count noses

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count noses

To count the number of people in a group to ensure that everyone is present. Everyone, take your seats on the bus so that I can count noses before we leave the museum.
See also: count, nose
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
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.

count noses

count people, typically in order to determine the numbers in a vote.
See also: count, nose
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

count noses, to

To determine the number of persons present. The term may come from horse dealers, who count their stock by the nose (whereas cattle dealers count by the “head”). However, it has been around a long time, since the seventeenth century, when it was sometimes put as “to tell noses.” In 1711 the earl of Shaftesbury, a moral philosopher who studied with John Locke, wrote, “Some modern zealots appear to have no better knowledge of truth, nor better manner of judging it, than by counting noses” (Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times).
See also: count, to
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
During an appearance on "CBS This Morning," Scott Pelley, the correspondent who interviewed McCabe, described the discussions of the 25th Amendment as "counting noses" - or speculating on where various Cabinet members might stand on the question.
Smithee began counting noses in the House and came up short; his candidacy ended not long after it began, and Straus was elected on the first day of the session, by acclamation.
(35) Administrative law judges, often faced with conflicting diagnoses from doctors who specialize in black lung problems, constantly attempt to resolve the cases by counting noses. And the courts repeatedly rebuke them for doing so.
I know there are those out there who think we should move beyond counting noses by gender, but my sisters make up about half of the humans on this planet, yet are projected to hold just 27.5 percent of all Fortune 500 corporate officer positions by 2020.
You can tell that Chretien and his government are utterly indifferent to women's equality, nor so much by counting noses in caucus, but by looking at how we are faring.
Newspapers are looking to ABC to help make inroads against the electronic media and the way they measure their audiences for advertisers, which involves counting noses and attaching demographic data to them.
Diversity is not about counting noses; it is about the most fundamental sorts of commitment, about making homes that are inclusive and welcoming, about managing within our staffs the same relationships we long to have with communities outside our walls.
Many white-operated theaters attempt to address diversity by "counting noses." They focus on how many people of color were in the audience, or how many plays by black or Latino or Asian playwrights they produced, or how many people of color are on staff.