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A taste of one’s own medicine and a dose of one’s own medicine

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  • A taste of one’s own medicine and a dose of one’s own medicine are two renderings of the same idiom. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. We will examine the definition of the phrases a taste of one’s own medicine and a dose of one’s own medicine, where these expressions came from and some examples of their use in sentences.


     

    A taste of one’s own medicine and a dose of one’s own medicine are phrases that mean to give a sample of the suffering or unpleasantness bestowed by someone, back to the person who bestowed the suffering or unpleasantness. Giving someone a taste of their own medicine or a dose of their own medicine is retaliation, or sometimes it is justice. The expressions a taste of one’s own medicine and a dose of one’s own medicine are derived from a fable told by Aesop, who lived about 600 BC. In the fable The Cobbler Turned Doctor, a cobbler concocts a potion that he claims will cure someone of any type of poisoning. When the mayor of a town decides to challenge the cobbler to drink a poison and then take a dose of his own medicine, the cobbler admits his fraud. The moral of this fable is: Beware of those not trained in their craft.

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    Examples

    Fair warning to students everywhere: be mindful of how you treat your teachers in class because you just might get a taste of your own medicine. (The Inquirer)

    When someone gives you a taste of your own medicine, it’s usually a bitter feeling. (The Daily Trojan)

    “Of course, if they get wind of your Constitutional argument before you leave the scene of the crime, they could just give you a dose of your own medicine, administering vigilante justice with similar impunity.” (Forbes Magazine)


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