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Clipping of physiognomy, late 17th c.


phiz (plural phizzes or phizes)

  1. (obsolete, 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.