rub it in(redirected from rub something in)
rub it in
1. To make someone feel worse about an already bad, unpleasant, or undesirable situation or outcome. A: "You know that this means you won't get to qualify for the state championships, right?" B: "Sheesh, no need to rub it in, Dave."
2. To flaunt one's success or good fortune in order to make someone jealous. Yes, I know you're going to Japan with the money you won in the lottery—you don't need to rub it in!
rub something in
Fig. to keep reminding one of one's failures; to nag someone about something. I like to rub it in. You deserve it! Why do you have to rub in everything I do wrong?
Also, rub it in. Harp on something, especially an unpleasant matter, as in She always rubs in the fact that she graduated with honors and I didn't, or I know I forgot your birthday, but don't keep rubbing it in. This idiom alludes to the expression rub salt into a wound, an action that makes the wound more painful; it dates from medieval times and remains current. [Mid-1800s] Also see rub someone's nose in it.
rub it inSPOKEN
1. If someone rubs it in, they talk about something that embarrasses you, often a mistake that you made or something silly that you did. Okay, I lost all three matches. Don't rub it in!
2. If someone rubs it in, they make you feel jealous by repeatedly telling you about something good that they own or a success of theirs. We all know you're going off on holiday for three weeks — don't rub it in!
1. To work something into a surface by rubbing: I put lotion on my hands and rubbed it in. Don't try to clean the shirt now—you will only rub in the stain.
2. To talk deliberately and excessively about something unpleasant in order to make another person feel bad: She always rubs in the fact that she has more money than me. I know I made a mistake—there's no need to rub it in.
rub it in, to
To stress something unpleasant or annoying in a teasing way; to add insult to injury. The it in this expression may well be the salt that is in the much older related term, to rub salt into a wound, which dates from late medieval times (or earlier) and is still current. Rubbing it in originated in America; T. A. Burke used it in 1851 (Polly Peaseblossom’s Wedding): “When it comes to rubbin’ it in, I always . . . roars up.” Also related is the cliché to rub one’s nose in it, meaning to remind one of a humiliating error or experience. “I’ve said I’m sorry . . . Don’t rub my nose in it,” wrote P. Hubbard (Flush as May, 1963). It alludes to rubbing a dog’s nose in a mess it has made.