Joined at the hip and attached at the hip are idioms that refer to two individuals so close to one another that they are practically one person. This can mean they are close physically, emotionally, or philosophically.
Idioms, like as joined at the hip, are words that initially had a literal meaning but have evolved over the years to carry a figurative connotation. They are used to help explain or add detail to sentences, and learning what they mean can help you improve your English language skills.
This article explores the idiom’s meaning, related terms and phrases, origins, and different contexts for its usage. There is even a quiz at the end to test your knowledge. So continue reading to discover how to incorporate this idiom into your everyday speech and writing.
What Does the Idiom Joined at the Hip Mean?
The idiom joined at the hip means two people who are extremely close, spending a lot of time together and having a strong, inseparable bond or connection.
Merriam-Webster says that it is “used to describe two people who are often or usually together.” Similarly, Collins Dictionary explains that “if two people are joined at the hip, they are very close to each other emotionally and they spend a great deal of time together.”
In addition, it can describe close friends, siblings, romantic partners, or any two individuals who share an exceptionally strong or inseparable relationship.
Variations of the Idiom
Here are some variations of the idiom joined at the hip that you may come across:
- Attached at the hip
- Joined at the hipbone
- Attached at the hip joint
- Joined at the hip and heart
- Joined at the hip and mind
How Is Joined at the Hip Commonly Used in Context?
Idiomatic phrases are best used when they have the proper context included within the sentence in which they are found. Consider the different ways you can use joined at the hip in order to best utilize it within your material.
What Are the Different Ways to Use Joined at the Hip?
These examples demonstrate how the idiom can be applied to emphasize the strength and unity of the bond between individuals.
- Friendship or companionship: “They’re joined at the hip; you rarely see one without the other.”
- Romantic relationships: “Since they started dating, they’ve been joined at the hip, attending events together.”
- Teammates: “On the field, they play like they’re joined at the hip, anticipating each other’s moves.”
- Close siblings or family: “Growing up, they were joined at the hip, sharing secrets and adventures.”
- Work partners: “In the office, they’re joined at the hip, collaborating on every project.”
Where Can You Find Examples of Joined at the Hip?
The idiom joined at the hip is commonly used in various contexts to express a close and inseparable relationship between two individuals or entities. Examples of its use are commonly seen in:
- Movies and TV shows
- News articles and interviews
- Conversations and everyday language
- Online sources
The following examples highlight where the term has been used online in reporting and gossip columns:
- Joined at the hip as the two appear to have instantly become, not everyone seems moved by them being together and seemingly growing closer by the minute. (The Inquistr)
- The Seahawks and Packers have seemingly been attached at the hip ever since the infamous Fail Mary game back in 2012, when replacement referees awarded a touchdown to the Seahawks even though every replay showed Green Bay coming down with the ball. (USA Today)
What Are Some Tips for Using Joined at the Hip Effectively?
Using the idiom joined at the hip effectively can improve communication by indicating a strong sense of closeness or dependence. These tips can help you use this idiom effectively:
- Understand the context: Be mindful of the situation or conversation in which you plan to use the idiom.
- Use descriptive language: When using the idiom, provide additional context or description to emphasize the nature of the relationship.
- Consider the audience: Gauge the familiarity and understanding to provide a brief explanation or use the idiom in a context that clarifies its meaning.
- Be consistent with tone: Maintain a consistent tone that aligns with the context.
- Support with examples: If appropriate, provide specific examples that illustrate the close connection between the individuals or entities you are referring to.
What Is the Origin of the Idiom Joined at the Hip?
The idiom joined at the hip is assumed to stem from the phenomenon of conjoined twins, formerly known as Siamese twins. Many have tried to tie this idiom to a specific set of conjoined twins, such as the most famous pair, Chang and Eng Bunker, who lived in the 1800s. However, not only were the Bunkers joined at the chest and not the hip, but they are also far removed from the time period in which the idiom was first used, even though they toured in America.
On the other hand, some say that it’s more likely that Daisy and Violet Hilton, British conjoined twins, were the actual origins of the expression. Truly joined at the hip in birth, the twins toured the US in vaudeville and freak shows through the 1920s and 1930s.
One of the earliest printed records is from the Pasadena Star-News in March 1963:
- The two organizations were so closely knit … they were practically joined at the hip.
How Did the Idiom Evolve Over Time?
Over time, the idiom joined at the hip continues to provide the imagery of two individuals being so close as to do everything together. Just like conjoined twins are forced to be with one another continuously, the expression is used figuratively to indicate the physical and/or emotional connection between two individuals.
What Are Some Related Terms to Joined at the Hip?
To best understand the use of joined at the hip, take a look at its synonyms and antonyms to help provide more context.
- Inseparable duo
- As thick as thieves
- Tightly bonded
- Unbreakable bond
- Hand in glove
- Inextricably linked
- Like two peas in a pod
Joined At The Hip: Test Your Knowledge!
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What does the idiom “joined at the hip” mean?CorrectIncorrect
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The idiom joined at the hip figuratively explains the closeness two individuals share in friendship, work, and/or play. It infers that they do almost everything together and get along better than most people.
It is assumed that the expression comes from the literal joining at the hip some conjoined twins share, forcing them to live a life attached to one another when separation is impossible.
Today, the phrase describes different types of relationships and collaborations where individuals are closely connected, inseparable, and dependent on each other.