Today’s idiom: “to save face”

25 Sep

A few days ago we talked about “putting your foot in your mouth” – saying something embarrassing. If you have just done that, you quickly want to say something to rescue the situation. In other words, you want to avoid embarrassment. This is what we mean by “saving face”.

The idiom originally comes from China. The Chinese expression “to lose face” means to lose the respect of other people. If you have “lost face”, you’re so embarrassed or humiliated that you can’t show your face in public any more. So, our idiom “to save face” simply means the opposite.

Of course, sometimes your attempt to “save face” can have the opposite effect, and you could accidentally “open your mouth only to change feet”….

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