A chip off the old block

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  • CatStar

    Senior Member
    English, Ireland
    Hola Benavides,

    a chip of the old block

    This phrase is used when a son is very like his father or (less frequently) when a daughter is like her mother. It's a fairly colloquial phrase and is used when there are similar characteristics involved. ie the father is a doctor and the son is studying to be one....the son is a chip off the old block. Or both have the same sense of humour, or follow the same sport etc etc
    hope that helps,

    Kelly B

    Senior Member
    USA English
    To clarify the metaphor, if you have a large block of marble, and hit it so that a piece breaks off, the new piece (chip) is of exactly the same substance as the original, even if it is smaller and shaped differently. The child is the chip, the parent is the block, and they are essentially the same.
    It is only an insult if the speaker lacks respect for the parent. However, even if it is intended as a compliment, it may make the child uncomfortable if he wants to be seen as completely different from the parent.


    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I'm not quite sure why you called this thread "Is it a slam", so I changed the title to something more appropriate.
    Please take note of WordReference Rule #4.
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