Weekly Word – Frowsty

Weekly Word is a weekly post intended to illustrate the meaning and use of a single word. The chosen word will begin with a different letter of the alphabet each week, as Louise (my daughter) and I work our way through the alphabet.

Louise posts on her website:

An Enchanted Place

This week’s word begins with the letter F:




(Of a room): having a stale, warm, and stuffy atmosphere, often with an unpleasant smell due to the lack of fresh air

(Of a person or item):  having a slovenly or uncared-for appearance


frou-stee  ((frausti)

Audio Link:


Part of Speech:



stuffy musty airless unventilated fusty close muggy stifling suffocating oppressive stale stagnant smelly fetid malodorous rank damp acrid


airy ventilated

Related Forms:

Frowstier (comparative adjective)

Frowstiest (superlative asjective)

Other words from Frowsty:

Frowstily (adverb)

Frowstiness (noun)

Word Origin:


First recorded in 1860–65; perhaps dialectal variant of frowzy (of unknown origin)

Use the Word in a Sentence: 

1. Mary couldn’t understand how her sophisticated mother could enjoy the company of a gaggle of frowsty old women who spent their afternoons in an even frowstier old bingo hall.


2. Doctor Simons caught his breath as he followed the old man into his home. An overpowering stench of sickness filled the frowsty, overly warm room and his first impulse was to throw back the shutters to allow the fresh air to circulate.


3. The frowstiness of the air inside the derelict brewery told of years of it being locked and barred from the outside world.



If you would like to join us in doing this weekly post, both Louise and I would be happy to see you. You can pick of your own word and illustrate its use in any way you choose(even a short story) or use your chosen word to follow a similar pattern to our posts.

Image  from Shutterstock

11 thoughts on “Weekly Word – Frowsty

    1. Thank you, Jill. Frowsty is a very British word so I’m not surprised you haven’t heard of it. It’s origins are in the northern areas of England, so it is relatively common where I come from.

    1. You are such a great reader, Timi, as well as an almost permanent student of history, so I can see how you would have come across this word. Thank you for reading. 😀

  1. Thanks, Peter. Like you, I can remember visiting a great-grandmother when I was a child and feeling quite ill at the suffocating warmth and stale smell. Frowsty definitely describes place like that well.

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