have (one's) nose to the grindstone(redirected from had their noses to the grindstone)
have (one's) nose to the grindstone
To work hard and/or diligently on something. I'm so impressed by your grades, honey—you really had your nose to the grindstone this year, and it paid off! I have my nose to the grindstone because I really want to get this promotion.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
nose to the grindstone, have/keep one's
To work hard all the time. The image, transferred from tools that must continuously be sharpened, is a vivid one and has been used since the sixteenth century. “This Text holdeth their noses to hard to the grindstone, that it clean disfigureth their faces,” wrote John Faith (A Mirrour to Knowe Thyselfe, 1539).
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer