Nose Etiquette


What Is Good “Nose Etiquette”?

This might seem like a bizarre question but it is something I have pondered over for many years and I am just seeking some clarification. Maybe it’s just me?

Imagine the situation…

You are chatting to someone and suddenly notice a “foreign” item on, in, around or hanging from their nose. It could be a bogey (booger), tissue, skin, an annoying long nose hair or anything else that just shouldn’t be there.

What should you do?


Do you tell them? Do you think about telling them, stop concentrating on what they are saying and then realise it’s far too late to tell them and let them go off out into the world with extra nose accessories?

If you are the person that is more than happy to advise someone that they have “a bat in the cave” how well do you need to know this person before telling them?

Here’s a situation I was in a few years ago. My colleague had some “stuff” under his nose and I was torn whether to tell him or not. In the end I didn’t. Later that day I was eating a large seeded bread sandwich which was delicious. Half an hour after I’d finished, I touched my nose and found a seed had planted itself at the tip of my nose. It must have looked like a little, hard, brown bogey!

No one had told me!

I tried to think of all the people I had spoken to after lunch who would have seen my unwanted nose bling. Is that “nose karma” for me not saying anything to my colleague?

What “nose” around, comes around!

Another thing…whenever I’m speaking to someone and they start touching their nose, I immediately become paranoid that there is something wrong with mine and once the conversation is over I either rush to the nearest mirror or if no mirror available I somehow use my iPhone to check my nose!

Is it just me? Am I just a little bit crazy? Should we follow this example?

I also did an Ask Reddit which you can see here – these are a selection of the answers…

What is good nose etiquette? See a bogey and say or no say?

Let me know your thoughts on good nose etiquette.

16 thoughts on “Nose Etiquette

  1. Nose karma?!?!?!

    I’m sorry … I can’t even begin to fashion a response to this …. I laughing way too hard.

    Er … by any chance …. are you some long lost distant relation to the Eejit?!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You aren’t the only one. I struggle sometimes, if I dont know the person. I have a coworker who never hesitates to hand someone a napkin or Kleenex, with instructions regarding where it needs to be used.


  3. It depends how well I know the person. If they are a stranger I will probably not mention the bat in the cave, even though I’ll feel bad about it afterwards. If we are fairly close I would casually point to the nose and tell them. Hell, if it’s my mom or son I will just reach over and flick it off myself.

    I’m glad you brought up this subject, and I love this post. I’ve often wondered about nose (and teeth) etiquette. Is it more embarrassing to tell the person they have something unwanted on their face or for them to walk around oblivious?

    I do know this: never congratulate a woman on being pregnant unless you physically see the baby coming out. Talk about wanting to crawl into a hole… Okay that did not sound right…


  4. I always point it out when someone has something odd on their face. Be it food, lipstick on the teeth, flakes of mascara… But never a hair that looks to be growing. I figure that they MUST look in the mirror sometime, right? Sort of like telling an older man that he has more hair in his ears than on his head: a long visible nose-hair is just not mentioned.

    Now. If it was a bogey…I’d just brush my nose in the same area and say you’ve got something on ye, there. If they ask what it is? “I got no clue, I wasn’t looking that close.”

    A few weeks ago my face was covered in smut from the job, and I walked around a good while before anyone bothered to tell me. I figured it was just a little smudge- hell no, I was coated in grey dust.


  5. Nose Karma? LOL. I’m an Indian, and I’ve come across all kinds of Karma. But this is a first. 😀 I have to confess, I’d never given a thought to nose etiquette before. Thanks for drawing my attention to this very pertinent issue.



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