Tony Leighton is a Canadian writer happily retired and attempting to help others feel the same.

Vocabuteria: doozy

[An ongoing feature designed to improve your vocabulary and mine.]

doozy

There are words so fun to use and yet so fragile — in the sense that if you use them more than once in a conversation, or more than once in a few days with the same people — you risk seeming kind of lame (or in British vulgar slang, half-arsed) “Doozy” is such a word. Every once in a while, even the most erudite among us can say, acceptably, “Good lord! That was a doozy!” It means “an extraordinary one of its kind.” It has nothing to do with the similar words “woozy” (unsteady, dizzy, dazed) or “floozy,” which Oxford defines as, “A girl or a woman who has many casual sexual encounters or relationships” (an outdated and plainly offensive word that is examined here only as an artifact of dumber times). The sentence Oxford gives to put floozy in context is a doozy: “They were attacked for canoodling with floozies in nightclubs.” There is a way to link all three of these crazy words — “She was a doozy of a woozy floozy” — but you wouldn’t want to say that more than once in a lifetime. If that. And perhaps only to yourself.

 

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