rub it in(redirected from rubbing it 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!
See also: rub
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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!
See also: rub
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
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.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer