be tarred with the same brush

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be tarred with the same brush

To be unfairly judged or categorized as being the same as another person or thing, usually in a negative manner. Just because the CEO turned out to be a rotten scoundrel doesn't mean the entire company should be tarred with the same brush. There is absolutely a segment of video game enthusiasts who create a hostile and toxic environment online, but I hate the fact that all gamers are tarred with the same brush.
See also: brush, same, tar
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

tarred with the same brush, to be

Characterized by the same faults or bad qualities. This expression probably comes from sheepherding, where it was long the practice to treat a sheep’s sores by applying a brush dipped in tar. Since presumably all the sheep in one flock would be treated in this way, the term was transferred to humans sharing the same qualities. The figurative use dates from the early nineteenth century. In print Sir Walter Scott used it in several novels. John Ciardi, however, believed it came from the practice of sailors working with tar brushes (for caulking), and, being in cramped quarters, often tarring one another. This origin seems less likely.
See also: same, tar, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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