"This writer had a long nose."
Translation:У этого писателя был длинный нос.
По-русски иногда говорят "длинный нос", имея в виду любопытство, пронырливость. Т.е. "У него длинный нос" - "Он [чересчур] любопытен".
В английском это тоже так?
Говорят "Don't stick your nose into other people's business" что значит "Не твоё дело". Кажется это самое близкое по идеи, но наверно есть что-то более похоже.
"Не суй свой нос в чужие дела" is how we say this. It's an exactly literal translation.
Also "nosey" in the translator gives "пронырливый". You can use "nose around" or "nose through" as a verb too ('шпионить'?)
Talking about a 'long nose' in English could be referring to Pinocchio, ie a person is lying, but it is not common.
Also, even rarer, (antiquated?) is the idea of wealthy people having a certain face where they tilt their head back and look unimpressed at everything. They have 'high brows' and 'long noses' and they 'look down their nose' at everything.
I know I'm going to kick myself for asking this, but why couldn't it be "была", indicating that the writer is female? Would it then have been a different word instead of "писателя"? I'm guessing that a female writer would be a "писательница", but I can't work out how to form the genitive. Or is "писатель" accepted as gender neutral, these days, in the same way that "authoress" is rarely used in English anymore?