welsher

welsh

[welsh, welch]
verb (used without object) Informal: Sometimes Offensive.
1.
to cheat by failing to pay a gambling debt: You aren't going to welsh on me, are you?
2.
to go back on one's word: He welshed on his promise to help in the campaign.
Also, welch.


Origin:
1855–60; perhaps special use of Welsh

welsher, noun


Use of this verb is sometimes perceived as insulting to or by the Welsh, the people of Wales. However, its actual origin may have nothing to do with Wales or its people; in fact, the verb is also spelled welch.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
welsh or welch (wɛlʃ)
 
vb (often foll by on)
1.  to fail to pay a gambling debt
2.  to fail to fulfil an obligation
 
[C19: of unknown origin]
 
welch or welch
 
vb
 
[C19: of unknown origin]
 
'welsher or welch
 
n
 
'welcher or welch
 
n

Welsh1 (wɛlʃ)
 
adj
1.  of, relating to, or characteristic of Wales, its people, their Celtic language, or their dialect of English
 
n
2.  a language of Wales, belonging to the S Celtic branch of the Indo-European family. Welsh shows considerable diversity between dialects
3.  (functioning as plural) the Welsh the natives or inhabitants of Wales collectively
 
[Old English Wēlisc, Wǣlisc; related to wealh foreigner, Old High German walahisc (German welsch), Old Norse valskr, Latin Volcae]

Welsh2 (wɛlʃ)
 
n
a white long-bodied lop-eared breed of pig, kept chiefly for bacon

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

Welsh
O.E. Wilisc, Wylisc (W.Saxon), Welisc, Wælisc (Anglian and Kentish), from Wealh, Walh "Celt, Briton, Welshman, non-Germanic foreigner;" in Tolkien's definition, "common Gmc. name for a man of what we should call Celtic speech," but also applied to speakers of Latin, hence O.H.G. Walh, Walah "Celt,
Roman, Gaulish," and O.N. Valir "Gauls, Frenchmen" (Dan. vælsk "Italian, French, southern"); from P.Gmc. *Walkhiskaz, from a Celtic name represented by L. Volcæ (Caesar) "ancient Celtic tribe in southern Gaul." The word survives in Wales, Cornwall, Walloon, walnut, and in surnames Walsh and Wallace. Borrowed in O.C.S. as vlachu, and applied to Romanians, hence Walachia. Among the English, Welsh was used disparagingly of inferior or substitute things, hence Welsh rabbit (1725), also perverted by folk-etymology as Welsh rarebit (1785).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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