It’s a Real Doozy

What was said? “It’s a real doozy!!”

Did someone really say that? Yes, at my nephew’s birthday party, a friend said that when discussing citric powder used in middle eastern cuisine.

What does it mean? To call something/someone a “doozy”, is to suggest it is extraordinary, one of a kind, remarkable or even bizarre. It is used both positively (as in the example above), and also at times to describe something that is troublesome or even difficult.

Origin: Sometimes spelled Doozy, Doozie, Doosie, Doosey, Duesey… there are a few of beliefs on where the expression originated.

1. A car!!  Beginning in 1921, during the Great Depression, two German-born brothers, the Duesenbergs, hand-crafted a luxury, american-made automobile line named after them. The vehicle was FAST (later model years winning Indy 500’s and the French Grand Prix) and EXPENSIVE (owned by the rich and famous). It came to be known as a “Duesey” and is one belief as to where the expression originated. NOTE: You may recognize it from the Great Gatsby movie with Leonardo DiCaprio (pictured below is a 1929 Duesenberg Model J, worth over $3 Million)

2. A Flower! Back in the 18th century, calling something a “daisy” was to call it great. The phrase made it’s way from England to North America, and appeared in print in 1836, in Thomas Chandler Haliburton’s The Clockmaker: “I raised a four year old colt once, half blood, a perfect picture of a horse, and a genuine clipper, could gallop like the wind; a real daisy, a perfect doll, had an eye like a weasel, and nostrils like Commodore Rodgers’s speakin’ trumpet”.

3. An Actress! Eleonora Duse, a famous Italian-born actress from the 19th century who spent time in the US and was greatly admired by President Cleveland and his wife, was commonly referred to as “Duse.” It is believed that this nickname, in combination with the “Daisy” origin, created the saying “Doozy.”

Sources:

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/doozy
http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-doo2.htm
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=doozy
http://superbeefy.com/what-does-the-expression-a-real-doozy-mean-and-where-did-the-word-doozy-come-from/
http://classiccars.about.com/od/classiccarsaz/a/Duesenberg.htm
http://articles.latimes.com/2013/may/14/autos/la-fi-hy-autos-the-true-cars-of-the-great-gatsby-era-20130513
http://www.motorauthority.com/news/1065506_leonardo-dicaprio-drives-3-million-duesenberg-for-great-gatsby-role

REFERRALS:  Do you LOVE Rema’s Idiom Blog and look forward to it all the time? If so, refer your friends!

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2 Comments

Filed under Business Sayings, Idiom, Idioms, Phrases, Sayings

2 responses to “It’s a Real Doozy

  1. Ramon S.

    The car used in the movie was a replica made in 1983.

  2. Debra Webber

    I just saw a photo of a German canon called the “Duzey Canon” which weighed 20 tons and could fire up to 20 kms away. It was used during the First World War (1914-1918) in the area of Verdun, France. Truly it is a real “doozy”. Debra W. (Nova Scotia)

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