Talk:Cutting off the nose to spite the face

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Languages (Rated Stub-class, Low-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Languages, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of standardized, informative and easy-to-use resources about languages on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Stub-Class article Stub  This article has been rated as Stub-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Low  This article has been rated as Low-importance on the project's importance scale.
 

Unfair Argument[edit]

Depending on how you interpret 'to', cutting off one's nose to spite their face brings motivation into question. It may assume an action is purposely self-destructive. I've seen the phrase used this way in a business setting. It's a sly way to attack an opponent's motivation for holding a point of view rather than his reasoning. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 69.70.1.112 (talk) 15:11, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

Chinese Version[edit]

Does anyone have a reference for the Chinese equivalent of this saying? It's rather amusing, but I can't find any reference to it on the net, so I'm afraid it may not be legitimate. It should be removed if no one can step up. --71.75.225.20 17:32, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

That whole paragraph is plaigerized from [1]. Also, most discussion online appears to reference that page. So if it's considered to be a credible source, fine, but I'd highly suggest a rewrite. Uagent 08:34, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

more explanation?[edit]

This phrase doesn't make sense for me. Cutting off your nose would be a great way to spite your face (though why anyone would want to spite their own face isn't clear). It feels like it was originally something else like "don't cut off your nose to spite your enemy's face" but got garbled. Can someone illuminate this? Pianoshootist 02:53, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

Ah, I get it now. The literal and figurative meanings of "cut off your nose" don't correlate with each other. The confusion comes from the nun story, which is the supposed source of the phrase. In that case, a nun named Aebbe literally cuts off her own nose. But figuratively she did not cut off her nose *to spite* her face. The story would be more clear if the noseless nun were not mentioned. But then it makes no sense that this story is the source of the phrase. So yes, now I understand. See if my little edit fixes it for you. Tom NM (talk) 03:57, 18 June 2008 (UTC)


I think it's just an illogical phrase that people say to convey a different idea that does make sense. No one would want to spite their face. But if they did, cutting off your nose would probably be effective. But you could cut off your nose out of spite for it, and this would be detrimental to your face. So the phrase should be, "Don't cut off your nose out of spite, as it would also harm your face." This makes a bit more sense, since some people don't like their noses. 76.188.56.238 (talk) 07:58, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Remove the Hillary Spam[edit]

The Hillary Clinton example is just political spam. It's over-long, and the one citation is pretty shady. I'm going to tone it down, but I suggest we remove it entirely. Tom NM (talk) 16:34, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

I trimmed it back to a NPOV, but I'm not sure it's even an example of "cutting off the nose to spite the face". I mean, it only works if you believe people vote merely to support a particular party. I think it's more true to say people vote to support ideas, so choosing McCain over Obama isn't cutting off anyone's nose.

Plus, the whole thing sounds shady to me. What's more likely, committed Democrats are actually switching parties, or Republicans have started some deceptive web sites? Certainly this isn't a widespread phenomena, nobody notable has espoused this idea, and it has not been reported in the mainstream media. Tom NM (talk) 16:54, 17 June 2008 (UTC)

I will remove the section on tax cuts since it is obviouly not neutral. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 84.218.33.16 (talk) 14:17, 10 October 2009 (UTC)