Чья бы корова мычала...

Is this expression said sarcastically, with "чья" alluding to "твоя"?

Whose cow would be mooing/complaining? Don't tell me it's yours (of all people/cows who should be mooing/complaining).

  • 4
    The full sentence is "чья бы корова мычала, а твоя (лучше бы) молчала".
    – Abakan
    Jul 28, 2018 at 11:50
  • 4
    The meaning is "you aren't the right person to judge ", so stop it
    – V.V.
    Jul 28, 2018 at 12:54

2 Answers 2


On occasion, the saying is often used in that incomplete form, but the speaker also refers to its second part:

Чья бы корова мычала, а твоя бы молчала.

Literally, it wouldn't be such a surprise to hear that moo in criticism from somebody else's cow, but yours should be silent.

The sense: it's strange to hear that criticism from a person, definitely doing what they criticize. The sarcasm of the saying is a bit rude, but it is OK to use it within a circle of friends, closest co-workers or family members.

  • Hi. So is the interpretation "Whose cow would be mooing/complaining? {sarcastically}" good enough? Jul 28, 2018 at 12:29
  • Yes, it's quite a possible interpretation.
    – Alex_ander
    Jul 28, 2018 at 12:32
  • 2
    Better don't use it even with your friends and/or family. Alex_ander underestimates its rudeness, I think. Not vulgar, but rude/condescending.
    – yury10578
    Jul 29, 2018 at 13:24

Another English equivalent would be

Look who's talking

A synonymous expression in Russian would be

Кто б(ы) (уже) говорил? (но только не ты)consistently ommitted

Both expressions can be addressing some 3d person whose words have been retold, not necessarily the immediate interlocutor.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.