Posh, poshy, classy.

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Apócrifo, Jan 2, 2008.

  1. Apócrifo Member

    Spain; Spanish castillian

    Have "posh" and "poshy" [EDIT: sometimes] a pejorative meaning or sense?

    On the other hand, "classy" seems to be considered a synonym of "poshy" according to some dictionaries. I thought "classy" could have a pejorative meaning but depending on the context.

    Are there any English-speaking countries in which any of those words are not frequently used?

    Thank you for your comments. :)
  2. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    Hello Apócrifo,

    In AE (American English), both posh and classy are used, both with a positive sense.
    Posh may sometimes be used with a sarcastic tone, or otherwise with negative overtones, but there is nothing inherently pejorative about the word.

    I have never heard or read "poshy" before seeing it in this thread.
  3. Apócrifo Member

    Spain; Spanish castillian
    Ok, I see.

    Regarding "posh", I heard that (and I apologize for the sample :() one of the Spice Girls* is called "Posh", and I suppose in a very sarcastic tone, isn't she?

    About "pushy", I had a look on the (and I apologize again for the source...) Urban Dictionary, I found the definitions that follow and I thought that in very informal English I could have some usage...:

    1) Ahead of ones time with fashion and lifestyle.
    2)Attracting extreme attention based on uniqeness and a ability to stand out.
    3) Thinking rich and looking richer. "Wow your dress is amazing, your hair is on point.. you look so poshy."

    *Victoria Beckham, soccer player David Beckham's wife.
  4. Consimmer Member

    New Jersey, USA
    Malaysia, English and Malay Language
    Posh Spice is a stage or a character nickname picked by the group or the group's management themselves for Victoria Beckham. So in my opinion, it's not sarcastic but more self-mocking in nature. (The other girls in the group are Baby Spice, Scary Spice, Sporty Spice, and Ginger Spice).
  5. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    English English
    I wonder if these senses are in fact definitions of Poshy, i.e. 'like Posh (Spice)' ...
    I've never actually discerned even the faintest hint of poshness about Victoria Beckham so would agree with the previous poster's 'self-mocking' idea
  6. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I may be unduly cynical, but it has never struck me that the use of posh in this instance had any element of self-mockery. I always assumed that they, and she, considered it a compliment - a status to which she considered the others should aspire.
  7. Apócrifo Member

    Spain; Spanish castillian
    Hi, ewie.

    I am not sure of understanding you properly: do you mean that in fact you don't see Victoria Beckham as a classy person at all? (I think so anyway :) )

    (Regarding the meaning of "classy" and "posh" (or "poshy"), which people* do you guys think that they could be called "posh"? -I apologize if this post seems something like "gossip" or so. It is not my intention!: It is just a way of visualizing the accurate meaning of those concepts in question.)

    *from the show business, for instance.
  8. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    English English
    Oh, I'm not sure now. It's just that the others' names are pretty daft ~ Scary, Baby, Ginger ... . Maybe you're right, P. I hadn't really given it much thought.

    I'm afraid not, Apo. Not according to my definition of classy: elegant or refined in style and manner.
    Well, according to my definition of posh ([appearing] very high middle class or "aristocratic"), I can only think of the British actor Hugh Grant off hand. But I certainly wouldn't call him classy.

    But it's worth stressing that class/classiness and poshness are highly subjective terms, Apo.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2010
  9. Apócrifo Member

    Spain; Spanish castillian
    "(I think so anyway :) )"= I mean, I don't see Mrs Beckham as a classy woman, I wouldn't use "classy" referring neither the pop singer Beckham nor the soccer player Beckham.

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2010
  10. Apócrifo Member

    Spain; Spanish castillian
    So, should one call "classy" to someone who is genuinely elegant and refined in style and manner, whereas "posh" should be used just to define someone who, in a way, appears (but just appears) to belong to the aristocracy or so? (in short, is a "posh" a false "classy"?)
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2010
  11. Consimmer Member

    New Jersey, USA
    Malaysia, English and Malay Language
    I've always considered posh more used in British English than American English. Anyway, for me classy means something of another class, while posh refers to expensive furnishings, fashions etc. So, the two words for me are not exactly the same thing but overlaps.
  12. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    English English
    When I said [appearing] aristocratic I just meant who is or at least appears to be. To me, posh and classy don't have much to do with one another, though obviously, as Consimmer says, there are sometimes overlappings of the one into the other.
  13. Montesacro Senior Member

    As far as I know "posh" people don't use the term posh at all.
    Isn't smart the "right" word?
  14. liliput

    liliput Senior Member

    U.K. English
    I've never seen or heard "poshy" but "posh" is common enough. It generally means something is of a higher quality or someone is "upper class" or aristocratic. It is sometimes used as a compliment and sometimes as an insult: Someone might look at my new car and say "Wow! That's posh!" or they might say "I don't like your friend much, he's a bit too posh for me".
    "Classy" also means elegant, well-made or well-bred but I usually hear it used with heavy sarcasm: "He took her to McDonalds on the first date - Classy!". To be sincere it's more usual to say that someone "has class".

    With regards to the Spice Girls, I was under the impression that the names were invented by a tabloid journalist, but whether the management had a hand in it or not, they were clearly the result of their public image - Victoria was usually seen slightly more elegantly dressed than the others. I don't know how classy she is but she's about as posh as a whippet in a cloth cap.
  15. CatStarcatcher Member

    UK, British English
    I too am pretty sure that 'poshy' isn't a word.

    I also back this up. TOTP magazine invented the names; and Victoria was the one who wore black and high heels and was therefore posh compared to the ones with platform boots and bizarre hair. (NB I was a 10-year-old girl when the Spice Girls hit the scene so you may take my word on this information!)

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