sanderson, Bishop of Lincoln in Britain.

“Am not I a child of the same Adam ... a chip of the same block, with him?”

Later in 1642, another form, “a chip of the old block”, appeared in a book written by John Milton, a British poet.

In the late 19th century, the current form, “a chip off the old block”, appeared in the American newspaper, “The Athens Messenger”:

The child is too often a chip off the old block.

Are you a chip off the old block? In what ways are you similar to your father? Whether you bear any resemblance to your father or not, I am sure that you are still the dearest child to him.

Today is Father’s Day. So be sure you will make this day special to him.


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