Fossick – Friday’s Word of the Day

Fossick is today’s word of the day at It’s an Aussie word…as in primarily used and originating in Australia. It means to hunt; seek; ferret out and is also a mining term that means to undermine another’s digging; search for waste gold in relinquished workings, washing places, etc. explains: The verb fossick is confined pretty much to Australia and New Zealand. As with many regional and dialect words, its etymology is unclear: the verb seems to be a regional British term fussock, fursick meaning “to fuss, fidget, bustle.” In Australia and New Zealand fossick originally meant to hunt for gold or other precious metals or precious stones by digging with a knife or by studying the ground for overlooked fragments. Fossick has an additional sense of hunting for or foraging for small items e.g., to fossick through a drawer for scissors. Fossick entered English in the 19th century.

Did you know that there is an entire tourist industry devoted to fossicking in Australia? Intrepid explorers need a license to fossick, and there are a number of rules and responsibilities to be followed. But for those who choose to plan for a day of fossicking on their itinerary, there are is treasure waiting to be found.

Australia has a long history when it comes to fossicking. Depending on the site, fossickers may find a treasure trove of gems including opals, topaz, garnets, diamonds, sapphires, zircon, and gold. There are designated areas devoted to the pastime. Here’s a LINK to learn more.

So, I’ve learned something new. Who knew fossicking was a thing? Apparently the Aussies knew! I guess you had to be there…down under, that is!

Have a great weekend. Happy fossicking! A few Haiku…

seasoned fossickers
are ferreting gold-diggers
treasure ‘midst rubble

tourists down-under
plan fossicking excursions
for nuggets of gold

dusty nooks, cluttered,
second-hand tomes to fossick
where book mongers swoon


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