What is the word for somebody who tries to shift the blame or maybe not shift the blame so much as they do something and they explain it away in a way that doesn't put it on anybody else but could easily be explained by the media or general Society or racial issues or outlandish explanation such as God's will what have you, anything but the truth that really they are at heart the one to blame the one with the issue the one with the law they are trying to explain it away like deflect the issue. It's never something to do with themselves personally anything but what the truth is.

I would say that the word is often used with the intent to be deceptive with others when you know the truth. Not liar not passing the buck perhaps justifying.

  • "Shift the blame" comes up in several other ELU Q&A's. Searching the site may give you what you're looking for. You need to add an example sentence to get more help.
    – Xanne
    Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 22:52
  • ODO has << rationalize (also rationalise) verb [with object] 1 Attempt to explain or justify (behaviour or an attitude) with logical reasons, even if these are not appropriate. >> However, the noun 'rationalist' doesn't fit with this. Commented Apr 19, 2017 at 22:55

4 Answers 4


spin doctor (MWD)

a person (as a political aide) responsible for ensuring that others interpret an event from a particular point of view

apologist (MWD)

a person who defends or supports something (such as a religion, cause, or organization) that is being criticized or attacked by other people


Building on Edwin Ashworth's comment, perhaps rationalizer (not rationalist) works.


[rationalizer]: one who rationalizes

rationalize: attempt to explain or justify (behaviour or an attitude) with logical reasons, even if these are not appropriate


Scapegoater A “scapegoater” is someone who looks for a “scapegoat” in someone else. That means they will always try to find someone else to blame for their mistakes. Often, they’ll do this to make sure they don’t take the fall for their own actions.

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    Commented Nov 27, 2022 at 20:54

A person to whom hypocrisy is a second nature is normally referred to as a



Simplicity is a virtue. Sometimes.

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