9 Most Common English Proverbs About Family


There are many English proverbs and sayings that are about families. Here are some of the best.

1. There’s no place like home.

Means that home is the best place to be. This saying comes from the song “Home Sweet Home”. It simply means no matter where one is home is always best. It’s not only comfortable, but it’s where love and family can be found.

  • After being away for so long, Tom realized there‘s no place like home.

2. Blood is thicker than water.

Means that relationships within a family are more important and stronger than those outside of the family. In other words your family will always be there for you, no matter what, even if you’ve been apart or have said something unkind.

However people who are outside of your family may abandon you when things are difficult, or may walk away if you have been unkind.

  • Don’t be so surprised that your friends left you, you know you can always rely on family. Blood is thicker than water.

3. Children are a poor man’s riches.

Means that a poor man finds wealth through his children, partially because they bring him joy, and also because they are his legacy.

Through them his name and hopes will carry on.  A poor man has no choice but to put everything he has (all his hopes and dreams) into his children. Whereas, on the other hand, a wealthy man may rely on his wealth for his legacy.

  • James may have barely gotten by, but he would have made any sacrifice to see his children succeed. Children are a poor man’s riches.

4. Home is where the heart is.

Means that home is not necessarily the building that you live in, but it is where you most want to be. This is usually whereever someone’s family is, or where they grew up.

Most adults have some place in their mind that they think of as their “home” It may be the same city they live in now, the city where they grew up, the house where their parent’s live, or the place where they are raising their family.

  • Even though it had been 10 years since Sally had been back to her parent’s house, when she walked in the door it immediately felt like home. Home is where the heart is.

5. Like father, like son.

Means that a son’s character is likely to closely resemble his father’s. This is something that can be seen from a young age.

Little boys will mimic their dad’s and into adulthood certain behavior will be very similar. There is also a very similar saying, “like mother like daughter”, and this means the same thing.

  • Billy gets into the same kind of trouble his father did when he was his age. Like father like son.
  • My mother and I both love to eat apple pie, and whenever my dad sees me eat it, he says like mother like daughter.

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6. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Means that children behave like their parents. Children tend to talk like their parents, eat what their parents eat, and like what their parent like.

It can also refer to children looking just like their parents do. This proverb can be used to describe anything that is similar between either parent and child.

  • Mary looks exactly like her father, right down to her nose, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

7. A family that ____ together stays together.

Is a saying that has changed over time. It was originally a family that prays together stays together. However now one can insert anything for “prays”.

It is often said a family that plays together stays together. All it really means is that a family that spends time together will have a close bond and a lasting relationship. It doesn’t matter what the activity is.

  • My family and I go to the park every Saturday morning. You know what they say, a family that plays together stays together.

8. You can’t choose your family….

This proverb was originally longer. “ you can’t choose your family, they are God’s gift to you as you are to them”. In modern times this has been shorten to you can’t choose your family, meaning the actions of your family members do not define you.

This is usually said when someone in a family has done something very bad or has an addiction. It is meant to give comfort to the affected family members.

  • Just because your dad is an alcoholic, it doesn’t mean that you are responsible for what he does when he drinks, nor does it mean that you will be the same way. You can’t choose your family.

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