Show Search Results Show Browse

Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

Hide Quotations Hide Etymology

Abbreviations Cite this entry

About this entry:
First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 1976 and 2005 supplements.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

FOZIE, adj., n. Also foz(z)y, foazy, fozey, fosie, fos(e)y, fossey, fozzie; foozy (s.Sc.). [Sc. ′fo:zi, s.Sc. ′fu:zɪ]

I. adj. 1. Soft, spongy, porous, in gen., very freq. applied to overgrown or unsound fruit or vegetables; also applied to steel which has been improperly smelted and is porous (Lnk. 1975; Arg., Uls. 1990s; Sh., Ork., Ayr. 2000s). Gen.Sc. Also in Eng. dial. Hence foziness, sponginess (Sc. 1825 Jam.; Sh., Bnff., Kcd., Ags., Lth., Peb. 1953).Abd. 1794 J. Anderson Peat Moss 11:
It is not so weighty, nor hard; but is of a soft fozy consistence, which more readily absorbs water than the former.
em.Sc. 1801 J. Leyden Complaynt Scot. 337:
Cakes leavened, or puffed up, or fozzy.
Sc. 1818 Scott Rob Roy xiv.:
He maun be a saft sap, wi' a head nae better than a fozy frosted turnip.
Sc. 1819 J. Rennie St Patrick III. viii.:
Ye aul', daft, deleerit, drucken, daver't, doitet wuddiefu' o' fozzy beef.
Ayr. 1838 Galt in Tait's Mag. (Jan.) 42:
He found, at Vallensheens, that a cannon-ball was pot-metal, and his haffit as frush before it as a fozy turnip.
m.Lth. 1847–9 Trans. Highl. Soc. 511:
The whole turnip then, cut off from its supplies, assumes an unnatural colour, softens and decays. When the swelling is cut before putrefaction takes place, it presents an unnatural expansion ofthe substance, analogous to what, in Scotland, is called a “fozie” appearance.
Edb. 1894 P. H. Hunter J. Inwick 227:
If ye had a heid on your shouthers an' no' a fozy peat.
Kcb. 1911 G. M. Gordon Clay Biggin' 14:
What pit this whigmaleery o' biggin' cot hooses . . . intil yer fozy neep o' a heid?
Ags. 1920 D. H. Edwards Men & Manners 236:
Thae neeps 'ill hardly do for the swine — they're growin' fozie.
Edb. 1940 R. Garioch 17 Poems for 6d. 13:
Yin o thum's a faw'y Like a muckle foazy taw'y.
Arg. 1995:
It's no as if it's foozie at the bottom. [of a boat's mast]

2. Of rope, string, worsted, etc.: ragged, frayed, weak or flimsy in the strand (Abd.7 1925; Abd. 1953).Sc. 1743 R. Maxwell Select Trans. 178:
You must have a bit of Rope, the Size of your Wrist, with a fosy End.

3. Of human beings and animals: fat, flabby, bloated, out of condition (ne.Sc., Ags., Fif., m.Lth., Arg., Ayr., Gall. 1953; Ayr. 2000s); of a salmon, diseased. Also fig. Hence foziness, flabbiness (Bnff.2, Ags.2, Edb.1 1946).Edb. 1786 Edb. Ev. Courant (12 Dec.):
An' whan your bluid begins to jeel An' shanks grow fozie.
Sc. 1827 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 275:
I have gien up porter, which . . . lays on naething but fat and foziness.
Edb. 1828 D. M. Moir Mansie Wauch (1898) ix.:
His round oily face . . . was so fat, fozy and soft.
Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid 258:
He lookit at the fosy monks stechin wi' howtowdies and rumbledethumps.
m.Sc. 1898 J. Buchan John Burnet iii. i.:
Fosy aboot the face, like a man that's ower fond o' the bottle.
Abd. 1922 Banffshire Jnl. (26 Dec.):
No, No, I'm neither aged nor “fozey” yet.
s.Sc. 1925 “H. McDiarmid” Sangschaw 40:
A fozie saumon turnin' Deid-white i' the blae bracks o' the pool.
Abd. 1990 Stanley Robertson Fish-Hooses (1992) 78:
Noo auld man Ralston liked Liza alright, but tae keep the peace with fozzie-face he never showed her much affection either; he wis very henpecked.
Abd. 1993:
Get oot o yer bed, ye fozie lump.

4. Of mental qualities: lacking in intellectual force, witless, empty-headed, insipid, dull, spiritless (Sc. 1808 Jam.). Hence foziness, stupidity, doltishness (Sc. 1825 Jam.), and combs. fozie-heid, a blockhead, ppl.adj. fozie-heidit, stupid (m.Lth. 1953).Sc. 1721 Ramsay Poems (S.T.S.) I. 188:
That beardless Capons are na Men, We by their fozie Springs might ken.
Ayr. 1822 Galt Provost xl.:
Mr Plan's fozy rhetoric.
Sc. 1826 Wilson Noctes Amb. (1855) I. 165:
At school that symbol o' extermination was ca'd Fozie Tam. . . . Every callant in the class could gie him his licks.
Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid 91:
Clattering to every ane they meet of “When I was a student in Glasgow” . . . and siclike fosy talk, as if nane had ever been there but themselves.
Ags. 1918 J. Inglis The Laird 3:
What never mak's yer head feel fozie? Just parritch!
Sc. 1926 “H. M'Diarmid” Drunk Man 4:
The sumphs ha'e ta'en you at your wird, and, fegs! The foziest o' them claims to be a — Brither!
m.Sc. 1927 J. Buchan Witch Wood ix.:
There's a wheen fosy bodies yonder, wha pray mair with their tongues than their hearts.
Ags. 1934 H. B. Cruickshank Noran Water 21:
But he that lies wi' creeshy W'alth Will breed a pudden thrang, Owre cosh tae ken their foziness.

5. In various specialised extensions of meaning: (1) pliant, springy, of a golf-club shaft; (2) velvety to the touch (Rxb. 1923 Watson W.-B.); (3) of weather: soft, mild, relaxing; (4) hazy, foggy, obscured; (5) of a laugh: hollow, soft, implying a certain amount of guile.(1) Sc. 1887 W. G. Simpson Art of Golf 92:
Nobody likes stiff shafts . . . A “fozy” handle will do very well if you have a sweeping, scythe-like swing.
(3) Ayr. 1901 “G. Douglas” Green Shutters xxii.:
It was a bright spring day, of enervating softness, a fosie day, a day when the pores of everything seemed opened.
(4) Edb. 1843 J. Ballantine Gaberlunzie's Wallet Introd.:
The heigh hoary houses, maist meetin' aboon, Keep out ilka blink o' the red fozzy moon.
(5) Abd. 1871 W. Alexander Johnny Gibb xvii.:
“Ou na,” replied Hairry, with a “fozy” laugh. “Fan he didna appear to ken, I keepit my thoom upo' that.”

II. n. “A fat, full-grown person” (Abd. 1790 A. Shirrefs Poems, Gl.); also a simpleton, ninny (Per., Fif. 1975). Cf. I. 4.

[Ad. Du. voos, spongy, porous, with -ie, adj. suffix.]

You may wish to vary the format shown below depending on the citation style used.

"Fozie adj., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 22 May 2024 <>



Hide Advanced Search

Browse SND: