One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
verb[no object]Australian, NZ
Comment on moral issues, typically in a puritanical or censorious way.‘it is time that they stopped wowsing ineffectually at a high level’
- ‘He has our full forgiveness for being angry, but he shouldn't wowse about it and talk of "Christian restraints," and tell dirty lies.’
- ‘There are other people living on boats in the marina, and we wouldn't want them wowsing.’
- ‘Sane-minded Australians will be disgusted to learn that there is a movement on foot in wowsing circles here to import Cockney members of that nauseous body, the Y.M.C.A., to Australia in large quantities.’
- ‘The more wowsing censors banned the exhibition of her pictures on the grounds that adultery should not be encouraged.’
- ‘Oh, why will they Wowse, these public men?’
Early 20th century: back-formation from wowser.
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