One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The smell given off by animal substances, especially of a fatty or greasy nature, when cooked or burnt.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in Martin Fotherby (c1560–1620), bishop of Salisbury. From classical Latin nīdor a rich strong smell (from food or things burnt), fumes, cognate with ancient Greek κνῖσα, and Icelandic hniss.
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