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you're a fine one

English translation: you should keep your mouth shut

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:you're a fine one
English translation:you should keep your mouth shut
Entered by: karin förster handley
Options:
- Contribute to this entry
- Include in personal glossary

14:41 Nov 30, 2004
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary - Linguistics
English term or phrase: you're a fine one
Like in "you're a fine one to talk about fair."
What does it mean by "you're a fine one to..."?
minnie
you should keep your mouth shut
Explanation:
meaning you're not exactly the right one to speak about this, due to whatever previous circumstances or actions might have proved this person unsuitable to judge others
Selected response from:

karin förster handley
Local time: 05:02
Grading comment
I like every suggestion of yours. Too bad the grade goes to only one answer.
thanks everyone.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +8You lack the moral authority to talk about fairness
George Rabel
4 +8sarcasm
Kim Metzger
4 +7you should keep your mouth shut
karin förster handley
4 +4My take....
Richard Benham


  

Answers


2 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +7
you should keep your mouth shut


Explanation:
meaning you're not exactly the right one to speak about this, due to whatever previous circumstances or actions might have proved this person unsuitable to judge others


karin förster handley
Local time: 05:02
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish, Native in EnglishEnglish
Grading comment
I like every suggestion of yours. Too bad the grade goes to only one answer.
thanks everyone.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Terence Ajbro: well put
2 mins

agree  Mikhail Kropotov
25 mins

agree  Richard Benham
1 hr

agree  Nesrin
1 hr

agree  Pawel Gromek
16 hrs

agree  Lisa Lloyd
19 hrs

agree  Jörgen Slet
2 days22 hrs
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4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +8
sarcasm


Explanation:
The subtext of "you're a fine one to talk about fair" is "you are the last person who should be talking about fairness because on many occasions you have demonstrated that you are an unfair person."

Kim Metzger
Mexico
Local time: 03:02
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 187

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Attila Piróth
6 mins

agree  Charlie Bavington
11 mins

agree  Mikhail Kropotov
23 mins

agree  rcdv
30 mins

agree  Richard Benham
1 hr

agree  vixen
2 hrs

agree  Java Cafe
15 hrs

agree  Jörgen Slet
2 days22 hrs
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5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +8
You lack the moral authority to talk about fairness


Explanation:
I believe it is being used in an ironic way, meaning exactly the opposite.
It is similar to "look who´s talking about fairness"

George Rabel
Local time: 04:02
Native speaker of: Spanish
PRO pts in category: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Aisha Maniar
1 min
  -> Thank you, Aisha

agree  Armorel Young: I agree that it's more ironic than sarcastic, and it's not intended to be very hurtful ("You're a fine one to talk about safe driving - you hit a lamp-post last week", that sort of thing)
8 mins
  -> Exactly. Thank you

agree  Kurt Porter: Every answer is correct, but I like your point about "moral authority."
11 mins
  -> Much appreciated

agree  RHELLER: for this context; could have slightly different nuance if not referring to "fair"
17 mins
  -> You are quite right

agree  Mikhail Kropotov
23 mins
  -> Thank you, Sir

agree  David Moore
39 mins
  -> Thank you, David

agree  seaMount
1 hr
  -> Thank you

agree  Jörgen Slet
2 days22 hrs
  -> Thank you, Jörgen
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +4
My take....


Explanation:
All the answers to date have been on the right track, but this is my attempt to explain it.

"You're a fine one ..." is, as Kim and others have pointed out, a sarcastic expression. It suggests that the addressee's own record in the particular field is nothing to be proud of, and no qualification to be lecturing or offering advice. For example, if a person who had been unemplyed for the last twenty years offered my advice on managing my career, I could use that expression as a retort: "You're a fine one to be giving me career advice!"

I probably wouldn't say that, however, as it strikes as a Cockney expression. Alternatives with the same meaning might be "Look who's talking!", or "YOU'RE telling ME that?", "Don't you talk to me about...", or "You can talk!", etc., depending on the context.

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Note added at 1 hr 29 mins (2004-11-30 16:10:43 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Sorry: ...*unemployed* for ... offered *me* advice...

So now you know what to say if I ever complain about someone else\'s typos!

Richard Benham
France
Local time: 10:02
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 64

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  George Rabel: nicely put, and I do agree that it is probably Cockney. It is rarely used here in the Colonies
13 hrs

agree  Java Cafe
13 hrs

agree  Lisa Lloyd
18 hrs

agree  Jörgen Slet
2 days21 hrs
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