posh

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See also: Posh

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Unknown

Most likely derived from the Romani term posh (half), either because posh-kooroona "half a crown" (originally a substantial sum of money) was used metaphorically for anything pricey or upper-class, or because posh-houri "half-penny" became a general term for money.

A period slang dictionary defines "posh" as a term used by thieves for "money : generic, but specifically, a halfpenny or other small coin".[1] An example is given from Page's Eavesdropper (1888): "They used such funny terms: 'brads,' and 'dibbs,' and 'mopusses,' and 'posh' ... at last it was borne in upon me that they were talking about money."

Evidence exits for a slang sense from the 1890s meaning "dandy", which is quite possibly related.[2]

A popular folk etymology holds that the term is an acronym for "port out, starboard home"[3], describing the cooler, north-facing cabins taken by the most aristocratic or rich passengers travelling from Britain to India and back. However, there is no direct evidence for this claim.[4]

See also the articles mentioned in the References section below for additional discussion.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

posh (comparative posher or more posh, superlative poshest or most posh)

  1. Associated with the upper classes.
    She talks with a posh accent.
  2. Stylish, elegant, exclusive (expensive).
    After the performance they went out to a very posh restaurant.
  3. Snobbish, materialistic, prejudiced, under the illusion that they are better than everyone else. usually offensive. (especially in Scotland and Northern England)
    We have a right posh git moving in next door

Quotations[edit]

  • 1919: "Well, it ain't one of the classic events. It were run over there." Docker jerked a thumb vaguely in the direction of France. "At a 'Concours Hippique,' which is posh for 'Race Meeting.' — Punch, or the London Charivari, Vol. 156, June 18, 1919

Translations[edit]

Interjection[edit]

Posh!

  1. An exclamation expressing derision.
    • 1889: "The czar! Posh! I slap my fingers--I snap my fingers at him." — Rudyard Kipling, The Man Who Was

References[edit]

  1. ^ Slang and its Analogues Past and Present, volume 5 (London, 1902), John S. Farmer and W.E. Henley (editors), page 261
  2. ^ World Wide Words, "Posh", [1]
  3. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22378819
  4. ^ snopes.com, [2]

Anagrams[edit]


Romani[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Armenian փոշի (pʿoši).

Noun[edit]

posh

  1. dust

References[edit]

  • փոշի in Hračʿeay Ačaṙean (1971–79), Hayerēn armatakan baṙaran [Dictionary of Armenian Root Words], in 4 vols (second edition), Yerevan: Yerevan State University, volume IV, page 517a
  • “pos’” in Jean-Alexandre Vaillant (1868), Grammaire, dialogues et voabulaire de la langue des Bohémiens ou Cigains, Paris: Maisonneuve, page 123a