Free reference guides to English Grammar
Practical English Usage
Grammar terms and writing
Reference Desk
English Lesson of the Day
English Grammar
Practical English Usage
Grammatical Terms
English Writing
English speaking
Business English

Interactive pages
Grammar and Vocabulary exercises



See a man about a dog / Powder my nose

These expressions have very similar meanings and they are both used in informal contexts. Letís start with the first one.

To see a man about a dog is to go to the bathroom. It is an indirect (and hence more polite) way of saying that you wish to use the toilet.

  • Make a strong tea for me. In the meanwhile, I have to see a man about a dog.
  • Excuse me. I am going to see a man about a dog. I will be back in a minute.

This expression is also used in those situations when you want to keep your destination or the purpose of your visit a secret.

  • I donít know where Rahul has gone. He just said that he had to see a man about a dog. (Rahul doesnít reveal his destination. He just says that he has to go.)
  • Rohan is very secretive. He never says anything about his frequent trips. If you ask, he will just say that he has to see a man about a dog.

Women often use the phrase powder my nose to express their desire to use the bathroom. This phrase is not normally used by men.

  • Excuse me. I wish to powder my nose.

Share |


More idioms and expressions



Subscribe and win a Grammar eBook

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Can't find it?

Custom Search