Paying through the nose

Paying through your nose – never a good thing.  It implies that you paid too much, way too much for what you got.  Paying through your nose is paying an excessive price.

Paying through the nose for speeding, pic: http://www.worldphoto360.com

Like with many idioms the origin lies buried deep in history and is somewhat unclear.  The one thing, though, that is consistent in the stories of the possible origin of this expression: it had to do with taxes not being paid in time or at all and noses being cut off for that offense.  Nasty.

These days the idiom is less bloody – but in some cases painful nevertheless.

Here are a couple of examples:

“How do you like your new techno gizmo?”

“I am not happy!  I paid through the nose for it and still I have been having all these technical problems.”

“Don’t drive in the carpool during car pool hours lane if you are alone.  You’ll pay through the nose for that if the police catches you.”

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