Letter: Wowsers on parade

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The Independent Culture
Sir: I would question Nick Thomas's suggestion (letter, 6 January) that the word "wowser" is really Cornish in origin, and would suggest that some of the migrants he mentions either returned, or passed the word to their relations in letters. I first heard the word from my father when he returned from his first visit to Australia in about 1959. As I remember, he was also quite clear as to the origin of the word: an acronym derived from a banner carried by a procession in an Australian city by the Temperance Society or a similar body, the message on the banner reading "We Only Want Social Evils Remedied".


Bracknell, Berkshire