Thumbing his nose with equal derision

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Senior Member
Hi, would you explain the meaning of the red part of the following test, from an English test. Thanks a lot.

Thumbing his nose with equal derision at Mozart as he did at Monet, Thomas was an avowed philistine, treating all arts with contempt.
  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    The sentence is intended to mean that Thomas thumbed his nose in derision at Mozart and Monet equally.

    thumb ones nose at:
    to deride or mock, esp by placing the thumb on the nose with fingers extended
    [Here, it's used metaphorically, as it often is.]​
    See also: thumb your nose at?

    ridicule; mockery: The inept performance elicited derision from the audience.

    Thomas's attitude toward Mozart and toward Monet were equally disrespectful.

    However, that part of the sentence is badly constructed. Do not use it as a model.

    Added: This would be a possible construction:
    (I don't think it's good, but it is grammatical.)

    Thomas thumbed his nose at Mozart and at Monet with equal derision
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