do as I say, not as I do


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do as I say, not as I do

Model yourself after my instructions, not my actions. The phrase implies that the speaker is imperfect and makes mistakes, so one should follow their advice but not imitate them. My dad, a big smoker, always told me not to smoke. "Do as I say, not as I do," he used to say.
See also: not

Do as I say, not as I do.

Prov. Take my advice, even though I am acting contrary to it. (Sometimes used as an apology for behaving hypocritically.) Jill: Why are you walking on the grass when I told you not to? Jane: But you're walking on the grass. Jill: Do as I say, not as I do.
See also: not

do as I say

Obey my instructions, as in Never mind about the other mothers-you do as I say. This admonitory order is sometimes followed by a self-deprecating phrase, Do as I say, not as I do, meaning "don't imitate my behavior but obey my instructions." This order first appeared in John Selden's Table-Talk (c. 1654): "Preachers say, 'Do as I say, not as I do.'"
See also: say