Idioms about Mothers

Mother's Day is a time to show our respect and gratitude to our mothers. Here a list of idioms about mothers.

Mother and Child

A list of idioms about mothers

at your mother's knee

said about something that you learned when you were a child.

She learned to sing at her mother's knee.

expectant mother

a pregnant woman.

There are many good tips for expectant mothers in this little book.

experience is the mother of wisdom

this idiom is used to mean that people learn from what happens to them.

You will never understand the love parents have for their children until you get your own children. Experience is really the mother of wisdom.

face (that) only a mother could love

a very ugly face.

Look at that poor girl. That's a face that only a mother could love.

he that would the daughter win, must with the mother first begin

This is a proverb which means that if you intend to marry a woman, first try to win her mother on your side.

Listen Joe, if you want to marry Nancy, try to impress her mother first and be sure that she is on your side. He that would the daughter win, must with the mother first begin.

like father, like son

The phrase like father, like son is an idiomatic expression that indicates that fathers and sons resemble each other or that sons tend to behave like their fathers.

Another variation of this idiom is:

like mother, like daughter.

Alan decided to start a business online - like father, like son.

like mother, like daughter

This is a proverb which means that daughters resemble their mothers.

Related idioms:

Like father like son
To be cut from the same cloth
To be a chip off the same block
To run in the family

1. My mother was mad about chocolate. Every time my father saw me eating chocolate, he would say, "Like mother, like daughter."

2. Nancy: "Liza has an eye for fashion. She always looks for the latest trends."
Kate: "Like mother, like daughter. Her mother is mad about fashion, too."

necessity is the mother of invention

This proverb means that when people really need to do something, they will find a way to do it.

When her pen had run out of ink, she used her lipstick to write a short note to her husband who was at work.

scarlet woman

The phrase a scarlet woman refers to a prostitute, an immoral woman, particularly one who commits adultery.

The phrase was first used in Revelation 17:5 where a sinful woman was described:

17:4 And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication:
17:5 And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH. [King James Version; the New International Version uses "prostitutes" instead of "harlots"].

She was the scarlet woman of the town.

the milk of human kindness

idioms in English - Milk of human nature

The phrase the milk of human kindness refers to the quality of kindness and the innate sense of compassion towards other people.

The origin of the phrase

The phrase comes from Shakespeare's tragic play Macbeth:
Lady Macbeth:
Glamis thou art, and Cawdor, and shalt be
What thou art promis'd. Yet do I fear thy nature,
It is too full o' th' milk of human kindness
To catch the nearest way.

Lady Macbeth, who is very ambitious, complains that her husband is too kind to kill the king and achieve his goals. He is rather a person who acts as a good man and doesn’t have the type of nature needed to take action and get the throne.

The reference to milk in the phrase may refer to mothers' milk. When mothers breastfeed their babies, this is seen as an act of self-sacrifice, love, and compassion.

She is filled with the milk of human kindness.
John is quite rude and greedy; he lacks the milk of human kindness.
People take advantage of Alan because he is too full of the milk of human kindness.
I don't think she would do anything that evil; she has the milk of human kindness in her.

the mother of all

an extreme example which is the biggest, most impressive, or most important of its kind.

Failure is the mother of all success.

More idioms

Other Related materials:

Mother's Day
Mother's Day jokes
International Women's Day