Done up like a...|
WHEN 19th century young ladies flossed themselves they weren't attending to their dental hygiene, they were dressing themselves up in their finery for a night on the town. After the flossing (which in those days could take hours, given the crinolines and the hats and the hundreds of petticoats etc) they were, in the vernacular, flossied. And could be referred to as flossies.
But in the way of so many neutral terms for women, flossie went down-market, and soon was being applied to ladies of little reputation and eventually to prostitutes.
Because it was a slang term the spelling varied enormously, but the most common modern version is floozie.
Interestingly, in Australia the original flossied survived as a neutral term at least until the 1940s, and as late as 1978 floozied up was being used to mean gaudily dressed.
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