Wowser meaning

wou'zər
A person regarded as obnoxiously puritanical.
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(Australia, New Zealand, derogatory) One with strong moral views against excessive consumption of alcohol, gambling, pornography, etc., who seeks to promulgate those views.
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Alternative form of wowzer.
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A person who is rigorously puritanical, strait-laced, etc.
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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.)
    From Wiktionary
  • 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 Wiktionary
  • From UK dialect. In the pro-temperance sense, Australian from early 1900s.
    From Wiktionary