Word Confusion: Knows vs Noes vs Nose

Posted June 6, 2013 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

This one, er, three, was simply fun! It’s the nose that knows how to spout those noes in this heterograph!

Okay, so I’ll never make it as a comic…LOL… What’s truly embarrassing is how often I have come across a word confusion between knows and nose. Ya’d think it was pretty obvious…!

Word Confusions…

…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.

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Knows Noes Nose
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com; Dictionary.com: nose

“I Know! I Know!” courtesy of Amy Isabella Ocelot’s blog

Too funny…

“Oh Noes” courtesy of
the Urban Dictionary

“My Nose Can See” is courtesy of Flagrant Regard

Part of Grammar:
Verb, intransitive & transitive

Third person present verb: knows
Past tense: knew
Past participle: known
Gerund or present participle: knowing

Also nos

Plural noun form for no

Verb, intransitive & transitive

Plural for the noun and third person present verb: noses
Past tense or past participle: nosed
Gerund or present participle: nosing

Verb, intransitive:
[With clause] Be aware of through observation, inquiry, or information

  • Have knowledge or information concerning

Verb, transitive:
[With clause] Be aware of through observation, inquiry, or information

  • Have knowledge or information concerning
  • Be absolutely certain or sure about something

Have developed a relationship with (someone) through meeting and spending time with them

  • Be familiar or friendly with
  • Have a good command of (a subject or language)
  • Recognize (someone or something)
  • Be familiar or acquainted with (something)
  • Have personal experience of (an emotion or situation)
  • [Usually be known as] Regard or perceive as having a specified characteristic
  • [Usually be known as] Give (someone or something) a particular name or title
  • [Know someone/something from] Be able to distinguish one person or thing from (another)

[Archaic] Have sexual intercourse with (someone) 1

Negative answer or decision

Multiple utterances of the word no

Denial or refusal

A negative vote or voter

Part of the body projecting above the mouth, containing the nostrils and used for breathing and smelling

  • [Singular] The sense of smell, especially a dog’s ability to track something by its scent
  • [Singular] An instinctive talent for detecting something
  • The aroma of a particular substance, especially wine

Front end of aircraft, car, or other vehicle

  • A projecting part of something

Projecting part of something

[Singular noun] A look, especially out of curiosity

  • [Informal] Police informer

The organ of smell

The sense of smell

Anything regarded as resembling the nose of a person or animal, such as a spout or nozzle
The prow of a ship

[Golf] The forward edge of the head of a golf club

Verb, intransitive:
[Of an animal] Thrust its nose against or into something, especially in order to smell it

Investigate or pry into something

A vehicle or its driver makes one’s way way cautiously forward

  • [Of a competitor] Manage to achieve a winning or leading position, especially by a small margin

Verb, transitive:
Smell or sniff something

Detect by diligent searching

To touch or rub with the nose

  • Nuzzle
Verb, intransitive:
He knows!

He knows of one local who shot himself.

Verb, transitive:
Mary knows what I’m doing.

She knows they knew each other biblically.

She knows what she’s doing.

Paul would write to him if he knew his address.

Janie knows it was something I wanted to do.

He knows it!

Jason knows and and respects Laura.

Isabel couldn’t hear the words clearly, but she knows the voice.

There’s a little restaurant she knows about near Times Square.

Charles was a man who had known better times.

He knows how to paint with oils.

The doctor was universally known as “Hubert”.

Even though Tiffany is blind, she knows where Alex is anywhere in the room.

He knows her.

The noes have it.

The Conservatives wouldn’t have changed the noes to yeses for anything.

In response, the noes were shouted from everywhere.

They responded with definite noes.

The answer was one of noes all around.

The noes were ringing throughout the room.

That dog has a keen nose.

He has a nose for news.

Check out the nose of the plane.

He has a nose for a good script.

He’s a renowned nose.

He won by a nose!

He hit the nose of the saddle with a loud oof.

The wine is pungently smoky and peppery on the nose.

She wanted a good nose around the house.

Verb, intransitive:
The pony nosed at the straw.

She’s always nosing into someone’s business.

I was anxious to get inside and nose around her house.

He turned left and nosed into an empty parking space.

They nosed ahead by one point.

Verb, transitive:
The proud mama nosed her pups.

It was a cheese that could be nosed out from some distance away.

The dog nosed its pup back into the yard.

The boat nosed its way toward shore.

Adjective: knowable
Noun: ken, knower
Verb: ken
Verb, modal: can
Adjective: noseless, noselike, unnosed
Phrasal Verb
nose out
History of the Word:
Old English cnāwan (earlier gecnāwan) meaning recognize, identify is of Germanic origin and from an Indo-European root shared by the Latin (g)noscere and the Greek gignōskein.

1 A Hebraism that has passed into modern languages; compare with the German erkennen and the French connaître.

Old English is from ne (not) + ō or ā (ever). Old English nosu is related to the Dutch neus and more remotely to the German Nase, the Latin nasus, and the Sanskrit nāsā.

C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves?

Somehow, know has a number of conflicts within homonyms, and you may want to explore other posts that include know or no, including Know versus No, Know How versus Knowhow, and Knew versus New.

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Pinterest Photo Credits:

What the Nose Knows: The Science of Scent in Everyday Life by Avery Gilbert is an “entertaining and enlightening journey through the world of aroma, [as] olfaction expert Avery Gilbert illuminates the latest scientific discoveries and offers keen observations on modern culture: how a museum is preserving the smells of John Steinbeck’s Cannery Row; why John Waters revived the “smellie” in Polyester; and what innovations are coming from artists like the Dutch “aroma jockey” known as Odo7″.