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"Selden Moseþ þe Marbelston þat men ofte treden." ["Piers Plowman," 1362]Scott (1805) revived 17c. moss-trooper "freebooter infesting Scottish border marshes." Mossback "conservative" is 1878, originally of poor whites from Carolina, originally (1872) in ref. to those who hid out to avoid service in the Confederate army (and would have stayed out till the moss grew on their backs).
town and port, southeastern Norway, on the eastern shore of Oslo Fjord. Moss was founded in the 16th century. On Aug. 14, 1814, it was the site of the signing of the Convention of Moss, which ended the short war between Norway and Sweden that preceded their union. The town has paper and cotton mills, metalworks, shipyards, textile factories, breweries, and facilities for glass, asphalt, and tar production. The harbour is protected by adjacent Jel Island, called the "Pearl of Oslo Fjord" for its fine resort area and many large estates. The Moss River drains into Vann Lake and then flows through the town and into Oslo Fjord. Pop. (2007 est.) mun., 28,633.