which foot the shoe is on

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Phrase[edit]

which foot the shoe is on

  1. (idiomatic) Which point of view is considered or whose interests are used as a basis.
    • 1915, Hannah Kent Schoff, The Wayward Child: A Study of the Causes of Crime, Bobbs-Merrill Co., p. 22 (at archive.org):
      "A whole lot depends on whose foot the shoe is on. I have noticed some of these fellows who speak about sentiment do not object so much to it when it works their way."
    • 1948 Dec. 9, "Shoe on the Other Foot," Milwaukee Journal, p. 18 (retrieved 14 Aug 2015):
      As usual, it makes a difference which foot the shoe is on. All too often the farmer has been willing to vote for legislation as long as he was exempted [] But he doesn't like it when it is proposed that laws he supports when they apply to others also be applied to him.
    • 2000, Raymond Barber, Don't Look Now, But Your Attitude is Showing, ISBN 9780873981811, p. 105 (Google preview):
      The little girl said to her mother, "Mother, why is it when you are cross, you say it's your nerves; and when I'm nervous, you say I'm cross?" It depends on which foot the shoe is on, doesn't it?
    • 2015 July 28, Jeff Stein, "Nonprofits Seek to Keep Communities Intact Amid Rampant Gentrification," New York Nonprofit Media (retrieved 14 Aug 2015):
      Some of those involved with the Broadway Triangle proposal, however, dispute the coalition’s claims that the project unfairly excludes minority residents.
      “It all depends on which foot the shoe is on,” said Rabbi David Niederman [] “Other groups are trying to dilute the chances of Jewish families getting access to affordable apartments by trying to include another large community board in the development.”

Usage notes[edit]

  • Often preceded by a form of the verb depend.

See also[edit]