People who live in glass houses should not throw stones

Discussion in 'Italian-English' started by uinni, Jun 27, 2006.

  1. uinni

    uinni Senior Member

    Italy, Italian
    I was surprised by this explanation of that phrase (in this post). I thought it meant (I heard it for the first time in the movie "A Summer Place") something like: "Those who feel/are guilty for something, should not criticize anybody", which is something quite different (and to me it sounds more consistent).

  2. fran06

    fran06 Senior Member

    Italian Italy
    Sono talmente d'accordo che alla domanda:

    io ho risposto:

  3. se16teddy

    se16teddy Senior Member

    English - England
    People who live in greenhouses (glass houses) are not typically more guilty or sinful than their neighbours. They are just likely to come off worse than people who live in brick houses if stone throwing starts.

    For this reason, I think that 'Let him that is without sin throw the first stone" has quite a different connotation than 'People who live in glass houses should not throw stones'.
  4. uinni

    uinni Senior Member

    Italy, Italian
    I do not understand if your comment is anyway in agreement with my interpretation of this saying.
    To me this phrase indeed means that if somebody is conscious of his/her sins, does not dare to criticize (the others for their ones).

  5. se16teddy

    se16teddy Senior Member

    English - England
    It is true that the expression is usually used to warn people with a moral fault against hypocrisy. However, I think that the essential characteristic of a person in a glass house is not that they are sinful, but that they are vulnerable. For example, if someone is a member of a disadvantaged racial group, and mocks someone else for being a member of a different disadvantaged racial group, a third person could say 'people in glass houses should not throw stones', even if that third person did not consider membership of a disadvantaged racial group to be a sin or fault.

    I think that the expression 'the pot calling the kettle black' is more about someone who is at fault criticizing another person who is at fault.
  6. Fedora

    Fedora Senior Member

    Ft. Worth, Texas, USA
    People Who Live In Glass Houses Should Not Throw Stones means don't criticize other people when you yourself have faults and weaknesses. Therefore, we should not say insulting things to other people because they could easily do the same thing to us. Source
  7. Marcone Senior Member

    Des Moines, IA
    USA English
    The concept is that if you live in a glass house and throw rocks at your neighbors you could destroy your own home. Be careful how you behave, because in trying to harm others you could bring trouble on yourself.
    Chi ha tegoli di vetro, non tiri sassi al vicino.

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