wipe off the egg on (one's) face(redirected from wiped off the egg on their faces)
wipe off the egg on (one's) face
To have been embarrassed or made a fool by some public failure or faux pas. I was so nervous that I said the wrong name during the wedding ceremony. Boy, am I wiping off the egg on my face now! The CEO was really wiping off the egg on his face after he went on stage to demonstrate the new product and couldn't get it to work.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
egg on one's face, to have/wipe off the
To have made a fool of oneself. An Americanism of the mid-twentieth century, this self-evident metaphor for having made a mess of oneself soon crossed the Atlantic. (John Ciardi, however, speculates it may derive from an entertainer’s being pelted with garbage, including raw eggs, by a dissatisfied audience.) The other version, to wipe the egg off one’s face, means the same thing, implying that one has made an embarrassing error (not that one is correcting it). See also lay an egg.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer