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Rub It In – Meaning

Rub it in – meaning

One of my students came across the expression: rub it in. Let’s look at the meaning, example sentences, pronunciation and synonyms.

The Collins dictionary explains the expression means to keep mentioning someone’s mistake or failure. It is very similar to the expression rub salt in one’s wounds (ouch!).

The expression rub it in describes when someone is teasing you or being mean to you. It could be because you are part of an embarassing situation, have made a mistake or other failure.

We often use the expression don’t rub it in. It is a way to tell them to stop, nicely. It is asking them not to make you feel worse about the situation.

Rub it in – example sentences:

  • I got my second driving ticket, and to rub it in, my boyfriend put it up on the fridge.
  • I know I made a mistake, do you have to keep rubbing it in?
  • I don’t want to rub it in, but I will be lying on the beach sipping margaritas while you are driving to work in the snow.

Don’t rub it in – example sentences:

  • Penny lost all her work for the past month and she is really upset.I know you told her to back up her data. But don’t rub it in when you see her, ok?
  • Joe: Did you miss the bus?
  • Kim: Yes
  • Joe: Didn’t I tell you to leave earlier.
  • Kim: Yes, well, don’t rub it in, please.

Rub it in – pronunciation

It can be hard to understand when someone says this expression. English speakers will link the three words together, so it might sound all like one word. Listen to these examples of rub it in from movies.

 



 

Synonyms for rub it in, include:

  1. exacerbate (a situation)  – formal language
  2. not let someone forget – everyday expression
  3. rub someone’s face in it – casual expression
  4. go on about it – casual expression
  5. keep bringing up – everyday expression

 

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