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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 ?
Wowser, I wanted to be in there and beltin' it oot.
This was, after all, the woman who, in her breakthrough role in the 2017 summer smash Girls Trip, introduced a wowser of a boudoir trick -- it involves citrus -- to the wider world.
The one with a proper, wowser, seriously exciting funfair.
You could be a bigot without being a wowser. Also, you might say, Sargeson to some extent exulted in his Puritanism; Davin more straightforwardly discarded his.
"Wowser! Looking at the site on my iPhone works so nice!
It was enough to frighten her, and she let out a little "Oh!" Then, as she was gathering breath for a real wowser of a scream, she heard Norah hissing through the keyhole.
"Wowser", the manly woman or the transgressive "New
Now, the Center for Biomedical Informatics (CBMi) at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia has created Genome Wowser, an app for exploring genomic information that is convenient, intuitive and highly mobile.
She concludes this chapter by saying 'The Bulletin would say the report was written by a 'wowser'--a wowser being a being, an advocate of everything dry, of temperance and all the virtues, who expresses his opinions in such a manner that the good he advocates appears as offensive as he is himself.
Barry would have seen many examples of the effect of drinking to excess as he sat in judgement, but his nuanced, witty and thoughtful reading of The Anatomy of Drunkenness shows him to be no wowser. (5)
Randerson reached for remote symbolism, but the surface of the story says plainly that Jesus was no wowser and that god has a pleasant sense of humour.
Tony Moore, in his 1997 paper about bohemian culture, enumerates the traits propagated by the Bulletin: "mateship and blokey bonding to the exclusion of family life; hostility to religion, personified by the Protestant wowser; ironic humour; a fondness for alcohol, pubs and gambling; pre-occupation with a free-wheeling Australian identity (overlaid with francophilia and Irish nationalism) invariably opposed to a conservative Englishness; and an occasional flirtation with political causes such as socialism and republicanism" (Moore 1997:1).