Chip Off The Old Block

Meanings of “Chip Off The Old Block”

The phrase “chip off the old block” means to belong to the same parentage or source. This phrase is also equated with “like father, like son” which means that a son is like his father.

Origin of “Chip Off The Old Block”

The phrase “chip off the old block” is stated to have three common variations. The first one appeared in Sermons of Robert Sanderson in 1621 where it was given as “a chip of the same block.” However, in Milton’s An Apology, it appeared as “a Chip of the old block” while in an Ohio based newspaper, The Athens Messenger, it appeared as “a chip off the old block.” However, almost all three are used now in the same sense.

Examples in Literature

Example #1

Chip Of No Old Block… by udoh etido

His time is gone;
the garment is dull;
Encompassed with time;
could not see the light.

Brilliant years;
eliminate all fears;
Where did it hold strong? ;
where did it go wrong?

Blame everybody;
seek nobody;
Dismal moments;
faint movements.

Written by udoh etido (all small letters), these three stanzas obliquely refer to the figure of a father and a son from two different perspectives. However, the third stanza shows the similarity that there is blame for everybody but no solution with anybody, for a son always takes after his father. It is actually the age difference; otherwise, the son is the chip off the same old block. The phrase has been demonstrated through a metaphor of a father and a son.

Example #2

Chip Off the Old Block by Chic

He’s a chip off the old block
Just like a robot, he’ll do for you
What he’s programmed to
He’s a chip off the old block

He’s so sharp, bright and smooth
It’s a pleasure just to know him
He’s a graduate from the old school
Of hard knocks, the sly fox

The carbon copy of his father
If you didn’t like his pa, don’t bother
Some of us think these qualities are grim
To be just like the one before him

The first stanza sheds light on the persona of an individual, showing him in a robotic garb. The second stanza sheds light on his features, while the thirds stanza clearly states that he is “the carbon copy of his father” which is semantically close to this phrase. Therefore, the phrase has the same meanings that a person takes after his ancestors.

Example #3

A Chip Off the Old Block by Jody Jensen Shaffer

This story revolves around the character of Rocky, while his uncle, Gibraltar, Etna, and Half Dome are his relations. It seems that Jody Shaffer has beautifully woven this tale around the notable rock formations and mountain ranges in order to teach the readers the importance of the mountains and natural beauty. Rocky does much to win importance like his ancestors despite various pitfalls and tossing and turning through waves of the river. Actually, he is confident enough to struggle and win a place among the ancestry. The phrase has been shown through allegory, a literary device.

Example #4

A Chip Off the Old Block by WP Phan

What a shock!
He’s such a chip off the old block
The way he walks
The way he talks
Is exactly like his father, Brock.

The phrase is used only once, and it shows the shock of the poet about the resemblance of the son with the father. The unique quality of this poem is the rhyme scheme that matches the thematic idea of the poem. The meanings of the phrase, however, are metaphorical.

Example in Sentences

Example #1: “Jack is also an actor. He is a chip off the old block just like his dad.”

Example #2: “He is a real chip off the old block. When I looked at his father, I saw that they were similar. However, when I spoke to him, I came to know that they were copies. Finally, when I checked with his habits, he proved to be a real chip off the old block.”

Example #3: “Most of my friends understand what is meant by chip off the old block and most of them relate themselves to their fathers.”

Example #4: “A chip off the old block or an old block has a chip means that he belongs to the same family.”

Example #5: “Most of my friends are like chips off the old block. They do exactly what their parents want them to do.”