What does it mean by "You look like a horse when you laugh down your nose?"? I'm studying English watching Skins 7 but I don't understand the context. Could someone please explain?

  • Laughing down one's nose is certainly possible; the similarity to whinnying is often noticeable. If the person laughing also throws their head back, this will accentuate the apparent length of the nose. Apr 9, 2018 at 11:25

2 Answers 2


To laugh down your nose means to laugh with your mouth shut so that the air that would normally come out your mouth when you laugh is comes out through your nose instead. The air that comes out of your nose makes your nostrils flair up (meaning they become bigger) which makes the person look like a horse as horses tend to have wide nostrils as shown by the image below:a horse with large nostrils
(source: wordpress.com)

  • 1
    Why use an image showing a horse with its mouth open to illustrate your contention that looking like a horse by laughing down your nose means you have your mouth closed?
    – Spagirl
    Apr 9, 2018 at 12:50
  • Because it was the first image on google images that came up when I typed in horse that had a front facing view. Also the image was supposed to illustrate that horses have large nostrils and not what laughing down your nose looks like.
    – 06rg11
    Apr 9, 2018 at 13:16

In reference to this episode of Skins, I believe it's actually an insult to someone being insulting and acting superior. She was laughing at the guy like he was below her, so Effy said what she said to put her in her place.

  • 2
    Hello Joseph, this isn't a discussion forum it's a strict Q&A format. You can read more in our tour. Jul 15, 2020 at 10:34

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