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I find I have made a joke in my latest rap battle (against that saucy villain Kilt-Dawg) which is unsupported by the OED.

“Nose”, in Tristram Shandy, seems to mean both “nose” and “penis”. Hence poor Tristram, nose crushed by birthing-forceps and penis shortened by a falling window. References to his nose (or anyone’s) in that book often seem to hint at his membrum virile. Also suspicious is the traveler of the big-ass nose and the remarkable fringed codpiece in Slawkenbergius’ tale. And the ludicrous pains Sterne is at, several times, to define and delimit precisely what he means by “nose”.

But was this slang of the times? Or just Sterne having fun? It seems like it must be the latter, else it would probably be in OED. Anyways, I’m glad I found this out! Learning is fun!

7 Responses to “Nose”

  1. Erica Says:

    Well, if it makes you feel any better, I used the word “lingus” for comedic effect. Jared all but forced me to join that rap battle, but as soon as I did, it ceased to be a battle. Now I feel confused and ashamed.

  2. Ezra Cooper Says:

    Aww, shizit, I had to lay off the battle cuz you’d done took the cake, erica. If I’d a known you were craving more shizzle, I’d a been back at the mic in a second. Check back.

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  5. name Says:

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  6. Ian Alcock Says:

    This was indeed slang of the time. For obvious reasons the two parts of the body were often compared and the subject of coarse humour! Whether Sterne knew this? I would think yes.

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