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Add insult to injury

To add insult to injury means to make a bad situation worse by adding on to the bad situation with more problems, humiliation, or scorn. Add insult to injury is a very old phrase, it comes from one of the fables told by Aesop, who lived in Ancient Greece. The fable in question is The Bald Man and the Fly. A fly bites the bald man on the head. In an effort to kill the fly, the bald man slaps himself on the head so hard he hurts himself. The fly mocks the bald man as he escapes: “You want to avenge an insect’s sting with death; what will you do to yourself, who have added insult to injury?” The moral of the story is revenge will hurt the avenger. The term first appears in English in the mid-eighteenth century, related terms are adds insult to injury, added insult to injury, adding insult to injury.


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Examples

To add insult to injury, Ecuador faces an imminent arbitration ruling at the World Bank that could cost it $2.5bn. (The Financial Times)

To add insult to injury, to plug an $86-million deficit, Tory allowed the city’s finance officials to come up with one of their creative shell games that in the end upped the debt. (The Toronto Sun)

Notwithstanding the claims of the ruling dispensation on efforts to complete the projects catering to the Rayalaseema region, the government’s move to shift one of the pumps from the Handri-Neeva project to the Pattiseema project to ensure pumping of water by the scheduled date has only added insult to injury. (The Hindu)

It is no secret that Iran and Saudi Arabia have haven’t got along well for some time and the latest tragic events namely the crane collapse and the Mina stampede during this year hajj ritual added insult to injury. (The Tehran Times)

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