Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 15
  1. #1
    jaylowe is offline Newbie
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    3
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Wrongdoer accusing others first

    Dear all,

    I wonder if there's such an idiom that describes a wrongdoer accusing others first, so as to shift the attention.

    thanks

  2. #2
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    5,099
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Wrongdoer accusing others first

    Try finger-pointing - Definition of finger-pointing, point the finger at - Idioms - by the Free Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.

    The wrongdoer tries to get away with his wrongdoing by blaming others. He points fingers, but his hands aren't clean. (Bob Marley paraphrased).

    "Deflect blame" means this, but I wouldn't call it an idiom.
    Last edited by birdeen's call; 09-Apr-2011 at 12:57.

  3. #3
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    15,332
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Wrongdoer accusing others first

    Ther's a saying that nearly fits, but it's about someone 'pointing the finger' at someone else when s/he's not perfect him/herself: 'Let not the pot call the kettle black'. (The archaic 'let not' is often avoided by oblique reference, such as: 'Pots and kettles spring to mind.)

    In such cases of hypocrisy it's also not uncommon to use a biblical reference to The Mote and the Beam - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia .

    In cricket there's a specific case of finger-pointing to hide one's own error. When a bowler bowls what he tinks may be a 'wide' he sometimes appeals for an LBW (Leg Before Wicket) dismissal, hoping that the umpire will be distracted and not call the wide - thinking 'if the bowler thought it was LBW it can't have been wide'. But there is no special term for this; it is just 'kiddology' or 'gamesmanship'.

    b

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    41,642
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Wrongdoer accusing others first

    We could use "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone", which comes from the Bible, but can be used to imply that those making the accusations are not themselves innocent.

  5. #5
    freezeframe is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    2,113
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Wrongdoer accusing others first

    preemptive strike

    "shift the blame/attention" can work

  6. #6
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    15,332
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Wrongdoer accusing others first

    Quote Originally Posted by freezeframe View Post
    preemptive strike

    ...
    A variation of 'preemptive strike' was used of the glorious Welsh RU team in the '70s; they liked to 'get their retaliation in first'.

    b
    Last edited by BobK; 09-Apr-2011 at 16:58.

  7. #7
    freezeframe is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    2,113
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Wrongdoer accusing others first

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    A variation of 'preemptive strike' was used of the glorious Welsh RU team in the '70s; they liked to 'get their retaliation in first'.

    b

    Awesome! I'll have to use that phrase now!

    Thanks!

  8. #8
    jaylowe is offline Newbie
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    3
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Wrongdoer accusing others first

    Thank you so much for all your replies!

  9. #9
    SanMar's Avatar
    SanMar is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    554
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Wrongdoer accusing others first

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Ther's a saying that nearly fits, but it's about someone 'pointing the finger' at someone else when s/he's not perfect him/herself: 'Let not the pot call the kettle black'. (The archaic 'let not' is often avoided by oblique reference, such as: 'Pots and kettles spring to mind.)

    b
    Often I'll say and hear "Well isn't/aint that the pot calling the kettle black!" but I'm not sure if it's as popular as it once was. Same meaning as above.

    Not a teacher.

  10. #10
    JMurray is offline Key Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Interested in Language
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • New Zealand
      • Current Location:
      • Australia
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    1,630
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Wrongdoer accusing others first

    BobK: (The archaic 'let not' is often avoided by oblique reference, such as: 'Pots and kettles spring to mind.)

    Yes, this saying is very ingrained. I've seen people just raise their eyebrows and say "pot kettle".

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. An accusing finger
    By PINKGREAT in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-Mar-2007, 10:13

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Hotchalk