Is 'grousily' a word? I would like to use it in a sentence to mean 'grumpily, as if in imitation of a rumpled grouse' but don't think it's okay because of how I couldn't find it in either OS X's dictionary via Spotlight or on the Internet via Google.

  • If I read the word I would interpret it as referring to a tendency to "grouse" (gripe) a lot.
    – Hot Licks
    Oct 20, 2014 at 22:07
  • 1
    The counterpart to "grousily" would not be "grumpy" but "grumpily". As in "I woke him, and he got out of bed grumpily (or grousily)", meaning he was in a grumpy during the time he got out of bed", whereas "I woke him, and he got out of bed grumpy (or grousy)" would mean he woke up, and stayed in, a grumpy mood.
    – Dan Bron
    Oct 20, 2014 at 22:35
  • @DanBron: You're right, so I've fixed it. Oct 21, 2014 at 20:33
  • Keep in mind that the adjective grousy can mean abounding with grouse. The first OED citation for this sense is “1830 Blackw. Mag. XXVIII. 585 ― The stony regions··melt away into miles of the grousey heather.” Now, how you might make of that an adverb of manner, or rather, what it would mean, I’m not perfectly certain.
    – tchrist
    Oct 21, 2014 at 22:34
  • Um…you're barking up the wrong tree: that might be true if you were using the form of 'grousy' derived from its noun form 'grouse' instead of the one derived from its verb form 'to grouse' meaning 'to complain' as discussed below. Modifying the latter so as to make it into a superlative adverb would be perfectly acceptable, albeit colloquial. Oct 22, 2014 at 22:13

1 Answer 1


Grouse is a noun (bird) and a verb ( complain). As an adjective (excellent) is used mainly in NZ and Australia and it is not commonly used as an adverb. I suggest you use 'grumpy' or a synonym of it.

Grouse: (intransitive verb) (from MW)

  • complain, grumble

  • She's been grousing to her boss about the working conditions. Fans have groused that the higher prices are unfair.

    • adj: Austral and NZ excellent (of unknown origin)

A grouse: (www.vocabulary.com/dictionary)

  • is a small game bird. But the verb to grouse is different. It means to gripe about how unhappy you are. It's not recommended for most people, because grousing is unattractive.

    • People's excitement about the rise of the Internet has been largely replaced by disappointment that it's turned out to be essentially a forum for people to grouse. No disappointment is too small to grouse about on the Internet. Did you stub your toe? Grouse about it in your blog! Did your sister tattletale? Get online and start grousing. "I grouse, therefore I am," might be the motto of the Internet. Oh well: now I'm grousing too.
  • But grousy as an adjective is used in the U.S. meaning grumpy. I assume the derivation is that it originally meant given to complaining. Urban Dictionary. Oct 20, 2014 at 23:49
  • Like 'gripe', which is both verb and noun, 'grouse' is also a noun meaning 'complaint', 'reason to be annoyed'.
    – Erik Kowal
    Oct 21, 2014 at 2:12
  • @PeterShor: So, would that justify extending the derivation even further like I'm thinking about doing? Off-topic: I swear I've seen the term used somewhere, but that may be due to the average Internet user's less-than-adequate grasp of the English language, about which a whole other discussion for could be spawned, but that's probably best saved for another time. Oct 21, 2014 at 20:36
  • Well, I would understand it, as would anybody who knows the Urban Dictionary meaning of grousy. The word grousy isn't in any of the standard dictionaries, which I assume means it's slang that isn't widely used. I expect that outside the U.S., nobody will have heard of it. Oct 21, 2014 at 20:50
  • Ah; okay, then I suppose that it would be appropriate for me to use it as part of a casual, fictional story that I'm writing. Oct 22, 2014 at 22:08

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.