The winter is 'on', and we all are getting cold. Being a doctor, I know that if you don't expel the mucus accumulated in your nose, you are likely to get an infection. Anyway, facts aside, how do I instruct my daughter to expel the mucus from her nose with force?

Note that in this process, we close our mouth tightly and exhale air from the nose with force so it expels all the mucus from there.

(Yuk! But I need a verb!)

I don't think sneeze is a good word. Because it's involuntary and it involves both the mouth and nose. But here, it involves only the nose.

'Clean your nose' also comes to my mind but then it is not necessarily blowing out air.

Not strictly a verb, I'm open to getting anything though - a noun, idiom etc.

  • To sternutate means to sneeze. Commented Nov 10, 2015 at 14:02
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    How about "Farmer's blow" where there's no handkerchief or tissue, its just aimed at the ground. Cyclists on a ride would call this "snotting" and there's a whole ettiquette around it. sydneycyclist.com/forum/topics/spitting-snotting-etiquette Yes its gross, but its a fact in any solid exercise.
    – Criggie
    Commented Nov 11, 2015 at 4:09

3 Answers 3


I think the idiom you're looking for is "to blow one's nose". Most people say "I need to blow my nose", or "please blow your nose", which means to expel mucus by voluntarily exhaling forcefully through the nose.

  • yes, it is! I firmly believed that 'blow someone's nose' would be some idiom and the literal meaning does not exist! Some times, little things turn out to be the major ones! :) +1 Thanks!
    – Maulik V
    Commented Nov 10, 2015 at 6:37
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    Also, see snot rocket: en.wiktionary.org/wiki/snot_rocket
    – Will
    Commented Nov 10, 2015 at 16:55
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    The snot rocket usually refers to blowing the nose without a tissue, by blocking one nostril at the time to clear the nose (into the air and onto the ground), for example when doing outdoor sports.
    – Benjamin
    Commented Nov 11, 2015 at 0:49
  • Snot rocket is what I came here to upvote. It deserves its own answer (now provided).
    – Mazura
    Commented Nov 11, 2015 at 1:43
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    I always thought that was called a "Brooklyn handkerchief".
    – Austin
    Commented Nov 11, 2015 at 13:12

To blow one' s nose or to clear the nose


Colloquially (when nothing is used to catch the mucus), this is known as a snot rocket . Which YouTube describes as, "A jet of mucus deliberately expelled from one's nostril." Seldom is the act of blowing one's nose done without a handkerchief or a tissue, but if you are you're doing snot rockets.

Sorry, it's too late to go back and get some tissue. Just do a snot rocket and wipe what's left on your sleeve; I won't tell anyone.

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