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Howard moss

[maws, mos] /mɔs, mɒs/

Howard, 1922–1987, U.S. poet, editor, and playwright.
any bryophyte of the phylum Bryophyta, typically growing in dense mats on trees, rocks, moist ground, etc See also peat moss
a clump or growth of any of these plants
any of various similar but unrelated plants, such as club moss, Spanish moss, Ceylon moss, rose moss, and reindeer moss
(Scot & Northern English) a peat bog or marsh
Kate. born 1974, British supermodel.
Sir Stirling. born 1929, English racing driver

Old English meos “moss,” related to mos “bog,” from Proto-Germanic *musan (cf. Old High German mios, Danish mos, German Moos), also in part from Old Norse mosi “moss, bog,” and Medieval Latin mossa “moss,” from the same Germanic source, from PIE *meus- “damp,” with derivatives referring to swamps and swamp vegetation (cf. Latin muscus “moss,” Lithuanian musai “mold, mildew,” Old Church Slavonic muchu “moss”).

Selden Moseþ þe Marbelston þat men ofte treden. [“Piers Plowman,” 1362]

All the Germanic languages have the word in both senses, which is natural because moss is the characteristic plant of boggy places. It is impossible to say which sense is original. Scott (1805) revived 17c. moss-trooper “freebooter infesting Scottish border marshes.”



Hair; among black people, straightened or processed hair: Moss is hair (1940s+ Black)

Related Terms

house moss, righteous moss
see: rolling stone gathers no moss


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