Sunday, October 3, 2010


Fossick \FOS-ik\ , verb;
1. To search for any object by which to make gain
2. Mining. To undermine another's digging; search for waste gold in relinquished workings, washing places, etc.
3. To hunt; seek; ferret out

This word is mostly used in Australia to meaning 'mining' or 'prospecting' and comes from an English dialectal noun fossick, "troubling person", or fossicking, "troublesome." Neither of these words are in the online edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (which is the source of this etymology), so I'm assuming these words are considered obsolete.

My mom loves animals, so as a result my family has had almost every pet imaginable. Chinchillas, a peacock, horses, goats, rabbits, and on and on. However, there has always been a short list of absolutely-not-every-going-to-get-ever-never pets: snakes, pigs, ferrets. That's the whole list, everything else is fair game. Well, the other day she got a ferret...go figure. Anyway, the real point here is that she has 4 dogs (in addition to the ferret, chinchillas, cat and probably other things I don't know about). Three are miniature pinchers and one is some sort of terrier and their combined average weight is about 9.75 pounds. They are literally a pack of ankle biters. Today my mom went to her mom's house because one of her siblings is visiting from out of state. Earlier my uncle had told my mom she should bring her dogs to see if they could catch any of the rats that have been hanging around grandma's house (apparently she has a rat problem since her cat went missing). My mom, of course, obliged and the 3 able-bodied dogs set to work (one pincher is blind as a bat and getting old). I'm sad to report that they didn't catch any mice or rats. Two of them did, however, KILL A POSSUM! This creature weighed at least two pounds more than either dog, and when you weigh less than ten pounds, a 1-2lb difference is huge! Suffice to say, these two voracious hunters successfully fossicked that possum and impressed everyone in the process.

*Today's word and the first definition were both taken from's 'Word of the Day' for Sunday, October 3

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