hit (one) when (one) is down

(redirected from hit them when they're down)

hit (one) when (one) is down

To criticize, exploit, insult, or otherwise treat badly someone who has already suffered a setback or is in a vulnerable position. Can Jeff's employee review wait until next week? His girlfriend just left him, and I don't want to hit him while he's down. Bob: "I'm sorry you got fired, but you shouldn't have been so sloppy with your work." Dave: "Wow, Bob. Way to hit me when I'm down."
See also: down, hit