A pot calls the kettle black

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  • Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    In the olden days kettles and cooking pots both became black from being used over the open fire. 'To call' means to 'accuse' or 'blame', in this saying. The saying means that somebody is accusing/blaming another of something the accuser is equally guilty/blameworthy of.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    It is used in this situation:

    A criticizes B about some specific flaw that B has.
    But A has the same flaw, even worse than B.
    So we think A should not criticize B about this flaw.

    A is the pot, B is the kettle.
     
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