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

(redirected from can't see beyond the end of their noses)

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

Is preoccupied with oneself and unable to notice or focus on anything else. Of course she's oblivious to the growing homeless population in our city—she can't see beyond the end of her nose.
See also: beyond, end, nose, of, see
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

not see beyond your nose

or

not see beyond the end of your nose

If someone can't see beyond their nose, or can't see beyond the end of their nose, they think only about themselves and their immediate needs, rather than about other people or more important issues relating to the future. Where the environment is concerned, sadly, this government can't see beyond the end of its nose. Note: You can replace beyond with further than or past, and see with other verbs. It is high time that British industry started thinking beyond the end of its nose.
See also: beyond, nose, not, see
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

not see beyond/past the ˌend of your ˈnose

not notice anything apart from what you are doing at present: I’m so busy running the office that I can’t see beyond the end of my nose.
See also: beyond, end, nose, not, of, past, see
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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

Shortsighted, unable to grasp anything but the immediate problem or events. The term was a sixteenth-century French proverb cited by several English writers. It later appeared in one of La Fontaine’s fables, The Fox and the Goat, and in a couplet in Alexander Pope’s Essay on Man (1734): “Onward still he goes, Yet ne’er looks forward further than his nose.”
See also: beyond, end, nose, of, see
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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HS2 is the new wind turbines for Tory and Brexit party reactionaries who can't see beyond the end of their noses. Green energy opposed by Colonel Blimps now fuels 25% of electricity.
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