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Re: Ps & Qs and folk etymology
- To: BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Subject: Re: Ps & Qs and folk etymology
- From: R Starr <rstarr@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Tue, 3 Feb 1998 11:34:31 -0500
- In-reply-to: <01IT507JSWWY0052AU@UMBC2.UMBC.EDU>
- Message-id: <199802031635.IAA25798@lindy.stanford.edu>
- Sender: "Book_Arts-L: The list for all the book arts!" <BOOK_ARTS-L@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Ciardi says Peninsula and EASTERN. His other comments agree roughly with
those Jane quotes from the OED.
On Tue, 3 Feb 1998, Jane Conneen wrote:
> "The "Oxford English Dictionary Supplement" may have found a possible source
> or sources of posh, Another word posh was nineteenth and early twentieth-
> century British slang for "money", specifically "a half-penny, cash of small
> value." this word is borrowed from the common Romany word pash, "half", which
> was used in combinations such as pashera, "halfpenny."
A related origins question: RULE OF THUMB.
I have used the phrase with no regrets until one of my graduate students
chastised me saying tha the reference was to the maximum width of a stick
that a man could use to beat his wife.
In my library search the only references that I could find (OED, etc.)
were to a metric for breqing beer and the length of one inch. Apparently
Safire dealt with this some time ago but I have not found the relevant
column. Anyone have any ideas?