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:

Positive:

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

Negative:

“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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