Pot Calling the Kettle Black Idiom Meaning, Examples, Synonyms

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The idiom “pot calling the kettle black” means criticizing someone else for a fault that you possess yourself. It implies hypocrisy, where the accuser shares the same flaw they are pointing out in the other person. 

The idiom likely originates from the similarity in appearance between a blackened pot and a blackened kettle when they are heated over a fire. In olden times, both cooking utensils were often made of metal and would become black from soot during the cooking process. 

When one accused the other of being black, it was an ironic observation since they both suffered the same “blackness.”

Also Read: Hand in Hand, Meaning, Examples, Synonyms

Usage with Examples

Over time, the phrase gained metaphorical meaning, illustrating situations where someone denounces another for a fault that they are equally guilty of, exposing their own hypocrisy. 

Today, “pot calling the kettle black” remains a common idiom used to highlight double standards and to remind people to be self-aware of their own faults before pointing fingers at others.

Mentioned below are some examples where you can use the idiom Pot Calling the Kettle Black:

  • It’s ironic to hear Sarah criticize John’s punctuality when she’s always late herself—it’s like the pot calling the kettle black.
  • The politician accused his opponent of dishonesty during the debate, but it was a classic case of the pot calling the kettle black, as both had been involved in questionable dealings.
  • Jane called out her friend for being careless with money, but it was a case of the pot calling the kettle black, as Jane had a habit of overspending herself.

Also Read: Useful Idioms with Examples, Sentences, and Meanings

Synonyms and Similar Words to Pot Calling the Kettle Black

Mentioned below are some synonyms and related words to the pot calling the kettle black: 

  • Double standards
  • Two-faced
  • Hypocrisy

Pot Calling the Kettle Black Meaning Quiz

When the boss reprimanded the employees for their lack of teamwork, some felt it was the pot calling the kettle black, 

  • Given the manager’s reputation for micromanaging and not fostering collaboration.
  • Given that employees were never serious about their work.
  • They always hated their manager and found him irritating.

Answer: Given the manager’s reputation for micromanaging and not fostering collaboration

This was all about the idiom pot the kettle black meaning and examples. Hope you understood the concept where it’s used. For more such blogs, follow Leverage Edu.

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