Last modified on 1 June 2014, at 14:14




Short for physiognomy.


phiz (plural phizzes)

  1. (obsolete, colloquial) The face.
    • 1818, William Cowper, “Conversation”, in Poems, volume 1, page 163:
      The emphatic speaker dearly loves to oppose,
      In contact inconvenient, nose to nose.
      As if the gnomon on his neighbour's phiz,
      Touched with the magnet had attracted his.
    • 1831 June, “The Lord Advocate on Reform”, Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, volume 29, number 181, page 980: 
      [] and whatever the feelings which now agitate our secret hearts, — you see we are resolved at least to put on a cheerful phiz, and not to die either of the dumps or the mumps, or any other of the dismals.
    • 1885, Richard F. Burton, The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night[1], volume 8:
      "As for thee, thou givest me good-morrow with thy one eye and thy lameness and thy ill-omened phiz and I become poor and bankrupt and hungry!"