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Have your nose out of joint

Posted by ESC on March 13, 2002

In Reply to: Out of Joint posted by ESC on March 13, 2002

: :
: : Can someone please tell me what the following sentence means?

: : "He is a man with his nose out of joint."

: : Thanks in advance.

: It means the man is insulted. Something has occurred to make him feel slighted.

: "The little boy has had his nose out of joint since the new baby was born." "John has his nose out of joint since Bob got the promotion."

HAVE YOUR NOSE OUT OF JOINT -- "Be disgruntled, particularly when somebody seems to be taking your place. The nose is not a joint and so doesn't go out (unless it is broken), but the image of surprised displeasure is vivid. It is also of long standing. Barnaby Rich was familiar with it in 1581, when he wrote in 'His Farewell to the Militarie Profession': 'It could bee no other than his owne name, that had thrust his nose so far out of ioynte.'" From The Dictionary of Cliches by James Rogers (Ballantine Books, 1885).

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