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See also: pho, PHO, Phó, phố, phổ, Phổ, and phó



phở (uncountable)

  1. Alternative spelling of pho (Vietnamese soup).
    • 2013, “taco truck cook”, in Gerard Sasges, editor, It’s a Living: Work and Life in Vietnam Today, Ridge Books, →ISBN, page 51:
      The next two popular — or should I say available — jobs for Vietnamese people who just migrated to the US were to work at phở restaurants or food supermarkets, and that’s exactly what I did. I applied to be a chef at a phở restaurant.
    • 2015, BenBella’s Best of Plant-Based Eating: Recipes & Expertise from Your Favorite Vegan Authors, Dallas, Tex.: Benbella Books, Inc., →ISBN:
      Add the phở spice bags into the soup base.
    • 2016, Kantha Shelke, Pasta and Noodles: A Global History, Reaktion Books, →ISBN:
      In 1975 refugees fleeing Vietnam introduced phở to North America and made it so popular there that now there are more than 2,000 phở restaurants in the United States.
    • 2016, Michael D. Wise and Jennifer Jensen Wallach, editors, The Routledge History of American Foodways, Routledge, →ISBN:
      Today, the website Phở Fever lists over 3,000 phở restaurants in the U.S.
    • 2017, Tomás R. Jiménez, “Introduction”, in The Other Side of Assimilation: How Immigrants Are Changing American Life, University of California Press, →ISBN, page 29:
      Though there is no downtown or central shopping district to mark the area’s distinctiveness, the abundant phở restaurants, taquerias, and ethnic supermarkets in the area’s strip malls hint that Berryessa does not conform to antiquated stereotypes about the “burbs.”
    • 2018, Rose Thu, Vietnam Paradox, Dog Ear Publishing, →ISBN, page 186:
      They walked around for almost one hour before finally finding one phở-style deli.
    • 2019, Alvin Townley, Captured: An American Prisoner of War in North Vietnam, Scholastic Focus, →ISBN:
      Guards brought him lukewarm phở, soup with stringy greens and various scraps of meat, fat, and vegetables.



Etymology 1[edit]

Vietnamese Wikipedia has an article on:
Wikipedia vi

First appeared in dictionaries in 1931.

Clipping earlier lục phở, nhục phở, corruptions of Cantonese 牛肉粉 (ngau4 juk6 fan2; SV: ngưu nhục phấn, beef noodles), likely as a result of street cries.

Equivalent to a non-Sino-Vietnamese reading of Chinese (fěn); compare its Sino-Vietnamese reading phấn, and bún (rice vermicelli). More on Wikipedia.

A popular folk etymology holds that the term instead came from French feu (fire), as in pot-au-feu.[1][2][3][4]


phở (𬖾, )

  1. pho (a soup made with bánh phở noodles, usually served with beef, pork, or chicken)
    • 1930 [1915–1917], Nguyễn Khắc Hiếu (Tản Đà), “Đánh bạc [Gambling]”, in Dương Quảng Hàm, editor, Quốc Văn trích diễm, 4th edition, page 211:
      Có lẽ đánh bạc không mong được, mà chỉ thức đêm ăn nhục-phở?
      Probably shouldn't expect to gamble, but just to stay up at night and eat pho?
    • 1927, Nguyễn Đình Phụng, “Trò Đời: Thế mà không được đi bầu”, in Hà-thành Ngọ-báo, page 1:
      Này, bác hàng phở! bác đi bán thế, cả ngày có được dăm bay hào đồng bạc không ?
      Hey, pho stand man! Selling like that, all day do you get around five dimes?
    • 1932, Cù Giang, “Thằng bán phở”, in Phụ-nữ Tân-văn, volume 4, number 181, page 20:
      Tiếng chi quát tháo mãi đêm trường ? / « Phở » « phở » ồn tai chạy giữa đường.
      What's that hollering all night long? / An ear-ringing "pho", "pho" running in the middle of the street.
    • 1933, “Advertisement for Ẩm-Thực Tu-Tri”, in Sách Xem Tết Tân Dân, page 55:
      Sách dạy nấu cỗ và các món ăn thường, các món ăn quý, đủ ba cách : ta, tầu, tây — Dạy làm các thứ ăn trưa như : tỉm-sắm, mần-thắn, mì, phở, cháo, — Dạy làm các thứ bánh mặn, bánh ngọt, mứt, kẹo — Dạy làm các thứ nước chanh, rượu bia, rượu mùi, vân vân.
      This book shows how to cook feasts and everyday dishes, delicacies, all three ways: ours, Chinese, Western — It shows how to make lunch dishes like: dim sum, wonton, egg noodles, pho, rice congee — It shows how to make salty cakes, sweet cakes, candied fruit, candy — It shows how to make lemonade, beer, liquor, et cetera.
Derived terms[edit]
Derived terms
See also[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

Aspirated variant of vỡ (to break). Compare bỏng vs. phỏng, bết vs. phết.

Alternative forms[edit]



  1. (obsolete) to clear (land)
    • 1925, Ưng Trình, "Làm việc đời là thế nào?", Nhơn-Sự ngụ-ngôn [Moral Lessons by Example], page 48:
      Vậy nên làm thợ, đi buôn, lập vườn, làm ruộng, phở đất, làm nghề, cho đến làm việc quan, lo việc nước, cũng là làm việc đời cả.
      So one should do works of labor, trade, garden, forest, clear (?) land, follow a profession, up to serving as a mandarin, handling state affairs, as well as working all life long.
    • 1926, Yves Charles Châtel & Tôn Thất Đàn, Hương-chính Chỉ-nam [Guide to notables], first edition, page 137:
      Nhiều nơi có tục phở rày [phát rẫy?] nhất là các dân Mường, Mán. Họ ngả cây ở giữa rừng, rồi ít lâu đốt lấy tro mà trồng các giống ngũ-cốc. Làm như thế cực kỳ là tổn hại cho rừng rú, có khi cả khu rừng thật rộng, cũng chỉ vì làm rày [làm rẫy] mà đến nỗi tiêu điệt đi.
      Many places have a slash-and-burn custom, especially the Muong and Man peoples. They cut down trees in the middle of the forest, then shortly thereafter burn them, using the ashes to plant grains. Doing so is extremely harmful to the forest; sometimes even very wide forests are wiped out due to slash-and-burn.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ phở”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–2022.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ phở”, in Unabridged,, LLC, 1995–present.
  4. ^ phở”, in Collins English Dictionary.