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Posh: Origin Of The Term
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In the 18th century, POSH was stamped on luxury liner passenger luggage on trips from England to India. These wealthy passengers wanted the best accommodations onboard, which meant on the voyage from England they wanted to be on the left side of the ship (port), and on the return trip on the right side (starboard). Port out, Starboard Home was shortened to POSH. When others saw "POSH" on the luggage, they knew this was a special person who had nice things.

Would you share the unusual origin of a commonly used word that might surprise us?

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"Hear, hear!" : Many people erroneously believe the phrase to be spelled "here, here," but it actually is a shortening of the phrase, "hear, all ye good people, hear what this brilliant and eloquent speaker has to say!" According to Wikipedia, "The phrase hear him, hear him! was used in Parliament since the late 1600s, and had been reduced to hear! or hear, hear! by the late 1700s. The verb hear had earlier been used in the King James Bible as a command for others to listen."

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Now that's interesting. I had always figured it was an old phrase used by a town crier announcing news in the square. I do have some vague recollection of the term "Hear ye, hear ye" being used in legal proceedings to announce the arrival of a judge at the start of court proceedings or the opening of a legislative session.

Now here's a theory:
We have a tradition that certain things have to be publicly announced in order to be valid- i.e. the foreclosure of property, the passing of a law, the upcoming marriage of a couple. Nowadays these things are announced in newspapers and public notice postings. But back in the day, most of the public was illiterate and newspapers virtually nonexistent. Putting the notices in writing would be of little use. Makes sense to me that starting an announcement with the words "Hear ye, hear ye" would be a signal that the upcoming announcement was important and that verbally broadcasting it would be considered sufficient legal notice to all. Wouldn't be much of a leap for people to start using it themselves to precede or recognize some public speech that they deemed important.

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