This English idiom is used principally in the United States and is less frequently heard in other English speaking countries. To find out more about when is appropriate to use it and where it comes from, keep reading!
The expression is used in order to describe a new arrival. It generally relates to a young person who would be described as “the new kid on the block” if they have just moved to a new neighbourhood or school.
The expression has it’s origin in the United States. It was first used in the 1940s in the Skippy cartoon comic book which reads “The new kid on the block told me that the next time he saw you he was goin’ to twist your nose.”
Since this first usage the expression has been widely used. However, it is a very informal expression and therefore it is more commonly used in conversational language and less often found in written texts.
An example of the expression in use can be found in the title of a 2015 New York Times article. The article is titled “In Curry Hill, A New Kid on the Block.” In this article the expression is used less literally to express the opening of a new restaurant. This is another way in which the expression can be used in a more abstract fashion.