A medication to save life turn out fatal – An idiom to describe this in a more picturesque manner

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goldencypress

Senior Member
India - Malayalam
A medication used to treat an illness gives rise to an illness that is much worse that the illness it was intended to cure.

You use a cream to tan your skin, but it results in skin cancer.

You give somebody a medication to save his life, but it turns out to be fatal and kills him.

Is there an idiom or a proverb to describe this situation in a more picturesque manner?

Thank you.
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Quote by Francis Bacon: The remedy is worse than the disease.

    Wiktionary: the cure is worse than the disease:
    The medical treatment for an illness produces a worse net result than the illness does (or threatens a non-negligible risk of doing so), especially via adverse effects.
    (figuratively) The solution or proposed solution to a problem produces a worse net result than the problem does (or threatens a non-negligible risk of doing so), especially via unintended consequences.
     

    goldencypress

    Senior Member
    India - Malayalam
    Thank you, copyright. But that is not what I was looking for.

    You foolishly compliment a President of a charitable club for not raising donations from members to implement service projects not realizing that as a President it was his duty to raise funds to carry out charity work and by not doing that he was in fact neglecting his duties and responsibilities.

    Your compliment only serves to bring people’s attention to the presidents’ inaction and incompetence.

    In other words, your compliment turns out to be counterproductive.

    This is not a left-handed compliment.

    Is there an idiom to describe your action?
     

    goldencypress

    Senior Member
    India - Malayalam
    Getting a poisoned chalice. A chalice is a sort of drinking cup.
    Yes, that is what I meant. But the actual intent of "a poisoned chalice" will be lost on a person who does not know how ornate and beautiful a chalice is and in our part of the world it is not very common.
    Could you think of something that will be understood by a common man.
     

    cando

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Getting a poisoned chalice. A chalice is a sort of drinking cup.

    My understanding of "poisoned chalice" is a position or task someone is offered that seems like an honour, but actually involves hidden dangers or difficulties which could ruin the recipient's reputation through inevitable failure.
     

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    If you mean you said something which embarassed the person you were speaking to, and as a consequence, embarassed you too, you "put your foot in your mouth". Is that what you were looking for?
     

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    My understanding of "poisoned chalice" is a position or task someone is offered that seems like an honour, but actually involves hidden dangers or difficulties which could ruin the recipient's reputation through inevitable failure.
    Yes, that's often the meaning. I believe it can also be used to describe something that seems beneficial but is actually not.
     

    manfy

    Senior Member
    German - Austria
    I believe it can also be used to describe something that seems beneficial but is actually not.
    Something that's claimed to be (or sold to you with the promise of being) beneficial, even though it's most probably not, is called "snake oil".
    But this term does not imply that it is knowingly harmful but only useless - which in some cases might have the same effect though!
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    In terms of proverbs, one possibility for the sort of thing described in post 4 is "The road to hell is paved with good intentions".

    From the Wiki article on the saying:
    One meaning of the phrase is that individuals may have the intention to undertake good actions but nevertheless fail to take action. [...] As such, the saying is an admonishment that a good intention is meaningless unless followed through.

    A different interpretation of the saying is wrongdoings or evil actions are often masked by good intentions, or even that good intentions, when acted upon, may have unforeseen bad consequences. An example is the introduction of alien species such as the Asian carp, which has become a nuisance due to unexpected proliferation and behaviour.
     

    goldencypress

    Senior Member
    India - Malayalam
    My understanding of "poisoned chalice" is a position or task someone is offered that seems like an honour, but actually involves hidden dangers or difficulties which could ruin the recipient's reputation through inevitable failure.
    So it is "a position or task someone is offered" and cannot be applied to a "COMPLIMENT"?
     
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