count noses

count noses

Also, count heads. Reckon up the number of those present. For example, The theater seemed only half-full, so the producer decided to count noses, or Our tour leader was always careful to count heads before the bus started off. This idiom was originally put as tell noses. [Mid-1600s]
See also: count, nose
References in periodicals archive ?
You can't count noses and take a poll of how many are for and how many are against,'' he said.
In this interesting example of how multidisciplinary approaches are working in scholarship today, Dennis does not merely count noses at concerts or parades but performs ethnologies of the emotions of the musician/cops and their audiences, noting the power of music on emotion.
Churchill also decreed that the number of monkeys should never fall below 24 and appointed an army officer to count noses.