View Full Version : Cut off your nose to spite your face

Katie Black
09-20-2018, 03:41 PM
The idiom to cut off your nose to spite your face means you shouldn’t do something out of spite or revenge that will end up causing more harm to you than to the person with which you are angry. :eek: In other words, do not let your overreaction lead to self-harm.

Here's some more...if you have some please share.

"a few sandwiches short of a picnic." - someone that lacks common sense.

‘When pigs fly’ – something that will never happen.

In for a penny in for a pound - If you're going to take a risk at all, you might as well make it a big risk

don't spoil the ship for a ha'porth of tar - I know you don't want to pay for this expensive course of treatment, but ... to miss work, you'll see that you were penny-wise and pound-foolish.

09-20-2018, 04:09 PM
"You can't make an omelet without buying some eggs" - Thanks for trying to do the grocery shopping, honey.

09-20-2018, 05:23 PM
Best thing since sliced bread. Meaning a really good idea.
Bite off more than you can chew. Meaning taking on more than you can handle.
Don't cry over spilled milk. Meaning don't worry about something in the past that you can't change.
It takes two to tango. Meaning a task or communication takes more than one person.
Let the cat out of the bag. Meaning disclose information that was previously concealed.
To kill two birds with one stone. Meaning to accomplish two tasks at once.

09-20-2018, 07:35 PM
"A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" - But a stone in the hand and two birds in the bush is even better. If you're handy with a stone.

"Don't count your eggs before they hatch" - Don't plan on the best possible outcome; be prepared to adjust.

"Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater" - We use our bathwater to water the flowers, so this could never happen.

"A stitch in time saves nine" - A timely repair can preempt an untimely and more expensive breakdown.

"Two wrongs don't make a right" - The look on kids' faces as they try to puzzle out how or why two wrongs could possibly make a right is priceless.

"No good deed goes unpunished" - Don't even think about saying this to kids.

09-20-2018, 09:49 PM
His eyes are bigger than his belly ... Totally false in most cases.

09-20-2018, 10:35 PM
Empty vessels make the most noise.


09-20-2018, 10:47 PM
The most dreaded words a man can hear from a woman he desires--

"I love you as a friend."

09-20-2018, 10:58 PM
The most dreaded words a man can hear from a woman he desires--

"I love you as a friend."

That's funny, only today I asked my friend if he was aware of any groups in the area suitable for me to join. His response was "Have you tried the Samaritans?"

I said, hang on! I turned to his Amazon Alexa (one of those little round robot things) and asked, "Alexa, do you love me?" The reply, "I like you as a friend".

At least we both laughed about it.

09-20-2018, 11:43 PM
Lol Ian.
I hope you find a friendly group.:)

Knee high to a grasshopper. -referring to when a person was very young, or before birth.
Fart in a mitt.- someone fussing and all emotionally worked up with nowhere to go/ cannot calm down over an issue. Usually nothing very serious except to them.
Go stick your head in a snow bank. - Go cool off/ calm down.
Cool your jets- Calm down.
Couldn’t organize a piss up in a brewery.- Completely useless organizing anything.
When you were just a twinkle in your father’s eye... - I never understood this as a child. Lol Meaning before you were born.
What is good for the goose, is good for the gander.- you have all heard this one. Still pertinent. Same treatment or ramifications for both sexes. Implying men should have to get the same deal as women get. No special treatment.
Don’t get your nighty in a knot.- Calm down, don’t get so worked up.
Take a long walk off a short cliff. - A polite way to tell someone to go to hell or die soon.:eek: :evil:
Turn the page. - move on from the subject/ issue.
Calling a spade, a spade. - Frank and direct explanation, no sugar coating/ talking around a subject.
*****footing around. -This is not meant as sexually explicit. It means the opposite of calling a spade, a spade. Messing about, avoiding an issue. It can also be said as “no ***** footing around”. ( WC won’t allow the word. It starts with “p”, and can mean a cat. I am not implying anything more).
And Bob’s your uncle. - this definitely confuses some immigrants to Canada in my experience. And ironic too as at one time most of us have had an Uncle Bob. We use to take polls how many actually had an Uncle Bob, short for Robert...Ethnic diversity has changed that though. So it can be very perplexing for some newcomers. It means everything will turn out great. For instance, you tell someone to do certain instructions and then, say “And Bob’s your uncle”. Meaning everything falls into place.
I don’t think I am telling tales out of school. (or, Don’t tell tales out of school).- don’t tell secrets or gossip. My parent’s generation say this frequently. I like the phrase. And smile because it reminds me so much of that generation.

I find the British have wonderful and colourful sayings for everything. I really like,
Suits me down to the ground.- very good, convenient for a person.
Wikipedia has a long list of their idioms. Many well known. Personally I love their word gobsmacked.

09-21-2018, 12:20 AM
I find the British have wonderful and colourful sayings for everything. I really like,
Suits me down to the ground.- very good, convenient for a person.
Wikipedia has a long list of their idioms. Many well known. Personally I love their word gobsmacked.
One of my favourites that I think originated over there:
Pull your socks up. (like get your act together...)


09-21-2018, 07:51 AM
I don't know where I got this from, but when guys at work would ask me if the work was ok, I'd say. It's as sound as a trout with a glass eye. My meaning was, it's not perfect, but it's good enough.

09-21-2018, 08:36 AM
The first variation of the five dreaded words happens when a guy gets rejected as a possible romantic partner.

Here's the second variation, after a guy gets dumped--

"I hope we'll always be friends."

Both variations often really mean, sotto voce, "This is so embarrassing. God, I hope I never see this guy again."

(BTW I'm sure this is a unisex phenom, just using hetero folk as as example).

Don’t get your nighty in a knot.- Calm down, don’t get so worked up.

A variation of the above is, "Don't get your knickers in a twist."

claude j greengrass
09-21-2018, 09:27 AM
Thick as two short planks i.e. dumb and dummer
Piss up a rope do something really stupid
A 6 and 2 3's the same thing

09-21-2018, 11:28 AM
Not the brightest bulb in the chandelier.

Not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

One shy of a six pack.

Not firing on all cylinders.

Katie Black
09-21-2018, 11:48 AM
That's funny, only today I asked my friend if he was aware of any groups in the area suitable for me to join. His response was "Have you tried the Samaritans?"

I said, hang on! I turned to his Amazon Alexa (one of those little round robot things) and asked, "Alexa, do you love me?" The reply, "I like you as a friend".

At least we both laughed about it.

:lol: :lol:

Katie Black
09-21-2018, 11:52 AM
These are silly but fun!

I love the 'dont get your nighty in a knot'..not heard that one before.

Musket..that's awful!! but your correct, those words are terribe to hear.

some more..

What gets my goat...something that really annoys someone.
Moaning Minnie...a favorite phrase used by the late Margarate Thatcher
Blockhead....a stupid person
Sound as a pound...good no problem
You daft cat....silly person

09-21-2018, 12:30 PM
Similies......from the great John Prine

Up in the morning
Work like a dog
Is better than sitting
Like a bump on a log
Mind all your manners
Be quiet as a mouse
Some day you'll own a home
That's as big as a house
I know a fella
He eats like a horse
Knocks his old balls
Round the old golf course
You oughta see his wife
She's a cute little dish
She smokes like a chimney
And drinks like a fish
There's a big old goofy man
Dancing with a big old goofy girl
Ooh baby
It's a big old goofy world
Now Elvis had a woman
With a head like a rock
I wished I had a woman
That made my knees knock
She'd sing like an angel
And eat like a bird
And if I wrote a song
She'd know ever single word
Kiss a little baby
Give the world a smile
If you take an inch
Give 'em back a mile
Cause if you lie like a rug
And you don't give a damn
You're never gonna be
As happy as a clam
So I'm sitting in a hotel
Trying to write a song
My head is just as empty
As the day is long
Why it's clear as a bell
I should have gone to school
I'd be wise as an owl
Stead of stubborn as a mule.


Katie Black
09-21-2018, 02:42 PM
He is amazing. I've spent a couple of hours listening to his songs and I thought I would share this.


09-21-2018, 02:49 PM
Personally I love their word gobsmacked.

lol, I once did a commission for a guy in Scotland and he said he was gobsmacked. I had no idea whether he liked it or not so I had to google the expression to see if I had been complimented or insulted. :lol:

09-21-2018, 03:04 PM
:) Sno. I know what you mean. You obviously did a great job. Along the lines of,
You could have knocked me over with a feather!:clap:

Lights are on but no one is home.
One card short of a full deck.
Not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Lord, love a duck! An exclamation, without using the Lord’s name in vain. But usually for exasperation, not when you’re super angry. Where swearwords would be needed. ;) Sort of a shake your head, and throw your hands up in the air kind of moment.

You can tell him what you like, but you can’t tell him much.
(that is great one to describe impossible, stubborn or dense people. Know- it-all’s. Or young adults:cat: ). I have been on the receiving and now the giving end of that saying. Lol

This is something my grumpy father in law actually uses whenever he gets the opportunity. Which is often, when getting bad service. Not strictly an idiom.
He tells the person at the counter, “ I am glad there is a shower beside your desk/ counter/ wicket”. They look puzzled, and asks what he means. He says, “Because if I have to kiss your ass to get good service, I want to be sure it is clean!”:eek:
Yes he actually can’t wait, I swear, to be badly served to say that loudly to someone. Pls note my mom in law says they have gone thru so many businesses they now have to drive 2 hours for services. Those he hasn’t pissed off yet! And sure enough they do. I love the man, but he has got grumpy old man disease shockingly bad!

09-21-2018, 03:15 PM
Musket, I just don’t think there is any good way to let a guy down easily. No matter how hard we try. But I always was kind, sometimes if really pressed I had to be insistent. Very hard seeing the disappointment too.

09-21-2018, 05:09 PM
"You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink" --- You can show someone the answer / solution but you can't force them to accept it.

"What's good for the goose is good for the gander" --- men should have to put up with the same as women.

"You can't pull the wool over my eyes" -- I won't be deceived

"Don't bite off more than you can chew" -- don't take on too much

"Many a slip twixt the cup and the lip" -- similar to 'don't count your chickens before they're hatched"

"Why buy the cow when the milk is free?" -- Canada's response to the U.S. demand that we end our system of supply management in the dairy industry as a precondition to Canada's participation in a renewed NAFTA trade deal. ;)

"Butter wouldn't melt in his [or her] mouth" to refer to someone who is cool and controlled.

"He/she couldn't get it done in a month of Sundays" --- referring to someone who is so inefficient or lazy that even a month of "days of rest" wouldn't be enough for them to get the task done.

"Not enough room to swing a cat" --- a very small cottage.

"Not for all the tea in China" --- something very valuable you wouldn't give it up even for a massive amount of a valuable commodity

"Don't burn your bridges" -- don't make it impossible to go back by rupturing relationships.

09-21-2018, 05:12 PM
Many of those idioms are thanks to my Irish relatives who pepper their speech with these and many more colourful country sayings, particularly when they are gathered in one place around a bottle of brandy.

09-21-2018, 06:16 PM
Musket, I just don’t think there is any good way to let a guy down easily. No matter how hard we try. But I always was kind, sometimes if really pressed I had to be insistent. Very hard seeing the disappointment too.

No guy really wants the consolation prize.

09-21-2018, 09:49 PM
He is amazing. I've spent a couple of hours listening to his songs and I thought I would share this.


Yeah Prine is one of the best songwriters in America. That is a good one, but sad.

For some fun from him and a great message to us all....

Dear Abby...

"Dear Abby"

Dear Abby, Dear Abby...
My feet are too long
My hair's falling out and my rights are all wrong
My friends they all tell me that I've no friends at all
Won't you write me a letter, Won't you give me a call
Signed Bewildered

Bewildered, Bewildered...

You have no complaint
You are what your are and you ain't what you ain't
So listen up Buster, and listen up good
Stop wishing for bad luck and knocking on wood

Dear Abby, Dear Abby...
My fountain pen leaks
My wife hollers at me and my kids are all freaks
Every side I get up on is the wrong side of bed
If it weren't so expensive I'd wish I were dead
Signed Unhappy

Unhappy, Unhappy...


Dear Abby, Dear Abby...
You won't believe this
But my stomach makes noises whenever I kiss
My girlfriend tells me It's all in my head
But my stomach tells me to write you instead
Signed Noise-maker

Noise-maker, Noise-maker


Dear Abby, Dear Abby...
Well I never thought
That me and my girlfriend would ever get caught
We were sitting in the back seat just shooting the breeze
With her hair up in curlers and her pants to her knees
Signed Just Married

Just Married, Just Married...



09-22-2018, 10:07 AM
I've never heard the Dear Abby poem or the John Prine song before, but I have heard almost every one of these expressions from my mother. She actually talks in simile and metaphor, as opposed to normal language. Perhaps it is an Irish thing?

A few on the tip of my tongue -
this is between you, me and the lamppost - it's a secret
Men are good for two things, and one of them is carving the Sunday roast - I think this is self explanatory :evil:
gone to hell and a hand basket - a mess
get your ducks in a row, straighten up and fly right, get your act together.... - pull yourself together
little saucers have big ears - children are listening (actually this one is not one I heard from my mother but Little House on the Prairie).
it’s good enough for government work - mediocre work but acceptable in this situation
we’re going to have a come to Jesus meeting - you're in trouble and we are going to discuss it now

Don't get your knickers in a twist - We say don’t get your panties in a wad

09-22-2018, 11:31 AM
"Close enough for folk music"-- guitarists and other musicians who play instruments with no fixed tuning (mandolin, banjo, fiddle etc) use this to indicate that they're not in perfect tune with each other, or with themselves.

"A snowball's chance in hell" and "On a cold day in hell" are self-explanatory.

09-22-2018, 10:12 PM
You can't polish a turd -- exceptionally crude and can apply to people as well as things.

Favorite line from the movie Caddyshack: "Two wrongs don't make a right but three rights make a left."

Right as rain/right as a trivet -- everything's fine
Serious as a heart attack -- pretty serious
Dumb as a bag of hammers -- uh...
I'm on it like Blue Bonnet -- I'll take care of it.

09-22-2018, 11:31 PM
Paintboss , those are great ones. I say "Bob's your uncle" all the time ~ usually meaning something is a done deal. I think that's an Ontario thing. I also say "oh lord, love a duck" a lot.

"I'll fix his little red wagon" meaning I'll get him or give him hell.

"I'll fry his chestnuts" also an I'll get him sort of thing.

"Don't know him from Adam" meaning you really really don't know that person.

"it's five (or whatever number of ) clicks" a click is a kilometer.

09-23-2018, 12:14 AM
Hm, I think I will add that red wagon one to my list. Hopefully I won’t have to use it.:cat:
I definitely use the Adam phrase.

Gave up the ghost. OR Give up the ghost. Meaning to die. Or let it die already. Usually in reference to cars or appliances/things more than people! Tend to hear it more in rural areas and small towns and especially, the small town car salesmen! If I had a nickel for each time I heard it from those guys..... well you know!😉

claude j greengrass
09-23-2018, 09:29 AM
You can't polish a turd -- exceptionally crude and can apply to people as well as things.

A Chrome plated turd. What some of us techies use to describe MS-Windows

Katie Black
09-23-2018, 10:10 AM
Colin, I use 'butter wouldn't melt in his mouth' a LOT :lol:
John, thanks for introducing me to John Prine, I love his songs. Yes! incredibly I had never heard of him, but I'm English remember.
Vmrs, 'I'll fry his chestnuts' I've not heard that one before but I like it :lol:

One of my favorites is 'its like putting lipstick on a pig' - is a rhetorical expression, used to convey the message that making superficial or cosmetic changes is a futile attempt to disguise the true nature of a product or person.

I also like 'he's got a face only a mother could love' - ugly person

and 'he's got a face like a bulldog chewing a wasp' - ugly person

I'm feeling very happy today...I hope you are too.:wave:

09-23-2018, 02:16 PM
:wave: Katie
His/Her face could stop a clock.
I believe this means ugly but I use it also to mean a terrible or super unfriendly expression.
There is a lady who lives here, who wears the worst scowl all the time. People avoid her because they think she wants them to. I finally got the nerve to approach her, and she was lovely. But her face looks miserable. The younger generation’s saying for this these days is... A resting bitch face. I think it was a resting expression and signs of age on the face. Although many younger woman have that scowl too.
My mother who is almost 80, has a black bobbed haircut just above her shoulders. And a natural shock of grey hair in the front. Very “Cruella De Ville”. Her face looks very old now, sagging, as expected, and has alot of character. Her crazy long black and grey eyebrows need attention paid to them, but she doesn’t care. She also suffers from cerebellum ataxia, and this affects her gait and speech. She staggers and slurs at times. Poor mom went into a daycare to see her granddaughter a few months ago, and a little girl looked up and pointed and screamed, “ It’s a Witch!!!” to the the class. Terrified. Teachers kept telling her no and were embarrassed. The kids see witches all the time in their tv shows/ movies, and fairy tales. This really upset my mother as you can imagine. Although I had to laugh at it quietly later. Kids are pure. I could understand how a 3 year old actually could make that mistake.:eek: :cat:

A face like thunder. Extreme anger. Someone is about to get a “ tongue lashing”.
Speaking of that occurrence...
I got stripped up one side and down the other.

09-23-2018, 02:47 PM
I got stripped up one side and down the other.

That could be good, sounds a little kinky.

Sorry about your mom. I'm sure that made her very sad, though I agree the 3 year old wasn't saying it to be mean, they have no filters at that age.

09-23-2018, 04:47 PM
I know, it sounds rather frisky Allison. But the only heat you are receiving in this exchange, is hellfire.:evil:

Thanks regarding my mom. Yes, it was upsetting to her, as it would be to anyone in that situation. And she is a retired teacher who is very good with little kids too. Ah, life can be hard and humbling sometimes. Kids do say the darndest things!

09-23-2018, 08:04 PM
Some never made sense to me:

"Head over heels"- Ummm... isn't your head SUPPOSED to over your heels?
"If you had a brain in your head, you'd be dangerous"- WTF???

09-23-2018, 10:31 PM
"You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear."

Actually I sorta prefer the directly malicious approach, and for that, you cannot beat Saki.

“He is one of those people who would be enormously improved by death.”

09-23-2018, 11:47 PM
Musket, a distant great aunt, from England, who was near 90,devout Baptist, never swore, wore gloves to church and was extremely proper in the old fashion sense, shocked us with the way she dealt with a fellow retirement home tenant, who was driving her mad pestering her for weeks. She turned around and yelled, YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN AN ABORTION!!!!”.:eek: :eek: :eek:

I can’t tell you just how STUNNED we all were. Staff too. Granted, my great Aunt looked so stressed she was about to have a heart attack, and repeatedly told the lady to stop. But that was like watching Mary Poppins lose it. I had never seen 2 old ladies go at each other, and drop their manners. How ever, this comment put an end to the problem.

I had never heard that insult before either. Never would have dreamt of it! So horrid. My great aunt said it was not an insult, it was the TRUTH. WOW. I was 18 and my jaw was on the floor. I have never heard it since, and never felt the need to use it, thank goodness. But I tend not to say stuff like that. But then again, neither did great Aunt Nora! I guess you just never know, and if you happen to need a deadly comment, this one would do it. It is going nuclear.

The one thing about less direct, creative sayings, is you can make your point in a way that does the job and is more socially acceptable. Sums things up neatly. Some people have the gift of telling you where to go, and you will feel like thanking them for it in the end. It is a talent. Most of us don’t have that. Nora was a direct, no nonsense type of person. Sweet old lady? Not exactly. More like a stern Victorian. But sometimes you just have to take care of business, I guess.

If it weren’t for bad luck, he would have no luck at all.
It is coals to Newcastle. -Something that is not needed, they already have enough.
Your eyes are bigger than your stomach. Greedy or a person who is too eager and taking more than they will be able to eat/use.
Cat got your tongue? Or
Tongue tied? -Speechless.
Turnabout is fair play. -You just got, what you dished out to others....and that is fair.
The tables were turned. -You are now in the other position.
The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. - a situation always looks better/ great from the outside, so we want it or covet it . Often we all know that is not true. Which leads to...
Walk a mile in my (or his) shoes.- Everyone’s life has trials and difficulties. It may not be as easy as you think. Just different problems.

Katie Black
09-24-2018, 01:01 PM
PB, your poor mum Lol! that's harsh.

When my daughter was five, she would often receive praise from complete strangers as she had a head of copper curls and skin as white as snow.

One day we were out shopping when a little old lady approached and reached out a shaking hand to touch her face. She was enthusiastically praising her beauty when my daughter took one look at her and said in a very loud voice "SHUT UP" :eek:

Your aunt sounds like a character!

Katie Black
09-25-2018, 07:33 PM
I have another...

'Sent to Coventry'

To send someone to Coventry is an English idiom meaning to deliberately ostracise someone. Typically, this is done by not talking to them, avoiding their company, and acting as if they no longer exist. ... The Coventry in the phrase is the cathedral city in the West Midlands.

09-25-2018, 10:39 PM
Gilding the lily.

09-26-2018, 01:22 AM
"A large day" I've only heard this in common use in Newfoundland; where we lived the weather was often miserable - grey, wet, windy. A large day was exactly the opposite. Usually a sunny summer day with a light fresh breeze and endless blue skies that you wanted to last forever.

"Logy" - again, another term I have only heard in common use in Newfoundland. It means dull, heavy, sluggish; usually in reference to the ocean or a person. I do think I came across it once in Steinbeck's Cannery Row and thought it odd to see it in there, but I don't remember precisely. Guess I'll have to go reread it :)

09-26-2018, 11:07 AM
Snug as a bug in a rug

09-27-2018, 08:45 PM
"Whatever floats your boat''

"Crooked as a cat's ass''

09-27-2018, 11:22 PM
I went ass over teakettle... - Taking a fall.

Katie, kids are so forthright. Your daughter has a strong personality and maybe she doesn’t “ suffer fools gladly”! I know a few little girls with strong temperaments that showed up at a very early age.:cat:

Katie Black
09-29-2018, 11:38 AM
Musket, not heard of that one before
Ian, I still use that one quite often.
PB, Yep, she's a feisty redhead.
Chris, that's a new one for me!

Thanks, everyone that was fun.

09-29-2018, 01:03 PM
Back to the drawing board. No explanation needed.
Banging your head against a brick wall. futile

09-29-2018, 08:10 PM
Walk a mile in his shoes.
Don't teach your granny to suck eggs (understand the premise more than wording)
Red sky at night (Shepherd's hut's alight)

09-29-2018, 08:27 PM
Bite off more than you can chew
Costs an arm and a leg
Barking up the wrong tree
Don't count your chickens before the eggs have hatched
Best thing since sliced bread
Don't put all your eggs in one basket
Take it with a grain of salt