Wednesday, April 21, 2010

FROWSY, F-R-O-W-S-Y, FROWSY [Our Terms]

frowsy • \FROW-zee\ • adjective
1 : musty, stale
2 : having a slovenly or uncared-for appearance

Example Sentence:
"Just a little effort and elbow grease applied to a frowsy courtyard, patio or side yard will reap rewards year round." (Elizabeth Bettendorf, St. Petersburg Times [Florida], April 6, 2007)

Did you know?
The exact origins of this approximately 330-year-old word may be lost in some frowsy, old book somewhere, but some etymologists have speculated that "frowsy" (also spelled "frowzy") shares a common ancestor with the younger, chiefly British word "frowsty," a synonym of "frowsy" in both its senses. That ancestor could be the Old French word "frouste," meaning "ruinous" or "decayed," or the now mostly obsolete English word "frough" or "frow," meaning "brittle" or "fragile." The English dramatist Thomas Otway is the first person (as far as we know) to have used "frowsy" in print. In his comedy "The Souldier's Fortune," published in 1681, the character Beau refers to another character as "a frouzy Fellmonger."

She looked over at her arch-nemesis, Ally, and quipped,"My, don't you look positively frowsy today?"

Your turn, use your new verbal buffness in a sentence in the comments section!

1 comment:

Lisa R said...

I was so embarrassed at the frowsy appearance of the living room.