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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

a crying shame

Something that is problematic and inopportune. It's a crying shame that the car just died—I planned to give it to you some day.
See also: crying, shame

it's a crying shame

It is problematic and inopportune. It's a crying shame that the car just died—I planned to give it to you some day.
See also: crying, shame

put (someone or something) to shame

1. To disgrace, embarrass, or shame someone or something. The neighborhood is going to start putting people to shame who don't pick up their pets' litter. These giant banks were all culpable for the economic crash, and I think we should put them to shame for it.
2. To outclass, outshine, or outperform someone or something. I thought I was a pretty good tennis player, but you puts me to shame! The fledgling technology company's debut smartphone puts the rest of the competition to shame.
See also: put, shame

shame on (one)

An expression of angry, disappointed condemnation. Shame on you! You know better than to steal your sister's toys! Shame on her for taking advantage of your feelings like that!
See also: on, shame

for shame

An expression of angry, disappointed condemnation. For shame! You know better than to steal your sister's toys! I can't believe she took advantage of your feelings like that—for shame!
See also: shame

be a crying shame

To be problematic and inopportune. It's a crying shame that the car just died—I planned to give it to you some day.
See also: crying, 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

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

name and shame

If something such as a newspaper or an official organization names and shames people or companies who have performed badly or who have done something wrong, it tells people their names. The government will name and shame the worst performing airlines.
See also: and, name, shame

name and shame

identify wrongdoers by name with the intention of embarrassing them into improving their behaviour.
1998 New Scientist I'm all for naming and shaming, as this is worth many times more than fines.
See also: and, name, shame

be a crying ˈshame

(spoken) used to emphasize that you think something is extremely bad or shocking: It’s a crying shame to waste all that food.
See also: crying, shame

put somebody/something to ˈshame

be much better than somebody/something: This new stereo puts our old one to shame.

ˈshame on you, him, etc.

(spoken) an exclamation said to somebody who has behaved badly or done something they should be ashamed of: You forgot your mother’s birthday? Shame on you!
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 ?
Shame thus contains a "moment" of potentially pleasurable yet distanced retrospection that also exposes a solipsistic spectacle of the past self--a spectacle made newly conspicuous, for the shamed individual at least, at the instant that its fascinating self-absorption dissipates into shameful self-consciousness.
Watching someone being shamed is, at the same time, taboo, eerie, uncomfortable, and familiar.
22) A stockbroker who has the Midas touch may face few long-term consequences if she is shamed for insider trading, whereas a more humble trader may find her life in shambles.
Moreover, in a modern society, there is no defined "public" circumscribed enough to form discrete opinions about most particular individuals; it is simply not the case that a person shamed by the state can count on the public to recognize his true innocence and honor.
These negative voices lead to increased self-consciousness and, in some cases, rage, which serves to protect boys (and, when older, men) from being shamed again by those who threaten their masculinity.
The shamed reactions of me and my students to our impoverished clients are not unusual.
This connection could take an active or passive form as the shamed individual attempted to manage his or her feelings.
Companies that do not pay the full tax for which they are liable could also be named and shamed.
How glad I was to read in Tuesday's Echo, that someone has finally been named and shamed for their part in an appallingly vicious street attack.
Accused of being shameless, she is ritually shamed.
Quoting Don Laub's statement that at the center of the trauma survivor there is "a danger, a nightmare, a fragility, a woundedness that defies all healing," Bouson convincingly argues that this plight is dramatized in Sethe's discussion of her "rememory," yet Amy Denver is referred to as "a shamed white girl" with no explanation of why she is shamed or what, specifically, shames her.
Noah had been shamed by his nakedness, Sarah by her barrenness, Jacob by his effeminate body, Potiphar's wife through her brazen advances.
A shamed athlete might choose to work on his or her weaknesses, or come to realize that the shame is the result of unrealistic expectations of others and move forward.
a shaming experience) is extremely devaluing and the shamed individual must engage in violence to regain status in the group.
As evidence of this, children are commonly shamed by caregivers and peers when they violate cultural expectations for their gender group (e.