This week’s word is oozle, with thanks to the O series of “Qi” on BBC.
Ozzle appeared on a list of unusual O words on the programme I watched recently and although they didn’t discuss it, it struck me as one worth future investigation. Turns out that oozle is a rare word used in Australia and New Zealand so it wasn’t surprising that it was a new one for me as I’ve yet to journey that far.
According to the OED, oozle means to move slowly or lazily and dates to the late 1800s. It is compounded from ooze and the suffix -le. Ooze itself is an older word which entered English in the late 1300s as a verb and noun, all related to slow moving sap, mud, or slime from a selection of Saxon, Norse, and Germanic root words.
As a result the idea of something, or somebody oozling is that they are moving as slowly as sap slipping from a cut in the bark of a tree, or mud slowly settling. One creature which has mastered the art of being slow is the sloth, native creature to Central and South America and an inspiration to me and my family as we slouch with books and leftover Easter chocolate at the moment. I may not oozle quite as slowly as a sloth, but I’m working on it. Slowly.
Until next time happy reading, writing, and oozley wordfooling,