In my mother language there is a proverb which says: "someone who digs the well, is at the end of the well himself." [direct translation] It is used when someone is going to do something bad to someone else and than bad intention turns to a bad happening to himself. E.g. someone is standing beside a swimming pool and when his friend decides to push him into the pool, the friends foot slides and he falls into the pool himself. I have found a proverb here:

  • The biter is sometimes bitten.

I was wondering if someone could let me know if it works here in AmE or not. If not, then please let me know what an AE native speaker would say in my scenario?

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    "The biter is sometimes bitten" is a very accurate proverb for what you are saying. In one word this would be called "irony" or "ironic" for the person who tried to push somebody else into the pool but then also fell in. I cannot think of a good phrase for it though. So I'll leave this as a comment. – X_Wera Jan 18 '17 at 10:55
  • "That's so ironic." Or, as we used to say in the 90's, "Isn't it ironic? Don't you think?". But this is just a joke, since some would say that this song had been an incorrect use of the word, "ironic". – Teacher KSHuang Jan 18 '17 at 11:15
  • A very old quip that still has currency also in AmE is "hoist by his own petard" ("blown up by his own bomb" in Elizabethan English). – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jan 18 '17 at 12:36
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    The idiomatic version of "the proverb" is the biter bit (that's an estimated 14400 written instances in Google Books, compared to just 32 for the biter is sometimes bitten). But there are many alternative expressions in this area, including to get a taste of one's own medicine. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jan 18 '17 at 17:39
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    You might be interested in Just-world hypothesis which also includes some phrases. – user3169 Jan 18 '17 at 22:14

A common expression (where I'm from at least) used to describe a situation as you have described is:

What goes around, comes around.

In other words, what you do to others, whether good or bad, will come back around to you too.

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  • You always post the answers I'm thinking of :D. I had been trying to recall this one :D. Thanks! – Teacher KSHuang Jan 23 '17 at 7:25

He got what he deserved.

She had it coming [to her].

"[That's] karma [for you]."

"Ah, poetic justice."

"You reap what you sow."

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  • Karma is not what I'm looking for, though it works properly here @Teacher KSHaung. I'm looking for an AmE proverb. :) – A-friend Jan 18 '17 at 11:07
  • My point is, the word has entered mainstream culture and can be used colloquially to say, "That's karma for you." @A-friend. – Teacher KSHuang Jan 18 '17 at 11:08
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    @A-friend. I updated the link for karma. Click it and you'll see it being used by a very famous American about a very famous event. The article is British, but the source of the quote had been American. – Teacher KSHuang Jan 18 '17 at 11:12
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    @A-friend I've added another one to the list. – Teacher KSHuang Jan 18 '17 at 11:20
  • @A-friend I've added another one to the list. This new one is usually negative, but it might also answer your other question here.. – Teacher KSHuang Jan 24 '17 at 9:13

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