I have seen this question, and it is not exactly what I'm asking. Sometimes people (most especially in developing countries) raise the tip of their lips to cover their nose when a foul odour is sensed or to jeer a person. In my own language this is called 'isu imi' (To jam the nose), I'm writing a short story and I'm trying to find the best way to describe the phenomena.


3 Answers 3


It's called "curling one's lip". That phrase does not usually imply actually blocking one's nostrils, but sometimes it does:

Their sickly sweet scent cloyed the damp air around him, and he curled his lip to drive the smell out of his nostrils. [link]

He curled his lip against the smell as he sloshed through the puddled urine across the pissoir's shaft base; […] [link]

Even — especially — when it doesn't involve actually blocking your nostrils, it's still an expression of anger, scorn, disgust, or similar.


Swimmers call this the human nose clip.

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If you can contort your face enough to do that, you won't have to wear one of these to keep water out of your nose:

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  • 1
    Nice pictures. +1 Commented Dec 4, 2012 at 2:57
  • i thought lip-curling was more of an Elvis-mouth type thing...
    – Brad
    Commented Mar 11, 2016 at 21:12

Most people simply wrinkle their nose when they smell something foul.

An expression of disgust may involve everting the lips as you describe, but a person with such an expression is still wrinkling their nose.

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