Posted by: Jack Henry | June 21, 2022

Editor’s Corner: Body Parts

In a recent article from Daily Writing Tips, they wrote about different body parts being used as verbs, such as, “My dog nosed through the garbage, looking for scraps.” They also discussed some figurative uses and idioms related to body parts, which are the items that I’m going to share with you. The definitions are from the article; the sentences in blue are from me.

to head
to be at the head of; to lead

Darcy headed up the bake sale and encouraged 20 students to make 75 cookies each.

to eye
to consider (a company, property, business opportunity, etc.) with a view to acquisition or development.

I saw Miles eyeing a box of doughnuts on the desk, but he didn’t take one because he’s on a diet.

to nose
To detect or discover as if by means of a keen sense of smell.

Baxter nosed his way through the living room, upturned three pillows, and discovered a bone.

Nose is used as a verb in several other idioms:

to nose around: to search furtively for something, to pry

Aletha sat on the stoop each day, where she found it easiest to nose around the neighbors and their business.

to nose ahead: to gain a slight advantage

On their third lap around the course, Black Caviar nosed ahead of Spectacular Bid and won first place.

to nose out
: to defeat by a narrow margin

The incumbent senator barely nosed out her opponent after the news of her affair was made public.

to mouth
to utter words or statements rhetorically or insincerely; to pay lip service to.

The employees were tired of management mouthing platitudes about how lucky the employees were, while only the management received benefits and bonuses.

Other verbal uses of mouth:

to mouth off: to express one’s opinion in a forceful, uninhibited or indiscreet manner; to be abusive or offensive; to brag.

Nadine’s father had heard enough. “After three F bombs and all of your mouthing off young lady, you just bought yourself two weeks without your phone or TV, and you’re grounded!”

to bad-mouth
to abuse or deprecate verbally; to criticize, slander, or gossip maliciously about.

I hate to bad-mouth Brenda, but she never helps pay for party supplies and yet she eats at least three pieces of every cake.

to shoulder
to take upon oneself as a burden, such as an expense or heavy responsibility.

The richest employees will shoulder the burden of paying for the new pinball machine.

to finger
to identify an offender

The mugging victim looked at the six men in the line-up and fingered #4 as the offender.

to stomach
to tolerate, put up with.

I just can’t stomach any more shows about celebrity lifestyles.

to foot the bill
to pay or settle a bill, especially one which is large or unreasonable, or which has been run up by another party.

The local businesses were making the neighborhood foot the bill for business district improvements, but that stopped when the neighborhood realized our taxes went up for something that was not put to a vote.

Kara Church

Pronouns: she/her

Technical Editor, Advisory

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