- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈfɒsɪk/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈfɑsɪk/
- Hyphenation: fos‧sick
- (intransitive) To be troublesome.
- (intransitive, Australia, Britain, New Zealand) To search for something; to rummage.
1924 July, John Buchan, “Our Time is Narrowed”, in The Three Hostages, London: Hodder & Stoughton, published January 1926, OCLC 23843270, page 227:
- I dined alone and sat after dinner in the smoking-room, for Odell never suggested the library, though I would have given a lot to fossick about that place.
- (intransitive, Australia, Britain, New Zealand, specifically) To elicit information; to ferret out. [from mid 19th c.]
1872 May 28, Francis Longmore, “Address in Reply to the Governor’s Speech”, in Victoria. Parliamentary Debates. Session 1872. Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly, volume XIV (Comprising the Period from April 30 to September 4), Melbourne, Vic.: John Ferres, printer, OCLC 639755348, page 389, column 1:
- [T]he honorable member went to the Railway department, and fossicked about for information, and he found, forsooth, that there had been a little rise in the salary of a son of a member of the House.
- (intransitive, Australia, Britain, New Zealand, specifically) To search for gems, gold, etc., on the surface or in abandoned workings.
1862 December, J. A. Patterson, “Mining and Miners”, in The Gold Fields of Victoria in 1862, Melbourne, Vic.: Wilson & Mackinnon, 78, Collins Street East; G[eorge] Robertson, Elizabeth Street; Sands & MacDougall, Collins Street West, OCLC 17617227, page 317:
- The "fossicker" is one who wanders about old diggings, armed with a knife and pan, and who seldom sinks or drives, but "fossicks" or searches about the old heaps of dirt, or in the bottoms of deserted shafts and drives, keen-eyed after unobserved gold.
1902, William Pember Reeves, “The Labour Question”, in State Experiments in Australia and New Zealand, volume 2, London: G. Richards, OCLC 493371024; republished as State Experiments in Australia and New Zealand (Cambridge Library Collection), New York, N.Y.: Cambridge University Press, 2011, →ISBN, page 221:
- In New South Wales the bureau has been able to dispose of a large contingent of the workless by sending them to fossick for gold on old or deserted goldfields.
1994, Ron Moon; Viv Moon [et al.], Outback Australia: a Lonely Planet Australia Guide, Hawthorn, Vic.; Oakland, Calif.: Lonely Planet Publications, →ISBN, page 118, column 2:
- The best way to fossick on old dumps is to either sieve material from untouched areas (you'd do this on the opal fields) or drag down the sides with a rake. You can also find gemstones by closely examining the surface without necessarily disturbing it.
2006, Paul Harding; Susannah Farfor; Lindsay Brown, Northern Territory & Central Australia, Hawthorn, Vic.: Lonely Planet, →ISBN, page 52:
- In order to fossick you must first obtain a fossicking permit (free). They are available from the tourist offices in Darwin and Alice Springs, or Gemtree […] in the Harts Range. Permission to fossick on freehold land and mineral leases must be obtained from the owner or leaseholder.
- (to search for gems, gold, etc.): noodle
- fussicky (possibly related)
to be troublesome
to search for something
to elicit information; to ferret out
to search for gems, gold, etc.