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    #1

    bite somebody’s nose off

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to give me your considered opinion concerning the usage of the expression in bold in the following sentences?

    “Pray, sir,’ returned Mrs. Sparsit, “do not bite my nose off.”
    Bite your nose off, madam!” repeated Nr. Bounderby. “Your nose,” meaning, as Mrs. Sparsit conceived, that it was too developed a nose for the purpose. (Ch. Dickens, “Hand Times”)

    bite somebody’s nose off = snap someone’s head = to treat someone rudely or brusquely, to refuse to acknowledge someone you know

    V.
    Last edited by vil; 24-Jul-2011 at 11:21.

  1. Ouisch's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: bite somebody’s nose off

    Your interpretation is correct. In AmE we say "don't bite my head off." If you were to use the phrase "bite your nose off" in AmE, more than likely the listener would think you were setting them up for this old joke:

    "Hey, take it easy, don't bite my nose off. How would I smell?"
    "Terrible."

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: bite somebody’s nose off

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouisch View Post
    "Hey, take it easy, don't bite my nose off. How would I smell?"
    "Terrible."
    Don't give up the day job.

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