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Can somebody please help me by giving an English idiom or proverb equivalent for:

If everybody is doing it, I will also do it.

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    There are many, many possibilities. Please can you give a sentence that shows precisely how you wish to use the expression? If possible give an example sentence with a gap where the phrase should go. Otherwise you will simply get a string of guesses and you won't know whether they will fit with your context. – chasly from UK Nov 5 '15 at 12:32
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    I'll give the famous example from Catch-22 - Q: "Suppose everyone thought the same way you do?" A: "Then I'd be a damn fool to think any different." – JHCL Nov 5 '15 at 13:02
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    Perhaps of interest to some: the psychological phenomenon of doing what others are doing often arises due to diffusion of responsibility, a.k.a. groupthink, where a person in a crowd feels less responsible for his actions since he is not singled out as a significant actor. This can result in mob rule and vigilantism. – ErikE Nov 5 '15 at 21:44
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    I've heard something along the lines of '2 million people can't be wrong, right?' but I don't have any other info to make a full answer. – Faraz Masroor Nov 6 '15 at 0:30
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    A clarification might be needed. Are you talking about some individual's desire or natural instinct to follow the crowd? Or are you talking about the necessity (or advisable behavior) to do what others do/to blend in? Or are you talking about unavoidable consequence of living among "everybody" and gradually becoming "just like them" regardless of whether one wants to? – AnT Nov 6 '15 at 3:38

13 Answers 13

54

"When in Rome," short for "When in Rome, do as the Romans do," could work. It expresses the notion of doing what everyone else does, though it perhaps more justifies than describes such a situation.

  • +1 it sounds like the asker wants something where the person feels their following the crowd is the right thing to do, and this is good for that – user56reinstatemonica8 Nov 6 '15 at 17:47
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The two phrases that spring to mind are "follow the crowd" and "jump on the bandwagon".

follow the crowd: to do what everyone else is doing; go along with the majority; do what most others are doing

I am an independent thinker. I could never just follow the crowd.
When in doubt, I follow the crowd. At least I don't stand out like a fool.

jump on the bandwagon: to support something that is popular

Publishers jumped on the CD-ROM bandwagon even though they didn't know if they could sell CD-ROMs.

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    But in simple everyday parlance it would be I'll go along with the rest. – WS2 Nov 5 '15 at 13:02
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    It's worth noting that "follow the crowd" is fairly neutral, while "jump on the bandwagon" is somewhat negative, it implies a grasping desperation to do the popular thing, bask in reflected glory or jump on a passing trend. If you want to make "follow the crowd" more negative, try "follow the herd", which makes it more docile and unthinking. If you want to make it positive, you could try something like "follow the wisdom of the crowd" – user56reinstatemonica8 Nov 6 '15 at 17:43
  • Monkey see, Monkey do – Anthony Pham Nov 7 '15 at 15:01
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Consider, go with the flow and follow the herd.

go with the flow: also, go with the tide. Move along with the prevailing forces, accept the prevailing trend, as in Rather than striking out in new directions, I tend to go with the flow, or Pat isn't particularly original; she just goes with the tide. The flow in the first and more colloquial term, which dates from the late 1900s, alludes to the ebb and flow of tides and probably gained currency because of its appealing rhyme. The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms

: to do what most other people are doing or agree with their opinions Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms

follow the herd: to do what other people do McMillan Dictionary

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    +1 it sounds like the asker wants something that portrays the crowd-following in a positive way, and "go with the flow" is a good option there – user56reinstatemonica8 Nov 6 '15 at 17:45
  • +1, and i would like to add that i often hear "i'm easy going" too. – bunyaCloven Nov 8 '15 at 15:13
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Two idioms often used in English are like lemmings and like sheep

The Cambridge Dictionary defines like lemmings as

in a ​silly way, without ​thinking, and in ​large ​numbers: People ​rushed like ​lemmings to ​invest in the ​company.

One of Oxford Dictionary Online's definition of sheep is

A person who is too easily influenced or led: the party members had become sheep, and she refused to be taken in

Both of these terms are highly negative.

Similarly, the phrases herd mentality and run with the pack suggest going along with a group, often in a blind, conforming way.

A common parental challenge to a child who wishes to do what everyone else is doing is if all your friends jumped off a bridge, would you do it too? (Uncyclopedia)

(The usual response is silence, not to be confused with agreement that the parent is correct.)

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Herd Mentality or Mob Mentality

Herd Mentality, or Mob Mentality, describes how people are influenced by their peers to adopt certain behaviors, follow trends, and/or purchase items. Examples of the herd mentality include stock market trends, superstition and home décor

  • Also known as "groupthink".. n_n – voices Nov 6 '15 at 0:59
  • It's worth mentioning that all of these (including groupthink) are very negative terms. You'd be unlikely to explain your own actions as being "herd mentality" or similar unless you were at least partially ashamed of them and wanted to distance yourself (e.g. "why did you dress like that when you were a teenager?" or "why did you loot that shop?") – user56reinstatemonica8 Nov 6 '15 at 17:51
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I like to say "all the cool kids are doing it"

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    This post would be improved by explaining why you suggest this term, for example, by providing a dictionary definition or examples in the wild. I encourage you take the site tour and review the help center for additional guidance. – Nathaniel is protesting Nov 5 '15 at 16:33
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What you're describing may be peer pressure.

  • @A.P. That should be an answer! -- YOINK! -- – InfernalRapture Nov 5 '15 at 23:09
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Consider "Follow Suit"

  1. Games To play a card of the same suit as the one led.
  2. To do as another has done; follow an example.

http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/follow-suit

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    This doesn't imply "everybody else" or "majority". You can follow suit by following one man's example. – A.P. Nov 6 '15 at 8:01
  • True, but it is definitely taking a cue based solely on precedent. It may suit the OP's need. – InfernalRapture Nov 6 '15 at 14:46
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You could consider Paul Simon’s line “Who am I to blow against the wind?,” but for me (and the linked Genius[dot]com annotation), “blowing against the wind” connotes more a feeling of ‘doing something that is futile’ than one of ‘doing something different from everyone else.’

However, combining the “Who am I to …” part of Simon’s line with an idiom that better captures the notion of doing the opposite of [most] other people (e.g., “go/swim against the tide” [which is, I've just noticed, the negative version of an answer already given by Elian]) would, I think, capture the notion that you’re describing:

Who am I to go/{swim} against the tide?

(example of usage from ‘Confessions of an S & M Virgin’ by Linda Jaivin via Google Books)

go/swim against the tide:

to do the opposite of what most other people are doing It's not easy to go against the tide in defence of your principles. (sometimes + of ) He always seemed to be swimming against the tide of public opinion.

(from Cambridge Idioms Dictionary, 2nd ed. Via ‘The Free Dictionary’)

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"Keeping up with the Joneses" is another way of saying it.

see this link for more information https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keeping_up_with_the_Joneses

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    I think this only really applies to the acquisition of material goods and status. You wouldn't describe, say, dropping litter on an already badly littered street as "keeping up with the Joneses". – David Richerby Nov 6 '15 at 12:53
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Consider "to run with the world":

to do what is popular, follow the crowd.

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(Google Books)

In addition, there's a well-known phrase "Fifty million Frenchmen can't be wrong" that can also be used to justify going along with the crowd through an appeal to majority. It can also be adapted to fit the situation, e.g. A gazillion of Elvis fans can't be wrong.

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    I'm in my mid-40's and I've never once heard the expression "run with the world". [Edit: Until now.] – Tim Ward Nov 5 '15 at 15:34
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Monkey see. Monkey do! AT least, that's the one that comes to my simple mind first.

  • Welcome to EL&U.This post would be improved by explaining why you suggest this term, for example, by providing a dictionary definition or examples in the wild. I encourage you take the site tour and review the help center for additional guidance. – Nathaniel is protesting Nov 6 '15 at 15:14
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10,000,000 people can't be wrong! (Substitute 10,000,000 for whatever suitably large number you choose.) Admittedly, this can be used for other cases, where people just believe a thing, rather than do a thing, but it works that way too.

(Mind you, I believe that it's absolutely possible for 10,000,000 people to be wrong, but that's beside the point.)

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