If you know the answer, try not to answer - for now

Laid up with a minor illness, I took to reading one of my wife’s favorite authors. Here’s a part that made me sit up:

“Sarah came down to find a big masterful woman with a rocking horse nose, whom she had already noticed in the hotel, outside the main entrance objecting fiercely to the size of the car.”

I had no idea what the author meant, but it was explained soon enough on the follwing page.

So the question now is, what do you think is a rocking horse nose?

I hope those who know, will refain from revealing the answer (but you may feel free to identify the book, author, character, etc.).

I’d like the others to see what they can do with it. Might be fun.

Remembering my old rocking horse, I’m going to guess big flaring nostrils.

I’ll guess very wide, as in like it has handles coming out of the sites as on a rocking horse.


“Lady Westholme turned to Sarah, a smile of triumph on her weather-beaten countenance, her large red rocking horse nostrils dilated exultingly.”

Woohoo! Though honestly, if I’d run across that while reading, I probably wouldn’t have given it enough thought to figure it out. I’d think, “Big?” and move right along.

I read it (initially) as “… a rockin’ horse nose” … which made me think she just had a nose like a horse, possibly a face as well. Which she was, you know, rocking. :rolleyes:

So, to be clear it should have been punctuated “rocking-horse nose.”

/nit pick

What’s the book?

I’m thinking a ski nose…you know, like a ski jump (or the bottom of a rocking horse).

2 holes in place of a nose. (Accident year ago - not discussed)

Sadly, I immediately thought it was a crude ethnic slur against Jews - “rocking horse nose” equaling “beyond huge nose”, bigoted shorthand for “Jewish”. Maybe I was being overly sensitive when I read it.

That was my guess too.

It was, but I blew it.

“Appointment With Death,” by Agatha Christie.

One of her worst, I think.

I’m guessing the author didn’t mean “rocking horse-nose,” i.e. a nose that makes the woman’s face resemble that of a horse, but is nonetheless quite fetching.

So, I guess it means “big nostrils,” but I have no idea.


Dung Beetle** answered it immediately. See Post 2. Even without the hyphen.

If Agatha Christie wrote it, then it probably was a slur against Jews. :stuck_out_tongue: She’s not the most enlightened writer.

There was an Arab in the cast who was always complaining about the Jews. but he was plainly an asshole.

On the other hand, I think Agatha wrote “Ten Little Niggers,” which was later cleaned up with “Indians.”

Yeah, she did. It’s now called And Then There Were None

She did.


Oops. Didn’t see your post.