The Meaning Of Posh

Right chaps, listen up. This won't take long if we have your full and undivided attention. That includes you Tarquin.

Posh is not an acronym

That's right. We know that it's entirely possible that your great Uncle Alfred once sat you down in the drawing room of that great country pile he had in Somerset England. He lit his pipe, started telling you some jolly japes about the war and the time he got confused and wore blue braces instead of red to the bank's board meeting.

Then, he told you that posh stood for 'port out, starboard home'. This, of course, referred to times when one popped off to India by boat. It was more comfortable to travel on the north facing side and avoid that pesky sun. Melted the ice in the gin and tonic. So you went out port side (that's left) on the way there and starboard (that's right) on the way back.

But, as we said, Posh is not an acronym

That's right. Uncle Alfred was almost certainly wrong and quite possibly a little half cocked. In which case, the use of the phrase 'port out, starboard home' is arguably a 'backronym' which means that the phrase was attached to the word after the word was created. As it were.

Not that it really matters of course but one does like to be correct. Unless one is wrong, in which case it's usually better to try and convince everyone else that they are wrong.

So where does Posh come from then ?

One of those mysteries of life our dear friend. Like when old Smithy got his shoelaces tied together in the scrum playing rugby against King George V's school back in.. whenever it was. Anyhow, we are wandering off. The point is that nobody knows for sure.

There's some rumour or other in certain circles that it came from a Gypsy word 'posh' meaning half. This might refer to half a crown which apparently was a lot of money for some people. Certain, shall we say, less well orf (sic) people might have said something like, 'cor blimey guv, that chandelier ain't half posh'. Which is ironically a quarter for those who are keeping up.

Not very enlightening really

Not at all. In fact there's also even some football team who use the term as a nickname would you believe. Makes you wonder doesn't it. Reminds us of the time when Bertie turned up to a polo match with something called a frisbee. Couldn't figure the darn thing out and ended up using it to serve the caviar. Just goes to show.

Good luck, tally ho and all that.

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