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To tar someone with the same brush

Posted by Leslie on January 13, 2006

Hi,
I have checked 'to tar someone with the same brush' in the archive. However, it cannot solve my puzzlement. Does 'to be tarred with the same brush' mean the same as 'to tar someone with the same brush'? According to NTC's American Idioms Dictionary, 'tarred with the same brush' means 'sharing the same characteristics; having the good or bad points as someone else'. To me, it seems totally contrast with 'tar someone with the same brush'. Which one is frequently used? Could you please distinguish these two phrases? Thanks