DSAE test file

mossie, noun1

Origin:
Afrikaans, DutchShow more Afrikaans, from Dutch mosje diminutive form of mos sparrow.
1.
a. The sparrow Passer melanurus of the Ploceidae; Cape sparrow, see Cape sense 2 a. b. Any of several species of sparrow occurring in southern Africa. Also attributive.
1884 Layard & Sharpe Birds of S. Afr. 479The ‘Mossie,’ like its cousin, the English bird, is essentially a ‘cit.’
1991 G. Zwirn in Settler Vol.65 No.2, 11Mossie or Passer melanurus, is SAE for your common-or-garden (mainly garden) sparrow.
2. rare. In the idiom as dead as a mossie, dead as a mossie [translation of Afrikaans so dood soos 'n mossie], ‘stone dead’. Cf. morsdood.
1965 K. Mackenzie Deserter 58‘That was a good shot, eh?’...He pushed at the deer with his foot. ‘There in the shoulder. Dead as a mossie.’
The sparrow Passer melanurus of the Ploceidae; Cape sparrow, see Cape2 a.
Any of several species of sparrow occurring in southern Africa. Also attributive.
‘stone dead’.

Visualise Quotations

Quotation summary

Senses

18841991