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a shame

An unfortunate situation. The term is used either in consolation or ironically. I heard that things didn't work out between you two, that's a real shame. You only have two yachts after the third one sunk? Aw, what a shame!
See also: shame

name and shame

1. verb phrase To publicly name or otherwise identify a person, group, or organization that is guilty of some criminal or anti-social act so as to expose him, her, or them to public shame. The federal agency's plan—to name and shame local criminals across the country with a published list of their names and convictions—is being branded by some advocacy groups as a violation of privacy.
2. noun phrase The act of exposing a culpable person, group, or organization to public shame. Look, I'm just as upset as anyone, but I'm not willing to take part in some name and shame against everyone in the neighborhood!
See also: and, name, shame

crying shame

Fig. a very unfortunate situation; a real shame. It's a crying shame that people cannot afford adequate housing. That your father could not attend graduation was a crying shame.
See also: crying, shame

Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

Prov. After being tricked once, one should be wary, so that the person cannot trick you again. Fred: Would you like a can of peanuts? Jane: The last can of peanuts you gave me had a toy snake in it. Fred: This one really is peanuts. Jane: Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.
See also: fool, on, shame

For shame!

That is shameful! Sue: Did you hear that Tom was in jail? Fred: For shame! What did he do? Sue: Nobody knows. Mary: I've decided not to go to the conference. John: For shame! Who will represent us?

hide one's face in shame

Fig. to cover one's face because of shame or embarrassment. Mary was so embarrassed. She could only hide her face in shame. When Tom broke Ann's crystal vase, he wanted to hide his face in shame.
See also: face, hide, shame

put someone to shame

1. to embarrass someone; to make someone ashamed. I put him to shame by telling everyone about his bad behavior.
2. to show someone up. Your excellent efforts put us all to shame.
See also: put, shame

shame of it (all)

That is so shameful!; I am so embarrassed; I am shocked. (Considerable use jocularly or as a parody. Compare this with For shame!) John: Good grief! I have a pimple! Always, just before a date. Andy: The shame of it all! Tom: John claims that he cheated on his taxes. Bill: Golly! The shame of it!
See also: of, shame

shame on you

a phrase scolding someone for being naughty. (*Typically said to a child or to an adult for a childish infraction.) John: I think I broke one of your figurines. Mary: Shame on you! John: I'll replace it, of course. Mary: Thanks, I sort of liked it. "Shame on you!" said Mary. "You should have known better!"
See also: on, shame

Tell the truth and shame the devil.

Prov. to tell the truth even though you have strong reasons for concealing it. Jill: Have you been using my computer without asking permission? Jane: Uh... no.... Jill: Come on, Jane, tell the truth and shame the devil.
See also: and, devil, shame, tell, truth

What a pity!

 and What a shame!
Fig. an expression of consolation meaning That's too bad. (Can also be used sarcastically.) Bill: I'm sorry to tell you that the cat died today. Mary: What a pity! Mary: The cake is ruined! Sally: What a shame!
See also: what

it's a crying shame

it is a great misfortune It's a crying shame when someone has worked hard and then loses everything because of someone else's dishonesty.
See also: crying, shame

put somebody to shame

to cause someone to be embarrassed I thought I was in pretty good shape for hiking, but Astrid, who is in her 70s, put me to shame.
See also: put, shame

shame on you

you should feel embarrassed by something you have done Protesters chanted “shame on you” at the university's president. Shame on me for not checking the schedule and getting there half an hour late.
See also: on, shame

It's a crying shame!

something that you say when you think a situation is wrong (often + that ) It's a crying shame that she only gets one month's maternity leave.
See also: crying

crying shame, a

An unfortunate situation, as in It's a crying shame that Bob can't find a job. This term may well come from the now obsolete to cry shame upon, meaning "express vigorous disapproval or censure," current from about 1600 to the mid-1800s.
See also: crying

for shame

Also, shame on you. An expression that condemns someone for being dishonorable or disgraceful. For example, " For shame," said Carol to the puppy, "You shouldn't have done that," or "Shame on you for cheating," the teacher said. [c. 1300]
See also: shame

put to shame

Outdo, eclipse, as in Jane's immaculate kitchen puts mine to shame. This idiom modifies the literal sense of put to shame, that is, "disgrace someone," to the much milder "cause to feel inferior." [Mid-1800s]
See also: put, shame

shame on you

see under for shame.
See also: on, shame

put to shame

1. To cause to feel shame.
2. To outdo thoroughly; surpass: Your kindness has put the rest of us to shame.
See also: put, shame

sense of shame

An understanding and respect for propriety and morality.
See also: of, sense, shame
References in periodicals archive ?
This journey included more years of self-inquiry and more therapy, and I learned I needed to rid myself of shame if I wanted to live authentically--which I saw as the key to fulfillment.
All people experience feelings of shame and embarrassment at one time or another, but may cope with shame very differently.
This research provides insight into a unique subset of the Christian religion for which there are no prior studies addressing how the construct of shame may be related to fundamentalist Christian beliefs.
97) Although the Ninth Circuit acknowledged the uncertainty regarding how rehabilitation is best accomplished, (98) it ultimately concluded that criminal penalties "nearly always cause shame and embarrassment" and this does not automatically render them objectionable.
The shame of a regional 15% rise in the number of unemployed women to 104,000 in those four years.
According to Scheff a society that fosters individualism provides a ripe breeding ground for the emotion of shame because people are encouraged to "go it alone, no matter the cost to relationships," he said.
After providing a definition of shame as it applies in international law, a crucial piece of analysis that has been missing from this area of undertheorized assertions and unexplored assumptions, this Article argues that shaming efforts vary according to four dynamics: the influence of the agent of shame, the subject of the shame, the attention of audiences other than the agent of shame, and the repeated interactions of the Council's members.
They argue that shame always correlates to values that inform, at least partially, our self-valuation; even the shame we experience for others arises from values to which we are attached.
One is often the presence of shame (Cheung, Gilbert, & Irons, 2004; Gilbert et al.
While my son described this meeting to me, my immediate reaction was anger at the thought of a school using intimidation and shame as tools in an attempt to motivate students to excel academically.
The rivers and purulence and tumors of shame all meet up, forming a sea of humiliation, incapacity, disappointment and madness.
I think dogs need a website of their own to shame their parents," he said.
Shame dominates much of our being, but in allowing it do we hamper our own potential?
No monarchy has any legitimacy in this day and age, regardless of whether they are constitutional or not, and to say that people booing God Save the Queen is a national shame is outrageous.
Prudes, Perverts, and Tyrants: Plato's Gorgias and the Politics of Shame.