Meaning of wowse in English:



[no object]informal Australian, New Zealand
  • Comment on moral issues, typically in a puritanical or censorious way.

    ‘it is time that they stopped wowsing ineffectually at a high level’
    • ‘There are other people living on boats in the marina, and we wouldn't want them wowsing.’
    • ‘Oh, why will they Wowse, these public men?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He has our full forgiveness for being angry, but he shouldn't wowse about it and talk of "Christian restraints," and tell dirty lies.’


Early 20th century back-formation from wowser.