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  1. #1
    patran is offline Member
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    Default Idiom close to "The pot calling the kettle black"

    Dear Teachers

    For example, if I am a racist, but I want to hide my misdeed, so I call another person racist instead (in fact, he is NOT a racist), using my sophistry to mislead the other people to think that the other person is a racist instead.

    Is there any English expression or idioms to describe such behavior? "The pot calling the kettle black" seems to be describing both of us are "racists" rather than I make up unwarranted accusation.

    Please advise

    Regards

    Anthony the learner

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Idiom close to "The pot calling the kettle black"

    I trust that you understand that "the pot calling the kettle black" has absolutely nothing to do with racism.

    As far as your scenario is concerned, am I correct in saying that you want an idiom for diverting the attention/blame for something away from yourself and onto another person?
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  3. #3
    patran is offline Member
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    Default Re: Idiom close to "The pot calling the kettle black"

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I trust that you understand that "the pot calling the kettle black" has absolutely nothing to do with racism.

    As far as your scenario is concerned, am I correct in saying that you want an idiom for diverting the attention/blame for something away from yourself and onto another person?
    Yes EMSR. Because there is a Chinese saying that, the person who accuses others (usually no evidence) of some misdeed/wrongdoing, is actually the person who has done that kind of misdeed. Eg, when someone accuses another person of being a racist, there is a high chance that the accuser is actually a racist, and the accused is not....

    Thanks

  4. #4
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    Barb_D is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: Idiom close to "The pot calling the kettle black"

    I don't have an idiom for you but want to make sure you know that your scenario is NOT right for the pot/kettle one. That is used when both have the fault, or at least the person saying the thing believes it's true that the other person has that fault, but the "accuser" seems unaware of the irony of pointing out the fault in the other.

    It would be like me complaining that 5jj makes a lot of typos.

    I don't think we have a handy idiom for your scenario this in our culture because it's so transparent and should be easy to prove the false nature if the claim. In psychology it's called projection.

    The only example is the harmless and amusing attempt to lay blame for passing gas on another when you could retort, "He who smelt it dealt it."
    Last edited by Barb_D; 03-Jul-2013 at 12:07.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Idiom close to "The pot calling the kettle black"

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    It would be like me complaining that 5jj makes a lot of typos.
    Htat wuould inded be the top calling the kattle blak.

  6. #6
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Idiom close to "The pot calling the kettle black"

    Quote Originally Posted by patran View Post
    Yes EMSR. Because there is a Chinese saying that, the person who accuses others (usually no evidence) of some misdeed/wrongdoing, is actually the person who has done that kind of misdeed. Eg, when someone accuses another person of being a racist, there is a high chance that the accuser is actually a racist, and the accused is not....

    Thanks
    Barb is right that "projection" is the best term for this.

    This concept is not unique to China. There is a local talk show host who often states that if you want to know what a politician is up to, you need to listen to what he is accusing his political enemies of.

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Idiom close to "The pot calling the kettle black"


  8. #8
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    Default Re: Idiom close to "The pot calling the kettle black"

    Schoolchildren in Canada have an idiom that has a similar meaning (regarding flatulence): "The one who smelt it, dealt it." I'm not sure if this is very helpful here.

  9. #9
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: Idiom close to "The pot calling the kettle black"

    Another schoolyard taunt (that is specific neither to racists nor to flatulence) is 'It takes one to know one'.

    b

  10. #10
    PaulTe is offline Just Joined
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    Default Re: Idiom close to "The pot calling the kettle black"

    Here is a definition of the idiom on You Tube!

    Idiom: THE POT CALLING THE KETTLE BLACK - YouTube

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