Another nice Polish saying about freedom in ones own house "Wolnoć Tomku w swoim domku!" that is rather untranslateable but modern version of this quotation would be "[You've got] freedom Thomas in your own house!" that means "You can do Thomas whatever you want in your own house".

It comes straigth from the 19-th century Polish writer Aleksander Fredro fairytale called "Paweł i Gaweł". It's about two friends that were living together in one house. To make long story short they couldn't really cope with each other and when one rebuked another he replied "Wolnoć Tomku w swoim domku!" that is "[You've got] freedom Thomas in your own house!". Time has passed and this quotation has evolved into saying that means "That's my flat and I can do whatever I want and that's not your/ones business!".

Why Thomas? Don't ask me :-).

I'm very curious is there any similar thing in English.

- You're going to the garden in shorts only? Get your pants on, someone might see you.
- Oh really? [You've got] freedom Thomas in your own house!

  • I can't think of an English analog off the top of my head (though saying my house is your house to guests is clearly related), but the French have a related phrase (which I'm going to spell wrong): "a famee", which means you're allowed liberties among your family / in your home that you do not and can not enjoy in public / among strangers. Of course, there's also the Dad-ism: "Under my own damn roof, I do what I damn well want!".
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Mar 13, 2016 at 23:14
  • Colonder, would you say the main focus of the idiom is being able to do whatever you want, or what you do not being the other person's business? Commented Mar 13, 2016 at 23:15
  • 5
    Actually, would "My house, my rules" fit for this? Commented Mar 13, 2016 at 23:18
  • 1
    Me too! I can post that as an answer if you like, but I can't find a link that explains its meaning. It's one of those idioms that everyone just kind of "knows". Commented Mar 13, 2016 at 23:21
  • 7
    A man's home is his castle, so mind your own business. :)
    – CDM
    Commented Mar 13, 2016 at 23:22

7 Answers 7


There's a pretty simple idiom that would cover this saying, which is

My house, my rules.

Essentially it means that the person living there can do what they want/make what rules they want, and it's nobody else's business.


"You're going to the garden in shorts only? Get your pants on, someone might see you."

"Eh. My house, my rules." (goes pantsless)

  • 2
    I worry that the connotation is too close to my way or the highway in that it's an admonishment, not an affirmation.
    – stevesliva
    Commented Mar 14, 2016 at 4:41
  • @stevesliva That's a fair point, but I think the connotation is less admonishing if you make it clear in your tone that you're just saying it's up to you what happens in your house. +1 for your comment anyway. Commented Mar 14, 2016 at 10:43

My home is my castle

A man's home is his castle

People enjoy the position of rulers in their own homes, and others have no right to enter without the householder's permission.

Note : The legal doctrine “A man's home is his castle” is reflected in the Bill of Rights : “The right of the people to be secure in their ... houses ... against unreasonable searches and seizures shall not be violated.”


As the definition from dictionary.com states, a person has the privilege of a king or lord in their own castle.

There are even laws (castle docrine) in some US states that use this language to describe special cases of self/home defense.

It could also be used colloquially in the same situation as described in the original question. "I can stroll around the garden in my shorts, my home is my castle!"


"I am the boss in my house" is a broadly used expression to emphasize I am the one who is in charge. Your example:

  • You're going to the garden in shorts only? Get your pants on, someone might see you.
  • Oh really? I am the boss in my house. I can do whatever the hell I want.

Also, you could consider using the idiom call the shots which means:

Fig. to make the decisions; to decide what is to be done.

[McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs]

Your example:

  • You're going to the garden in shorts only? Get your pants on, someone might see you.
  • Oh really? Who is calling the shots in my house? I am!


"Oh yeah? Who's running the show here?"

to be in charge; to be in command.


behind closed doors

Prepositional phrase. behind closed doors. (idiomatic) In private; in one's private life; lacking (normal) public disclosure

What you do with your girlfriend behind closed doors is none of my business.

-- from wiktionary

I realize it doesn't work well for OP's specific 'going to the garden' example though I guess you could say something like :

You're going to _________? Get your pants on, someone might see you.
Oh really? It's none of your business what I do behind closed doors.

Progressives often say in a similar vein that "the government should stay out of the bedroom!"


If taken literally, “I/who wear/s the pants in this house./?” would be just as confusing (and sexist?) as the Polish saying would be if all the housemates were actually pants-wearing people named Thomas, but in its figurative sense, the English expression equates “wearing the pants” with “Exercis[ing] controlling authority in a household,” regardless of one’s gender or current outfit (just as I imagine the Polish original can apply to and be used by people named Sofia).

wear the pants
Exercise controlling authority in a household, as in
"Grandma wears the pants at our house."
This idiom, generally applied to women and dating from the mid-1500s, a time when they wore only skirts, equates pants with an authoritative and properly masculine role.
Originally put as wear the breeches, it remains in use despite current fashions.
(from ‘The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms’ by Christine Ammer, via ‘The Free Dictionary by Farlex’)


To each, his own - One has a right to one's personal preferences, as in, "I'd never pick that color, but to each his own."

Similar is whatever floats your boat.

  • This is more about personal preferences than it is about deciding what's permitted in your own house, so it doesn't really fit the requirement IMO. Commented Mar 14, 2016 at 10:44
  • @JohnClifford - OP's request was "any similar thing" not closest literal translation or metaphor that must involve a house. And you asked a clarifying question that did not list this requirement either.
    – stevesliva
    Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 3:44
  • That's a valid point. The downvote wasn't me btw. Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 7:20

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