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  1. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #1

    hard-nosed

    hard-nosed Fig. stern and unforgiving. Mr. Howe was known to be very hard-nosed, but he could really be friendly if you got to know him.
    hard-nosed - Idioms - by the Free Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.

    Could someone tell me why hard-nosed refers to stern and unforgiving? Why not hard-teeth?

    Thanks!

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: hard-nosed

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    hard-nosed - Idioms - by the Free Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.

    Could someone tell me why hard-nosed refers to stern and unforgiving? Why not hard-teeth?

    Thanks!
    I doubt it! (but it would be 'hard-toothed' ;))

    I suppose it mighthave something to do with the idiom 'nose to the grindstone' - meaning hard at work. )The nose comes into it because a person working hard (at a mental job) often has his/her head bowed.)... But I doubt it. I think it's just one of those things.

    b

  3. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: hard-nosed

    Thank you, BobK.

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    #4

    Re: hard-nosed

    I can only guess, but I'll try anyway after looking up several dictionaries. I think it could have evolved from 'hard-nosed' meaning stubborn - most dictionaries give only this meaning by the way. Then this one could have been made as some kind of a synekdoche from 'hardheaded' which means exactly the same, and whose origins seem much less vague.

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