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This word, like “father,” “mother,” “daughter,” etc., is common to the whole Aʹryan family. Greek, potēr, a drinking-vessel; Latin, poc-ulumi.e. potaculum; Irish and Swedish, pota; Spanish, pote; German, pott; Danish, potte; French, Welsh, Anglo-Saxon, pott, etc.

Gone to pot. Ruined, gone to the bad. The allusion is to the pot into which refuse metal is cast to be remelted, or to be discarded as waste.

“Now and then a farm went to pot.”—Dr. Arbuthnot.

The pot calls the kettle black. This is said of a person who accuses another of faults committed by himself. The French say, “The shovel mocks the poker” (La pelle se moque du fourgon).

To betray the pot to the roses. To betray the rose pot—that is, the pot which contains the rose-nobles. To “let the cat out of the bag.” (French, Decouvrir le pot aux roses.)


Brazen and earthen pots. Gentlemen and artisans, rich and poor, men of mark and those unstamped. From the fable of the Brazen and Earthen Pots.

“Brazen and earthen pots float together in juxtaposition down the stream of life.”—Pall Mall Gazette.

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Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

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Post Meridian (Latin)
Post-mortem (Latin)
Post-mortem Degree (A)
Post Obit
Poste Restante (French)
Posthumus (Leonatus)
Pot Paper
Pot-Pourri (French)
Pot Valiant
Pot-de Bière
Pot of Hospitality (The)
Potage (Jean)
Potato-bury (A)