What to Call Someone Who Blames Others for Their Mistakes

If you’re trying to figure out how to describe a person who is always blaming other people for their mistakes, you’ve come to the right place!

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of alternative words that encapsulate this phenomenon. So, read on to expand your vocab!

Words for Someone Who Blames Others for Their Mistakes

  • Buck-passer
  • Scapegoater
  • Blame-shifter
  • Irresponsible
  • Finger pointer
  • Blamer
  • Blame thrower
  • Responsibility evader
  • Imputer of guilt
  • Coward


  • “Buck-passer” is a popular informal term for someone who passes on the blame to others.
  • A straightforward alternative phrase is “blame-shifter,” which clearly means a person who shifts blame.
  • A more formal synonym for a person who blames others for things is a “scapegoater.”

Don’t click away! We still need to discuss our favorite words for a person who blames others for their mistakes in more detail.

Additionally, we need to see a few examples of making use of each of our top picks.


If you’re unsure what to call someone who blames other people for their actions, “buck-passer” is a popular American English term to go with.

Firstly, the Collins dictionary defines a “buck-passer” as “a person who regularly seeks to shift blame or responsibility to someone else.” Secondly, it notes that this term is informal.

Therefore, you can use this phrase to point out a person who blames others for their own mistakes in informal or casual conversations.

However, it wouldn’t be appropriate to use this phrase in formal correspondence. For instance, if you were writing a complaint about a colleague.

Finally, let’s consider how you might use this phrase in a couple of practical examples:

Jordan is a buck-passer if ever I’ve met one. I hate when people refuse to look inward to find the cause of their problems.

Don’t be a buck-passer – if you’ve made a mistake, own up to it and apologize.


Another word for someone who would blame others before themselves is a “blame-shifter.”

Firstly, “blame-shifting” refers to the process whereby a person avoids responsibility for something they’ve said or done. It is a fairly straightforward phrase, making it suitable in both formal and informal settings.

The Free Dictionary by Farlex defines “blame-shifting” as “the act of exchanging accusations.” However, many psychologists say that blame-shifting is a self-defense mechanism that people use in response to an accusation.

In fact, another popular psychology term for blame-shifting is “projecting.” Therefore, when someone blames you for their mistakes, you can call them a “blame-shifter” in response.

Lastly, let’s see a couple of example sentences making use of this term:

It’s easy to be a blame-shifter when things start to fall apart, but accepting responsibility takes character.

I believe that the president is a blame-shifter and a fraud.


Merriam-Webster defines a “scapegoater” as “one that makes a scapegoat of something or somebody.”

Moreover, a “scapegoat” is “one that bears the blame for others.” Therefore, you can use the word “scapegoater” as a word to describe a person who blames others for their own faults.

The phrase “scapegoat” is rarely used in informal settings. In fact, more often than not, you’ll hear this word used in a history class or even in current political discussions.

 Therefore, “scapegoater” is a good formal phrase to use in reference to someone who passes on blame.

Finally, let’s see how to use this phrase in a few examples:

The mayor is a prolific scapegoater. He blames inner city representatives for all the problems the people in his county face.

Perhaps you should introspect about your own flaws before you turn into a full-out scapegoater.