Noun – Moxie
“Moxie” might ultimately come from a word in a Native American language meaning “dark water.”
Whether or not that’s true, we know for sure that “Moxie” entered English as the name of a soft drink first made in Massachusetts around 1876. The drink, which is sweet with a bitter aftertaste, was marketed back then as a medicine, as “Moxie Nerve Food.” The makers claimed it could cure all kinds of woes, like sleeplessness and nervousness. But, you know, it was just soda.
It was popular, though, and so by about 1890, the word “moxie” had entered American slang. If you’ve got moxie, then you’re brimming with health, vigor, and confidence. In other words, moxie is strength, courage, boldness, energy, or skill.
Part of speech:
noun, the uncountable kind: “she’s got moxie,” “the statement showed moxie.”
how to use it:
Use this fun, spunky word to call attention to just how awesome, gutsy, or persistent someone (or something) is.
It’s got a very American flavor, so it taps into our shared love of grit, audacity, independence, and individuality.
Talk about someone’s moxie, or about someone having moxie or showing moxie.
Or, talk about someone saying or doing something with moxie, or about someone bringing moxie to some task, role, or creation.
“With his irascible grin and fighter-pilot moxie, McCain won election to the House from Arizona twice and the Senate six times.”
— Nancy Benac, Associated Press, 26 August 2018
“The previous two tenants to occupy the space…didn’t survive a year there. Combined. Restaurateurs with less nerve might have balked at such a spot. But the brothers Wilder were born with moxie in their blood.”
— Tim Carman, Washington Post, 31 July 2019