Keep Your Nose Clean Means So Much More
It was not until later in life that I learned the meaning of
"Keep your nose clean!"
This really had nothing to do with wiping your nose. Of course, that was done often. But, to keep your nose clean in the South means so much more.
It's a sly way of saying
"Mind your business."
And, like all Southern phrases it also meant other things.
"Stay out of trouble."
Don't go looking for trouble."
"Stay true to God's Word."
"Do the right thing."
"Don't be a tattle-tale."
I am sure if I really thought about it I could come up with more. Growing up in the South meant knowing which one of these things were meant. God knows what happens if you said
That meant a long lecture.