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English Proverbs at Home

The English proverb, “a man’s home is his castle,” says a lot about English and American culture. This very old English proverb refers to the privacy and security of a home, a strong value on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean.

Historical and political connections to the English proverb

The idea connected to this proverb is that a homeowner is like the king or queen of his personal domain, his or her home. The U.S. Bill of Rights acknowledges this fact in the Fourth Amendment by saying that it is against the law for a home to be searched without good reason. A police officer cannot enter a home and search it without a warrant (special permission) and for reasonable cause. There is an exception to this rule, however. Having rule over one’s own home does not mean that the law can be disobeyed– even inside the privacy of a home.

Other English proverbs related to home

A house is not a home- This proverb distinguishes between a house (the building) and a home (the nurturing place where people live in community)

Home is where the heart is- One’s deepest affections can be found in the home.

There’s no place like home- This expression became famous through the movie, “The Wizard of Oz”. In the movie, Dorothy realizes that her dreams of leaving her home in Kansas for more exotic lands was misplaced and that home is the best place to be

A house divided against itself cannot stand- Jesus spoke this proverb (Matthew 12:25) about the impossibility of two contradictory purposes in a household.

Practice using the language of the proverb

Questions for discussion: Do you have a proverb in your language that is similar to one of these? Are homes considered “castles” in your country? In what way?

Questions for vocabulary practice: how much privacy do you need? How would you describe the security of your home? Is it very secure? Where is your personal domain? A room? An apartment in a major city?

Practice your English by answering one of the questions.



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