I am looking for an expression that conveys the meaning Who is watching the watchdog?

  • 4
    'Who watches the watchers?' has vastly more Googlecred than mplungjan's variant or the one I like, 'Who watches those who watch us?' I think Star Trek is to blame. – Edwin Ashworth Nov 29 '13 at 12:02
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    "Who watches the watchers" or "who watches the watchmen" is so ubiquitous I am surprised you had to bring up dogs at all. There's even a Wikipedia article. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quis_custodiet_ipsos_custodes%3F – RegDwigнt Nov 29 '13 at 12:04
  • Right. I knew the other one now you mention it :) Even in Latin. slipped my mind there... – mplungjan Nov 29 '13 at 12:22
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    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? 'Who is to guard those (self-)same guards?_ The subjunctive custodiet makes the problem clear, and the intensive ipsos makes it obvious that the same bunch of "guards" are involved on both ends of the "guarding". You can say a lot with a few words in an inflected language. – John Lawler Nov 29 '13 at 16:39
  • @JohnLawler: I believe that is definitive enough to be an answer, not simply a comment. – Pieter Geerkens Dec 11 '13 at 5:26

A similar common phrase already exists, "who watches the watchers?" or "who watches the watchmen?".

This is from the Latin quis custodiet ipsos custodes?.

  • sed -e 's/^/sed /:) – tchrist Dec 11 '13 at 4:37

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