I was just having an 'email fight' with someone, since when I asked him to modify the terms of a call, he responded to me: ' I do think it will be a shame on your part as by not...', which I interpreted as a strong accusation/insult, something like 'shame on you'.

Now this person is mentioning that this was a misunderstanding, so not sure, is the above an insult or not?

  • It means "a pity" or "unfortunate." It doesn't mean that you should feel shame. It's not an accusation. The person's saying that it will be unfortunate for you, that the outcome for you will be negative or, at the very least, less-than-optimal. The person is clearly trying to persuade you by showing you that whatever "it" is that you are supporting or suggesting in actuality isn't in your best interest.
    – Billy
    Jul 11, 2018 at 3:33
  • @Billy I had a look online and the 'shame on your part' phrase is actually used as an accusation, just a couple of examples: yourquote.in/akshaya-varadhan-yt3/quotes/… books.google.com.mt/…
    – sen_saven
    Jul 11, 2018 at 9:09

1 Answer 1


In this context "a shame" is equivalent to "a pity", indicating that the person considers the course of action to have a potentially negative outcome for you. They're saying it would be a pity to take this course of action because of whatever they're mentioning after the "as by not" bit. Whether this is a negative outcome for you is open to interpretation but they're not, I don't believe, trying to be either insulting or threatening.

  • thanks for the response. Yeah I am aware of the expression 'such a shame' or 'it's a shame' which does mean 'it's a pity', what made this to sound as 'shame on you' is the 'attribution' of the shame 'on my part'
    – sen_saven
    Jul 10, 2018 at 19:07
  • 1
    "a shame on your part" doesn't sound very natural or colloquial to me, so I can see why it might be misunderstood.
    – user184130
    Jul 10, 2018 at 19:12
  • @JamesRandom No it's not, it's not a turn of phrase I've heard said more than a couple of times and not for years but I have seen it written that way on occasion.
    – Ash
    Jul 10, 2018 at 19:19
  • @sen_saven Normally if I was going to see this at all it would say shame "for you" instead of "on your part" so they've used an odd phrasing but the sense is the same.
    – Ash
    Jul 10, 2018 at 19:22
  • @Ash good idea about the written use of the phrase, what I found from a quick google search is the below, where it does sound as a 'shame on you' books.google.com.mt/…
    – sen_saven
    Jul 10, 2018 at 19:32

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