- nose (n.)
- Old English nosu, from Proto-Germanic *nusus (cognates: Old Norse nös, Old Frisian nose, Dutch neus, Old High German nasa, German Nase), from PIE *nas- "nose" (cognates: Sanskrit nasa, Old Persian naham, Old Church Slavonic nasu, Lithuanian nosis, Latin nasus "nose"). Used of any prominent or projecting part from 1530s. (nose cone in the space rocket sense is from 1949). Used to indicate "something obvious" from 1590s. Meaning "odor, scent" is from 1894.
Kiv, It could bee no other then his owne manne, that had thrust his nose so farre out of ioynte. ["Barnabe Riche His Farewell to Military Profession," 1581]
Pay through the nose (1670s) seems to suggest "bleed." Many extended meanings are from the horse-racing sense of "length of a horse's nose," as a measure of distance between two finishers (1908). To turn up one's nose "show disdain" is from 1818 (earlier hold up one's nose, 1570s); similar notion in look down one's nose (1921). To say something is under (one's) nose "in plain view" is from 1540s.
- nose (v.)
- "perceive the smell of," 1570s; "pry, search," 1640s, from nose (n.). Related: Nosed; nosing.