Here are two idioms to talk about when one person is different than the group. There’s a group and then one person is a little different. And maybe also a little bad. But not really bad. It’s not saying they are really terrible but maybe just a little bit bad also.
And also both of these idioms… I just realized they’re both in a popular song. The first one was in a Michael Jackson song. A long time ago, I remember when I was very young this song was on the radio and very popular when I was eight or maybe nine years old.
The idiom is: a bad apple. One bad apple.
The Michael Jackson song- don’t worry, I won’t sing! The Michael Jackson song was, “One bad apple doesn’t spoil the whole bunch.”
That’s the whole sentence. One bad apple doesn’t spoil the whole bunch.
So you have a lot of apples, say, in a basket or something, and they’re all good apples but then there’s one bad apple. One bad apple.
So, the whole sentence: One bad apple doesn’t spoil the whole bunch. But it’s also used as an idiom; if I say, “He’s the bad apple.” It means he’s the one bad one but the rest are all okay. Just one in the bunch that is not good: the bad apple.
The other one is: a black sheep. The black sheep of the family. It’s usually used for the family. One person in the family who is not like the others, and maybe a little bit not good also.
The song this was in was Seasons In The Sun. We had joy, we had fun, we had seasons in the sun, you know? And there’s a line in that song: I was the black sheep of the family. Also a very popular old song. Seasons In The Sun. And they say, “I was the black sheep of the family.”
Also, for example, me, in my family, I’m the black sheep of my family. Because I have two brothers and two sisters and all of them have very normal lives. They all have a sort of normal nine to five job and they live in America. Most of them live in our hometown. Very normal life, just normal.
But I’m the black sheep. I went to live far away. I live in Vietnam, I live in Asia and I’ve never had a nine to five office job. I’ve never worked in an office. Before, I worked in theater. I was a designer and manager in theater, so I’m working in the evenings. Now I’m an English teacher so again I work in the evening, on the weekend. Not really normal schedule, normal job.
So I’m the black sheep of my family. The one person who is a little bit different. And it’s not saying I’m really bad, but maybe just a little, a little bit naughty or something. Not really bad. I’m the black sheep of my family.
Are you the black sheep of your family?
So that’s two idioms, the bad apple or the black sheep. It’s when one is a little different than the others.