A taste of your own medicine


      • Retaliation or revenge
        To give someone a taste of their own medicine means to treat them in the same way that they have treated others, often as a form of revenge or retaliation for previous actions or behavior.

      • Learning from experience
        This phrase can also refer to experiencing the same negative consequences or outcomes that one has caused others to experience, resulting in a lesson learned and potentially a change in behavior.

    Examples of A taste of your own medicine

    • After constantly criticizing her coworker's ideas in meetings, Jane found herself on the receiving end of the same harsh criticism during a presentation. Her coworker's response was a classic case of "a taste of your own medicine."

      This idiom is used when someone receives the same negative treatment that they have previously dished out to others. It implies that the person has experienced the consequences of their actions and is now being treated in a similar manner. In Jane's case, she had been overly critical of her coworker's ideas, and her coworker's response was a way of returning the favor. This idiom can be used in a variety of contexts, from personal relationships to professional settings.


    This idiom has two main meanings, both related to the idea of experiencing something similar to what one has caused others to experience. The first meaning is focused on retaliation or revenge, while the second meaning highlights the idea of learning from one's own actions.

    Origin of "A taste of your own medicine"

    The origin of this idiom can be traced back to the 16th century, when the phrase "give someone a taste of their own physic" was used to refer to administering the same medicine or treatment that one has given to others. This phrase eventually evolved into the current idiom "a taste of your own medicine" in the late 19th century.

    The phrase is often attributed to Aesop's fable of "The Bald Man and the Fly," in which a man tries to swat a fly on his head and ends up injuring himself in the process. The moral of the story is that those who harm others often end up harming themselves.

    In modern times, this idiom is commonly used in everyday language to express the idea of receiving similar treatment to what one has given to others. It is often used in situations where someone has caused harm or discomfort to others and is now facing similar consequences.