Literally: self – rope – self – bind
Alternately: Falling into your own snare. Painting oneself into a corner. Suffering because you’ve locked yourself into a (bad) situation through your own words and actions. Stripping away your own freedom of action.
Notes: We’re done with the 五十音 ordering! Later on I plan to run through all the characters again in いろは order, but for now I’m taking a bit of a breather from those strictures by introducing random compounds (and, on Sundays, kotowaza) that catch my fancy. Today’s compound is a more admonishing cousin to 自業自得.
This yojijukugo can also be used as part of a longer and more explicit phrase, 自縄自縛・に陥る (・ni ochiiru), “to fall into one’s own trap.”
It might seem not entirely inappropriate, but replacing 自縛 with homophone 自爆 (self-explosion, self-destruction, suicide bombing) is considered an error.