1. to make a fool of, to fool, to dupe, to sneer at [? SE phr. lead by the nose].
|Jealous Lovers I iii: Shall I nurse / And play mother to anothers brat? / And she to nose my daughter? [...] My daughter nos’d by a slut?|
|‘The Rump serv’d in with a Grand Sallet’ in Rump Poems and Songs (1662) ii 121: Fit Jakes – farmers for the Rump, they could twang and nose it.|
|Squire of Alsatia IV i: Did you think to nose me for ever, as the saying is?|
2. to ‘put one’s nose into’.
(a) to pry into someone else’s proceedings.
|Ordinary V v: Nosing a little treason ’gainst the King.|
|‘A Medley’ Rump Poems and Songs (1662) I 260: We will thrust them out of the Main-yard, / If they do but nose us.|
|Sporting Mag. Apr. XVI 27/1: Gloss. of Fashionable or Cant Phrases [...] Nosed – Observed.|
|Vocab. of the Flash Lang.|
|Life in London (1869) 312: You are determined nobody shall nose your idears.|
|Charcoal Sketches (1865) 46: Can’t a man wet his whistle without your nosing it?|
|Twice Round the Clock 130: They nosed me in the lobby [...] and my only refuge was at last to go away.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 4 July 44/2: When you’ve nosed into the matter you’ll probably find that Jones bought 640 acres at £1.|
|Rose of Spadgers 145: Near ’arf the Force was nosin’ fer the bloke.‘Spike Wegg’ in|
|Age Of Consent 210: Tell the police to go to hell too, if they come nosing after you.|
|Long Wait (1954) 68: You’re nosing for news. Who of? Servo?|
|Knots and Crosses (1998) 190: Mass-interviewing the suspects, trying to ‘nose’ whether they were probable or possible suspects.|
(b) to inform against; esp. in phr. nose upon.
|Lex. Balatronicum n.p.: To Nose. To give evidence. To inform. His pall nosed and he was twisted for a crack; his confederate turned king’s evidence, and he was hanged for burglary.|
|London Guide 156: They were nosed by an old woman, whose teeth they knocked out, but were themselves taken in consequence.|
|New South Wales II 233: if they suspect anyone of nosing, they will conceal some of their own things in his bag.|
|(con. 1737–9) Rookwood (1857) 305: My old pals never nose on me.|
|Musa Pedestris (1896) 142: And never nose upon yourself – / You then are sure to keep your pelf.‘Jack Flashman’ in Farmer|
|‘Scene in a London Flash-Panny’ Vocabulum 100: If I wished to nose I could have you twisted.|
|Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 66/2: What did it man? was the Brighton job about to be brought home to us? Perhaps someone had ‘nosed’ on us.|
|Term of His Natural Life (1897) 54: There! [...] Does the girl look like nosing us now?|
|Newcastle Courant 2 Sept. 6/5: Whether any one had nosed or not, I cannot say, but I saw Peaching Bill about.|
|Musa Pedestris (1896) 176: Suppose you screeve, or go cheap-jack? [...] Suppose you duff? or nose and lag? / Or get the straight, and land your pot?‘Villon’s Straight Tip’ in Farmer|
|Illus. Police News 22 Oct. 12/2: ‘So you’ve nosed, have you [...] Well, you’ll never put the copper on anyone else’’.Devil of Dartmoor in|
(c) (UK und.) to see, to recognise.
|Illus. Police News 8 Dec. 12/1: ‘Did you see those two covees t’other side of the way?’ [...] ‘A copper and a split (detective) with him.’ ‘I don’t think as they nosed us’.Vultures of the City in|
3. in senses of violence.
(a) to bully.
|, ,||Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.|
(b) to hit on the nose.
|Leaves from a Prison Diary I 15: I one day missed my labour ‘chum’ from his place in our ‘push’ or gang, and learned that he had ‘nosed’ another prisoner, that is, struck him a blow on that organ.|
4. (US) to curry favour [abbr. brown-nose v.].
|(con. 1910s) Studs Lonigan (1936) 137: He was nosing in with him too.Young Lonigan in|
5. (US) to investigate in pursuit of one’s own advantage.
|Flirt and Flapper 109: Flirt: What does ‘to nose’ mean? Flapper: Go after things, put your nose into them, and root them out.|
1. to search, to look over, to survey; thus also as n.
|Nashville Union and American XXVIII Oct. in Inge (1967) 232: Arter supper awhile I nosed round ontil I got inter a room whar I seed a lite.‘Playing Old Sledge for the President’|
|Lantern (N.O.) 3 Dec. 2: We nosed around to try and find out why.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 7 Apr. 15/1: Advanced him a fiver to build one; but when my cockie heard that Mulligan had bought half-a-dozen sheets of iron, he nosed round until he was able to sheet home to me the charge of financing Mulligan.|
|Voice of the City (1915) 22: When he comes nosing around the bridge of his nose is a toll-bridge.‘A Lickpenny Lover’ in|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 16 July 47/1: The cops gits busy, like they allwiz do, / An’ nose around until ’e gits blue funk / An’ does a bunk.‘The Play’ in|
|Carry on, Jeeves 20: He began to nose about. He pulled out drawer after drawer.|
|Doctor Serocold (1936) 150: I suppose you’re nosing about to find out what’s going to happen to the practice.|
|Red Roses for Me I v: I couldn’t ask them why they were nosin’ about in th’ silence of th’ church on an ordinary week-day mornin’.|
|Joyful Condemned 313: They’ll be nosing around there sure as hell.|
|Big Rumble 111: If I don’t show, Mr. White’ll want to know why and begin nosin’ around.|
|Family Arsenal 138: Your friend was upstairs [...] Nosing around.|
|Alice in La-La Land (1999) 55: I don’t know if Cortez would like you nosing around.|
|Salesman 45: If he comes nosin’ around here again he’ll be carryin’ his balls home in a plastic bag.|
|Stalker (2001) 506: Cindy hasn’t been home all day! She’s been nosing around something, and it caught up with her.|
|Observer Mag. 20 Feb. 29: I like to have a nose and see what’s up.|
2. to interfere (in).
|Brooklyn Murders (1933) 59: See here, inspector, I fail to see that it is any of your business to come nosing about in my affairs.|
|Big Heat 138: He had been nosing about a No Trespassing sign, so they decided to put him out of the way.|
|On the Waterfront (1964) 54: Nice pay for just nosing around into other people’s troubles.|
3. to spread rumours, to gossip about.
|Gumshoe (1998) 54: It’s her property, and she wouldn’t like it nosed around that she owns it.|
(US) to pursue, to hunt down.
|Tales of the Ex-Tanks 165: I just seen a fly sleut’ from Pittsburg pass along, and I wouldn’t be s’prised if he’s nosin’ for me.|
(US) a visit; thus as v. to appear, to arrive.
|Flash Mirror 19: N.B. — An early nose in will oblige.|
|Flying Aces Nov. [Internet] Bump Gillis nosed in a few minutes later.‘Crash on Delivery’ in|
to inform against.
|DSUE (8th edn) 803/2: C.20.|