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I've been living in the same house ever since my mama birthed me there. From preschool up through high school, you can say _____

I'm pretty sure I've read before poetic phrases along the lines of "his personal history is written in the walls and floorboards of this house he's lived here so long."

How to express in a succinct idiom that, because he's lived in one house for so long, the damage and messes he may have made as a kid may still remain, the smells will be his triggers for nostalgia, the house will never leave his memory, and the house can tell some of his memories?

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  • What is the subject of the statement that goes into your blank? The house? The person? Doesn't matter which?
    – TimR
    Commented Apr 2 at 12:26
  • @TimR it doesn't matter to me
    – minseong
    Commented Apr 2 at 13:43
  • You can say we're married. Commented Apr 2 at 13:45
  • Or childhood home, depending on context. (It's not necessarily a place you still live but might be.)
    – Stuart F
    Commented Apr 4 at 11:35
  • There is not. Even if you were Asking about either the history of a whole family or merely the history of one person, there would be no such idiom. Since the Question is about about both, at least doubly 'no'. Commented Apr 14 at 21:48

3 Answers 3

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Perhaps not poetic enough for you, but one idiom is

born and bred

Merriam-Webster has

used to refer to where one's birth and childhood took place

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  • 1
    No. Greatly hypernymic answers of this type are too imprecise for a site aimed at linguists; they belong on Writing,SE say. All the examples given in M-W refer to regions or settlements, as I suspected. Five Google hits for "born and bred in the family home". Commented Apr 2 at 11:21
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    @EdwinAshworth perhaps a question aking for an idiom meaning "because he's lived in one house for so long, the damage and messes he may have made as a kid may still remain, the smells will be his triggers for nostalgia, the house will never leave his memory, and the house can tell some of his memories" belongs there too. Commented Apr 2 at 11:23
  • There may be an answer which more specifically relates to OP's request. I usually go back and CV on 'too general / open to opinion' later if nothing is forthcoming with questions like this. Commented Apr 2 at 11:26
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You could say

That house is a part of me.

The idiom means something like you cannot tell where you end and the house begins. It's not just brick and mortar (or whatever it's physically made of) but an entity that has merged with your own in some mysterious way.

Compare this passage:

I looked out over the old river sliding past not so far down the bluff from my windows. The river was part of our town, an ageless part of the South, a part of the life of the farmers I work for, a part of home, and even a part of me, and I loved it.

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  • Again, this could refer to any number of things with a strong sentimental attachment. Commented Apr 2 at 16:04
  • @EdwinAshworth That it fits a number of things doesn't mean it doesn't fit. I don't see the relevance of your comment. An idiom request is not a "linguistics" question.
    – TimR
    Commented Apr 2 at 17:10
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My uncle called it his homeplace.

He would stop by once in a while just to walk around on his homeplace to relive memories and to feel home again, as they say. He loved it. It's not a passive or matter-of-fact word like residence, for example. It had not been his actual residence since about 1950, but it was his "homeplace" for life, in that respect.

It may be a bit old fashioned, I think, but it's easily understood and Merriam-Webster has a simple definition for it.

homeplace noun
: a family home or its location

The OED lists home place as an open compound noun.

The earliest known use of the noun home place is in the early 1500s.

OED's earliest evidence for home place is from before 1525, in the writing of John Irland, theologian.

Literal and figurative use of homeplace [placesjournal.org]:

Homeplace is a location and a domain, as well as a set of social and political characteristics of neighborhoods, towns, settlements, and landscapes in which cultural sovereignty and self-determination is possible.

—Andrea Roberts
University of Texas, Austin

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