Old English næs, perhaps reinforced in Middle English by Old Norse nes; related to Old English nasu 'nose'.
nose from Old English:
The Latin root of nose is nasus, which is the source of our word nasal (Middle English), and is also related to ness (Old English), meaning a headland or promontory. A nostril (Old English) is literally a ‘nose hole’. In Old English the word was spelled nosterl or nosthyrl, and came from nosu ‘nose’ and thyrl ‘hole’. Nozzle was originally an early 17th slang form of ‘nose’. To cut off your nose to spite your face was proverbial in both medieval Latin and French, and has been found in English since the mid 16th century. Since the 1780s a nose has been a spy or police informer. The idea of such a person being a ‘nose’, or ‘sticking their nose in’, is also found in words such as nark and snout, and in nosy. The first nosy parker appeared in a postcard caption from 1907, ‘The Adventures of Nosey Parker’, which referred to a peeping Tom in Hyde Park. Nosy itself goes back to 1620, in the sense ‘having a big nose’, and to at least the 1820s in the sense ‘inquisitive’. The common surname Parker was originally a name for the caretaker of a park or large enclosure of land.
Words that rhyme with nessacquiesce, address, assess, Bess, bless, bouillabaisse, caress, cess, chess, coalesce, compress, confess, convalesce, cress, deliquesce, digress, dress, duchesse, duress, effervesce, effloresce, evanesce, excess, express, fess, finesse, fluoresce, guess, Hesse, impress, incandesce, intumesce, jess, largesse, less, manageress, mess, noblesse, obsess, oppress, outguess, phosphoresce, politesse, possess, press, priestess, princess, process, profess, progress, prophetess, regress, retrogress, stress, success, suppress, tendresse, top-dress, transgress, tress, tristesse, underdress, vicomtesse, yes
Definition of ness in:
- British & World English dictionary
What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?
Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.