Como digo em inglês: Você vai gastar uma nota preta

By Ana Luiza | Podcast Inglês Online

Jan 13
Como digo em inglês Você vai gastar uma nota preta

Hi, everyone. How’s it going?

Nesse episódio do podcast Inglês Online eu falo sobre duas expressões que usam partes do corpo, mais uma palavra bônus! (nada a ver com corpo, mas super comum e interessante).


Hello, everyone. How’s it going? Today we have a new episode of the inglesonline podcast. To download or just listen to other episodes and download transcripts, go to and click Podcast Inglesonline.

Today we talk about two expressions containing body parts. Yeah, body parts, like nose, arm, leg, foot and back.  These are all very common terms, so you may have heard them before and if you were not very clear on what they meant, this podcast is for you. And actually there are tons of expressions in English that include a body part, so I may come back to this topic in a future podcast, but today we’re kicking things off with two of them.

So here’s the first one: pay through the nose. Can you imagine what that means… pay through the nose for something? That means you’re paying a lot of money for whatever it is you’re buying or renting. Let me give you a few examples. Let’s say you want to have some kind of plastic surgery done on you, and your friend Mary recommends a plastic surgeon she knows. She says “He’s really capable, very skilled, and not very expensive”. When you hear that, you’re like… hmm, he’s very skilled but not very expensive? You’ve always thought that plastic surgery was something that would cost anyone a lot of money, so now you tell your friend Mary that you’re gonna do it with another surgeon, who charges twice as much. Mary says “You’re insane. You’re gonna pay through the nose for that doctor’s work. Are you sure it’s worth it?”

So what Mary is saying is that you’re gonna pay through the nose if you decide to have plastic surgery done by the other surgeon. Paying through the nose means that you’re probably paying way more than necessary for something. That is exactly what Mary thinks. The surgeon she knows is very skilled, in her opinion, and he would charge half as much as the other guy. Here’s another example: you wanna buy an imported car. Your friend Gary thinks you’re crazy. He says “You’re crazy. Do you know how hard it is to find a good mechanic for this car? You’re gonna pay through the nose for simple maintenance jobs and tune-ups. I think you should definitely go with a US car; it’s gonna be way cheaper in the long run, and just as good as the imported car”. So Gary is saying that if you buy that imported car, it is gonna cost you a lot of money in the long run, way more than you would have to spend if you just bought a US car. He’s saying that you’re going to pay through the nose for maintenance of that imported car… Maybe when you need to replace parts, those parts will be imported too.

And here’s a similar expression, with different body parts: this time, we have ‘arm’ and ‘leg’. Going back to the plastic surgery example, Mary thinks that if you choose to have surgery with some other doctor, instead of the one she recommended, it is going to cost you an arm and a leg. You’re gonna have to pay through for surgery; or you can say that the surgery is going to cost you an arm and a leg. Same thing with the imported car: your friend Gary thinks that maintenance of an imported car plus other associated expenses are gonna cost you an arm and a leg. You’re gonna have to pay through the nose for maintanance and other expenses.

And here’s one more for this episode. It’s a single word, actually, and it’s not a body part but it’s a very interesting and common word in English. Let’s say you’re a pretty easygoing person and you’re used to compromising pretty often. You’re used to compromising very often. What’s compromising? First of all, this is what many people know as a “false friend”. Compromise doesn’t mean ‘compromisso’. It means something else entirely.

When you compromise, you give up part of what you want, in order to reach an agreement with the other person. Example: let’s say you want to eat pasta tonight, and your spouse wants to have salad instead. You’re really in the mood for some spaghetti in tomato sauce, but you’re going to compromise. You tell your spouse that you’re gonna make a pasta salad. That’s not what you originally wanted; you wanted a hot pasta dish, and a salad is served cold, not hot. However, you want to reach an agreement with the other person while still having pasta, so you propose you guys have a pasta salad. So, that’s compromising.

There are some things that people will not compromise. For example, some people feel very strongly about their beliefs or principles, and they say “I will not compromise my beliefs in order to do what you’re asking me to do”. For example, let’s say your friend asks you to make him a copy of a software you bought. In other words, he wants you to pirate the software for him. You say “Sorry, I can’t do that. You’re my friend but I believe in being honest and I can’t compromise my beliefs to do what you’re asking me”.

So, what about you? When was the last time you compromised on something you wanted? Tell us in the comments about a situation where you feel you paid through the nose for something. Talk to you next time!


Key expressions

pay through the nose

cost (someone) an arm and a leg




kicking things off = dando início (a alguma coisa)

skilled = habilidoso em sua área

half as much (as) = metade de, metade do que

tune-ups = serviços de regulagem

in the long run = a longo prazo

feel very strongly about = levam muito a sério



About the Author

Ana Luiza criou um blog de dicas de inglês em 2006, e depois de muito pesquisar o que faz alguém ganhar fluência numa segunda língua, criou seu primeiro curso de inglês em 2009.

  • Andre Luiz says:

    Hello Ana! Your podcasts are always amazing! By the way, I’ve a bit doubt about the word ‘ agreement ‘.
    In the context above, is possible to use ‘deal’ too ?

    Thanks a lot!


    • Ana Luiza says:

      Hi Andre, thanks! To answer your question, nope – you can’t use ‘deal’ in this case.

  • […] do you remember one of the terms from last week’s podcast, compromise? People who are easygoing and mellow usually compromise a lot. They’re OK with […]

  • Bárbara says:

    Hii Ana! Last year I paid through the nose for meet my favorite singer! He’s a mexican actor and singer, and he came to Brazil to a tour… It was really expensive, but it was worth it!

  • Nivaldo Leôncio says:

    Hi Ana. How are you doing? Thanks for all these podcasts. In my opinion this is the best way to learn English. Talk to you next week. Take care of yourself.

    By the way, is this expression right? “Take care of yourself”.

  • George Louis says:

    Hii Ana

    First, I want to congratulate you. I have been learning English by myself and Inglêsonline without a doubt is now my favorite website !!!!!!!!!!!

    I paid through the nose for my new car. Cars are very expensive and it can cost for some people an arm and a leg !!!!!

  • Aline says:

    Hi Ana.

    I think my English is awful and I need to practice more, but I’ll try answer your question. Please, tell me if I’m wrong.

    I paid through the nose when I bought a book at bookstore on the shopping mall and two days later I saw the same book on internet 20% cheaper.


    • Ana Luiza says:

      Hi Aline

      If you think your English is awful, I think you need to listen and read more. Give it a try!

      Para o seu exemplo eu usaria “rip off” (já fiz um podcast sobre isso)

      Eu diria “That bookstore ripped me off! I found the same book 20% cheaper at another store”

      “pay through the nose” é mais pra alguma coisa que custa caro mesmo, independente de circunstâncias.

  • Thaís says:

    Hi, Ana! How is it going?
    I guess that compromise has the same meaning that agree in meet someone in the half way, isn’t it?

    I’ve seen this sentence in an episode of American Horror Stories when the character was trying to convince his daughter to go to school, but she didn’t want and he said: You’ll have to meet me in the half way. You must go to school, although it is another school…”.

    I don’t know if I made myself clear here, but anyway, thanks for another awesome podcast!!!

  • Flávia says:

    Primeiramente eu queria agradecer pelos seus podcasts que estão me ajudando muuuito :)

    Mas eu tenho uma dúvida… (“I have a question” rs)
    “compromise” seria como nosso “abrir mão” de algo?

    Beijos =)

    • Ana Luiza says:

      Olá Flávia – abrir mão faz parte de “compromise”, mas eu não traduziria assim (não sei como eu traduziria exatamente essa palavra para o português. Nem sei se tem tradução exata). “Abrir mão” seria mais quando eu disse “give up”.

      • magda says:

        Acho que um sinonimo para compromise , seria concessao. O que voce acha, Ana?

        • Ana Luiza says:

          Acho que poderia ser, magda, quando compromise for substantivo (como é o caso de “concessão”)

          I made a compromise = Eu fiz uma concessão

          No caso de “compromise”, o verbo, acho que um tradutor iria acabar expressando o significado da sentença inteira de uma forma que ficasse compreensível em português, em vez de buscar uma palavra específica pra compromise. Mas, posso estar errada, não sei! O que quero mesmo é transmitir o significado de compromise, e parece que vcs pegaram. Beleza!

  • >