Final Word from Wednesday, September 16, 2020

The reintroduction into daily life of face masks and respirators after a summertime lull presents interesting language possibilities. Czechs already talk about odrouškování (unmasking) and rouškovné (seniors' bonus). English speakers might start referring to those who suck up to government policymakers or the boss as brown maskers, since all the noses are concealed under a layer of fabric. Others will complain about being led around by their mask and about paying through the respirator for overpriced medical products. Schoolchildren will win playground races by a mask or rub another child's mask in the dirt when something embarrassing happens. Some people are seeing new life respired into their business, while others will complain that the boss is respiring down their necks more than ever. Many readers will thumb their respirator at such language suggestions and ask us to stop poking our mask into their business. Do with this as you will, it's no skin off our mask. One thing is certain, we'll all respire more easily once we can do it again without a government-mandated intermediary. [ Czech Republic pensioners pension ]

Glossary of difficult words

to get one's nose out of joint - to become upset, irritated or dejected, usually by something someone else did or said;

lull - a temporary interval of quiet or lack of activity;

bown-noser - an extremely servile person;

to lead around by the nose - to control a person completely;

to pay through the nose - to pay much more than a fair price;

to win by a nose - to win by a very slight amount;

to rub someone's nose in the dirt - to remind someone of something he or she has done wrong;

to breathe new life into something - to provide something with new ideas or new energy;

to breathe down someone's neck - to follow or supervise someone too closely;

to thumb one's nose at something - to show very clearly that one does not like or care about (something);

to poke one's nose into something - to interfere with something;

no skin off one's nose - not harmful or bothersome to one; not to care;

to breathe more easily - to relax or feel secure about something.

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