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Some made-up examples:

  • Architect's house is always crooked.
  • Mechanic's car is leaking
  • Chef's breakfast is as plain as boiled eggs

Is there an established saying for these situations?

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and web coders never have their own website... – RiMMER Oct 29 '11 at 20:25

5 Answers 5

up vote 14 down vote accepted

"The cobbler's children are always the worst-shod"

is the saying I've heard most often to describe this phenomenon. Some variants are listed here.

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The variation I've often heard on this is "The cobbler's children always go barefoot." – Joel Brown Oct 30 '11 at 3:15
What I've always heard (in the US) is "The shoemaker's children always go barefoot", or something along those lines. (Obviously, a cobbler is a shoemaker is a cobbler, but "cobbler" it not as common in the US.) – Hot Licks Nov 17 at 1:31

I've always heard ...

The carpenter's house always needs work.

Another is...

The preacher's kids are always the wildest.

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One proverb is, "Physician, heal thyself."

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Or relatedly, "Doctors make the worst patients." Which, judging by my grandfather during the last few years of his life, holds very much true (in that he kept trying to self-medicate and wouldn't cooperate with his doctor's treatment plan). But he still lived to be 99, so I guess it's hard to complain. – fluffy Oct 30 '11 at 5:51
@fluffy, your comment should be an answer. – Andrew Neely Oct 31 '11 at 12:08
Well, it's not quite an answer to the original question, in that it's more about someone who is one profession resenting someone else of that profession doing the work for (or in this case to) them. – fluffy Oct 31 '11 at 17:16

If a barber has a good haircut...go to HIS barber.

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Good advice, but I don't think it's really applicable since under normal circumstances a barber can't cut his own hair anyway. – Hellion Jan 25 at 2:25

The cobbler's children go unshod.

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Thank you, @natemacinnes. Welcome to ELU! This answer was already provided above (and accepted by the questioner) four years ago. You may want to take a look at the Help section to get an idea about how to provide strong answers to questions. We look forward to your involvement in our community! – Nonnal Nov 17 at 0:03
It's a variation on the accepted answer, maybe you could dig up its history. For instance, which is older? Maybe provide a more detailed definition... the accepted answer doesn't contain any. – Mari-Lou A Nov 17 at 0:28

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