it takes one to know one

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it takes one to know one

  1. (colloquial, childish) A retort to a negative accusation, implying that the accuser shares the fault.
    Bob: You're an idiot!
    Tony: Takes one to know one!
    • 1949, Nial Kent, The Divided Path, page 358:
      There's an unkind saying that it takes one to know one, and it's almost true.
    • 1947, Poet Lore, page 280:
      Anyone who appreciates Shakespeare as this author unquestionably does is another Shakespeare — it takes one to know one!
    • 1946, Gore Vidal, Williwaw, page 45:
      “I’ve got a bad egg,” said Bervick. “I guess this was a pre-war egg.” []
      It takes one to know one,” said the Chief, referring back to the eggs.
    • 1980, Gerald Ford, “Problems Multiply”, in A Time to Heal[1], New York: Berkley Books, →ISBN, →OCLC, →OL, page 209:
      Brezhnev pretended a scowl. "Kissinger is such a scoundrel," he said.
      But Henry was ready for that. "It takes one to know one," he replied.
    • For more quotations using this term, see Citations:it takes one to know one.


See also[edit]