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Re: Ps & Qs and folk etymology

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?


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