What does 'it Takes One To Know One' mean?

2,270 Views Updated: 08 Sep 2017
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What does 'it Takes One To Know One' mean?

This proverb is certainly the synonym of many another proverb such as “it takes a thief to catch a thief,” “look who’s talking,” “that’s the pot calling the kettle black” or “I know you are, but what am I?”.

Let us start by exploring the meaning of this enduring proverb which was first noted by dictionary.com in 1665.


Though initially and probably currently as well this proverb is sometimes used as complementary ways. But with bursting the bubble in this sentence, let me enlighten you that it is certainly not a complimentary proverb. It is a sarcastic proverb which can be used in a derogatory and disparaging manner. For instance “You assume I’m not loyal? Well, it takes one to know one”.

It is really a counter-accusation of any false deed that is coming your way. This proverb is always implemented to be an insult or at least pre-assumed to be a sarcastic retort. The real nature of the statement lies in a subjective belief that the people who possess a certain quality, especially a very evil one can quickly identify the same quality in others. Some people may believe in this philosophy, but this is a fact of human nature that a deceitful person will instantly understand the actions of a person doing the same thing. Similarly, people who lie in every other situation will not buy a lie as he would be knowing where is it coming from. People usually calm their guilt by accusing someone else with the same action they have committed. It helps them to pretend they are the innocent ones.

(Image Courtesy:  My Fat Pocket)

The part which is not that believable or false is that the quality you understand does not mean you also possess it. The most honest people on the planet can also understand if someone is lying to them because they haven’t done it ever.

Doubtless, the defense is the savior from attack. Therefore, some people use this proverb for putting their blames on someone, and some people use it as a sarcastic comment. Nevertheless, the proverb depends upon how you want to use it. Leave a comment to share your views on this proverb.

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Posted by: Mohit Posts: (5) Opinions: (9) Points: 725 Rank: 126

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