rub salt in someone's wounds

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To make a painful situation even worse (even with the best of intentions).

Etymology:

  • From the practice of using salt to inhibit infection of open wounds.
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John already feels guilty for what he did to you. Don't rub salt into his wounds.

Submitted on July 07, 2010

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"rub salt in someone's wounds." Phrases.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2019. Web. 10 Dec. 2019. <https://www.phrases.com/phrase/rub-salt-in-someone's-wounds_14637>.

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