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hu•mil•i•a•tion(hyuˌmɪl iˈeɪ ʃən; often yu-)
cut [someone’s] comb To humiliate or humble; to degrade, to take down a peg or two. This expression, which dates from the mid-1500s, is said to allude to the supposed practice of cutting the fleshy red combs of roosters in order to humble their pride.
eat crow To be forced to do or say something distasteful and humiliating; to eat one’s words or eat humble pie; to be compelled to confess wrongdoing or to back down. This colloquial expression of American origin and its variant eat boiled crow were used as early as the mid-19th century. The most popular story explaining this expression tells of an American soldier in the War of 1812 who killed a crow for sport. Its owner reacted by forcing him to eat the dead crow at gunpoint. After a few bites, the soldier was released, whereupon he turned his gun on his foe and forced him to eat the remaining portion. Later, the soldier’s only comment was that he and the other party had “dined” together. Today, eat crow continues to be a popular picturesque expression.
eat humble pie To come down off one’s high horse, swallow one’s pride, and submit to mortification and humiliation; to be forced to apologize and defer to others; to eat crow, to eat dirt, or to eat one’s words. In this expression, humble derives from the obsolete umbles ‘heart, liver, and entrails of the deer.’ Apparently these parts were considered leftovers suitable only for the huntsman and other servants. When the lord and his company feasted on venison, the others ate the umbles that had been made into a pie. Thus, “umble pie” was suggestive of poverty and lowly status. Since humble also connotes lowliness and subservience, the simple fact of confusion gave rise to eat humble pie, used as early as the beginning of the 19th century.
eat one’s words See RECANTATION.
go to Canossa To humble one-self, to submit one-self to humiliation. In January of 1077, Pope Gregory VII stayed for a time at the castle of Canossa in Italy on his way to Germany to take action against the excommunicated Henry IV, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. To forestall this event, Henry IV made the pilgrimage to Canossa where he was kept waiting outside, exposed to the harshness of the elements, for three days before receiving absolution from the Pope. This example of secular submission to Church authority gave rise to the expression in question, now used in the general sense of submitting one-self to humiliation.
put [someone’s] nose out of joint To arouse someone’s anger or resentment by replacing him in the affection or esteem of another; to humiliate, to spoil or upset someone’s plans, to thwart.
The King is pleased enough with her: which, I fear, will put Madam Castlemaine’s nose out of joint. (Samuel Pepys, Diary, 1662)
It is easy to see how the literal out of joint ‘dislocated, out of place’ gave rise to the figurative ‘supplanted, superseded.’
rub [someone’s] nose in it To persistently humiliate a person by reminding him of a fault or error. This expression may have derived from the canine housebreaking technique of placing the pet’s nose close to its mistake in hope of discouraging future indoor accidents. As used today, the expression implies unmerciful harping and castigation over a relatively minor mishap.
I’m sorry. I’ve said I’m sorry. Don’t rub my nose in it. (P. M. Hubbart, Flush as May, 1963)
take down a peg To humble, to lower someone in his own or another’s estimation; to snub or put down. In print since the 16th century, this expression is said to derive from the raising or lowering of a ship’s colors, or flag, by pegs, to mark the importance of an occasion—the higher the colors, the greater the honor, and vice versa. Another theory is that peg originally referred to the notches inside a cup to indicate each person’s share. To take someone down a peg meant to drink his share. Today take down a notch is a common variant.
I must take that proud girl down a peg. (Mrs. Humphrey Ward, Marceña, 1894)
with egg on one’s face Embarrassed or humiliated by some mistake; in the wrong, guilty. The origin of this expression is unknown. It may have derived from an audience’s practice of throwing rotten eggs at actors during an especially poor performance. Another possible derivation is of a more agrarian nature. Weasels, foxes, and other such animals are known for their habit of sneaking into henhouses at night to suck eggs. To come out with egg on their faces would display to all the evidence of their wrongdoing.
with one’s tail between one’s legs Ashamed, humiliated, disgraced, embarrassed; cowed, dejected, beaten; afraid, scared.
We shall have you back here very soon … with your tail between your legs. (William E. Norris, Thirlby Hall, 1884)
A dog, disgraced by having lost the scent on a hunt or embarrassed at being caught doing something forbidden, returns to its master with its tail hanging between its legs instead of triumphantly wagging on high.
|Noun||1.||humiliation - state of disgrace or loss of self-respect|
disgrace, ignominy, shame - a state of dishonor; "one mistake brought shame to all his family"; "suffered the ignominy of being sent to prison"
|2.||humiliation - strong feelings of embarrassment |
embarrassment - the shame you feel when your inadequacy or guilt is made public
|3.||humiliation - an instance in which you are caused to lose your prestige or self-respect; "he had to undergo one humiliation after another"|
|4.||humiliation - depriving one of self-esteem |
comedown - decline to a lower status or level