E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
This word, like father, mother, daughter, etc., is common to the whole Aryan family. Greek, potr, a drinking-vessel; Latin, poc-ulumi.e. potaculum; Irish and Swedish, pota; Spanish, pote; German, pott; Danish, potte; French, Welsh, Anglo-Saxon, pott, etc.
Gone to pot. Ruined, gone to the bad. The allusion is to the pot into which refuse metal is cast to be remelted, or to be discarded as waste.
Now and then a farm went to pot.Dr. Arbuthnot.
The pot calls the kettle black. This is said of a person who accuses another of faults committed by himself. The French say, The shovel mocks the poker (La pelle se moque du fourgon).
To betray the pot to the roses. To betray the rose potthat is, the pot
which contains the rose-nobles. To let the cat out of the bag. (French, Decouvrir le pot aux roses.)
Brazen and earthen pots. Gentlemen and artisans, rich and poor, men of mark and those unstamped. From the fable of the Brazen and Earthen Pots.
Brazen and earthen pots float together in juxtaposition down the stream of life.Pall Mall Gazette.