Everybody and his brother

This is a widely used expression that isn’t hard to understand – so it is probably intuitively in most people’s passive vocabulary.  It is, however, a good phrase to move from passive to active vocabulary as it is a widely used casual expression: “everybody and his brother”.

Everybody and their brother went shopping on the weekend, pic: telegraph.co.uk

The expression means really everybody, absolutely everybody, not just most people but truly, undoubtably everybody (at least everybody that matters).  In a negative sense it implies that there too many people were involved/present or people who did not belong.

A similar, albeit less frequently used expression is: everybody and his uncle.

So here are a couple of examples:


“You have to come to this party, everybody and his brother will be there.  No way you can’t miss it!”


“I am so tired of these planning meetings.  Everybody and their brother shows up and wants to have a say in the final decision.”




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