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[posh] /pɒʃ/
sumptuously furnished or appointed; luxurious:
a posh apartment.
Origin of posh1
1915-20; of obscure origin; compareposha dandy (recorded as British slang in 1890); the popular notion that the word is an acronym from port out(ward), starboard home, said to be the preferred accommodation on ships traveling between England and India, is without foundation


[posh] /pɒʃ/
(used as an exclamation of contempt or disgust.)
1920-25 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for posh
  • Elsewhere, booze is sold only in windowless bars in posh hotels, or by bureaucratic state-owned firms.
  • If a big rig is too posh for you, you can sleep in a garbage truck.
  • The gathering boasted plenty of posh parties, high-flying political visitors and boozy nights out at blues bars.
  • The rooms are modern, immaculate, and relatively posh.
  • Wi-Fi hot spots are rolling out in airports, conference centers, posh hotels and trendy cafes where the well-heeled congregate.
  • The atmosphere is no more posh than that of any expensive dress salon, though the prices can be considerably higher.
  • Some neighborhoods can be small and tightly packed, so fairly posh places can abut areas with problems.
  • It is a short step from posh resorts to medical tourism.
  • The committee that planned the fountain featured the posh and the arty, not scientists or engineers.
  • The posh personality of the town extends onto the slopes as well, where tasty restaurants in mountain huts pepper the slopes.
British Dictionary definitions for posh


smart, elegant, or fashionable; exclusive: posh clothes
upper-class or genteel
in a manner associated with the upper class: to talk posh
Derived Forms
poshness, noun
Word Origin
C19: 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 more likely to be a development of obsolete slang posh a dandy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for posh

by 1914 (1903 as push), of uncertain origin; no evidence for the common derivation from an acronym of port outward, starboard home, supposedly the shipboard accommodations of wealthy British traveling to India on the P & O Lines (to keep their cabins out of the sun); as per OED, see objections outlined in G. Chowdharay-Best, "Mariner's Mirror," Jan. 1971; also see here. More likely from slang posh "a dandy" (1890), from thieves' slang meaning "money" (1830), originally "coin of small value, halfpenny," possibly from Romany posh "half" [Barnhart].

The cavalryman, far more than the infantryman, makes a point of wearing "posh" clothing on every possible occasion -- "posh" being a term used to designate superior clothing, or articles of attire other than those issued by and strictly conforming to the regulations. [E. Charles Vivian, "The British Army From Within," London, 1914]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for posh



Luxurious; fancy; chic; cushy, swank: The apartment is now rather posh

[1903+; origin uncertain; perhaps fr the mid-1800s term posh, ''money,'' fr Romany pash, ''a half,'' referring to a half-penny; perhaps fr mid-1800s posh, ''a dandy,'' of unknown origin; perhaps fr early 1900s Cambridge University slang push or poosh, ''stylish''; perhaps a mispronunciation of polish; improbably an acronym for port out starboard home, said to be the formula for choosing the side of the ship with the most comfortable cabins on the steamer route from England to India or return; perhaps none of the above]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Related Abbreviations for posh


  1. prevention of sexual harassment
  2. probability of severe hail
  3. the claim that POSH stands for "port out, starboard home" is without foundation
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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