There are plenty of idioms in every language to refer to specific things. “Birds of a feather flock together” is one such example of an idiom in English. This article will look into how to use it and what it means.
Is It Correct to Say “Birds of the Same Feather Flock Together”?
“Birds of the same feather flock together” is not the correct idiom. You should say “birds of a feather flock together.” Using “a” instead of “the same” is idiomatic, and it’s the phrase that native speakers use when people share similar characteristics.
Here are a couple of example sentences to show you how to use “birds of a feather flock together:”
- Birds of a feather flock together, and there’s no way you can change that. I wish you could see what we meant.
- I think they say that birds of a feather flock together. You can see that because all these guys are doing the same thing.
- As the old proverb says, we are birds of a feather. We can’t help ourselves and just have to do things the same.
So, why is it “birds of a feather flock together?”
“Birds of a feather” means the same species of bird. You’ll often see birds in groups of the same species, even if they aren’t all blood-related. The same applies to people when applying this idiom.
The idea is that there’s safety in numbers. Birds flock together because they feel safer surrounded by birds just like them.
You can use this for people, too. People with similar characteristics will often stick nearby others like them to feel safer and more accepted. This is an evolutionary thing that allows people to feel more comfortable in themselves and what they’re into.
Now that you’ve seen that “birds of a feather flock together” is the correct phrase, it’s time to look at some alternatives. If you’re not comfortable using this idiom or you’d rather find some alternatives, we’ve got you covered. We’ve gathered similar quotes that will help you learn what to say instead of “birds of a feather flock together.”
Quotes Similar to “Birds of a Feather Flock Together”
Other ways to say “birds of a feather flock together” are “like seeks like,” “tarred with the same brush,” and “thick as thieves.” These idioms show that people are very similar or act in the same way as each other. They can be positive or negative, depending on the context.
1. Like Seeks Like
“Like seeks like” is a great idiom showing you another way to say “birds of a feather flock together.” It works well because it shows that like-minded people will always seek each other out so they can connect.
“Like” refers to similar people. Similar people often seek each other out naturally without trying too hard to find people like them. This is due to having similar interests and being part of the same circles. Eventually, you will seek “like” people who share similar qualities.
- You know they say like seeks like, right? That’s why George and Sarah get along so well! They’re too similar.
- Like seeks like, after all. Have you never wondered why you get on so well with the rest of the gang?
2. Tarred with the Same Brush
“Tarred with the same brush” is a great idiom you can use here. It’s much more negative than many other choices, making it excellent if you disapprove of someone’s shared qualities.
“Birds of a feather flock together” can sometimes relate to your disapproval of someone’s choices or personality traits. You can use “tarred with the same brush” to show this disapproval in a similar fashion.
“Tarred” shows that people are damaged or marked. It means that people have the same problems as each other and will usually seek comfort in those of a similar mindset.
- Joe and Dave are tarred with the same brush. I’m not surprised they get along so well, though I wish they didn’t have to.
- You rub off on each other, and you’re tarred with the same brush. I can’t believe how bad you both are.
3. Thick as Thieves
“Thick as thieves” is a great alternative idiom here. It suggests that multiple people are so similar (in positive or negative ways) that they might as well set up their own clan of thieves.
You can use this when two or more people are very friendly and comfortable with each other. It usually refers to them sharing secrets and doing things that allow them to get closer over time.
- You are as thick as thieves. I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to get into your friend circle because of how close you are.
- She’s as thick as thieves with him. I’m amazed she’s found someone who can match her level and keep her happy.
4. If You Lie Down With Dogs, You Get Up With Fleas
“If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas” is a negative idiom suggesting that you should not surround yourself with bad people as their traits will rub off on you. It’s used as a warning to younger people who are getting stuck in the wrong crowd.
You can use this phrase when you’re worried someone might pick up bad habits. If you know that someone is a bad influence on them, this is a good phrase to try and talk them down and get them to come back to the “good” side of things.
- If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas. Don’t act surprised if you come back from your meeting and join their crew.
- Be careful, Joey. If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas. I don’t want you getting mixed up with them.
5. You Are Known by the Company You Keep
“You are known by the company you keep” is a great synonym here. It suggests that you can tell a lot about a person by the people they surround themselves with. This suggests that people will be friendly to those they have the most in common with.
Since you are only friends with people you have a lot in common with, this idiom suggests you can tell everything about someone based on their friends.
If someone has bad friends, they are likely a bad person. If someone has fun friends, they are likely a fun person. That’s the general idea of this idiom.
- You are known by the company you keep, and I’m not sure I mind that. It’s nice to know people who share my interests.
- The proverb says you’re known by the company you keep. That’s why you’ve started to pick up similar traits to the rest of them.
6. Two Peas in a Pod
“Two peas in a pod” shows that two people are very similar. It only ever refers to two people. You may use it positively when people get along really well because of their shared interests.
It’s a popular idiom when talking about two friends or partners. It shows how similar the “peas” are (referring to the people). They will often copy each other with the things they do and enjoy.
- You’re like two peas in a pod, and I love that! I’ve never met two people who are as compatible as you!
- They are two peas in a pod. They’ll go everywhere together because they get along so well. I love that about them.
7. The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far From the Tree
“The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” is an idiom relating to a family connection and how children take similar traits to their parents. You can’t use this phrase when referring to friends.
The implication is that the parent is the “tree.” The “apple” is the child, and similar traits are shared through blood relations. It does not refer to picking up similar habits by being around someone and learning from them.
- They say the apple doesn’t fall from the tree. Tilly is very much like her father. They have all the same interests.
- I’m not sure about this, but doesn’t your mum do the same thing? I suppose the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
8. Cast in the Same Mould
“Cast in the same mould” suggests that people are made in the same way and enjoy the same things because of how they are wired. “Mould” refers to creating sculptures and other forms of crafts where “moulds” dictate the shapes of the objects you create.
This is great to use when multiple people seem to do the same things. It shows they share a “mould” and have learned to enjoy similar situations.
- You are cast in the same mould as each other. I’ve never known two people to be as in sync. You don’t even have to try.
- They’re cast in the same mould, and it’s quite impressive. I’d love to see what else they do together.
9. On the Same Wavelength
“On the same wavelength” is a great quote that works well. It shows that multiple people think in the same way, thus allowing them to enjoy similar things. You can use it when people get along without trying very hard.
It suggests that multiple people enjoy thinking and acting in the same way. The “wavelength” refers to people’s compatibility and how easy they find it is to spend time with each other.
- She’s on the same wavelength as the rest of them. That’s why she has so much fun getting involved with group activities.
- You’re on the same wavelength, so that’s a good start. I’m sure things will start getting better for you as you progress.