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Thursday, July 27, 2017

The origin of "nose"

It is said that the word ‘nose’ originally signified a promontory--something prominent--and that it is so called from being the prominent feature of the face. This view is supported by its analogy with naze, a headland, and the Scotch ness (as in Inver ness), a part of the coast which juts forward. It may
be observed that the word meaning ‘nose’ has in most European languages the form N-S-. This may be seen in the Greek νῆσος, an island or promontory; the Latin nasus, the Italian naso, the German Nase, the French nez, and the English nose. Whether this be or be not an onomatopoeia one thing is certain, viz. that in English the initial sn (ns inverted) in so many cases expresses nasal action, that it may be taken as a general type of that meaning. This may be found in a multitude of words having that initial, all expressing various actions of the nose. It may be seen in ‘sn-arl,’ ‘sn-eer,’ ‘sn-eeze,’ ‘sn-iff,’ ‘sn-ore,’ ‘sn-ort,’ ‘sn-ooze,’ ‘sn-out,’ ‘sn-ub,’ ‘sn-uff,’and etc.

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