Is the phrase "...and who can blame him?" ever used in a sarcastic or rhetorical manner when referring to someone who is in reality very blameworthy?

What is the meaning that is conveyed when this term is used generally?

  • Who can blame him? usually means that the person under consideration has made a reasonable choice under the circumstances.
    – deadrat
    Sep 9, 2016 at 5:12
  • It can also be said about an action without any better alternatives, even if the action itself seems ill-advised.
    – Helmar
    Sep 9, 2016 at 6:26

1 Answer 1


I don't (or can't) blame you (or her etc.)ODO

Used to indicate that one agrees that the action or attitude taken was reasonable

"he was becoming impatient and I couldn’t blame him"
"If you are confused by all this, I don't blame you."
"I guess I can't blame him for being impatient, if indeed he is and not simply excited."

When it is changed to "Who can blame him?", it's almost always a rhetorical question that means the same thing as "I don't blame him".

See usage examples in Google Books

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