Tag Archives: Romani
‘posh’

‘posh’

  One of the earliest instances of posh is from a cartoon in Punch, or The London Charivari of 25th September 1918. An RAF officer is talking to his mother: “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’*!” [* swish: impressively smart and fashionable]   […]

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‘chav’

‘chav’

  a waxwork of Tony Blair dressed as a chav, in Madame Tussauds       MEANING   (British; informal and derogatory): a young lower-class person typified by brash and loutish behaviour     ORIGIN   This noun is either from Romani čhavo, meaning an unmarried Romani male, a male Romani child, or from English […]

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copper – cop

copper – cop

        The noun cop, meaning police officer, is sometimes explained, by folk etymology, as being the acronym of constable on patrol (or of chief of police). (Such a fanciful expansion of an existing acronym or word is a backronym. Also read Acronyms & backronyms and On ‘posh’)   Neither is the word cop, or copper, […]

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cosh, cosy & cushy

cosh, cosy & cushy

        The Scots adjective cosh (also coash, coish, kosh) dates from the 18th century and means: – of things and persons: snug, comfortable, cosy – quiet, undisturbed – friendly, intimate.   Its origin might be one of the Angloromani adjectives meaning good, pleasant. This Angloromani adjective is derived from European Romani kuč […]

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shoplifting

shoplifting

  Tyburn’s triple tree Illustration, said to be from about 1680, of the permanent gallows at Tyburn, which stood where Marble Arch in London now stands. This necessitated a three-mile cart ride in public from Newgate prison to the gallows. Huge crowds collected on the way and followed the accused to Tyburn. They were used […]

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