The word нос is just one of the words denoting a part of your face – a nose. However, it is used in a surprisingly big number of idiomatic expressions. Let’s find out some.
This idiom literally translates as “on the nose”, but it actually means “approaching, coming soon, or just around the corner”. Here are a few examples.
Осень на носу́. = Fall is coming.
Экза́мены на носу́. =Exams are just around the corner.
Но́вый год на носу́. =New Year’s Day is coming.
Just by looking at the phrase, you might determine that the expression takes the prepositional case because it denotes location and used with the preposition на. This is all true, but most of the masculine singular words take the ending -е, but not -у in the prepositional case. Why is the prepositional form of нос not но́се, but носу́ then? The matter is that the word belongs to the group of words that take the ending -у in the prepositional case with the...
It’s common for Russian students to say «Ни пу́ха ни пера́!» to each other before exams. It literally means "Not a bit of down, nor a single feather," and is said when wishing someone good luck. Wishing good luck in reverse is a classic example of Russian superstition: not to jinx a hunt, you wish hunters bad shooting. The traditional response to this is «К чёрту!» (“To hell!”). This Russian idiom could be compared with the standard American wish for good luck “Break a leg!”