keep one's nose clean

EnglishEdit

VerbEdit

keep one's nose clean

  1. (idiomatic) To stay out of trouble, especially by avoiding unlawful behavior.
    • 1947, American Correctional Association, American Journal of Correction, page 6:
      They tell us, "Keep your nose clean and you'll no doubt make a parole." So we keep our noses very clean.
    • 2008 Nov. 5, Nathan Thornburgh, "Ted Stevens Sins, and (Likely) Wins," Time (retrieved 25 August 2013):
      Alaska Congressman Don Young . . . spent a huge share of his campaign donations on legal fees to keep his nose clean in the face of an FBI investigation into his dealings.
Last modified on 27 August 2013, at 00:15