One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small bunch of flowers, typically one that is sweet-scented.‘a nosegay worn at the waist or bodice’
bouquet, bunch, bunch of flowers, spray, corsageposy, bouquet, spray, bunch, sprig, buttonhole, corsageView synonyms
- ‘Cut fresh flowers from the garden and make up little nosegays for each table.’
- ‘The procession stopped outside the church, where the prisoners received a nosegay of flowers, and stopped at a tavern or two later along the route so they could enjoy a final pint of ale.’
- ‘The bouquet itself was a nosegay of violets with a pink rose in the center.’
- ‘A uniformed man just inside the entry handed them each a small nosegay of flowers from a large wicker basket next to him.’
- ‘Floral artists form perfect nosegays with bundled stems wrapped and tied in raffia ribbons.’
Late Middle English: from nose + gay in the obsolete sense ‘ornament’.
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