Other words for "booger"

In an article on using DNA from a booger SDSTAFF Hawk suggests using “nasal secretions” as an alternative to “booger.” That sounds fine for a scientific report, but I have a feeling most people wouldn’t automatically understand “nasal secretions” to refer to the brown-green gobs they know as “boogers.” I want to know if there are any other words for boogers.

I ask because a student of mine in Japan asked how to say “hanakuso” in English and the only word I could think of was “booger.” I was a little embarrassed to give that as my answer because it sounds somewhat childish to me, like saying “poop.” English-Japanese dictionaries offered “nasal discharge” or “dried mucus.” Those seem along the same lines as “nasal secretions” and I suspect would be equally incomprehensible to the average person.

So how about it? Are there any other words that people use for boogers?

Some people might think “booger” is the only term for such nasal secretions but it’s not.


Although that’s less specific.

All puns aside, snot is not the same thing as a booger, is it? Snot is amorphous; a booger has shape. Is there any other word for that glob we all know and love as a booger?

24 hours later and no response. I guess that means there really is no alternative to “booger”. Or is there…

Okay, so I exaggerated the time lag. The hours go by more quickly once you hit 30.

I was not able to find the word booger in my thesaurus or even in my OED(collegiate edition). Is it really even a word?

Larry Niven and David Gerrold used “nasal dropping” in “The Flying Sorcerors”. I’d suggest “dried phlegm”. I’m sure that medical dictionaries will have some appropriately obscure term.

From Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate® Dictionary
Main Entry: boog·er
Pronunciation: 'bu-g&r, 'bü- (Guide To Pronunciation)
Function: noun
Etymology: alteration of English dialect buggard, boggart, from [sup]1[/sup]bug + -ard
Date: 1866
2 : a piece of dried nasal mucus

I can offer another variation: “bogle”, but I cannot say how widespread it is (!). Two things are interesting here: the lack of terms for such things and the apparent formality of the term “snot”.

The… err nasal discharge thickens.

“Nasal discharge” is too general; it can also refer to mucous (which does have its own name). Sure, “solidified nasal discharge” would work, but you’d think that there’d be a single word to describe it-- Every other bodily secretion has at least one, and usually two or three, technical names (mucous, phlegm, etc.).

Booger = Mucous + dust

I can’t find a technical name for it. I don’t know if otolaryngologists care whether it’s slimy or hard.

I’d suggest “dried phlegm”.


I always think of ‘phlegm’ as the stuff in your throat or broncial tubes. As for boogers, i like to refer to them as ‘Nose goblins.’