‘Pay through the nose’ – to pay more than something is worth

The most common explanation for this idiom is associated in some way to paying taxes

We say ‘poll’ tax, with the word poll meaning head; nose was used in a similar vein as in ‘counting noses’. When the Danes conquered Ireland in the 9th century, exorbitant taxes were imposed on each ‘nose’. Legend suggests that slitting of the nose was used as punishment for unpaid taxes though most accept that this is simply a gruesome embellishment.

Salty seadogs may have another view of ‘paying through the nose’ – the nose of a ship, its bow, and its nostrils the hawse holes on either side. This is where the anchor chain passes; ‘pay through the nose’ or ‘pay handsomely’ used as an instruction.

With so many possible origins, and possibly origins of many, the legend remains somewhat of a mystery.

Less of a mystery is ensuring quality support and preventative servicing for your security system.

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