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Posh Pommie Picnic, words we use and what they mean. Or is it Pommy?

Updated on March 10, 2015

Following on from my hub "Barking Barefaced Liar", I decided to looked at some English words beginning with P. So here we go again

Posh and spicy


We all know what something posh is, it's elegant, a luxury, expensive.But where does the word come from?

It seems that posh was a term used during the First world war as it appeared in Punch magazine.

The often told story of people with money traveling on P&O ships, is romantic but not true. It claims they had posh printed on their tickets to say they rode in port side cabins on the way out and starboard on their way home.

Another idea is that it comes from London street slang for money.

The only thing I know for sure is my husband was a navigators yeoman in the RN for nine years, and he says POSH is the way you navigate in and out of harbour,red buoys on the port going out and on the starboard coming in!


I have a few pommies in my family, the Australian word for the British in their country. Also known as pommy or pom, I am not one of them. This term is also used in New Zealand.

Ignore those who say the term comes from the initials on the prisoners we sent to Oz, POME prisoner of mother England etc. These are very clever ideas but there is no evidence to back them.

In 1912 a popular magazine of the time The Bulletin, used the words "the other day a Pummy Grant was handed a bridle and told to catch a horse". A Pummy or Pommy Grant being an assisted imigrant. The term Jimmy Grant used as rhyming slang was known in New Zealand from 1845.

Also some say it refers to new immigrants turning the colour of a pomegranite.

But where ever it comes form, it is not going away.

pommy bashing



Ah what a word, brings into mind pleasant sunny days, a blanket, baskets full of food and pleasant company.

Unfortunately some will have you believe the word originated from the USA and almost certainly has something to do with the slave trade, or a gathering of families taking their packed lunches to watch a black man hung. As in pick a nigger. Although sadly enough these gatherings did take place, there is no evidence to link them to the word picnic.

No, happily the term comes from the French picque-nique, the first written usage in a 1692 book on the language, and is said to refer to people in a restaurant who bring their own wine.

From here it spread the first time it was noted in England is in a letter by Lord Chesterfeild, who used the word to mean drinking, card playing and conversation. Sounds like a good time to me!

The word picnic meaning something pleasant has come to people using the comment "no picnic" to express something unpleasant. And I have been led to believe that PICNIC can mean "problem in chair not in computer". So that's me then...


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    • dingyskipper profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Northamptonshire

      Thanks for reading Rose, we should all try to learn something new everyday,

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      5 years ago from England

      Well I never! lol! always thought pommie was prisoner etc, I learn something new everyday!

    • dingyskipper profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Northamptonshire

      Thanks Keith, glad you enjoyed it

    • KeithTax profile image

      Keith Schroeder 

      6 years ago from Wisconsin

      I knew posh; learned something new about picnic; and never heard about a pommie. I learn something new here everyday. Great hub.


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