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Word of the Day
Friday, September 08, 2017

Definitions for fossick

  1. Australian. to hunt; seek; ferret out.
  2. Australian. Mining. to undermine another's digging; search for waste gold in relinquished workings, washing places, etc.
  3. Australian. to search for any object by which to make gain: to fossick for clients.

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Citations for fossick
His mind, however, was a garbage bag; he could fossick in it and come up with a fact that nailed a piece of evidence to any number of courtroom walls. Jon Cleary, A Different Turf, 1997
In cooking there are a few guidelines, traditional combinations with roots in social history or environmental accident: apple may first have been matched with pork, for example, because ancient pigs used to fossick in the orchards, and their flesh may already have carried the hint of apple ... Colin Tudge, "Thoughts of Sorts: A matter of taste," New Scientist, September 28, 1978
Origin of fossick
The verb fossick is confined pretty much to Australia and New Zealand. As with many regional and dialect words, its etymology is unclear: the verb seems to be a regional British term fussock, fursick meaning “to fuss, fidget, bustle.” In Australia and New Zealand fossick originally meant to hunt for gold or other precious metals or precious stones by digging with a knife or by studying the ground for overlooked fragments. Fossick has an additional sense of hunting for or foraging for small items e.g., to fossick through a drawer for scissors. Fossick entered English in the 19th century.