All Words > Nosegay

Tuesday, March 17

Nosegay

[NOHZ-gey]

Part of speech: noun

Origin: Middle English, 15th century

1.

A small bunch of flowers, typically one that is sweet-scented.

2.

A gift of a small bouquet of flowers.

Examples of Nosegay in a sentence

"Her daughter picked a nosegay that was mostly weeds, but she still loved it."

"Each of the bridesmaids received a small nosegay wrapped in lace."

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About Nosegay

Nosegay is a uniquely English term. Nose is, well, nose, and gay meant ornament in the 15th century. You could technically call the sparkly stud in your nostril a nosegay, but we'll stick to a small bouquet of flowers. Stay traditional and wrap it in a doily or even a silver nosegay holder.

Did you Know?

While today a nosegay is a small bunch of flowers often used at weddings, it used to be a common and useful accessory. In the 15th century hygiene wasn't up to our modern standards, and people were quite a bit smellier. A sweetly scented nosegay held to the face helped to avoid the most noxious aromas.

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