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wowser (WOU-zuhr) noun
A person regarded as excessively puritanical; a killjoy.
Being or relating to a wowser.
[Of obscure origin. One theory attributes the term to dialectal wow (to howl). Also, according to a popular unsubstantiated story, the term is an acronym of We Only Want Social Evils Remedied, a slogan invented by John Norton, eccentric owner of Truth newspaper.]
"Sydney's St Andrew's Cathedral became a hand-clapping hillbilly heaven and
a minister many call a wowser led the singing of A Pub With No Beer. There
could be no greater metaphor for the influence of Slim Dusty than the fact
that the congregation of St Andrew's - from the Prime Minister to the pall
bearers - could sing as one, without a script."
"Forget that relaxing glass of wine, unless you want the neo-wowsers
screaming 'bad role model.' There is a certain type of person ever present
in Australian life, devising ways to deny pleasure to the rest of the
population. In Norman Lindsay's day wowsers were churchgoers purse-lipped
about nudity. But now that the churches are empty and their moral restraints
cast aside, today's wowsers have had to find fresh fun to eradicate, like
alcohol, cigarettes, Big Macs, vanilla Coke, cars and air-conditioning."
This week's theme: words originating in Australia.
The instruction we find in books is like fire. We fetch it from our neighbours, kindle it at home, communicate it to others, and it becomes the property of all. -Voltaire, philosopher and writer (1694-1778)
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