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hosey

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hosey v, n |ˈho(ᴜ)zɪ| Also sp hoz(e)y [Etym uncert; perh < holds + hypocoristic -ie suff2, but cf quot 1941] MA, ME Cf boney v
To stake a claim or reserve a right to (something); to choose; the claim so made.
1927 AmSp 3.169 NYC, Children still stand before toyshop windows and call out, “I hozey the drum,” . . meaning, “I choose for mine.” 1941 AN&Q 2.120/2 eMA, The child’s word “hosey” (“hozey” or “hozy”) . . has persisted in some parts of the country for more than fifty years, transmitted orally, without “literary” recognition. It is used in the sense of “demand,” “claim,” “choose”—as in “I hosey such-and-such an object.” The child who gets the phrase out first claims and receives the thing in question. . . It was in use in and around Boston half a century ago, and is still current in New England. Ibid 153/2, Children use . . [“hosey”] . . [for expressions] of the “I stake my claim” idea . . since no word familiar to children seems to express the idea adequately. 1950 WELS Suppl. Boston MA, Hozy [ˈhoᴜzɪ]. “I hozy all these”—said with a gesture of both arms including the things referred to. This is an expression used by a child when claiming the right to an imaginary possession, as of things seen in a shop window, along the road, etc. 1967 DARE (Qu. V5b, If you take something that nobody seems to own, you might say, “Before anybody else gets it, I’m going to _____this.”) Inf MA2, I hosey [ˈhozi] it. 1971 Today Show Letters ceMA, Another Bostonianism which I have had to put up with over the years is the expression “I hosey (pronounced ‘hoe-zee’) that” chair or what have you. This means “I’ve reserved that,” “I’ve got first shot at that,” “that’s mine.” 1975 Gould ME Lingo 136, Hosey—To claim something up for grabs. When Father starts to carve the turkey, one child may cry, “I hosey the wishbone!” Mainers generally recognize that the first to cry hoseys has established a claim. 1986 DARE File Boston MA, “I hosey that seat” [means] lay a claim to. Common especially in eastern Massachusetts, but elsewhere in the state too. 1988 DARE File Boston MA (as of c1920), “I hosey the nibby [=the heel of a loaf of bread]” was very often heard. . . [Hosey] applied to other situations as in “I hosey last pick—first extra” when it seemed likely that extra desserts might appear!
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