farther


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can't see farther than the end of (one's) nose

1. To lack the ability to foresee problems, issues, or obligations beyond the present or immediate future. Our boss is ambitious, but she can't see farther than her nose when it comes to scheduling projects with realistic deadlines.
2. To be so preoccupied with oneself or one's own problems as to be unaware of or indifferent to larger issues or other people. My ex-husband was always so wrapped up in work that he couldn't see farther than the end of his nose, hardly ever making any time for me or the kids.
See also: end, farther, nose, of, see

nearer the church, the farther from God

Prov. Church officials, or people who live near the church, are not truly pious. Jill: I think our pastor is an evil man. Jane: I didn't think evil men could be pastors. Jill: Of course they can! The nearer the church, the farther from God.
See also: farther, god

can't see beyond the end of one's nose

Also, can't see farther than the end of one's nose. Lack foresight, envisioning only immediate events or problems, as in Thomas hasn't hired an orchestra for the Christmas concert; he just can't see beyond the end of his nose . This expression originated as a French proverb that was frequently cited in English from about 1700 on. Alexander Pope used a similar expression in his Essay on Man (1734): "Onward still he goes, Yet ne'er looks forward further than his nose."
See also: beyond, end, nose, of, see
References in classic literature ?
As the empire of the Abyssins terminates at these deserts, and as I have followed the course of the Nile no farther, I here leave it to range over barbarous kingdoms, and convey wealth and plenty into Egypt, which owes to the annual inundations of this river its envied fertility.
It was difficult, it was even impossible, to arrive at the source of the Nile by tracing its channel from the mouth; and all who ever attempted it, having been stopped by the cataracts, and imagining none that followed them could pass farther, have taken the liberty of entertaining us with their own fictions.
The voices of the others behind them kept floating, now farther, now nearer, and Mrs.
Farther up we were as-sailed by enormous white bears--hungry, devilish fellows, who came roaring across the rough glacier tops at the first glimpse of us, or stalked us stealthily by scent when they had not yet seen us.
How long he crept on thus he could not guess; but at last, feeling that the tunnel's length was interminable, and exhausted by his efforts, by terror, and loss of sleep, he determined to lie down and rest before proceeding farther.
Presently he raced toward the opposite side of the tree and off into the jungle, pounding loudly against the boles of trees as he went, and voicing the panther's diminishing growls as he drew farther and farther away from the village.
Each stroke of those slender paddles was driving her farther and farther from friends, or the possibility of rescue.
Nor did I change my mind as I watched him tow up a second log from farther down the shore.
Down into the trough we went, wallowing like the carcass of a dead whale, and then began the fight, with rudder and propellers, to force the Coldwater back into the teeth of the gale and drive her on and on, farther and farther from relentless thirty.
He struggled farther on his hands and knees, too frightened and distracted to turn back.