Born with a silver spoon: Meaning, synonyms & origin + 9 example sentences

What does “Born with a silver spoon” mean?

The idiom “born with a silver spoon” means to be born in a rich, wealthy, and renowned family. A person born with a silver spoon is said to have an inherited fortune, involving both wealth and privileged status. Such a person is also considered lucky and well-off.

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9 examples of how to use “Born with a silver spoon” in a sentence

  • Although Nelson Mandela was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, he had to face countless struggles throughout his life.
  • Can you blame her for having that attitude? After all, she was born with a silver spoon in her mouth.
  • Being born with a silver spoon isn’t an achievement, but earning that spot with effort and resilience is what makes the difference.
  • Not everyone who is born with a silver spoon in their mouth leads a happy life.
  • Have you seen the luxuries he has? He must be born with a silver spoon in his mouth!
  • Being born with a silver spoon in your mouth doesn’t make you any more worthy of respect!
  • Eleanor’s misfortune has left many in tears. He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth but is in rags now.
  • Man, he is living the life of his dreams! He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.
  • You will not adjust to the environment of Oxford University. Most of the students there were born with a silver spoon in their mouths.

The origin of “Born with a silver spoon”

The idiom “born with a silver spoon” has quite an interesting origin. The phrase goes back to the culture of the British aristocracy, perhaps around the late 18th century. The British Crown used silverware for dining and for this reason, that was regarded as a sign of wealth, affluence, and prosperity. Back then, another custom was that the rich godparents used to gift silver spoons to their godchildren, on their baptizing/christening. Hence, according to that tradition, being born with a silver spoon was considered as trademark for wealth and richness. Such people were usually thought of as lucky and fortunate.

Apart from that, there is another fascinating narrative associated with silver spoons. People in the 18th century, used to carry around silver spoons (just like one carries money in wallets). So, they used to bring their own spoons to the tables.

Besides that, the history of this phrase in print version goes back to 1719, in Peter Anthony Motteux’s translation of the novel “Don Quixote”:

“…and every Man was not born with a Silver Spoon in his Mouth.”

Later, the phrase also appeared in a book of Scottish proverbs, that was published in 1721. Hence, it got associated with wealth, fortune, and a successful life.

Synonyms for “Born with a silver spoon”

Rich, wealthy, loaded, high-born, high-bred, moneyed, prosperous, luxurious, affluent, opulent, silk-stocking, well-to-do, profitable, successful, fortuitous, lavish, worth a bundle/packet, flush, comfortable, well-heeled, filthy/stinking/cash/lousy rich, thriving, upper class, well-born, well-fixed, plentiful, nouveau riche, the high life.

Idioms related to “Born with a silver spoon”

  • Be in the money
  • Be well off
  • Be rolling in money
  • Be made of money
  • In the chips
  • On easy street
  • Born in a gold cradle
  • In clover
  • Have deep pockets
  • Be quids in
  • Strike gold
  • Be in the black
  • Not be short of a bob or two
  • Be filthy rich
  • Have money to burn
  • In the lap of luxury
  • Live high on/off the hog
  • Live like a king/lord
  • Live off the fat of the land
  • Live/be in clover
  • More money than sense
  • Marry money
  • Rags-to-riches
  • Money talks
  • Feather your own nest
  • Be sitting pretty
  • Born in the purple