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black sheep

SEE DEFINITION OF black sheep

Synonyms for black sheep

  • pariah
  • ne'er-do-well
  • outcast
  • prodigal
  • reject
  • reprobate
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Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR BLACK SHEEP

Bill Dozier was with him, Bill who was the black sheep in the fine old Dozier family.

As little notion had his father that his son Cornelius was a black sheep.

We are content to say that there are black sheep in every flock and so pass on.

Well, good-bye, dear, and don't worry too much about your black sheep.

Rosa was her especial torment; the black sheep of the brood.

I've be'n somethin' of a black sheep—but the black's wearin' off in spots.

You know as well as I do that she has always looked upon me as a black sheep.

He is one of the Walthams of Virginia, a black sheep, true, but a Waltham.

Was there a bit of black sheep in her, and was the man calling to it?

However, there is a skeleton in every fold—I mean to say, a black sheep in every cupboard.

WORD ORIGIN

by 1822 in figurative sense of "member of some group guilty of offensive conduct and unlike the other members," supposedly because a real black sheep had wool that could not be dyed and was thus worth less. But one black sheep in a flock was considered good luck by shepherds in Sussex, Somerset, Kent, Derbyshire. Baa Baa Black Sheep nursery rhyme's first known publication is in "Tommy Thumb's Pretty Song Book" (c.1744).

MORE RELATED WORDS FOR BLACK SHEEP

bad egg

nounbad person
  • black sheep
  • corrupt person
  • evildoer
  • miscreant
  • reprobate
  • sorry lot
  • untrustworthy person
  • worthless person
  • wrong number
  • wrongdoer
  • wrongo

cur

nounrotten, lowly animate being
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.
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