Know It All: What’s the Scientific Term for “Booger”?

You are intimately familiar with boogers; the two of you have shared many private moments. But did you ever care enough to learn their proper name?

Everybody has that moment when they realize they don’t know about something that they should probably know about. Whether it’s history, language, science, or cultural phenomena, you’ve felt the stinging personal embarrassment of a moment wherein you realize there’s some common knowledge that isn’t so common. Don’t feel bad; nobody knows everything. Nobody, that is, except me and my sidekick, The Internet!

Somewhere in the world, a confused soul begs the question…

What’s the scientific term for “booger”?

All the gross stuff related to our bodies has a scientific term attached to it. “Farts” are medically known as “flatulence”. “Poop” is actually “stool” or “feces” and “pee” is actually “urine”. So, what is the scientific term for “booger”?

Clearly the goo in your nose is known as “mucus” when it is in its natural viscous, liquid form. But what happens, linguistically, when that mucus has dried into a solid? When all those doctors get together and talk about medical things (as I’m sure they do, at their country clubs and whatnot), how do they refer to boogers? Is there some cool word we don’t know about?

Well, if the entire Internet is any indication… the answer is “no”. There is no cool scientific word for “booger”.

The closest we can come to official terminology is dried nasal mucus, a bit of boring, wordy nomenclature that is touted as official by the likes of Merriam-Webster.

Oh well. Maybe someday.

[Note: you may have encountered someone who claims “rhinolith” is the technical name for “booger”. This is wrong. A rhinolith is basically a kidney stone for your nose — it is not a booger.]

Now you know.

Justin Brown is a writer and artist living in Virginia. He channels most of his mind's molten river of creativity into his blog Esteban Was Eaten!. For even more information about him, check out his website.

  • http://everythingishistory.com Tamahome Jenkins

    Wow, a rhinolith…that sounds awful, lol. According to Answers, a booger is “An item that is unnamed or unnameable.” So if the medical community were to come up with a name, would we have to stop calling it a booger? ;)
    .-= Tamahome Jenkins´s last blog ..The Sad Story of Student Loans =-.

    • http://www.primermagazine.com Andrew

      That’s such a funny definition. It sounds like something that would be in an ancient philosophy.

  • http://propsblog.com Blake @ Props Blog Ideas

    Tamahome – I wonder if that’s just one definition of booger? I think it’s pretty funny :)
    .-= Blake @ Props Blog Ideas´s last blog ..The Top 5 Make Money Sites You Should Visit =-.

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  • john

    May I suggest the coinage “Xeromucous”?

  • Asiana

    In Asia we call it nose-shit

    • crazyassshenanigans

      we call “eye boogers” eye-shit too

  • Barry

    Nostril particles or nasal residue

  • Barry

    What about nose dirt

  • Barry

    I know nostril soil

  • Barry

    Nasal metorites

  • http://prettywittyrant.blogspot.com Janae

    Our ancient professor of these things called them “crusts.”

  • Bill Smith

    I actually came looking for this answer. Now I am doubly disappointed to find that no one has a good answer.

    Might I suggest Latin (I am an expert), Eligosum. Literally, “That which is picked”. The plural would be eligosi.

    My final suggestion is caro-ab-nasus, or meat from the nose.

    Etymology is my life!!!

  • Boogerman

    How ’bout “nasal debris”?

  • Xx

    It’s called a nasal concretion. Lame, I know.