thumb (one's) nose at (someone or something)

(redirected from thumb their noses at)

thumb (one's) nose at (someone or something)

1. Literally, to perform a rude gesture in which one touches their nose with their thumb in order to express contempt or a lack of respect. Did that guy really just thumb his nose at me? Do people still do that?
2. To openly display contempt or an intentional lack of respect toward someone or something. Don't thumb your nose at the boss if you want to keep your job!
See also: nose, thumb

thumb one's nose at someone or something

1. Lit. to show a sign of derision at someone or something by placing the thumb to the side of the nose. (Often while wiggling the other fingers of the hand.) Don't thumb your nose at me unless you want a fight. Fred thumbed his nose at the car as it drove off.
2. Fig. to dismiss someone or something as worthless, verbally. Walter thumbed his nose at Fred and asked the gang to send someone else to do the job. She thumbed her nose at the whole idea.
See also: nose, thumb

thumb your nose at someone

COMMON If you thumb your nose at someone or something powerful, you show your lack of respect for them. Some of these repeat offenders are simply laughing at authority and thumbing their noses at the court. Workers are laid off while bosses are given enormous pay increases, thus thumbing their noses at both employees and consumers. Note: You can describe this behaviour as nose-thumbing. Some have dismissed the gesture as no more than adolescent nose-thumbing. Note: To thumb your nose at someone literally means to make a rude gesture by placing the end of your thumb on the end of your nose, spreading out your fingers, and wiggling them. Compare with cock a snook at someone.
See also: nose, someone, thumb

thumb your nose at

show disdain or contempt for. Compare with cock a snook (at snook).
See also: nose, thumb

thumb your ˈnose at somebody/something

show that you have no respect for somebody/something, sometimes by making a rude sign with your thumb on the end of your nose: A photograph shows one of the crowd thumbing his nose at the speaker.
References in periodicals archive ?
It never ceases to amaze me why managers thumb their noses at a trail which leads to Wembley and then to Europe.
We don't want money wasted on prosecuting "easy targets" while the real misery-makers are allowed, once again, to thumb their noses at the law.
I have had success eradicating unwanted plants that thumb their noses at ordinary weed killers by using a product by Ortho called Brush-B-Gon, available at OSH.
Publishing editors, presidents and executives at such groups trade stories and strategies about the challenges of digital technology, which allows entities to publish, but they thumb their noses at the peer review and standards required by an AAUP affiliate.
Until recently, gangsters have been able to thumb their noses at real justice.
Under "the current rules," he points out, "people will thumb their noses at anything that actually looks like something," but "the rules can change whenever Caucasians want them to: Rockwell, for example, is now welcome at the Guggenheim.
So the Communists, when they see American planes coming, merely pull aside until they are 205 feet from the road, and figuratively thumb their noses at the helpless American pilots.
WASHINGTON The studios had a relatively easy time in last summer's DeCSS trial in New York portraying the creators and defenders of the DVD hacking program as a bunch of geeky, adolescent troublemakers out to thumb their noses at the law.
And, surprisingly enough, more and more people who say they can't break away from General Motors because of the wife and kids really have enough capital to thumb their noses at the boss.
However, the company believes that its potential customers are the very ones who would thumb their noses at any ad that instructed them to go to a specific Web site to "learn" more.
The ruling means civil servants will hold on to the outdated days off as they thumb their noses at Government plans to save almost EUR5million.
With school starting at the Westwood campus today,Bruins can no longer thumb their noses at the ``rich kids'' attending the pricey, private school in South Los Angeles who didn't have the academic mettle to gain entrance to UCLA.
By the mid-'60s, if anything, it seemed that even most whites I knew in West Virginia were relieved to thumb their noses at the silliness of segregation, even to mock it.
In the images shown here, there appears to have been no engagement with the ethics of suffering's representability--which the chaps seem to think they can thumb their noses at, cool-Britannia style-and their "show me the bodies" sense of historicity, of the way war's traumatic temporality might revise our sense of past and present, is about as radically transgressive as Alexander McQueen's.
Now they have joined forces to thumb their noses at the more pretentious elements of wine journalism.