I would like to know an equal idiom in English for an Idiom in Telugu

it is like touching leaves after burning your hands meaning doing something to rectify the situation after the total damage has been done.

It is not crying over split milk

It is not a duplicate .My mother tongue is not Flemish..I asked the question because the idiom is there in my mothertongue for which I did not know the English Idiom.When I asked the question I did not have the slightest possibility to see the previous post.It is rather coincidental that the idiom has almost the same meaning has mine.

Here is a link which differes in meaning to the idiom in Telugu.

The English Idiom means trying to prevent the damage well before but fail to do so because it is too late even at that time. But the Telugu idiom means trying to remedy a situation foolishly after the tragedy happened

Here is the link



2 Answers 2


Closing the stable door after the horse has bolted

Trying to prevent or rectify a problem after the damage has already been done.

"If you try to replace the oil filter on the engine now, you're just closing the stable door after the horse has bolted."


  • @ your answer seems to be almost similar in meaningBut some sourcses say that some thing is done before the damage but it is too late.The Telugu idiom means doing something foolishly after the damage Oct 29, 2019 at 16:13
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    To me, 'shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted' means exactly what you say - trying to remedy a situation after it has happened. By the way, I'm wondering what the leaves are supposed to do to your hands to prevent burning. Is it some special kind of leaf? Oct 29, 2019 at 17:09
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    @Englishmonger This idiom is identical in meaning to the one you've supplied. It's a remedy that would have saved the damage had it been previously applied but it has not. And now you're applying it too late.
    – David M
    Oct 29, 2019 at 18:30
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    @ Justin.I have accepted your answer as it is better of the two.I have upvoted it too. Oct 30, 2019 at 6:43
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    @Englishmonger - Glad it helped!
    – Justin
    Oct 30, 2019 at 6:46

Since you don't seem to feel that closing the barn door after the cows have gone is equivalent, perhaps a closer idiom would be:

Rearranging the deck chairs on a sinking ship.

This is trying to fix small cosmetic issues while not noticing the larger overall problem.

For example, creating a new logo for a company when your product is already too obsolete to gain any market share.

Or, doing cosmetic surgery on a patient who is on life support.

A similar idiom would be:

Too little, too late.


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