A person regarded as obnoxiously puritanical.
A person who is rigorously puritanical, strait-laced, etc.
Origin of wowser
- Possibly from dialectal wow to howl, complain of imitative origin
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
- A story has it that gospellers in the streets of Clunes, Victoria in the 1870s were called rousers but one of the town councillors had a speech impediment and couldn't pronounce his "R"s, thus giving wowser. (Reference: Bill Wannan, Australian Folklore, Lansdowne Press, 1970, reprint 1979 ISBN 0-7018-1309-1, under "Wowser", page 568.)
- John Norton, an early enemy of wowsers (temperance sense), claimed it to be an acronym for "We Only Want Social Evils Remedied", but that is likely a folk etymology.
- From UK dialect. In the pro-temperance sense, Australian from early 1900s.