thumb one's nose

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See thumb, nose.


A Confederate sailor thumbing his nose (gesture)

thumb one's nose

  1. To place a thumb upon the tip of the nose, typically with the fingers spread and while simultaneously wiggling one's fingers, in a gesture of disrespect.
    My brother thumbed his nose in reply to my snide remarks.
  2. (figuratively) To act disrespectfully, especially by flouting the object of disrespect.
    Richard Feynman delighted in thumbing his nose at bureaucracy.


  • (place a thumb upon the tip of the nose in a gesture of disrespect): cock a snook