Keeping up with the Joneses

This is one of those idioms that need a bit of explanation.

Bought a new car to keep up with the Joneses, © Arosoft | Dreamstime.com

If you always try to outdo your neighbors, the Joneses, by buying a nice car, having fancier Christmas decorations, a bigger grill, a more expensive kitchen remodel, the more fashionable clothing, cooler hobbies, more exclusive schools for you kids – the you are trying to keep up with the Joneses.

The expression has a negative connotation.  It implies that you are trying hard to outdo others when it comes to status symbols and possessions (the expression will likely not be used when you talk about the quest for enlightenment).

Example: “I see you bought a new beamer (BMW) – trying to keep up with the Joneses?”

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