Is there any idiom that if you use it in your conversation, the audience would notice that you are accusing someone of having a double standard behavior or policy?

In Persian we use this idiom: "same roof, two (different) weathers".

There are two etymologies for this idiom, I'll give you the simple one:

In the old time when there was still no electricity, most people used to sleep on the roof of their houses in the hot summer nights.

There was a woman who had a son and a daughter. One night they went to the roof to sleep as usual. Each one slept in their own bed. In the midnight the woman woke up and took her daughter's sheet/ cover (?) and put it over her son, while was saying:

"Oh my sweetie, I'm worried for you, I hope you won't get cold."

Her daughter heard her words and said: "But mom, what about me? Why did you take my sheet? The mother replied: "Because it is hot, so you'd better not use that sheet in such hot weather."

Then her daughter said " Oh my God, but we are on the same roof, how is it possible that there is two weathers in the same place? (i.e. Mom! You are treating me and my brother unfairly while we are both in the same situation.)

Now, I will give you an example in which this idiom can be used:

A woman treats her own daughter and her daughter-in-law in a different unfair manner. Both of those girls are pregnant, but this mom recommend her own daughter not to lift heavy loads or she might have a miscarriage; however she asks her daughter-in-law to help them to lift a heavy load and says it's useful for women to have physical activity during their pregnancy. This mother has a "the same roof, two weathers" (i.e. a double standard) policy or behavior.

My question:

Is there any idiom that would mean someone is treating two other people/ group unfairly while they are both in the same situation (i.e. that person is applying a double standard to those two people)?

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  • Actually, nothing! @Elian. I just wanted to know if there is any idiom that would mean "double standard" or not. :) – Soudabeh May 1 '16 at 15:29
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    "One sauce for the goose and another for the gander" ;-) – Elian May 1 '16 at 15:31
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    The answer is double-standard. In Italian it is due pesi, due misure (two weights and two measures) and its English equivalent is "double standard" although its literal translation also works, see: colindye.com/2012/02/09/… – Mari-Lou A May 2 '16 at 9:50
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    I don't know how to make this any clearer but I really believe the expression "double standard" is the closest you're going to find. Not every Persian idiom or proverb has its English equivalent, likewise there isn't always a Persian equivalent. Personally, I would limit myself to describing the mother as being a hypocrite and totally biased. – Mari-Lou A May 3 '16 at 21:52

The mother is "playing favorites" in giving her daughter preferential treatment.


  • Thanks, @pepper. Very close meaning. Could you please add a source for that idiom too? :) – Soudabeh May 2 '16 at 3:37

Answer to edited question:(to show the syntax)

The mother applies a double standard in dealing with her daughter and her daughter-in-law.

The mother employs a double standard in terms of how she treats her daughter and her daughter-in-law.

  • @ Cathy Gartaganis, thanks a lot, I'm really sorry for bothering you.:((( – Soudabeh May 1 '16 at 16:31
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    @Soudabeh Knowledge is never a bother, my friend :) Isn't that why we're all here? :) – Cathy Gartaganis May 1 '16 at 16:37
  • yes, you're right. God bless you. :) – Soudabeh May 1 '16 at 16:47

This mother has a policy of one sauce for the goose and another for the gander

What's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander

Prov. What is good for one person is good for another. Jane: You're overweight; you should get more exercise. Alan: But I don't really have time to exercise. Jane: When I was overweight, you told me to exercise; what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

This mother is giving her daughter in law the short end of the stick

If someone gets the short end of the stick, they are unfairly treated or don't get what they deserve.


  • @ Elian, thanks, I think your answer has close meaning with I'm looking for. I had to change my example, I think it was misleading, even though we -Iraninans- use that idiom definitely in such example situation, but it seems that it was not an appropriate example for English speakers. – Soudabeh May 1 '16 at 16:46

Original Question:

The leader of country A criticizes country B for not allowing its citizens freedom of speech, when in country A people don't have freedom of speech either.


This is a case of "the pot calling the kettle black".

"The phrase "The pot calling the kettle black" is an idiom used to claim that a person is guilty of the very thing of which they accuse another."


Alternatively: "People (who live) in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."

proverb 'You shouldn’t criticize others when you have similar faults of your own.'


Note: answer based on the original question submitted, subsequently changed

  • Yes,@Cathy Gartagnis, that idiom is definitely applicable to this situation too. But when we use " same room, two weathers " idiom, we mean ' we are human as the country's B people, how come our leader give them the right of freedom of speech, but they deprive us from that right?" this is unfair and double standard policy. Is " the pot calling the kettle black" implies " to have double standard" too? :) – Soudabeh May 1 '16 at 15:26
  • @Soudabeh It appears you might be changing the parameters. I understood there were two different countries, A and B, with their respective leaders, which is why I said leader A criticizing leader B is a case of the pot calling the kettle black. If, however, there is only one leader and two countries, and the leader has one set of laws for one country, but imposes another set of laws on the second country, he is, as you said, using a double standard. Did you mean one leader with two countries or two leaders, each with a country? – Cathy Gartaganis May 1 '16 at 15:32
  • @ Cathy Gartaganis, two countries, tow leaders. :) – Soudabeh May 1 '16 at 15:35
  • I will add another example, @Cathy Gartaganis. – Soudabeh May 1 '16 at 15:36
  • I will edit my question,@Cathy Gartaganis. Sorry. :((( – Soudabeh May 1 '16 at 15:40

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