Like Mother, Like Son: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
August 14, 2023

The idiom "like mother, like son" compares a son to his mother, implying they have something in common. This could be a physical trait, behavioral trait, personality trait, values, or preferences.

In short:

  • "Like mother, like son" is an idiom that means a son resembles his mother in some way, either in appearance, behavior, personality, interests, or preferences.
  • It is a variation of the older proverb "like father, like son", which has been used in English since the 1300s.

What Does "Like Mother, Like Son" Mean?

The expression "like mother, like son" shows a resemblance between a mother and her son, suggesting they share some qualities. This could be a physical feature, a way of acting, a type of personality, a set of values, or a liking for something.

Furthermore, the idiom can also be modified to refer to other family members or relationships, such as "like mother, like daughter," "like brother, like sister," or "like teacher, like student."

Where Does "Like Mother, Like Son" Come From?

The idiom "like mother, like son" is a variation of the older proverb "like father, like son," used in English since the 1300s. The adage has its roots in Latin and Greek sources, such as the phrase "qualis pater talis filius" (such as the father so the son) and the fable of "The Farmer and His Sons" by Aesop. The idiom emerged later as a variation of these sayings to refer to the similarity between a mother and her son.

10 Examples of "Like Mother, Like Son" in Sentences

Here are some examples of how the idiom "like mother, like son" can be used in different sentences:

  • She's very artistic and creative. And so is he. Like mother, like son.
  • He inherited his mother's cynical attitude. Like mother, like son. They are both as cold as ice.
  • They both love watching TV day in and day out. Like mother, like son.
  • Fashionably late. Just like his mother. Like mother, like son.
  • Holy cow! They have the same sense of humor and can make everyone laugh. Like mother, like son.
  • He's very adventurous, always living life on the edge. He inherited that from his mother. Like mother, like son.
  • They both can play the guitar, piano, and drums, to name a few. Like mother, like son.
  • He has all the bells and whistles of a good lawyer. He takes after his mother. Like mother, like son.
  • They both have a sweet tooth and enjoy baking. What can I say? Like mother, like son.
  • He's very generous and compassionate. He learned that from his mother. Like mother, like son.

Examples of "Like Mother, Like Son" in Pop Culture

The idiom "like mother, like son" has also been used in various forms of popular culture, such as movies, TV shows, books, songs, and games.

Here are some examples:

  • In the 2010 song Just The Way You Are by Bruno Mars, the lyrics suggest that he loves his girlfriend for being just like her mother, who is also fantastic and beautiful.
  • In the 1974 movie The Godfather Part II, Michael Corleone mentions the phrase to his mother.
  • In the 1991 movie Terminator 2: Judgment Day, there was a scene where John Connor references the phrase to his mother, Sarah Connor.

Other Ways to Say "Like Mother, Like Son"

The idiom "like mother, like son" can also be expressed in other ways, using different words or structures.

Here are some examples of other ways to say "like mother, like son":

  • He's a chip off the old block.
  • He's the spitting image of his mother.
  • He's cut from the same cloth as his mother.
  • He's his mother's son.
  • He takes after his mother.
  • He follows in his mother's footsteps.
  • He has his mother's genes.

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Like Mother, Like Son"

Here are some frequently asked questions about the idiom "like mother, like son" and their answers:

  • What does "like mother, like son" mean?

The expression "like mother, like son" shows a resemblance between a mother and her son, suggesting they share some qualities. This could be a physical feature, a way of acting, a type of personality, a set of values, or a liking for something.

  • What is the origin of "like mother, like son"?

The idiom "like mother, like son" is a variation of the older proverb "like father, like son," used in English since the 1300s.

  • What are some synonyms for "like mother, like son"?

Some synonyms for "like mother, like son" are "he's cut from the same cloth as his mother", "he has his mother's genes", "he takes after his mother", etc.

  • What are some antonyms for "like mother, like son"?

Some antonyms for "like mother, like son" are "he’s nothing like his mother", "he’s the opposite of his mother", "he’s a black sheep in the family", etc.

  • Is "like mother, like son" a compliment or an insult?

It depends on the context and the tone of the speaker. It can be either a compliment or an insult, depending on what quality is being compared and how the speaker and the listener perceive it.

  • What is the difference between "like mother, like son" and "like father, like son"?

The difference is that the former compares a son to his mother, while the latter to his father. Both idioms imply that a son inherits some traits from his parent, but they may emphasize different aspects of the parent-child relationship.

  • What are some idioms related to "like mother, like son"?

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree," "blood is thicker than water," and "a chip off the old block.

  • Can "like mother, like son" be used for other family members or relationships?

Yes. It can be modified to refer to other family members or relationships by changing the words "mother" and "son" to suit the situation.

Example: Yaas, you are cute! Like aunt, like niece!

  • How do you say "like mother, like son" in other languages?

In Spanish: De tal palo tal astilla.

In French: Tel mère tel fils.

In German: Wie die Mutter so der Sohn.

In Italian: Tale madre tale figlio.

  • How do you use "like mother, like son" in a poem?

You can use "like mother, like son" in a poem to create a rhyme, a metaphor, or a contrast.

Final Thoughts About "Like Mother, Like Son"

The idiom "like mother, like son" is a common way to express the similarity between a mother and her son in some aspects.

To summarize:

  • It is a variation of the older proverb "like father, like son," which has been used in English since the 1300s.
  • In addition, it can be used as a compliment or a criticism, depending on the speaker's context and tone.
  • Lastly, it can also be modified to refer to other family members or relationships, such as "like mother, like daughter," like brother, like sister," or "like teacher, like student."

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