One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A protective metal cap on the nose of a gunstock. Now historical.
2The covering of, or a structure forming, the extreme forward end of an aircraft fuselage.
3The nose cone of a shell, bomb, missile, or rocket, frequently containing an impact explosive or a device for setting the time fuse.
4A covering worn to protect the nose from the sun. rare.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in Queen's Regulations & Orders Army. From nose + cap.
nose cap/ˈnəʊz kap/
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