Everyone has met someone that is overly proud and dismissive toward others.
‘Conceited’, ‘arrogant’, ‘uppity’, ‘haughty’ or ‘hoity toity’ are just a few of the English adjectives used to describe such a character.
One of the adjectives used most often by Germans, however, is rather more literal in meaning.
Hochnäsig is a combination of the German words hoch (high) and die Nase (nose), and refers to the physical act of tilting your head back and ‘looking down your nose’ at others.
Those who walk around with their noses up in the air are thought to be contemptuous of those around them and have little time for those beneath their ‘station’.
A similar concept is found in the German phrase die Nase hoch tragen, which literally translates as ‘carrying your nose highly’.
Another useful German phrase involving the nose is die Nase voll haben (have the nose full), which means to be fed up with something.
Ich fand Tim nicht sehr sympathisch, weil er so hochnäsig zu mir war.
I didn’t like Tim very much because he was so arrogant toward me.
Sie hat viele guten Eigenschaften, aber sie neigt dazu, gelegentlich ein bisschen hochnäsig zu sein.
She has many good traits but she is prone to being a bit snobby from time to time.