I was wondering whether there is any English proverb, idiom or expression which can be used to describe the situation in which someone behaves in an unfair way to you, for instance by blaming or criticizing you unfairly. For example, let's say something wrong has been done by someone else which has made one of your friends so angry. He/she (your friend) comes to the company (group of people) which you are in and puts all the blame on you out of all other people who are there (at that company and at the same time,) without being sure whether you had done that. You get shocked because you know that you have been absolutely innocent and say:

  • (Literal description): Didn't you find someone else to blame?! (said sarcastically in a surprised tone.)

I wonder what a native speaker would probably say here to show his/her surprise and bad feelings toward that behavior as a proverb or fixed expression or an idiom?

1 Answer 1


Perhaps "scapegoat": a person who is blamed for the wrongdoings, mistakes, or faults of others, especially for reasons of expediency.

I'm network manager, so I feel I'm the scapegoat for anything that goes wrong with anybody's computer. Yesterday I had someone blaming me for their phone not working. It wasn't even a company phone.

The word comes from the ancient biblical tradition: take two twin goats. One is sacrificed to God, the second is set free, taking with it all the sins and impurities of the people. The goat that is freed is the scapegoat

  • Well @James K can I use the word "scapegoat" here interrogatively in a natural way? For instance does it sound idiomatic to say: "Am I the only scapegoat for anything that goes wrong?!"
    – A-friend
    Jul 11, 2020 at 16:23
  • 1
    You can say that, but it sounds a bit "defensive". You don't need "only" since by definition the scapegoat is the only scapegoat. You can also use it verbally "to scapegoat someone" is to put the blame on someone, when they don't really deserve it.
    – James K
    Jul 11, 2020 at 17:50
  • Well, @James K what about just saying: "I feel I'm the scapegoat here."? ["Here" = "of all people"] Or "I feel I'm the scapegoat of all people."
    – A-friend
    Jul 11, 2020 at 19:48
  • 1
    ".... here" sounds natural to me. Pronouns are good
    – James K
    Jul 11, 2020 at 21:14

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