Black Sheep

Meaning and Usage

“Black sheep” is an idiomatic expression used to refer to a person who is considered to be the odd one out in a family or group. They are often seen as different or deviant from the rest of the group, and may be ostracized or rejected because of this.


  • “He’s the black sheep of the family. While everyone else went into business, he decided to become an artist.”
  • “She’s the black sheep of the team. She’s always challenging the status quo and coming up with new and innovative ideas.”
  • “They see me as the black sheep in the office because I don’t go out for drinks with them after work.”


The phrase “black sheep” is thought to have originated from the fact that black sheep were less valuable than white sheep because their wool could not be dyed. This made them less desirable to farmers, and they were often singled out and treated differently. Over time, the phrase began to be used metaphorically to describe people who were seen as outsiders or different from the norm.


  • outsider
  • misfit
  • rebel
  • nonconformist
  • oddball
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Professor Emeritus of Educational Leadership University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill at Camford Publishing
Founder of On the Horizon (camford publishing)and The Technology Source, and professor of education at North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Dr. Morrison is author and co-author of over 200 publications focusing on educational planning and using information technology tools.Dr. Morrison has delivered numerous conference presentations and workshops for associations such as EDUCAUSE, AAHE, the College Board and others.He has served as a planning consultant to a number of colleges, universities, university systems, community colleges, educational agencies and public agencies such as the U.S. Department of Labor, and Department of the Army.His consulting activities focus on assisting organizations to integrate information technology tools in teaching and management.

The title of his Speech is “The Future of Distance Learning.” Professor Morrison will describe the driving forces that will affect education and distance learning in this decade and will focus on the implications of these forces for education and distance learning
Dr. James Morrison
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