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pour salt in(to) the/(someone's) wound(s)
To make something that is already difficult, unpleasant, or painful even worse; to accentuate, aggravate, or intensify a negative situation, emotion, or experience (for someone). After losing the championship match, it really poured salt in John's wound for his girlfriend break up with him the next day. My pride was already hurting when I didn't get the job, but hearing that they gave it to Dave really poured salt into the wound. I can't believe you would ask me to pay you back on the day that I got laid off. Thanks for pouring salt in my wounds, man.
salt in the/(one's) wound(s)
An aggravation that makes something unpleasant, difficult, or painful even worse. I can't believe Sally broke up with John the day after his team lost the championship match. Talk about salt in the wounds! My pride was already hurting when I didn't get the job, but it was like salt in my wound to hear that they gave it to Dave instead.
See also: salt
have (someone) wound around (one's) (little) finger
To have complete control, dominance, or mastery over somebody; to be able to make someone do whatever one wishes. The spoiled little brat has his parents completely wound around his little finger. Everyone accused her of getting the promotion by having the boss wound around her finger.
have (someone) wound round (one's) (little) finger
To have complete control, dominance, or mastery over somebody; to be able to make someone do whatever one wishes. The spoiled little brat has his parents completely wound round his little finger. Everyone accused her of getting the promotion by having the boss wound round her finger.
wind up in
To arrive some place or in some situation. The phrase implies that getting there was not planned. My brother is a very spontaneous traveler and just spends his time in whatever country he winds up in! We had some time to kill before the concert, so we walked around and wound up in a coffee shop.
all wound up
Very tense and/or nervous. Jittery. A: "Why is Don pacing?" B: "I think he's all wound up because he's next to get a performance review."
time heals all wounds
Emotional pain lessens over time. I know it's hard to consider now, as you're grieving, but time heals all wounds. I'm sure you will reconcile with Kathleen eventually. After all, time heals all wounds.
rub salt in(to) the/(one's) wound(s)
To make something that is already difficult, unpleasant, or painful even worse; to accentuate, aggravate, or intensify a negative situation, emotion, or experience (for someone). After losing the championship match, it really rubbed salt in John's wound for his girlfriend to break up with him the next day. My pride was already hurting when I didn't get the job, but hearing that they gave it to Dave really rubbed salt into the wound. I can't believe you would ask me to pay you back on the day that I got laid off. Thanks for rubbing salt in my wounds, man.
open old wounds
To bring up or remind someone of a painful, tragic, or unfortunate past event or situation. Seeing Jessica with her new girlfriend opened a lot of old wounds this afternoon. The fight got pretty nasty, and we both started opening old wounds from years ago.
reopen old wounds
To bring up or remind someone of a painful, tragic, or unfortunate past event or situation. Seeing Jessica with her new girlfriend reopened a lot of old wounds this afternoon. The fight got pretty nasty, and we both started reopening old wounds from years ago.
twist the knife
To add to, exacerbate, or amplify a betrayal or wrong by further malicious actions. He said it was over, and then he twisted the knife and said he had never loved me.
lick (one's) wounds
To withdraw after a misstep or defeat in order to recover. I think the senator will be licking his wounds for awhile after that disastrous debate performance.
1. To slow and near an ending. Our field hockey practice usually winds down with some gentle stretches.
2. To cause something to slow and near an ending. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "wind" and "down." We'll wind down our practice with some gentle stretches.
1. verb To tighten the spring inside an item or device, as by twisting a knob. A noun or pronoun can be used between "wind" and "up." Let me try winding up your watch—maybe that will get it going again.
2. verb To twist or coil something onto a particular surface or thing. A noun or pronoun can be used between "wind" and "up." The cat will keep playing with that yarn, unless you wind it up on the spool.
3. verb To cause someone or something to become more animated. A noun or pronoun can be used between "wind" and "up." Please don't wind the kids up right before bedtime.
4. verb To come to an end. The party wound up earlier than I'd expected, and I was in bed by 11.
5. verb To conclude something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "wind" and "up." I was completely exhausted and decided to wind up the party early. Wind it up, guys. We need to get going.
6. verb To cause someone to become anxious or agitated. A noun or pronoun can be used between "wind" and "up." Quit watching the news—it always winds you up.
7. verb To cause someone to talk for a long time and with enthusiasm about a topic they are passionate about. A noun or pronoun can be used between "wind" and "up." Shakespeare just winds her up—she could talk about his tragedies for hours.
8. verb To settle or resolve something. After I inherited all that money, I tried to wind up some of my outstanding debts.
9. verb To reach a certain place or state. I didn't plan to go to the grocery store—I just wound up there after running some other errands. Few inventors wind up having the kind of success you're hoping for.
10. verb To twist or contort one's body in preparation for an athletic maneuver (as of a pitcher in baseball). As I watch their pitcher wind up, I can't help but wonder if he's injured. I saw her winding up to hit him, so I tried to intervene before she did.
11. noun The act of twisting or contorting one's body in preparation for an athletic maneuver (as of a pitcher in baseball). As as noun, the phrase is usually hyphenated ("wind-up"). Look at their pitcher's wind-up—do you think he's injured?
1. To twist or turn around and face or go in the opposite direction. These small country roads keep winding back on themselves, so it has been taking us a lot longer to reach the cabin than I thought it would. My paper route goes all the way out to the edge of town before eventually winding back.
2. To set a dial or meter of some kind to an earlier position or reading. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "wind" and "back." They were caught winding the electricity meter back to pay less than they owed. I forgot to wind back the clocks for daylight savings time and ended up oversleeping.
wind up (by) (doing something)
1. To take some course of action, perhaps reluctantly. Thanks to bad weather, we wound up by leaving our beach house ahead of schedule.
2. To conclude something with a particular action. Well, as usual, our family wound up by having a big fight after Thanksgiving dinner.
lick one's wounds
Fig. to recover from a defeat or a rebuke. (Also literal for an animal.) After the terrible meeting and all the criticism, I went back to my office to lick my wounds.
rub salt in a wound
Fig. to deliberately make someone's unhappiness, shame, or misfortune worse. Don't rub salt in the wound by telling me how enjoyable the party was. Bill is feeling miserable about losing his job and Bob is rubbing salt into the wound by saying how good his replacement is.
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?
[for something, such as a road] to turn so that it heads in the direction from whence it came. The road we got lost on wound back and we were not able to reach the lake on time. When we were lost, we found a stream in the woods, but it wound back and did not lead us in the direction we wanted.
to start running or operating slower. Things will begin to wind down at the end of the summer. As things wind down, life will be a lot easier. The clock wound down and finally stopped.
wind someone up
1. Inf. Fig. to get someone excited. That kind of music really winds me up!
2. . Inf. Fig. to get someone set to do a lot of talking. (Fig. on winding up a clock.) The excitement of the day wound Kelly up and she talked almost all night. A good movie tends to wind me up for a while.
wind something down
to slow something down; to make something less hectic. Let's wind this party down and try to get people to go home. It's really late. We tried to wind down the party, but it kept running.
wind something up
1. Lit. to tighten the spring in something, such as a watch or a clock. Please wind your watch up now—before it runs down. Wind up your watch before you forget.
2. Fig. to conclude something. Today we'll wind that deal up with the bank. I have a few items of business to wind up. Then I'll be with you.
wind up (as) something
to end up as something. Roger wound up as a millionaire. He thought he would wind up a pauper.
somehow to end up in some fashion. I don't want to wind up broke and depressed. You don't want to wind up like Ted, do you?
(somewhere) Go to end up (somewhere).
lick one's wounds
Recuperate from injuries or hurt feelings. For example, They were badly beaten in the debate and went home sadly to lick their wounds. This expression alludes to an animal's behavior when wounded. It was originally put as lick oneself clean or whole, dating from the mid-1500s.
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.
Diminish gradually, draw to a close, as in By midnight the party had wound down. [Mid-1900s] Also see wind up.
1. Come or bring to a finish, as in The party was winding up, so we decided to leave, or Let's wind up the meeting and get back to work. [Early 1800s] Also see wind down.
2. Put in order, settle, as in She had to wind up her affairs before she could move. [Late 1700s]
3. Arrive somewhere following a course of action, end up, as in We got lost and wound up in another town altogether, or If you're careless with your bank account, you can wind up overdrawn. [Colloquial; early 1900s]
twist the knifeor
twist the knife in the wound
If someone twists the knife or twists the knife in the wound, they deliberately do or say something which make a situation even worse for someone who is upset or experiencing problems. Her daughter managed to twist the knife still further by claiming Nancy never loved her. To twist the knife in the wound, he appears to have cast doubt on whether Gray's invention was really his own idea. Note: You can also talk about a twist of the knife. Any cut-backs on the ceremony would be a further twist of the knife for bereaved families.
rub salt into the woundor
rub salt in the wound
COMMON If someone or something rubs salt into the wound or in the wound, they make a situation that is already bad for a person seem even worse. I wasn't allowed to eat anything for 24 hours before the operation so I was really hungry and just to rub salt into the wound, had to sit there while Zoe ate the most delicious-looking pizza. The police rubbed salt in the wounds by waving money in the strikers' faces, a reminder of all the overtime they were earning.
lick your wounds
COMMON If someone licks their wounds, they feel embarrassed and disappointed, especially after being defeated very easily. England's cricketers are licking their wounds after being soundly defeated in the second Test against Australia at Melbourne. Note: Some animals, such as dogs and cats, lick their wounds when they are injured.
open old woundsor
reopen old wounds
If something or someone opens old wounds or reopens old wounds, they remind you of an unpleasant experience in the past that you would prefer to forget. I didn't raise the subject again — I was in no hurry to open old wounds. It is said that the row is reopening old wounds among Conservative MPs.
twist (or turn) the knifedeliberately make someone's grief or problems worse.
1991 Mavis Nicholson Martha Jane & Me While she and I were playing the cat-and-mouse game of these stories, I would sometimes, just to twist the knife a little further, ask about the little girl's father.
lick your woundsretire to recover your strength or confidence after a defeat or humiliating experience.
rub salt into the (or someone's) woundmake a painful experience even more painful for someone.
lick your ˈwoundsspend time trying to get your strength and confidence back after a defeat or disappointment: ‘He heard this morning that he hasn’t got the job.’ ‘Where is he?’ ‘Licking his wounds somewhere, probably.’
reopen old ˈwoundsremind somebody of something unpleasant that happened or existed in the past: Look, let’s try not to reopen any old wounds this time, OK?
rub ˈsalt into the wound/into somebody’s woundsmake somebody who is already feeling upset, angry, etc. about something feel even worse: She was already upset about not getting the job, but when they gave it to one of her own trainees it really rubbed salt into the wound.
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.
To set some clock or counter to an earlier reading: Don't forget to wind your clock back for standard time. When he sold the car, he wound back the odometer to make the car seem newer.
1. To diminish gradually in energy, intensity, or scope: The party wound down as guests began to leave.
2. To cause something to diminish in energy, intensity, or scope: We should wind down this meeting and go home. The discussions have been interesting, but now it's time to wind them down and go home.
1. To coil the spring of some mechanism completely by turning a stem or cord, for example: I wound up my alarm clock. If you wind this toy soldier up, it will march across the floor.
2. To coil something completely, as onto a spool or into a ball: He wound the excess string up into a ball. She wound up the cable around the rod.
3. To come to a finish; end: The meeting wound up at 9:00.
4. To bring something to a finish; end something: We need to wind up this project before January. This card game is fun, but let's wind it up before dinner.
5. To put something in order; settle something: She wound up her affairs before leaving the country.
6. To arrive in some place or situation after or because of a course of action: I took a long walk and wound up at the edge of town. If you spend too much money now, you'll wind up in debt.
7. To distress or perturb someone or something mentally or emotionally: Seeing those awful newspaper headlines really winds me up. The students are getting wound up about all the homework they have.
8. To twist the body in preparation to throw or hit: The soccer player wound up and shot the ball into the net.
1. n. soldiers who are injured but still able to walk. (Standard English.) Many of the walking wounded helped with the more seriously injured cases.
2. n. a person who is injured—mentally or physically—and still able to go about daily life. The outpatient clinic was filled with the walking wounded.
3. n. stupid people in general. Most of network programming seems to be aimed at the walking wounded of our society.
lick (one's) wounds
To recuperate after a defeat.
bellow like a (wounded) bull, to
To scream in outrage. The simile is almost 2,500 years old, from the time of the Greek poet Aeschylus, who wrote, “He bellowed like a bull whose throat has just been cut.” Strictly speaking this cliché is a tautology, since to bellow means “to roar as a bull,” and has done so since the era of Middle English. Shakespeare wrote, “Jupiter became a bull and bellow’d” (The Winter’s Tale, 4.3).
Injured individuals who are of relatively low priority for care, that is, do not need a stretcher or immediate treatment. The term originated in the mid-1900s and alluded to victims of war, earthquake, or some other disaster. In time, it was being used figuratively. For example, Reuters correspondent Nick Zieminski wrote, “Many workers around the world have given up hopes of advancing in their jobs. . . . Such ‘walking wounded’ workers are increasingly exchanging ambition for job stability. . . .” (March 16, 2010). An even looser usage is that of James Lee Burke in The Glass Rainbow (2010), “His face looked poached and twenty years older than his age. ‘Stop staring at me like that,’ he said. . . . ‘You stop acting like I’m the walking wounded.’”