Expressions used in Everyday Spoken English in Social and Professional contexts

cast the first stone

cast the first stone
1) be the first to act against/accuse someone else
  • How to MemorizePopularity LowProfessional MediumSocial
    • be the one to cast the first stone
  • Analysis
    This phrase is a biblical reference to the full phrase 'Let he who has sinned cast the first stone'; its meaning being that in order to accuse someone of behaving badly, you must first ask yourself if you have made any mistakes. The biblical quote is used to remind people that they are rarely in a position to judge anyone else's behaviour, so 'cast the first stone' means to be the first to accuse someone of questionable or wrong behaviour. Note that 'to cast a stone' can sometimes be used in place of 'to accuse': "I don't want to cast stones here, but there were a lot of problems that could have been avoided."
  • Social Examples (Advance)
    1. He was the one to cast the first stone so there was little sympathy for him when it all backfired on him.
    2. The argument began when she cast the first stone and accused her sister of stealing.
  • Professional Examples (Advance)
    1. The Manager was sick of all the arguing. "I don't think you're in a position to cast the first stone," she said. "You're always starting arguments!"
    2. It looks like David is late again, but I won't be the one to cast the first stone. I was late for last weeks meeting.
  • Further Suggestions
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