Why do we say "The pot calling the kettle black.

Well-Known Expressions

The pot calling the kettle black

Meaning:

A reference to people who accuse others of things that they are also guilty of.

Background:

This expression is usually used in response to an accusation that the accused feels applies equally well to the accuser, for example:
“You should have started your homework by now”
“That’s the pot calling the kettle black, you haven’t even started yours!”

An early use of the expression can be found in Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes: "Said the pot to the kettle, get away black-face!"

Alphabetical list of expressions

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