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Rub It In


When someone rubs it in, he or she reminds you of something that makes you appear or feel inferior. For example, the lady in the comic above is rubbing it in that she has finished her work. As a result, her co-worker, who has a mountain or paperwork on his desk, feels worse.
To see how you can use the English idiom
to rub it in, have a look at how it is used in the following two dialogues:

Alejo: It’s too bad that you weren’t elected president of the English Grammar Club last week. This was the fourth time that you lost, wasn’t it?
Felix: It was only the third, but you don’t have
to rub it in.

Louise: That can’t be true! You don’t know the difference between the
present perfect simple and the present perfect continuous?
Delores: So what! I missed last week’s lesson. You don’t have
to rub it in!

The English idiom
to rub it in is the same as the idioms to rub salt into someone’s wounds and to rub it in someone’s face, both of which mean to do or say something to make someone appear or feel worse. Two recent headlines that include the idiom to rub it in are:

Romney Out-Fundraises Obama, Rubs It In
- theatlanticwire.com, 7 June 2012, Adam Martin
Google Earth Gets Some Amazing New 3D Maps, Rubs It In Apple’s Face Just a Bit
- androidpolice.com, 6 June 2012, Eric Ravenscraft

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