Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

when and where did the word POSH start being used and what does it mean ?

An American freind asked of me "what does the word POSH mean" and when did it start being used, need your help to answer that one.

25 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Best answer

    The origin of the word is believed to come from the accommodations on passenger ships traveling from England to India and back.

    The preferred cabins for the trip to India were on the left, or port, side of the ship. The cabins on the right, or starboard, side were considered best for the trip back.

    Passengers with these accommodations had their tickets stamped "POSH" for "port out, starboard home."

    The word "posh" was first use in print in a 1918 magazine article to refer to stylish, fashionable, upscale lodgings. For example: "It was a very posh apartment."

  • Polo
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    The origin of the word is obscure. The first recorded use of the word was in the British satirical magazine Punch on 25 September 1918, although an earlier possible reference uses the word push [4]. The OED records a definition of the word as a noun from 1890, meaning "a dandy".

    A popular but false etymology states the expression originated from the phrase "Port Out, Starboard Home", which, before air-conditioning, were allegedly the most desirable cabin locations on ships travelling to and from British colonies in the Far East because they were shaded from the sun in both directions. However, extensive searching of shipping company records and tickets from that period has failed to reveal any evidence for explicit "Port Out, Starboard Home" reservations. [1][2][4].

    The prevalence of this false etymology is somewhat encouraged by a song in the musical version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The song P.O.S.H. includes the lyrics:

    "Whenever I'm bored I travel abroad but ever so properly,

    "Port out, starboard home, posh with a capital P-O-S-H, posh."

    Source(s): wikipedia
  • 1 decade ago

    Posh is first recorded in the early 20th century. Its origin is unknown : it may come from the obsolete thieves' slang word posh, which meant either money or a dandy. There is no basis for the popular theory that posh is an acronym of port out starboard home, referring to the choice of more expensive berths, out of the heat and sun, on ships between England and India.

    I just looked it up the other day myself.

  • 1 decade ago

    Portside out Starboard home. The cabins which were in the shade on the trip to and from India. Long before Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

    People who were in the know. Not necessarily people who booked the most expensive cabins. That's what being Posh means. Possessing a certain 'savoir.faire'.

    A lost art, since Grammar School girls and boys became Tory P.M.s and Public School boys think they can be (new) Labour P.M.s.

    Times change.

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  • kurucz
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Posh Origin

  • paul h
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    The word POSH is often said to be an acronym of the phrase "port out, starboard home", the most desirable location for a cabin in British ships sailing to and from the East, being the North-facing or shaded side; but likely to be development of obsolete slang "posh" for a dandy. C19

    Source(s): Collins English Dictionary - 21st Century Edition
  • 1 decade ago

    I don't know when the phrase started to be used but my father tells me that it relates to the expats travelling say to India or Australia in the last century on the large steamships. POSH stands for Portside Out, Starboard Back. Needless to say it was coined by the folk who could afford 1st Class

  • 3 years ago

    Port Out Starboard Home

  • 1 decade ago

    It means Port Out Starboard Home, because that was the side of the ship with the best view when travelling to / from the South coast of England

  • 1 decade ago

    It originated when people used to travel backwardsandforwards to India during Colonial times. It meants Port Out Starboard home and was where youhad your cabin. Needless to say Port out and starboard home as more expensive as you were shielded from the hot sun. It was mostly used about 1880 to 1930 when air travel began to take over.

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