Definitions

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A housewife.
  • n. Same as hussy.

Etymologies

Sorry, no etymologies found.

Examples

  • By the way, “hussy” comes from archaic English “housewife” at the time pronounced “hussif”.

    Regretsy – Regrebay

  • I shall not write to mother and sisters to say we be married, as I said I would do; and I shan't finish the good-hussif 'I cut out and meant to make while we were in lodgings.'

    Tess of the d'Urbervilles

  • I shall not write to mother and sisters to say we be married, as I said I would do; and I shan't finish the good-hussif '

    Tess of the d'Urbervilles

  • Trangia, hussif and all and all nicely packed up in my Cyclops Roc.

    Army Rumour Service

  • The guidebook has a section on "Housewifery" which reads, "Every Girl Scout is as much a ‘hussif 'as she is a girl.

    "Make It Yourself": Home Sewing, Gender, and Culture, 1890-1930

  • a rather decrepit hussif and a hank of strong linen thread.

    A Mating in the Wilds

  • a shabby little hussif, containing a thimble, scissors, needles and some skeins of unbleached thread.

    The Wings of the Morning

  • Spare yourself the misery of discovering in the hearty, fleshy Lincolnshire hussif the decay of the promises of years ago; be content to do reverence to the ideal Fiammetta who has built her little shrine in your sympathetic heart! "

    The Love Affairs of a Bibliomaniac

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Comments

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  • "... a clever arrangement of compartments that held handy his shot pouch, powder horn, a spare knife, a coil of fishing line, a roll of twine for a snare, a hussif with pins, needles, and thread...."
    —Diana Gabaldon, A Breath of Snow and Ashes (New York: Bantam Dell, 2005), 180

    I'm guessing that this word is a corruption of housewife, which was a slang-ish historical term for a portable sewing kit, especially one that men (e.g. soldiers, travelers, etc.) carried.

    January 30, 2010

  • "One of the buttons was loose. He took the hussif out of his kit, threaded a needle without squinting, and whipped the button tightly to the coat."
    —Diana Gabaldon, An Echo in the Bone (New York: Delacorte Press, 2009), 633

    December 17, 2009