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    #1

    lick one's wound

    Dear teachers,

    Would you tell me whether I am right with my interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentence?

    German government licking wounds after presidential vote

    lick one’s wound = recuperate from injuries or hurt feelings

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V

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    #2

    Re: lick one's wound

    Yes, that's it really. You could include the idea of "healing oneself" after a "battle". Dogs lick their wounds as a way of keeping them clean and making sure that no infection sets in and that the wound heals quickly and well.

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    #3

    Re: lick one's wound

    That could certainly be one interpretation, but the idiom primarily refers to recuperating after loss or defeat, which applies to your sample sentence.

    In your sample sentence, the German government's feelings were not hurt, and it was not injured either (in the physical sense).

    Also, the sentence should read:

    "The German government (was licking their wounds)/(licked their wounds) after the presidential vote."

    Finally, the word "wound" is always plural in the idiom "lick one's wounds."

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