get fingers burned

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get (one's) fingers burned

To suffer an unpleasant or ruinous consequence (especially the loss of money) for some action, often such that one becomes unwilling or reluctant to do it again. During the boom times, countless would-be investors put everything they owned in shady investment deals, and most of them ended up getting their fingers badly burned.
See also: burn, finger, get

get one's fingers burned

Fig. to receive harm or punishment for one's actions. (Normally fig.) I had my fingers burned the last time I questioned the company policy. I tried that once before and got my fingers burned. I won't try it again.
See also: burn, finger, get