to keep up with the Joneses

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - keep up with the Joneses

"to keep up with the Joneses"

to always buy or do what your friends and neighbors buy or do in order to seem as good as them and, also, to avoid looking poor or old-fashioned


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - keep up with the Joneses

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  Our competitors have just added a new innovation to their app.

Colleague 2:  I've seen it. It is useless. It is just a shiny new addition that does not really add any value.

Colleague 1:  Don't you think we should respond with our own addition?

Colleague 2:  Only if it has value, not if it is only keeping up with the Joneses.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - keep up with the Joneses

A couple are talking ...

Wife:  Dave and Trudy just bought a new luxury car. I am sure that at our next dinner party, they will find an opportunity to mention how well they are doing and how nice their new car is. We will look like we are not doing as well as they are.

Husband:  So, even though you have a beautiful car that is only a year old, you want to buy a new car just to keep up with the Joneses?

Wife:  Appearances are everything. Do you want to lose social status?

to keep up with the Joneses - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   412   click for frequency by country

to keep up with the Joneses - Gerund Form:

Keeping up with the Joneses can cost a lot of money.

to keep up with the Joneses - Examples:

1)  ... can be put to good use elsewhere. People trying to keep up with the Joneses who, by the way, are broke already.

2)  ... and lavish weddings, but everyone is trying to keep up with the Joneses. There are those who even go into debt to maintain the lifestyle.

3)  To keep up with the Joneses, households bridged the gap between income and desired living standard with debt.

4)  Being able to afford gifts, feeling like one has to keep up with the Joneses and buying really lavish gifts that perhaps they can't afford, ...

5)  Jeff tries to keep up with the Joneses by getting his hands on a new holiday laser light projector. 

6)  ... drive and ambition. Do not half-kill yourself trying to keep up with the Joneses, do not also worry yourself if the Joneses turn around to jeer at you.

7)  Peer pressure is high and there is a great propensity to keep up with the Joneses. They do not baulk at spending $2,000 on a pram.

8)  ... not have money. Therefore, the temptation to steal to keep up with the Joneses and win the admiration of the society becomes immense.

9)  ... towards money and riches, the compulsion to show off to keep up with the Joneses, and the cultural obsession with "respect". 

10)  The greatest motivation for gardening is to keep up with the Joneses and have the best garden in the street (57%).

11)  People trust each other less, there's more emphasis on keeping up with the Joneses, resulting in an increase in feelings of alienation and isolation.

12)  ... buy the latest and the best. Christmas is not about keeping up with the Joneses, if anything it is about sitting back, relaxing and enjoying what is already ...

13)  ... who discovered it doesn't take much to go from keeping up with the Joneses to struggling to keep a roof over your head.

14)  ... products knowingly, an act inspired by the notion of 'keeping up with the Joneses'. I have bought 2-3 such products, driven by my urge ...

15)  ... value people by, so we never had the ethos of keeping up with the Joneses ever in our house.

16)  ... often leads to bad decisions. The whole concept of 'keeping up with the Joneses' is based on jealousy. 

17)  Please be beautiful people, and remember it's not about keeping up with the Joneses, having the biggest house, most expensive car, the largest bank account, ...

18)  ... is a symmetry to such battles. Each side plays at keeping up with the Joneses, contending I am more war-like than you. It is ritual behaviour seen in ...

19)  ... the internet and social media has helped fuel a keeping up with the Joneses mindset which has rubbed off on to the younger generation.

20)  ... an unspoken need to keep up. People call it "keeping up with the Joneses" or "being trendy." It is peer pressure, plain and simple.