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Word of the Day - for Toastmasters everywhere
Tuesday 26th September 2023
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nous (noun) NOWSS or NOOSS

Common sense (UK), intellectual ability, intellect.

We heard it all from Mr Viney - the 1950s revisited. Unions know best, employers are all bad and the workers have not got the nous to stand up for themselves. According to Mr Viney, they have not got the nous to even know there is a union out there if they want to join it.

W R Baxter, Victorian Hansard, 13 October 2004. Victorian Hansard

The first thing we require of those recruits, who are required for all branches of the Armed Forces and particularly for the infantry as well as the Royal Artillery and, I understand, the Royal Armoured Corps, is that they match up to the physical standards I have just mentioned. Secondly, we are increasingly demanding more brains of them--or perhaps I should say, if I may use this word in your Lordships' House, "nous".

Lord Lyell, Lords Hansard, 12 July 1996. Lords Hansard

Indeed, its lasting fascination with body on frame led Detroit to misguidedly champion the S.U.V. — a passenger transportation device built on the frame of a pickup truck — that allowed the industry to once more recycle the production lines and engineering nous it historically relied on.

Jamie Kitman, The New York Times, 1 October 2006. New York Times

Some of this is about sheer nous, cunning, cleverness, realpolitik, whatever you want to call it.

Suzanne Moore, New Statesman, 20 September 2007. New Statesman

They subscribe to a database of folk who have not had the nous to inform the Mailing Preference Service that they do not want their particulars made available to all and sundry.

Rachel Johnson, Spectator, 21 July 2001. Spectator

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