Like the Pot calling the Kettle Black

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Andrew___

Senior Member
Hello,

May I ask what is the closest Arabic proverb which corresponds to the English proverb: "That's like the pot calling the kettle black!".

We use this phrase when someone accuses someone else of something, whereas they are the ones who are most guilty of the particular fault!" :rolleyes:
 
  • djara

    Senior Member
    Tunisia Arabic
    الجمل لا يرى حدبته The camel doesn't see his own hump. (hump, in this case being considered as a defect)
    In Tunisian Arabic we have a saying جزار يعضم على مراقزي that could be literally translated as "the butcher blaming the sausage maker".
     

    psxws

    Senior Member
    Spanish-Venezuela, English-United States
    Is there a proverb in Lebanon that roughly translates to "if the camel could see his own hump, he'd fall to the ground in shame"?
    because I've found a page in Spanish that claims that it's a Lebanese proverb
     

    djara

    Senior Member
    Tunisia Arabic
    Off topic, of course, but here is an MSA equivalent: الجمل لو رأى حدبته لوقع وفك رقبته If the camel were to see his hump, he would collapse and break his neck.
     

    Haroon

    Senior Member
    Arabic-Egypt
    من كان بيته من زجاج فلا يقذف الناس بالحجارة !!!
    there are more but I ca't recall them now .
     

    Josh_

    Senior Member
    U.S., English
    I don't think من كان بيته من زجاج فلا يقذف الناس بالحجارة is a good equivalent for "the pot calling the kettle black." It is very similar to the English proverb "Those who live in glass houses should not throw rocks." True, both proverbs have similar ideas, but they are applied differently.

    Anyway, in a proverb book I have it lists a few Arabic equivalents for this English proverb:

    عَيَّرَ بُخَيرٌ بُخَرَة
    (Apparently this is an older one and my not be in use anymore.)

    رَمَتني بدائها وانْسَلَّت
    (Doing a google search this appears to be the most common.
    The first return listed this as the meaning:
    هو مثل يضرب لمن يعير صاحبه بعيب هو فيه، فيلقي عيبه على الناس ويتهمهم به، ويُخرج نفسه من الموضوع، ...)

    جَرْقاءُ عيّابة
    (أي لا تحسن عملها ومع ذلك تعيب عمل غيرها.)

    عندكِ وَهيٌ فارْقَعيه
    (الوهي هو الشق في الثوب، ومعنى المثل "بك عيب وأنت تعيبين غيرك.")


    طحّان يُغيِّر على كلّاس
     

    zooz

    Senior Member
    Arabic & Syrian Arabic
    Andrew, took me a while but I think I finally nailed it down :)

    ضربَني وبَكَى، سَبَقَنِي واشتَكَى

    It is fairly used in Syria, but I'm not sure if it is the case elsewhere.

    Now to get Josh's.........
     

    Andrew___

    Senior Member
    Andrew, took me a while but I think I finally nailed it down :)

    ضربَني وبَكَى، سَبَقَنِي واشتَكَى

    It is fairly used in Syria, but I'm not sure if it is the case elsewhere.

    Now to get Josh's.........
    Thanks Zooz.

    May I ask what your phrase literally means? My attempt is: "He hit me and he cried, he preceeded me and he complained".

    Does سبقني indicate something like he took the better position/seat/food/took precedence over me etc, and then complained about it?

    Many thanks and apologies for my confusion, but I am hungry to better understand this language.
     

    djara

    Senior Member
    Tunisia Arabic
    Andrew, took me a while but I think I finally nailed it down :)

    ضربَني وبَكَى، سَبَقَنِي واشتَكَى

    It is fairly used in Syria, but I'm not sure if it is the case elsewhere.

    Now to get Josh's.........
    The way I understand it, this saying (also used in Tunisia) does not correspond to the original which does not carry the slightest notion of aggression whereas "yours" is about the aggressor claiming he was aggressed. It conveys a different type of hypocrisy.
     

    Andrew___

    Senior Member
    I don't think من كان بيته من زجاج فلا يقذف الناس بالحجارة is a good equivalent for "the pot calling the kettle black." It is very similar to the English proverb "Those who live in glass houses should not throw rocks." True, both proverbs have similar ideas, but they are applied differently.
    Thinking about this some more, I think that the only difference between these two proverbs (glass houses vs black kettle) is that the "glass houses" proverb is always referring to someone doing/saying something nasty about someone else.

    Whereas the "black kettle" proverb does not usually have the nasty element attached to it. For example, I could use this proverb in the context of someone saying "He is sooo serious", when the person saying it is also serious! Accusing someone of being serious is fairly neutral, it is not nasty.

    If the person said "He is very incompetent!", then the "glass houses" proverb is more fitting.
     

    Wadi Hanifa

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    رَمَتني بدائها وانْسَلَّت
    (Doing a google search this appears to be the most common.
    The first return listed this as the meaning: [/FONT]هو مثل يضرب لمن يعير صاحبه بعيب هو فيه، فيلقي عيبه على الناس ويتهمهم به، ويُخرج نفسه من الموضوع، ...)


    Yes this is the one I know.
     

    zooz

    Senior Member
    Arabic & Syrian Arabic
    May I ask what your phrase literally means? My attempt is: "He hit me and he cried, he preceeded me and he complained".

    Does سبقني indicate something like he took the better position/seat/food/took precedence over me etc, and then complained about it?
    Right on!

    سبقني here simply means he went before me.

    The way I understand it, this saying (also used in Tunisia) does not correspond to the original which does not carry the slightest notion of aggression whereas "yours" is about the aggressor claiming he was aggressed. It conveys a different type of hypocrisy.
    First off, you're taking the saying too literally. Second, take a good look at what Andrew wrote in the first post:

    We use this phrase when someone accuses someone else of something, whereas they are the ones who are most guilty of the particular fault!" :rolleyes:
     
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