Would you like to point out that two people are so close to one another that it’s almost impossible to separate them? The phrase ‘joined at the hip’ is a common slang expression that can be used to say this, referring to emotional context. This post unpacks the meaning and origin of the phrase.
‘Joined at the hip’ is a common saying in the English language which can be used to mean that two people are so emotionally close to one another that they are impossible to separate.
When someone says ‘joined at the hip’ it is generally an informal phrase and not used for formal contexts.
The phrase does not refer to physical closeness, but it’s instead used to mean that two people are emotionally close or that they spend a lot of time together.
The phrase can be used for any age and gender, and it’s not specific to this.
The opposite to the saying ‘joined at the hip’ is to say that someone is ‘not joined at the hip’, or with the implication that the two parties are not as close as thought or discussed.
Context for who is ‘joined at the hip’ is usually given by the rest of the conversation, or by the speakers.
“You could say those two have been close since birth. I’m not surprised they eventually got married, they were joined at the hip since the moment they were born.”
“It’s like that guy is joined at the hip with the pizza delivery guy. Maybe they have a thing that nobody else knows about. Maybe he just likes pizza a lot.”
“They’re joined at the hip. If he finds out that she’s going to another college next year, he’s probably going to drop out and listen to a lot of guitar music from now on.”
“They’re so close they’re practically joined at the hip. When George does something, you’d better know that Jake is going to do the same thing.”
According to online language resources including phrases.org.uk, the saying ‘joined at the hip’ is likely to have come from early observations of actual conjoined twins – and is likely to have originated sometime during the 1800s, when ‘shows’ with twins were at the height of public popularity.
After the 1800s, the phrase ‘joined at the hip’ must have taken on a more metaphorical meaning as the physical meaning of the saying dropped away.
‘Joined at the hip’ has continued in use through to modern times, and remained as a pop culture reference.
The phrase was first listed on the website Urban Dictionary from the year 2005, even though much earlier use of the phrase is apparent.
Phrases Similar to Joined at the Hip
Phrases Opposite to Joined at the Hip
- Like chalk and cheese
What is the Correct Saying?
- Joined at the hip
- [They’re] joined at the hip
Ways People May Say Joined at the Hip Incorrectly
There are several ways in which someone might use the phrase ‘joined at the hip’ in the wrong way, or in which someone might misunderstand the meaning of the saying when it is used.
‘Joined at the hip’ implies that two people are emotionally close, and not that they are physically stuck together. The literal meaning of the phrase can be confused with the figurative one.
As the phrase is common in English, it might not translate well to all other languages.
Acceptable Ways to Phrase Joined at the Hip
There are several correct ways to use the phrase ‘joined at the hip’ in the right way.
When someone is ‘joined at the hip’ with someone else, the phrase is used to imply emotional closeness between these mentioned people.
When someone is the opposite, or ‘not joined at the hip’ then the phrase implies that they are not as close.