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Possibly from stash. Australian from 1893; Boer War military slang. Also may be derived from stushie or stooshie, a Scottish term for a commotion, rumpus, or row.


  • IPA(key): /staʊʃ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -aʊʃ


stoush (plural stoushes)

  1. (Australia, New Zealand, informal) A fight, an argument.
    • 1996, Elizabeth Knox, Glamour and the Sea, Victoria University Press, New Zealand, page 166,
      Barry explained that his friend wasn′t drunk, he′d been in a stoush, had a ding on his head and was covered in money.
    • 2006, Pip Wilson, Faces in the Street: Louisa and Henry Lawson and the Castlereagh Street Push, page 200:
      Now Henry knows dead cert he′s in for a stoush, but Snake-hips says he should go with him, and out on Nymagee-street Henry Lawson refuses a twenty-pound note, and the two men shake and Henry accepts the next billiards game, doubles with Snake-hips (who plays even worse than Henry), the Minister for Public Instruction, and the Austrian chappie.
    • 2004, Jay Verney, Percussion, University of Queensland Press, page 151:
      She and Anna used to reproduce Veronica′s stoushes with Pat, conducted with gusto over the fence but never brought into the confining space of either house where they might smoulder and flare.
    • 2008, Anna Haebich, Spinning the Dream: Assimilation in Australia 1950-1970, Fremantle Press, page 63,
      Melbourne almost lost the event when union go-slow tactics and a stoush over federal and state funding responsibilities seriously delayed work on the construction of the Olympic Stadium and Village.


stoush (third-person singular simple present stoushes, present participle stoushing, simple past and past participle stoushed)

  1. (Australia, informal) To fight; to argue.
    • 1916, C. J. Dennis, The Call of Stoush, The Moods of Ginger Mick, 2009, Sydney University Press, page 15,
      Wot price ole Ginger Mick? ′E′s done a break— / Gone to the flamin′ war to stoush the foe.
    • 1999, Marion Halligan, Marlene Mathews, A Sporting Nation: Celebrating Australia′s Sporting Life, page 121:
      The two business moguls have stoushed over rights to televise rugby union, whose marketability has greatly risen since institution of the World Cup in 1987.
    • 2008, Matthew Kidman, Alex Feher, Master CEOs: Secrets of Australia′s Leading CEOs, published 2012, unnumbered page:
      There was a lot of corporate stoushing and things said that people didn′t like.