nose out of joint, have one's

Idioms & Phrases

nose out of joint, have one's

Be upset or irritated, especially when displaced by someone. For example, Ever since Sheila got promoted he's had his nose out of joint. Similarly, put one's nose out of joint indicates the cause of the upset, as in The boss's praise of her assistant put Jean's nose out of joint. The earliest form of this idiom, first recorded in 1581, was thrust one's nose out of joint, with put appearing shortly thereafter. Presumably all these expressions allude to the face-distorting grimace made by one who is displeased.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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