Meaning of wowser in English:



informal Australian, New Zealand
  • A puritanical or censorious person, in particular a teetotaller or person opposed to alcohol.

    • ‘They don't need wowsers telling them that you can or can't gamble.’
    • ‘The nation is again being told off for its profligacy, economic wowsers merrily predicting a scuttling.’
    • ‘Of course there are always the wowsers who resent the sight of anyone enjoying themselves, and would like to stop it.’
    • ‘Now I have often enough had a meal and a glass of wine or two with Bob and his beautiful wife Helena, and know they are no wowsers.’
    • ‘I don't want to come across as a complete wowser, but with growing numbers of road deaths, especially amongst young, male drivers, is this advertising approach really that socially acceptable?’
    • ‘If I'm sounding like a wowser, what's the bet that our gambling losses next year will top $13 billion?’
    • ‘Even though he is a teetotaller - the basic reasons for which have been well reported - he is not a wowser.’
    • ‘We're not a wowser - we just remember the days when you used to go to the pub for a beer and a yarn.’
    • ‘Sensibly, however, Young is careful not to adopt the moral tone so typical of many modern anthropological wowsers and he takes this complex issue - like others - in his stride with honesty and understanding.’
    • ‘I do not think there is a single person in this House, including even some of the wowsers around here, who think that going to prohibition would be the right way to fix an alcohol problem.’
    • ‘‘I've never seen her be such a wowser before,’ Jack added, more to himself than anyone else.’
    • ‘Call me a wowser if you must, but I can't see that this is a desirable form of hedonism.’
    • ‘I'm no wowser, but the lives of many people are in your hands at sea and it can't be trivialised.’
    spoilsport, moaner, complainer, mope, prophet of doom, Cassandra, Jeremiah, death's head at a feast


Late 19th century of obscure origin.