This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Friday, 13 January 2017

Word To Use Today: nostril.

I have no great insight to relay as regards the word nostril - but then who would want an insight into a nostril?

File:Nostrils by David Shankbone.jpg
Photo by David Shankbone 

The word, nevertheless, is one of the most reliably comic in the English language. No one has ever spoken of a nostril without conjuring up a desire to snigger in his listeners. An acquaintance who, when falling of a bike, got a twig painfully poked up his nostril caused only hilarity in even his dearest friends. 

I recommend the word nostril for just for that reason - and if that's not enough of an argument, well, Shakespeare uses it,* and that is surely recommendation enough.

Word To Use Today: nostril. This word comes from the Old English nosthyrl, from nosa, nose, plus thyrel, hole.

*Shakespeare's Falstaff describes the experience of hiding in a laundry basket as surrounding him with the rankest compound of villanous smell that ever offended nostril. See how the nostril makes it much funnier than nose would have done? 

That Shakespeare: he knew what he was doing, didn't he.

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