1815, representing U.S. dialectal variant pronunciation of horse, especially as applied to (large or coarse) persons.
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Examples from the Web for hoss
"You can't speak Dutch no more nor a hoss can," squeaked Jeems West.The End Of The World|Edward Eggleston
Pedigree iz not important for a fast-trotten' hoss; if he kan trot fast, never mind the pedigree.The American Joe Miller|Various
We com' w'ere we need de hoss we hont de ranch an' git mor' hoss.Prairie Flowers|James B. Hendryx
Sometime he is seen, sometime it is the woman only that one sees—sometime it is but the hoss.From Sand Hill to Pine|Bret Harte
Nobody did n' notice it at de time, but dat night, on de way home, de gemman's hoss runned away en kill' de coachman.The Conjure Woman|Charles W. Chesnutt