This beauty is a mash up of “rubbed salt in the wound” (make someone feel worse about something) and “rubbed his nose in it” (remind someone of something one has done wrong). Perhaps the speaker was reminding someone of a mistake and bragging about it at the same time. Or maybe this is a new form of medical treatment? A big thank you to Ed Brady for hearing and sending this one in.
This is a blend of “rub the wrong way” (irritate someone) and “barking up the wrong tree” (wrong about the reason for something), resulting in perhaps embarrassment to the speaker. A rubber tree image or thought might also be in the mix. A special thanks to Allen Muir for sending this one in!
I heard this one by Willie Geist on the Today show. He meant to say “you’re just rubbing salt in the wound” as he was explaining that the person’s actions were making the situation worse. As for the other expression, not sure but certainly sand is abrasive and can hurt if in a wound. It also conjures up in my mind the guy kicking sand in the other’s face, aggravating the situation.