Nasal annoyances

< Previous | Next >


Senior Member
Welsh - Northern
The two languages I use most often, Cymraeg/Welsh and English both refer to the nose in certain expressions which indicate annoyance involving another character. However, their constructions and significance are quite different.


tynnu blewyn o drwyn rhywun

pulling a body hair from SOFT MUTATION nose someone
'pulling a hair from someone's nose'
( = making someone very angry)


getting/to get up someone's nose

So in Welsh, something is removed from person X's nose by Y and this makes X angry with Y.
In English, Y adds himself in X's nose causing X to be angry with him

Where do your languages stand in this 'nasal issue'? :)
Last edited:
  • TheCrociato91

    Senior Member
    Italian - Northern Italy
    I can't think of any expression in Italian, but I know that in Spanish "narices" (noses) is associated with annoyance:
    - tocarle las narices a alguien = to annoy someone (lit. to touch someone's noses)
    - estar hasta las narices de alguien/algo = be fed up with someone/something (lit. to be up to one's noses of someone/something)
    - ... de las narices = damned/bloody... (lit. of the noses)
    - tener algo narices = be outrageous (lit. to have noses)
    There are certainly more. Native speakers of Spanish will be able to complete the list.


    Senior Member
    Brazílie, portugalština
    There's torcer o nariz a algo in Portuguese, lit. "to twist the nose to something", meaning to disapprove of or not like something. It's the closest to annoyance I can think of.


    In Finnish if you get angry or annoyed about something we can call it "pulling peas in your nose" (vetää herneet nenään).
    In Greek when someone meddles in or takes part in the affairs of others, we say that s/he «χώνει την μύτη του/της» [ˈxɔ.ni tiɱ ˈmi.ti tu] (masc.), [ˈxɔ.ni tiɱ ˈmi.ti tis] (fem.) --> s/he sticks his/her nose

    -The MoGr verb is «χώνω» [ˈxɔ.nɔ] --> to bury, shove, embed, stick < Classical v. «χόω» kʰóō --> to cram, heap up (PIE *ɡʰeu̯- to pour cf Skt. हुत (huta), sacrifice, offering, Toch. A/B käw, to pour, Lat. fundere).

    -MoGr fem. noun «μύτη» [ˈmi.ti] --> nose; it's the name of nose in the vernacular since Byzantine times which replaced the difficult Classical name for it, «ῥίς» rʰī́s (fem. 3rd declension nom. sinɡ.), «ῥῑνός» rʰīnós (ɡen. sinɡ.).
    It derives from the Classical fem. «μύτ(τ)ις» mút(t)ĭs (nom. sinɡ.), «μύτιδος» mútĭdŏs (ɡen. sinɡ.) --> snout, possibly related to the Pre-Greek «μύσταξ» mústăks (masc. nom. sinɡ.), «μύστακος» mústăkŏs (ɡen. sinɡ.) --> upper lip, moustache


    Senior Member
    français (France)
    French (there are more nose-related expressions but not necessarily associated with annoyance):
    • avoir quelqu'un dans le nez (to have somebody in the nose): to dislike somebody. See also ne pas pouvoir sentir quelqu'un (not to be able to smell sombebody) and colloquially ne pas pouvoir piffer / piffrer quelqu'un (pif is slang for nez): not to stand somebody
    • la moutarde me monte au nez (mustard is getting up my nose): I am getting angry


    Senior Member
    American English
    Those phrases don't exist in English. You might be mixing this concept up with the English use of the word "face". One person can be annoyed or angry at another for "getting in {his/her} face".

    There is the phrase "sticking {his/her/your} nose in {his/her/their/my} business", but that refers to the annoying person's nose, not the annoyed person's nose. (And it's really about how obnoxious the annoying person is for acting that way, not about the annoyed person's reaction to it.)


    Senior Member
    Welsh - Northern

    Who are you addressing here in your first paragraph? If it's @Nanon, you're probably correct as every language will have its own expressions. However, sometimes, there is an overlap, either completely, or in part. But if the expression "getting up someone's nose" meaning annoying them is what you consider as "not existing in English", then I'm sure that you'll find that it does in informal Br.E. (An equivalent, and also often used by British English speakers, which is AmE is "getting on someone's nerves" - interestingly enough, also using a part of the human body. And then there is "getting on someone's wick" which again, by rhyming slang, uses a body part, an expression, as probably limited again to Br.E.)

    "To get in someone's face", I see defined as "to criticize or shout at someone in a very direct and angry way"- not quite the same as annoying them. But am open to persuasion.

    All references from Merriam-Webster online.
    < Previous | Next >