Rub Someone’s Nose In It

Meaning Of Idiom ‘Rub Someone’s Nose In It (or something)

To rub someone’s nose in something is to repeatedly remind them of something they have done wrong, some painful or embarrassing fact, or a personal fault. 1Pare, May. Body Idioms and More: For Learners of English. United States?: Mayuree Pare, 2005.,2Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010. ,3Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

Related Idiom

Rub Salt in the Wound

Usage

Often this idiom is used in the negative, as in the common phrase “Don’t rub my nose in it.”

Examples Of Use

“I know I shouldn’t have talked to Robert knowing you guys were arguing. You don’t have to rub my nose in it.”

“Getting drunk and embarrassing myself is bad enough without you rubbing my nose in it.”

“I know I shouldn’t make fun of Darren for failing his test, but he’s been such a jerk to me, I just wanted to run his nose in it a little.”

Origin

Used since the mid-1900s, this idiom is based on the incorrect belief that the best way to house train a puppy is to run their nose in their own feces or urine when they have defecated or urinated indoors. 4Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.,5Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.

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Sources   [ + ]

1. Pare, May. Body Idioms and More: For Learners of English. United States?: Mayuree Pare, 2005.
2, 5. Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.
3, 4. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.