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Clipping of physiognomy, late 17th c.



phiz (plural phizzes or phizes)

  1. (chiefly Britain, colloquial) The face.
    • 1818, Cowper, William, “Conversation”, in Poems, volume 1, page 163:
      The emphatic speaker dearly loves to oppose,
      In contact inconvenient, nose to nose.
      As if the gnomon on his neighbour's phiz,
      Touched with the magnet had attracted his.
    • 1831 June, “The Lord Advocate on Reform”, in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, volume 29, number 181, page 980:
      [] and whatever the feelings which now agitate our secret hearts, — you see we are resolved at least to put on a cheerful phiz, and not to die either of the dumps or the mumps, or any other of the dismals.
    • 1885, Burton, Richard F., The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night[1], volume 8:
      "As for thee, thou givest me good-morrow with thy one eye and thy lameness and thy ill-omened phiz and I become poor and bankrupt and hungry!"
    • 1952, Malamud, Bernard, The Natural:
      Flores stood in a corner with a melancholy expression on his phiz.
    • 2017: "Zizou is a rock. Zizou is an island" by Michael Butler, The Guardian
      Sulley Muntari gets fresh and funky on social media disgrace Twitter after claims were made that he introduced his open palm to the phiz of a referee...