Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Slang Something extraordinary or bizarre: "Among the delicious names taken by, or given to, minor political parties in the United States . . . are these doozies: Quids, Locofocos, Barnburners, Coodies, Hunkies, Bucktails” ( Saturday Review).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. something that is extraordinary. Often used in the context of troublesome, difficult or problematic, but can be used positively as well.

Etymologies

Possibly blend of daisy and Duesenberg, a luxury car of the late 1920s and 1930s.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
American, from daisy (the flower), also 18th century and onward English slang for something excellent. May have been influenced by Eleonora Duse, Italian actress. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • Brackets around "doozy rat in a sanitary zoo'd" be wonderful - thanks!

    March 20, 2010

  • "doozy rat in a sanitary zoo'd" be a palindrome if it made any sense.

    March 20, 2010

  • The graph on the other page shows no occurrences before 1980...really? To me that would cast doubt on the Duesenberg etymology as that was a beast half a century before.
    Anyway, see one here (where etymology claim is repeated, though that doesn't make it any likelier).

    March 19, 2010

  • According to World Wide Words, this may have come from the word daisy, which in the nineteenth century was English slang for excellent.

    February 5, 2008