General English


  • noun a very easy task, a pushover. In this sense the word, although based on the notion of lying down, may be influenced by ‘toss’, as in easily tossing off a piece of work.

Origin & History of “doss”

The use of doss in senses associated with ‘lying down on a bed’ comes from an earlier notion of ‘lying on one’s back’. In the 18th century the word was dorse, a borrowing from Latin dorsum ‘back’, but by the 19th century it had become doss, perhaps owing to the influence of French dos. other English words from the same source include endorse, the adjective dorsal (15th c.), and dossier (19th c.). this was acquired from French dossier, a derivative of dos, which originally signified a ‘bunch of papers with a label on the back’.