Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day (prettygoodword) wrote in 1word1day,
Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day
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Thursday word: frowst

frowst (FROWST) - (Brit., informal) n., stuffiness, musty air, a warm stale atmosphere. v., to lounge about in a warm, stuffy atmosphere.


I have only ever seen or heard this one in the States, making it pretty strongly British English, including derived dialects no doubt -- can any Aussies comment? (The one American use was in a book by Edward Gorey, as the name of an obscure essayist of the sort, it was implied, who puts the reader to sleep.) The word is a back-formation from frowsty, a variant of frowzy in the sense of dingy/stuffy, originally meaning scruffy/neglected in appearance, attested from the 17th century of unknown origin.

I was pretty bad myself, but managed to move about all the time, for the frowst in my cabin would have sickened a hippo.
—John Buchan, Greenmantle


---L.
Tags: english, f, noun, unknown etymology, verb
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