if the shoe fits
Also found in: Wikipedia.
if the shoe fits(, wear it)
If something (typically negative) applies to one, one should acknowledge it or accept responsibility or blame for it. I know you don't like being called unreliable, but if the shoes fits, wear it. A: "Why do teachers always treat me like some kind of troublemaker?" B: "If the shoe fits...."
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
If the shoe fits(, wear it).
Prov. An unflattering remark applies to you, so you should accept it. (Slightly rude.) Fred: Hey, Jill, how's your love life? Jill: I don't like busy-bodies, Fred. Fred: Are you calling me a busybody? Jane: If the shoe fits, wear it. Ellen: The professor told me I don't write well! Bill: If the shoe fits, Ellen.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
if the shoe fitsAMERICAN
You say if the shoe fits when you are telling someone that unpleasant remarks which have been made about them are probably true or fair. `She said something about me being in a bad mood,' — `Well, if the shoe fits.' Note: The usual British expression is if the cap fits.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
if the shoe fits, wear it
If something applies to you, accept it. This expression is a version of an older term, if the cap fits, put it on, which originally meant a fool’s cap and dates from the early eighteenth century. This version is rarely heard today. Its replacement by a shoe probably came about owing to the increased popularity of the Cinderella story, and indeed, an early appearance in print, in Clyde Fitch’s play The Climbers (1901), states, “If the slipper fits.”
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer