Saturday, April 25, 2009

Cliché: the pot calling the kettle black

Meaning: in short, accusations of hypocrisy
Rewrite 1: the fire engine calling the barn red
Rewrite 2: the leopard calling the Dalmatian spotted
Rewrite 3: the emerald calling the coke bottle jaded
Rewrite 4: the yew calling the holly unruly

Rewrite 5: the spiked do calling the beard unkempt

Comment: It's easy enough to pick up the same sense by simply changing colors, but there are many other sense in which this cliche can work and in which you can extend the metaphor for seeing something in another person that you fail to see in yourself.

Check out the searchable
alphabetical list of my cliché rewrites with the archive list at the right.

Find books on clichés through my online book store affiliated with They can help you identify clichés and what they mean.


Anonymous said...

Please, please correct the grammar in this one:

"good things come to he who waits"

"TO HIM" Him is object of preposition; "who" is the subject of verb waits

Booksville Bookclub said...

Hi Anonymous. Thanks for the comment.
First, this is off topic for this cliche. Second, I use the cliches as I find them, and this use is how I found it. Further research shows multiple versions exist, although the original appears to be "...those who wait." Third, it is not uncommon to use the nominative "he" rather than the objective "him" in a construction such as this (see Merriam Wesbster's English Usage under "it's me" and "who, whom 1".) Had this been a simple statement like "good things come to him" it would be an easy case, but it isn't. Thus, I'm going to leave it as is. I can see why, if you were writing this blog, you would be tempted to change it, however. Alan

Anonymous said...

For a few hours I have been reading and looking for Cliché: the pot calling the kettle black and is amazing and disturbing how many blogs related to generic viagra are in the web. But anyways, thanks for sharing your inputs, they are really helpful.
Have a nice day