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There's an idiom in a native language which literally means "The potter drinks from a broken jar".

i.e. a potter will not spend a lot of time making a beautiful jar for himself to drink from, he uses a poor quality one or one that's been broken for himself.

It means that someone who is good at a profession usually sells his high quality work instead of using them for himself and doesn't use them for his own benefit.

Is there an English idiom that conveys the same meaning?


FYI, I was interested in this idiom because my own website consisted of 1 page displaying my email address and saying "We'll have more soon!" during my many years of web development and making websites for others.

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Given you're Persian, you can go to chimigan.com for further cross-language idiom equivalents. – Itsme Aug 14 '14 at 18:43
up vote 8 down vote accepted

The idiom "The shoemaker's children go barefoot" fits. There may be others.

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Rats! That's my favorite expression! :-) – Kristina Lopez Aug 14 '14 at 18:21
@KristinaLopez The early bird gets the worm.... – Oldcat Aug 14 '14 at 18:23
In Britain it is that 'The cobbler's children are the poorest shod'. But 'as fat as a butcher's dog' tells a different story! – WS2 Aug 14 '14 at 18:24
@Mynamite - Hopefully it isn't "as absent as the butcher's dog"... – Oldcat Aug 14 '14 at 18:26
@WS2: I know it as "Fit as a butcher's dog". – Phil M Jones Aug 15 '14 at 8:02

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