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The pot calling the kettle black

刊登日期: 2018.11.30
作者: Grace Tse  

The kitchen is the heart of the home because this is the place for the family to prepare and cook food. What do you think are the essential cooking utensils in the kitchen? Most of you might name woks, frying pans and pots. Then what does it mean when the pot is calling the kettle black?

My brother always criticises me as a game addict. He sounds like the pot calling the kettle black because he also loves computer games.

The saying “the pot calling the kettle black” (五十步笑百步)is used to describe someone who accuses another person of a fault while he or she has the same

fault. Its original idea comes from Thomas Shelton’s 1620 translation of “Don Quixote” (《唐吉訶德》), a Spanish novel written by Miguel de Cervantes.

“You are like what is said that the frying- pan said to the kettle, ‘Avant, black-browes’ [‘Go away, blackface’].”

In ancient times, pots and kettles, which were made of cast iron, turned black easily when placed in the fire. In modern times, the quality of cookware is much improved with various material types, such as stainless steel and aluminium.

In 1693, a closer-to-modern English version of the idiom appeared in a book entitled “Some Fruits of Solitude” by an American writer, William Penn.

“For ... a Lyer [Liar] against Forgery, ... is for the Pot to call the Kettle black.”

Nowadays, people sometimes change the wording of the saying to suit their own purpose.

“Sam, think carefully before you blame me! Do you know what the pot called the kettle?” 

Glossary 

Utensils 用具
Accuses 指責
Fault 過失
Cast iron 鑄鐵
Cookware 廚具
Stainless steel 不銹鋼
Aluminium 鋁
Purpose 目的

 

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