Pot Calling The Kettle Black: Meaning, Definition & Synonyms
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Meaning: Pot Calling The Kettle Black
Meaning: Being already at fault and making fun of another person for having the same fault. Also means hypocrisy.
The idiom “pot calling the kettle black” is used to describe a situation in which someone is criticizing someone else for a fault that they themselves share.
History: Pot Calling The Kettle Black
History dates back to the early 16th century. At that time, pots and kettles were made of cast iron. Cast iron turned black when exposed to heat. There is evidence of this idiom being used in the translation of Don Quixote by Thomas Shelton in 1620.
It is believed to be a reference to the fact that a pot that is boiling water will often become blackened from the smoke. So, when a pot criticizes a kettle for being black, it is really just pointing out its own flaws.
Pot Calling The Kettle Black Idiom Scenarios:
Here are some idiom scenarios for better understanding of the idiom: Pot Calling The Kettle Black:
John ( To Friend 2 and Friend 3) : Simon is a cheat. He is selling adulterated goods.
(Saying this Friend 1 leaves)
Friend 2: Is John true? Is Simon a cheat?
Friend 3: Oh! No! It is the pot calling the kettle black. John and Simon are doing the same thing.
Manager ( To his employees in the pantry) : My boss is a real terror. (Saying this he leaves)
Employee 1: How can our boss work under him?
Employee 2: What is our boss then? It is the pot calling the kettle black.
Mrs. Tina ( Complaining to Principal) : Mrs. Darcy’s son, Tom is very mischievous.
(Principal enquires about this)
Principal: Is Tom very mischievous?
Teacher: Oh! It is the pot calling the kettle black. Her son Jack is all the more prankish.
Pot Calling The Kettle Black Examples:
Go through the examples to understand the usage of the idiom:
- The finance ministry accusing the Home ministry of bribery is the pot calling the kettle black.
Lazy Joe is complaining about Michale’s laziness. It is the pot calling the kettle black.
Are you calling me rude? It is the pot calling the kettle black.
- Jane told Mark he was too talkative while she herself chatted away endlessly in social gatherings. It was like the pot calling the kettle black.
- Sarah accused her friend of being too lazy to exercise, conveniently forgetting her own lack of physical activity. It was a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black.
- The politician criticized his opponent for not being transparent, although he had his own history of concealing information. The pot was certainly calling the kettle black.
- John complained about his roommate’s messy habits, all while his side of the room was no better. It was the pot calling the kettle black.
- Amy told her sister to stop eating junk food, despite indulging in it herself. It was like the pot calling the kettle black.
- The coach scolded the players for not practicing enough, yet he was rarely seen at the training sessions. The pot was indeed calling the kettle black.
- Mike told his colleague to manage time better, though he was notorious for missing deadlines. The pot calling the kettle black at its finest.
- The teacher scolded the students for not paying attention, while she often seemed distracted during lessons. The pot was clearly calling the kettle black.
- Amanda criticized her coworker for being disorganized, yet her desk was cluttered with papers and files. The pot calling the kettle black in the office.
Pot Calling The Kettle Black Exercise:
Instructions: Complete the following sentences by filling in the blanks with the appropriate form of the idiom “pot calling the kettle black.”
- Susan criticized her friend’s spending habits, but she’s always buying things she doesn’t need herself. It’s like __________.
- The manager reprimanded the employee for being late, even though he himself arrives after everyone else. It’s a clear case of the __________.
- Jake told his sister she talks too much, but he’s the one who never stops talking. It’s definitely a situation of the __________.
- The teacher scolded the students for not paying attention, but she often daydreams during class. It’s the __________.
- Sarah accused her coworker of being unhelpful, yet she’s the first one to avoid assisting others. It’s a classic example of the __________.
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