moss


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curly dirt

 and house moss; slut's wool
puffs of dirt and dust. How long has it been since you swept under this bed? There's a mountain of curly dirt under here! No one's been in this room for an age. Look at all the cobwebs and curly dirt. She was a terrible housekeeper. House moss collected in all the corners of her rooms.
See also: curly, dirt

rolling stone gathers no moss

Prov. A person who does not settle down is not attached to anything or anyone. (Can be said in admiration or in censure, depending on whether or not the speaker feels it is good to be attached to something or someone.) I worry about Tom. He's never lived in the same place for two years in a row, and he keeps changing jobs. A rolling stone gathers no moss.
See also: gather, moss, roll, stone

rolling stone

A person who moves about a great deal and never settles down, as in Kate's lived in ten cities in as many years-she's a real rolling stone. This expression is a shortening of the proverb a rolling stone gathers no moss, first recorded in 1523, which indicates that one who never settles anywhere will not do well. After some 300 years of this interpretation, in the mid-1800s the value of gathering moss (and staying put) began to be questioned, and in current usage the term is most often used without any particular value judgment.
See also: roll, stone

house moss

n. little blobs of lint. (see also ghost turd.) There is some house moss under the sofa.
See also: house, moss
References in classic literature ?
Directly behind him, as a hound at heel, came the slate-grey thoat, his white belly shadowed by his barrel, his vivid yellow feet merging into the yellow of the moss beneath them.
She screamed and tried to flee; but she had scarce turned toward the palace when a giant hand fell upon her arm, she was whirled about, and half dragged, half carried toward a huge thoat that was slowly grazing out of the avenue's mouth on to the ochre moss of the plaza.
The unknown, lurking in the midst of the sticks and moss, was savagely clutching him by the nose.
They were creatures of mastery, possessing all manner of unknown and impossible potencies, overlords of the alive and the not alive- -making obey that which moved, imparting movement to that which did not move, and making life, sun-coloured and biting life, to grow out of dead moss and wood.
It was not yet dark, and in the lingering twilight he groped about among the rocks for shreds of dry moss.
There were no trees, no bushes, nothing but a gray sea of moss scarcely diversified by gray rocks, gray lakelets, and gray streamlets.
On one such patch he stopped, gathered a bunch of moss in his big gnarled hands, and ripped it out by the roots.
The South Shetland Islands, in the same latitude as the southern half of Norway, possess only some lichens, moss, and a little grass; and Lieut.
Another island of large size in the latitude of southern Scotland, but twice as far to the west, would be "almost wholly covered with everlasting snow," and would have each bay terminated by ice-cliffs, whence great masses would be yearly detached: this island would boast only of a little moss, grass, and burnet, and a titlark would be its only land inhabitant.
I had used eight shells for lighting fires before I hit upon the device of banking the embers with wet moss, and there remained not over a hundred shells in the box.
Yet never did it ring more loudly than that night, as I watched her draw back the blanket of moss from the coals, blow up the fire, and cook the evening meal.
Moss, the Colonel, then a bachelor, had been liberated by the generosity of his aunt; on the second mishap, little Becky, with the greatest spirit and kindness, had borrowed a sum of money from Lord Southdown and had coaxed her husband's creditor (who was her shawl, velvet-gown, lace pocket-handkerchief, trinket, and gim-crack purveyor, indeed) to take a portion of the sum claimed and Rawdon's promissory note for the remainder: so on both these occasions the capture and release had been conducted with the utmost gallantry on all sides, and Moss and the Colonel were therefore on the very best of terms.
Moss has a tably- dy-hoty at half-past five, and a little cards or music afterwards, when we shall be most happy to see you.
As far as I could understand it, the question between them was, whether the white moss rose did, or did not, require to be budded on the dog-rose to make it grow well.
Tulliver was on horseback soon after dinner the next day (he was not dyspeptic) on his way to Basset to see his sister Moss and her husband.