Thursday, August 6, 2009

Forgotten English: Doss

Doss: To sleep.
In the old pugilistic days, a man knocked down, or out of time was said to be sent to dorse. But whether because he was senseless, or because he lay on his back, is not known, htough most likely the latter. Formerly spelt dorse; [from] Gaelic dosal, slumber.
--John Camden Hotten's Slang Dictionary, 1887
To dorse with a woman signifies to sleep with her.
--Francis Grose's Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, 1796
Boxing Etiquette

In 1925 the French Boxing Commission discontinued the old boxing custom of kissing one another on both cheeks just before squaring off with each other, after finally realizing the irony of this strange custom.

Just some interesting bit of trivia for the above paragraph! You gotta love English!


  1. Is doss not used in American English any more?
    We use it a little in Oz English. A "doss house" is a slang term for a homeless refuge, to "doss down" is to get ready to sleep usually when "sleeping rough" or occasionally when camping and a "dosser" is someone who is sleeping rough or using a refuge. It is not unusual for someone to say something like: "I am going to doss down for the night" when they are sleeping away from there usual bed, (even in a fancy hotel).

  2. oops I look like an idiot that should be their in my last sentence of my previous comment.


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