What does the idiom "He's a chip off the old block" mean?

The expression He's a chip off the old block is one of the idioms that often finds a place in our literature and enriches our language. However, its meaning is not fully understood, so it is sometimes used in the wrong situations. Please review the explanation carefully for the correct use of the He's a chip off the old block idiom.

Meaning of "He's a chip off the old block"

Meaning

The phrase ‘He’s a chip off the old block’ is an idiom which is used to describe a person who is similar in character or behaviour to a parent, especially a father. It suggests that the person has taken after their parent in a positive way.

Etymology

The idiom ‘He’s a chip off the old block’ originated in the late 19th century. It is believed to have come from the idea of a block of wood which is used to make a carpenter’s chisel. The chisel is then used to carve or shape the wood, and the product of this process would be a chip off the block. The metaphor being used here is that the person being described is similar to the parent, in the same way that the chip is similar to the block.

Usage

The idiom ‘He’s a chip off the old block’ is used to describe a person who is similar in character or behaviour to a parent, especially a father. It is used positively to suggest that the person has taken after their parent in a positive way. It can be used to highlight the resemblance between a parent and a child, and the similarities that they share.

Example Sentences

  • He’s a chip off the old block – just like his dad, he’s always getting into mischief.
  • She’s such a chip off the old block – she has the same stubborn streak as her mother.

The meanings of the words in the "He's a chip off the old block" idiom

Idioms with similar meanings in different languages

"Barking up the wrong tree" is an English idiom that means to pursue a mistaken or misguided course of action. In German, the similar idiom is "Auf dem Holzweg sein," which translates to "To be on the wrong track." This idiom emphasizes the idea that when you are pursuing the wrong course of action, you are not going to achieve your desired outcome.

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