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tar with the same brush



tar with the same brush

  1. (transitive, idiomatic) To characterize using the same undesirable attribute, especially unjustly.
    • 1865, Charles Dickens, chapter 6, in Our Mutual Friend:
      They are both tarred with a dirty brush, and I can't have the Fellowships tarred with the same brush.
    • 1900, E. Phillips Oppenheim, chapter 41, in A Millionaire of Yesterday:
      Were you tarred with the same brush as those canting snobs who doomed a poor old man to a living death?
    • 1920, Lucy Maud Montgomery, chapter 14, in Rilla of Ingleside:
      Susan still persisted in thinking that poets and tramps were tarred with the same brush.
    • 1922, James Joyce, chapter 13, in Ulysses:
      Place made me think of that I suppose. All tarred with the same brush Wiping pens in their stockings.
    • 2008, Terry Sweetman, "Kevin Rudd's public service demands nothing new," Courier-Mail (Australia), 6 June (retrieved 21 May 2009):
      And few would distinguish between state and federal public servants, tarring them with the same brush of disdain.