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  • IPA(key): /ˈmæʃə(ɹ)/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æʃə(ɹ)

Etymology 1[edit]

mash +‎ -er


masher (plural mashers)

  1. One who, or that which, mashes.
  2. (brewing) A machine for making mash.

Etymology 2[edit]

Either[1][2] by analogy with[3] masher (one who presses, softens), or more likely from Romani masha (a fascinator, an enticer), mashdva (fascination, enticement).[4][5] Originally used in theater,[6] and recorded in US in 1870s. Either originally borrowed as masher, from masha, or from mash +‎ -er.


masher (plural mashers)

  1. (informal) A fashionable man in the late Victorian era.
    Synonyms: dandy, fop; see also Thesaurus:dandy
    • 1886, Punch, volume 91, page 249:
      For in this quality of “clubbable,” and the value now put upon it, lies the whole secret of change in our fast men, mashers, and men about town.
  2. (Canada, US) A man who makes often unwelcome advances to women, as in a subway.
    • c. 1900, O. Henry, The Ferry of Unfulfilment[1]:
      "Oh, gee!" remarked the Girl from Sieber-Mason's, glancing up with the most capable coolness. "Ain't there any way to ever get rid of you mashers? I've tried everything from eating onions to using hatpins. Be on your way, Freddie."
Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ Michael Quinion (1996–2021), “Masher”, in World Wide Words.
  2. ^ The City in Slang, by Irving L. Allen, p. 195
  3. ^ The Barnhart Concise Dictionary of Etymology, as cited at The Grammarphobia Blog: Mash notes, March 16, 2007
  4. ^ Charles Godfrey Leland in The Gypsies, p. 109, footnote 108
  5. ^ Charles Godfrey Leland (1895) Songs of the Sea and Lays of the Land, page 243:
    It was introduced by the well-known gypsy family of actors, C., among whom Romany was habitually spoken. The word “masher” or “mash” means in that tongue to allure, delude, or entice. It was doubtless much aided in its popularity by its quasi-identity with the English word. But there can be no doubt as to the gypsy origin of “mash” as used on the stage. [] I am indebted for this information to the late well-known impresario [Albert Marshall] Palmer of New York, and I made a note of it years before the term had become at all popular.
  6. ^ Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang