“A really unlucky person can fall on his back and still manage to break his nose.”
I heard this proverb from my father and he heard it from his father when he was young. The saying is obviously not literal but it is supposed to be an expression meaning that sometimes there are just extremely unlucky people in the world where nothing works out for them no matter what they do. My dad usually says this when he observes or has heard about someone having bad fortune. For example, his friend cannot invest into a business without it failing within a year. His parents set him up with a hotel for him to run but then he got sued and later had to file bankruptcy for the second time. However, the saying can be performed for events that aren’t as distressing. I’ve heard other korean adults say it in passing when the “bad luck” turns out to be just a minor nuisance (getting a parking ticket).
To me, this saying is quite humorous and sometimes I can see it being taken literally. There are times in my own life that brought experiences that completely dumbfounded me and led me to ask “how possibly could that have happened?” This proverb reminds of the saying that bad things come in pairs and one should be wary of bad fortune. Overall, I feel like this proverb is mostly intended for light laughter rather than any sort of wisdom hidden behind it.