pay through the nose

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(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)


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pay through the nose (third-person singular simple present pays through the nose, present participle paying through the nose, simple past and past participle paid through the nose)

  1. (idiomatic) To pay an exorbitant or excessive amount, either in money or in some other manner.
    Synonym: pay over the odds
    • 1918, Peter B. Kyne, chapter 36, in The Valley of the Giants:
      "You'll pay through the nose for this, you scoundrel," Sexton whimpered. "I'll fix you, you traitor."
    • 1921, John Galsworthy, The Forsyte Saga, part 2, ch. 4:
      That fellow would milk the settlements somehow, and make his family pay through the nose to keep him out of bankruptcy.
    • 2021 April 8, “Brace for the Amazon effect on live sport”, in The Economist[1], →ISSN:
      At a time when other entertainment is available at a sliver of the price from Netflix and other streaming services, live sport is the only thing left to induce viewers to pay through the nose for pay-TV.


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