black sheep

Definitions

  • BAA, BAA, BLACK SHEEP
    BAA, BAA, BLACK SHEEP
  • WordNet 3.6
    • n black sheep sheep with a black coat
    • n black sheep a reckless and unprincipled reprobate
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Additional illustrations & photos:

Baa! Baa! Black Sheep music Baa! Baa! Black Sheep music
THE BLACK SHEEP THE BLACK SHEEP
Big black sheep Big black sheep
Music: Baa Baa Black Sheep Music: Baa Baa Black Sheep

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Black sheep one in a family or company who is unlike the rest, and makes trouble.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • Black sheep the disreputable member of a family or group
    • ***

Idioms

Black sheep - Someone who is the black sheep doesn't fit into a group or family because their behaviour or character is not good enough.
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Etymology

Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
A.S. sceáp; Ger. schaf.

Usage

In literature:

It isn't fair to damn the whole flock because a few of the sheep are black.
"The Rhodesian" by Gertrude Page
The late Lord Ipswich had been a "sport" in the Barthop family; a black sheep, but clever, and a well known collector.
"The Invader" by Margaret L. Woods
He had been a black sheep.
"Somehow Good" by William de Morgan
It was not the first time she had called herself a black sheep, or had spoken of her scanty attendances at church.
"Not Like Other Girls" by Rosa N. Carey
Harry was undoubtedly the black sheep of the family.
"Good Luck" by L. T. Meade
Now there was only one little black sheep to be put right.
"Hollyhock" by L. T. Meade
I am well aware that, socially speaking, Johnny is a Black Sheep.
"The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 20, No. 122, December, 1867" by Various
And a black bear too, and a moose, and some sheep, and a lot of small stuff like that.
"The Young Alaskans on the Trail" by Emerson Hough
That he was the black sheep of an honorable flock became increasingly evident.
"They of the High Trails" by Hamlin Garland
This Leopold is generally regarded as a black sheep.
"Secret Memoirs: The Story of Louise, Crown Princess" by Henry W. Fischer
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In poetry:

"Black Sheep, Black Sheep,
Have you any wool?"
"That I have, my Master,
Three bags full."
"Black Sheep" by Theodosia Garrison
Thy black sheep's faithful shepherd
Who knew not how to flee,
Is torn by the desert leopard,
And comes wounded home to thee!
"Song of the Saints and Angels" by George MacDonald
He's the Black Sheep of the Fam'ly,
For his father was a sweep.
Mother danced the old "Black-bottom"
That's why he's the poor Black Sheep.
"The Black Sheep" by T W Connor
So every time we passed it by,
Sailing to England's slaughter-house,
Eight ragged sheep-men--tramps and thieves--
Would stroke that sheep's black nose.
"A Child's Pet" by William H Davies
THE MORAL: The wisest lambs they are
Who, when they're assailed by thirst,
Keep well away from a public bar;
For of all black sheep, or near, or far,
The public bar-lamb's worst!
"The Inhuman Wolf And The Lamb Sans Gene" by Guy Wetmore Carryl
There may perhaps be something to be said for black sheep!
Full many a man has had a son he could not seem to keep
In stale respectability at any kind of work
And so the boy is painted black and branded as a shirk.
"Black Sheep" by Edith Mirick

In news:

White tends to be the black sheep of the color spectrum this time of year.
Sheep Symposium in Black Hills .
News Kelley Chambers A Crown Heights property that languished for years — and was referred to by neighbors as the "Moldy Manor" — stands as a reminder that even in a historic preservation district there can always be a black sheep.
A caller first spotted the wayward black sheep at 6th Street and Indiana Avenue.
Nothing But a String Thing At Black Sheep.
Watch as Scott speaks candidly about being the black sheep of the family and reveals his deep-seated insecurities .
Kourtney Kardashian's longtime boyfriend, Scott Disick, speaks candidly about being the black sheep of the family and reveals his deep-seated insecurities .
EVERY FAMILY HAS its difficult members - black sheep, if you will.
My desire to be June Cleaver makes me the black sheep of my family.
Well, the Bo Peep Commander in Chief appears to be losing some of his Black sheep and efforts to bring them back into the fold seem to be failing miserably.
Black bags full of sheep parts were found on an abandoned.
America's Got Talent black sheep Timothy Poe just got knocked with another discretion made public — the singing military vet has a warrant out for his arrest.
Portsmouth is the artsy black sheep of New Hampshire.
Black Sheep and Prodigal Sons Unveils Occulter on Orchard Street.
Was considered a black sheep in the family who spent much of his time in Munich.
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