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The most common occurrence of this is as a kid: perhaps you misplaced your pencil or it rolled to the floor while you were preoccupied. The first feeling is that one of your classmates must've grabbed it.

This seems to bleed into adulthood for some folks as well, a knee jerk response to irrationally attribute a problem to a nearby human they don't like.

Is there a noun or adjective to describe this? Hopefully one that is pejorative in nature, but that's definitely not requisite.

  • I'm thinking that the word for people who call others names is abusive if you're looking for an adjective or bully if you want a noun, or even more descriptively the combined abusive bullies. – tchrist Feb 18 '17 at 3:40
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I'm thinking scapegoat or scapegoating.

Please note that this doesn't name the person doing the blaming, but instead refers to the person or thing being blamed. The act of always casting blame, however, can accurately be referred to as scapegoating.

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Finger-pointing

The act of blaming someone for something; the imputation of blame. *"They want all the finger-pointing about intelligence failures to stop."

You can also say that certain people like to play the blame game.

accusations exchanged among people who refuse to accept sole responsibility for some undesirable event

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