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n. Chiefly Australian
A person regarded as obnoxiously puritanical.

[Possibly from dialectal wow, to howl, complain, of imitative origin.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. a fanatically puritanical person
2. (Brewing) a teetotaller
[C20: from English dialect wow to whine, complain]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈwaʊ zər)

Australia and New Zealand. an excessively puritanical person.
[1895–1900; orig. uncertain]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


n (Austral inf)
(= killjoy)Miesmacher(in) m(f) (inf)
(= teetotaller)Abstinenzler(in) m(f)
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
References in periodicals archive ?
The motivation behind this form of economic 'wowserism', Gifford held, was the fear that some sectors of the economy would over-develop if the boom persisted.
Even today the Australian church has a reputation for wowserism, (22) emotional rigidity, and a killjoy attitude, that distances it from the everyday life of the people.
Let me take another example, a sensitive one for an Australian Protestant, the culture of 'wowserism', so alive and well around the beginning of the twentieth century.
(3) For further detail, see the chapter entitled 'Wowserism triumphant' in Richard Broome, Treasure in Earthen Vessels: Protestant Christianity in New South Wales society 1900-1914, Brisbane, 1980.