it takes one to know one

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English[edit]

Proverb[edit]

it takes one to know one

  1. (colloquial, often childish) Assertion that an insult that was made by the party to whom the phrase is directed is also true of that party.
    • 1949, Nial Kent, The Divided Path]], p. 358:
      There's an unkind saying that it takes one to know one, and it's almost true.
    • 1947, Poet Lore‎, p. 280:
      Anyone who appreciates Shakespeare as this author unquestionably does is another Shakespeare — it takes one to know one!
    • 1946, Gore Vidal, Williwaw‎, p. 45:
      "It takes one to know one," said the Chief, referring back to the eggs.

See also[edit]

Usage notes[edit]

Sometimes recited without the initial "it", which is implied.