1. Любопытной Варваре на базаре нос оторвали (lyubopytnoi Varvare na bazare nos otorvali). Literally: the nos[e] of curious Barbara was torn off at the market. English equivalent: curiosity killed the cat.
2. Зарубить на носу (zarubit’ na nosu). Literally: to make a nick on a nos[e], i.e. to firmly remember. Note: this saying is often used in the imperative mood (zarubi na nosu – make a nick on your nos[e]) and it is an impolite expression.
3. Остаться с носом (ostatsya s nosom). Literally: to be left with a nos[e], i.e. to be fooled or to fail something.
Probable origins of these proverbs.
The word ‘нос’ (nos) has another meaning in Russian besides ‘nose’. It’s a wooden stick 50 cm long and 4cm in diameter used in Rus’ (i.e. Ancient Russia) for trading. Nicks were made on a nos as memory marks [proverb №2.]. For example, if money for the goods on credit was not paid, the creditor was left with ‘nos’ only but with no money and no goods [proverb №3.]. Thus, too curious person could be left without ‘nos’ or part of the ‘nos’ could be cut off so s/he would have problems with debt [proverb №1.].
The word ‘nos’ is a derivate from a verbal noun ‘podnoshenie’ (meanings: offering, gift, potlatch and even bribe). Thus, proverb №3. could also mean that an offering/bribe to an official(s) was not accepted and negotiating parties did not come to an agreement.
A similar version states that ‘nos’ means a gift given by a groom to bride’s parents according to an ancient tradition. If it was not accepted, a marriage would not happen.