New Kid on the Block (Origin)

by Craig Shrives

What Is the Origin of the Saying "New Kid on the Block"?

The term "new kid on the block" means someone new to the group or area.
New kid on the block (Origin)

Examples of Use:

  • The new kid on the block was showing some potential in the office.
  • I've only been here for a month. I guess I'm the new kid on the block.
"New kid on the block" originates from the US in the 1940s. In most US cities, the buildings are sited on a grid system of roads, forming square or rectangular "city blocks."

On average, in New York, about 1,400 people live per block, but this changes drastically depending on whether the block is residential or commercial and on whether the count is carried out during the day or night. (For example, there are approximately 175,000 people per square mile in Manhattan during the day.)

Despite the number of people being so high for a "block," the connotation of this term is that the new person is noticed for being new. "New kid on the block" is now a synonym for a "newcomer" in any context.

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