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No matter what had really happened, this person will always blame and find an appearing logical/thought out way/strategy to it that, fundamentally, it's the other person who was the cause for all the trouble AND everything else that came from this trouble as well and from the next and so on.

No (slang) words like "jerk", "*sshole" etc. please.

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I'd be quite happy with He's a buck-passer, but that seems to have surprisingly little currency. –  FumbleFingers Jul 18 at 19:52
.......... him. –  Edwin Ashworth Jul 18 at 22:11
Often, such a person is called a "manager" or a "politician". –  Dan Jul 19 at 4:12
@FumbleFingers Buck-passer relies on the person having had 'the buck' not just on dishing out blame (where the 'disher' is not to blame) –  Frank Jul 20 at 7:29
@Frank: I suppose much depends on whether the person concerned is already being blamed by others (and trying to pass the buck, re-assign blame/responsibility to someone else), or simply likes finding other people to blame regardless of whether he personally might otherwise be "in the frame". In the latter case, I'd just say he's a shit-stirrer. –  FumbleFingers Jul 20 at 12:31

8 Answers 8

  1. a finger-pointer - someone quick to divert attention or blame to someone else

  2. defensive (though that's more general than just blaming others)

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A 'blamer'. It's slang for someone who always blames others. e.g. 'My mother was a blamer from her early teens.' It tends to be applied to senior citizens. I don't make these things up. There seems to be a correlation between chronic intermeddlers (yentas) and chronic blamers. Often the blamer and the yenta are the same person.

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Blameshifter fits the bill.

Main Entry:


Part of Speech: n

Definition: the act of transferring responsibility for an error or problem to another; also written blame shifting


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There is no such word from what I gather. Can anyone provide a dictionary reference for the word "blameshifter"? –  aaa90210 Jul 20 at 21:12
Fair enough. I only documented blameshifting. –  GMB Jul 20 at 22:48

I would say buck-passer is correct.

Anther class of idioms for someone who is difficult to blame involves variations around the word "teflon"

"He wears a teflon coat"

"He is made from teflon"

Because nothing (including blame) sticks to teflon. However, this does not necessarily involve the subject shifting blame, they just somehow always escape blame somehow or other.

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'Buckpasser' doesn't work: it simply means to pass (usually work) onto other people, when you should do it yourself. It's not specific enough for blaming other for things. 'Blameshifter' works better, or 'rationalizer', although I don't know there's a single word for all the things the OP is trying to describe. –  Pete855217 Jul 20 at 6:59
@Pete855217 I disagree, I think it means to pass blame or responsibility onto someone else. I have never even heard of the word "blameshifter" being used to describe someone - it sounds like a made up word. thefreedictionary.com/buck-passer –  aaa90210 Jul 20 at 7:25
-1 for Buckpasser, you can only be a buck-passer if you have the buck. Simply blaming someone isn't passing the buck. @Pete855217 I agree with aaa90201, buck-passing is passing blame onto someone else (when you have the blame on yourself). Where is it common to mean 'passing work that should do yourself to other people'? –  Frank Jul 20 at 7:32

Perhaps rationalizer? According to ODO, rationalize means

Attempt to explain or justify (one’s own or another’s behavior or attitude) with logical, plausible reasons, even if these are not true or appropriate

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But even if you're, without blame involved, try to to think logically about things you're a rationalizer as well, right? Isn't rationalizer easily to be confused with simply thinking logically without anything else, like blame? –  user76935 Jul 18 at 20:00
While one of the meanings of rationalize is to think logically about something, it is more often used to describe a process that strains logic to find justification. It also can be used for tortured explanations even when there is no specific blame involved. –  bib Jul 18 at 20:08
As someone has said, rationalization is the skin of reason stuffed with a lie. –  GMB Jul 18 at 22:16

Narcissist. Period. Although sociopath is also correct...kind of the same thing I suppose.

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Narcissism does not describe the behaviour, which I think is what the OP is asking for. That is, a word which can be used to label such a person so that others will know what you are talking about. Is it that you think anybody who behaves that selfishly must be a narcissist? Sociopath is more useful but is still, I think, more broad than what is asked for. –  itsbruce Nov 21 at 13:53

Well, unfortunately, to so cleverly dodge responsibility/blame AND effectively shift it onto someone else, (and let's just call it like it is without the sugarcoating - that's lying; the worst kind), is a component of the group of behaviors associated with sociopathy - especially when this behavior is the norm, (chronic), and not the exception. It is plausible, even likely, this person is a sociopath. At the very least, he/she is 'borderline'.

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I would say that person is very punitive as a colloquialism. However, technically, there might be a personality disorder that fits you description wich name I don't know.

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'Punitive' means something completely different...just someone who tends to punish a lot. –  Pete855217 Jul 20 at 7:01

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