All Words > Fossick

Saturday, April 23

Fossick

[FAH-sik]

Part of speech: verb

Origin: Australia and New Zealand, mid-19th century

1.

(informal) Rummage; search.

2.

Search for gold in abandoned workings.

Examples of Fossick in a sentence

"Alvin went to the flea market to fossick for interesting trinkets."

"The prospectors went to great lengths to fossick for gold."

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About Fossick

This term was coined in the 1850s by Australians and New Zealanders, but it may be rooted in a word known to British immigrants: “fussock,” a dialect term meaning "to bustle about" or "to fidget."

Did you Know?

“Fossick” is a term that became popular with 19th-century Aussies and Kiwis who picked over abandoned mining excavations to search for gold or gemstones. In Australia, "fossicking" is protected by a number of laws which vary from state to state. For example, in Queensland, fossickers must obtain a license, but in New South Wales, there is no such requirement. Interestingly, searching for opal has its own specific term: “noodling,” which is also a term for catfish fishing in the southern United States.

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