Pay through the nose
pay excessively; be overcharged
Three explanations of this expression have been offered. One traces it to a 9th century Irish poll tax imposed by the Danes, who slit the noses of non-payers. If this is the origin, it is odd that the expression did not appear in print until 1672. A second links 'rhino', slang for money, with the Greek word rhinos (nose). This is as far-fetched as the third, which connects a nosebleed with the idea of being 'bled' of one's money....A simpler and more plausible solution exists. There is an old and popular expression, found in 16th century English as well as in Italian, Greek and Latin, which is lead by the nose. Literally this means 'control' or 'dominate', as an animal is led by the nose, perhaps by means of a ring through it. Figuratively it means 'make a fool of': Shakespeare has 'led by the nose, as asses are' (Othello, I, 3, lines 399, 400). A development of this into pay through the nose, with the same implication of being fooled, must be a strong possibility.