Not a grooming ritual

Mistaken for a grooming ritual

A grooming ritual was a practice among some cultures in which an individual of a species groomed another.

In 1947, Professor Jeff Carlson speculated that Rom and Nog were engaging in a grooming ritual. Faith Garland found the action "sweet", and suggested that they were father and son. In reality, Rom was checking Nog's malfunctioning universal translator, which was located in his ear. (DS9: "Little Green Men")