Chip Off the Old Block

Meaning

What does Chip Off the Old Block mean?

Chip off the old block is a popular idiomatic expression, used in the same manner as The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, describing a person as very similar to their parents.

Origin

What's the origin of Chip Off the Old Block?

The expression “Chip off the old block” has a long history of use, as its first written appearance dates back to ancient Greece, to the “Idyls” of Theocritus, which was composed around 270 B.C.

It was already an established idiom in English by the 17th century, and it was published in print by the 19th century as well.

Spread & Usage

How did Chip Off the Old Block spread?

“Chip off the old block” remained a popular proverb well into the 20th and 21st centuries, appearing in a wide variety of sources, ranging from books, novels, films and music.

It was first defined on Urban Dictionary on February 27th, 2005, with several other entries following suit in the subsequent years.

The popularity of the idiom was also boosted in 2009, when an early Netflix television drama was first aired on November 30th, 2009, under the title “A Chip Off the Old Block”, running for less than a month.

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