On the Origin of Mosey


It’s been a while since I’ve done an etymology post, as I haven’t come across any words and needed to know where they came from (it’s a passing fancy, I guess). But knowing that I enjoy etymology, I decided to find a word to look up.

I settled on my last name. When people ask for my last name, I usually say, “Mosey, like to saunter or walk slowly”, since that is the meaning as used down south. It helps differentiate me from any Mosleys out there (as that is the most common misspelling of my name). But where did that “walk slowly” meaning come from?

According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the origin is unknown, but it is most likely related to the British dialectal “mose” which means to “go around in a dull, stupid way.”

Not very uplifting.

But it is possible that it has some Spanish origins in “Vamos”, which means “to go”. That’s a bit nicer to believe.

In any case, it isn’t like I’m going to change it now. Not legally, at least. Although, I may stop correcting people if they call me “Mosley” on accident.


7 thoughts on “On the Origin of Mosey

  1. Baby, even if it means to go around in a dull, stupid way, I will take being a Mosey (as your wife) than being a non-Mosey, any day.

  2. I’ve always wondered if it derived from the slow meandering of the Children of Israel led by Moses in the wilderness. Just a thought!

  3. I haven’t gotten far with it either. dad has said its from England, anymore than that would cost money. Some stuff on the internet says it originated from England, More so Liverpool area as ones who lived by the marsh, or ones living near or of the mossey area. I would like to hear what you’ve got. Keith Mosey

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