The scenario: A kid in the park in front of the water fountain and he's misusing it and leaving it open so an old man approaches him and says : could you close the tap please .. this is not your dad's water .... Which means he should save water because it's for everybody and the kid is acting as if he's in his own house . So what sarcastic idiom in English can be used instead of "this is not your dad's water"???

  • Maybe the only difference is that dad isn't paying for the water in the park.The kid has every right to use the water same as the public in general. The real issue is that the kid is wasting it, which isn't mentioned.
    – user3169
    Jan 28, 2018 at 23:02
  • Yeah .. that was my point .. the truth is I needed this idiom for a short movie about wasting water .. In my country people tend to worry about the money they have to pay .. They don't plan ahead of time.. they just have kids and throw them in the streets "metaphorically speaking" because they believe God will take care of their needs including water .. Jan 29, 2018 at 10:47
  • This is context that should be added to your question.
    – user3169
    Jan 29, 2018 at 18:33
  • It's usually said of wasted money, and doesn't really suit the exact context where what's being wasted is water, but It doesn't grow on trees, you know is an idiomatic standard reprimand for wastefulness. Feb 2 at 12:05

1 Answer 1


There's really no direct idiom for this specific scenario. There are two related sarcastic English idiomatic expressions, though.

A: Could you clean those dishes off the table for me (or some other chore)?
B: Do it yourself. I'm not your mother.

Close the door when you enter a room! Were you born in a barn?

The first implies that it's rude to ask other people to do things for you (unless they're your parent). The second implies that the person has not learned good manners, like closing something they opened, or putting away something they took out.

As for your example, we would probably tell the child not to waste water, perhaps something like:

This isn't your own house! Turn that off and stop wasting water.

Since I live in California, where we always have a water shortage, this sounds a little strange because it implies wasting water is OK when you're at home. We Californians tend to react when we see water being wasted anywhere, even in other people's homes.

  • Although it's of personal interest to learn that "otousan no X dewa nai" is a Japanese idiom. Is that how it is expressed?
    – Andrew
    Jan 28, 2018 at 18:15
  • Well thank u .. and you are right ... actually my whole society is strange when it comes to water . Jan 28, 2018 at 18:50

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