Nasal Etiquette - A short guide to nose manners.

Nose blowing no-nos

You should keep your nose clear of debris at all times. It is terribly impolite to wander around sniffing all the time. Worse, if your sinuses become blocked, you will be unable to breathe while eating or kissing and may embarrass yourself and any others that may be with you. Blockage can also cause sinusitus, commonly known as a sinus infection.

When blowing your nose--in order to remain polite--please make certain that you use a tissue, handkerchief, or bandana. Blow gently into the tissue while holding one nostril closed, or while alternating nostrils. Do not hold one nostril closed with a finger and blow out into space until your sinus is clear. This is called horking and is considered in terrible taste. It is very rude to leave things from your nose for others to step on. Also, inserting your finger into a nostril at any time is considered rude. For those of you who think you are alone when driving in traffic and feel that would be a good time to go for a dig: We can see you! You know who you are.

Proper use of the tissue is important. Fold your tissue carefully after blowing your nose, be sure to wipe away any mucus that may have collected around your nostrils. Also, be certain to look in the mirror after doing this. Nothing is more repellant than seeing someone return from the bathroom with a glistening green friend freshly planted on their upper lip, stuck in a moustache or beard, or worse yet, dangling from an errant nosehair. Remove all traces of your activity before appearing before people.

There are some people who constantly scratch or rub at the base of their nose to dislodge dried nose particles. They think they are clever and look like they are scratching an itch and that others are oblivious to their semi-passive nose picking. To those of you who do this: We know what you are doing! Do you think we're totally ignorant?

Nose appearance

Nose hairs are, in all cases, unsightly blemishes on an otherwise pleasant nose. You should keep your hairs trimmed so as not to make others uncomfortable. A good rule of thumb is: If you can see them, so can everyone else.

It is considered highly improper to use your nose as a spoon rack. Some people enjoy sticking spoons to their noses in restaurants. What they do not typically know is that there are roving bands of spoon thieves in various parts of the world, and if one happens to steal the spoon your nose is attached to you will spend the remainder of your life with two hideous holes in the front of your face. If you wish to continue to have a nose with which to be polite, please cease this activity before it's too late!

Important: If you have a large nose, please do not get it pierced. This will only accentuate the size of your nose and make you look clownish. If this still does not deter you, be certain to get lots of other facial piercings and tattoos in order to offset your enormous nose.


Using your nose to hum is quite acceptable, in most circumstances. It is generally considered impolite, however, to hum while you have a cold. You might drip and soil your clothing.

Breathing through your nose is always considered polite. Breathing through your mouth all the time makes you look oafish and leaves you open to drooling. Drool is, unfortunately, outside the scope of this node.

In general use your best judgement. If you are doing something with your nose that would offend you if you saw someone else doing it, you should probably alter your behavior.

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