rub salt in the wound
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Derived from the stinging sensation of salt deliberately being rubbed into an open, bleeding wound.
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- (idiomatic) To make an injury, physical or emotional, feel worse.
- For rub, one can substitute verbs such as add, pour, put, possibly requiring a change in the preposition in.
- See salt in the wound for variations in that portion of the expression.
to make an injury feel worse