Kick ‘em while they’re Down

Add insult to injury. Throw salt on a wound. When it rains it pours.

Yesterday I discovered a neat way to say this in Japanese:
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泣き面に蜂
naki tsura ni hachi
lit. crying face bee
A bee stings an already tear-stained face.

Use this when on top of misfortune even worse things happen. I imagine if Charlie Brown spoke Japanese, he’d turn this perfectly good kotowaza into a cliche.

The Kenkyusha J-E gives a couple of examples:

泣き面に蜂で…
nakitsura ni hachi de
to make matters worse. On top of all that…

泣き面に蜂というわけさ。
nakitsura ni hachi to iu wake sa.
One misfortune led to another.

The というわけさ is という like this わけ meaning/reasonending indicating assertion that this is so.

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3 thoughts on “Kick ‘em while they’re Down

  1. I just noticed a major typo. I had titled this post “Kick ’em while their Down” Obviously the ‘their’ should have been “they’re”

    gomen nasai…

  2. I searched the proverb on the denshi jisho (http://jisho.org/)and they have an interesting translation(for me anyway)
    “泣き面に蜂。 Misfortunes never come singly.”
    Although I am not really sure this particular translation applies to the japanese text that well, It is just… so… true…

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