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Author Topic: P.O.S.H  (Read 1488 times)

supersonic

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P.O.S.H
« on: July 14, 2007, 04:40:58 PM »

Port out ,Starboard Home. Can any of you educated gentlemen confirm if this is true or false ?
this was in a crossword but somebody seems to think its false

cheers, Dave.
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Martin [Admin]

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Re: P.O.S.H.
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2007, 04:58:31 PM »

Etymology - http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Posh
Unknown; popularly (but falsely) believed to be an acronym for "port out, starboard home", describing the cabins given to upper-class passengers travelling with the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company from Britain to India and back. The company denies this practice, despite christening its loyalty scheme the "P.O.S.H. Club" after the myth (the club has since been renamed "Portunus"). A more likely origin is the Romany word posh meaning "half-", as in posh-kooroona meaning "half a crown" - a once-substantial sum of money, and hence by association anything pricey or upper-class. Alternatively posh may have first become a general term for money, after posh-houri, half-penny. See World Wide Words article on "posh" for other theories.

Origin - http://www.answers.com/topic/posh

The much-repeated tale is that 'Posh' derives from the 'port out, starboard home' legend supposedly printed on tickets of passengers on P&O (Peninsula and Orient) passenger vessels that travelled between UK and India in the days of the Raj. Britain and India are both in the northern hemisphere so the port (left-hand side) berths were mostly in the shade when travelling out (easterly) and the starboard ones when coming back. So the best and most expensive berths were POSH, hence the term. A very plausible and attractive explanation and it would be nice to be able to confirm it. The belief was widespread enough in 1968 for it to have been included in the lyrics of the song 'Posh' in the film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang:

O the posh posh traveling life, the traveling life for me
First cabin and captain's table regal company
Pardon the dust of the upper crust - fetch us a cup of tea
Port out, starboard home, posh with a capital P-O-S-H, posh

There is no evidence to confirm this story though and it appears to have been dreamed up retrospectively to match an existing meaning. Whoever thought it up must have been quite pleased with it, and it appeals to enough people to get repeated endlessly. It also panders to the popular craving for the employment of acronyms as the explanation of common phrases - golf ('gentlemen only, ladies forbidden'), cop ('constable on patrol') etc. These are nonsense but they keep cropping up. It's worth remembering that acronyms are a 20th century phenomenon and researchers are hard pressed to find any examples before the 1920s. The word acronym itself wasn't coined until the 1940s. Any such explanation of older words, like 'golf', or indeed 'posh', is sure to be false.

P&O say they have never issued such tickets and, although many tickets from that era still exist, no 'POSH' ones have been found. These have the status of an etymological Holy Grail and occasionally someone claims to have seen one. Needless to say that hasn't yet been backed up with any evidence. Mind you, even if this mode of travel were the source of the phrase, there's no particular reason that tickets would have been stamped with POSH, so the absence of such tickets doesn't prove anything. The lack of any citation of 'port out, starboard home' in any of the numerous letters and literary works that remain from the British Raj is a more convincing argument against that origin.

The true origin of 'posh' is uncertain. The term was used from the 1890s onward to mean a dandy. George and Weedon Grossmith's The Diary of a Nobody, first published in Punch in 1988, has a character called Murray Posh, who is described as 'a swell'. The book is a satire of the times and most of the character's names are intended to match aspects of their personality, so it is quite probable that the Grossmiths used the name Posh with the meaning we currently know.

The first recording of 'posh' in print that seems to unequivocally to fit the current meaning of the word is a cartoon which contains this dialogue between an RAF officer and his mother, in Punch magazine, September 1918:

Oh, yes, Mater, we had a posh time of it down there."
"Whatever do you mean by 'posh', Gerald?"
"Don't you know? It's slang for 'swish'"

In his 1903 Tales of St. Austin's, P. G. Wodehouse used the word 'push' to mean much the same as we now use 'posh':

"That waistcoat... being quite the most push thing of the sort in Cambridge."

Posh is also the Romany word for money and this was current throughout the 19th century. This originally meant halfpenny though and it's a long way from there to poshness.

The English gentlemen poet Edward Fitzgerald is another possible source of the word. He had what newspapers of the day described as 'most unaccountable admiration and friendship' for his boatman Joseph Fletcher, who was known as 'Posh'. In Fitzgerald's words, Posh was "A great man. A man of the finest Saxon type, blue eyes, nose less than Roman, more than Greek, and strictly auburn hair that any woman might sigh to possess". Later writers have accounted for that admiration and, in these more permissive days, it wouldn't be necessary to read between the lines of Fitzgerald's quote.

Whatever the origin is, it isn't likely to match the appeal of the P&O story and, although it is evidently wrong, that's the one that people prefer to repeat.




Also a skinny runt in an all girl popular beat combo of some notoriety & my local Football club!




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Bunkerbarge

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Re: P.O.S.H
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2007, 07:54:40 PM »

Blimey Martin, you must be getting bored!!!
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supersonic

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Re: P.O.S.H
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2007, 11:38:57 PM »

well well, what can  I say , this is totaly amazing,I didnt know what I had started with this post !
All I have to do now is explain it to the non believer !
thank you
Dave
(another old git with a shed)

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PSSHIPS

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Re: P.O.S.H
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2007, 11:40:38 PM »

Victoria Beckham! ??? ;)
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supersonic

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Re: P.O.S.H
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2007, 11:48:14 PM »

Victoria Beckham  --------- plastic hull
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PSSHIPS

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Re: P.O.S.H
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2007, 11:50:52 PM »

Plastic everything and too much suction! ;)
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herby

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Re: P.O.S.H
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2007, 11:53:22 PM »

Victoria Beckham  --------- plastic hull

Hahahahah. Nice one!! ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D ;D
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