50 Posh British phrases and things only posh people say

POSH BRITISH PHRASESEnglish is a wonderful language and is spoken widely around the world. However many phrases and expressions used in Britain by the wealthy and well-to-do are quite unique in my experience. So let’s explore some posh British phrases and things only posh British people would say.

Meaning of posh?

The word posh is an acronym, derived from the expression Port Out Starboard Home. In the days when the British travelled to places like India by ship, those who could afford it would book a cabin on the port side of the ship going out and a cabin on the starboard side for their return journey. The reason is that these cabins would be away from the sun and therefore cooler. So, if you could afford such luxury, you were regarded as posh.

Things only posh people would say:

Social class has always been an issue in Britain and you can accurately gauge the class to which someone belongs simply by listening to what they say and how they say it.

Here are 50 expressions that, if you hear them used, you’ll know the people saying them are likely to be very posh.

Enjoy them all. And, as always, feel free to share them.

Posh British phrases (1-25):

  1. Cheerio!
  2. Spiffing!
  3. Toodle pip!
  4. I say, old chap.
  5. That’s capital!
  6. Fancy a cuppa?
  7. Oh, golly gosh!
  8. Jolly good show.
  9. No pain, no gain.
  10. I beg your pardon.
  11. I’m chuffed to bits!
  12. Oh, I love your Aga.
  13. Well done, old bean.
  14. By Jove, she’s got it!
  15. You grubby little man.
  16. Oh, jolly hockey sticks!
  17. Jolly good show, old boy.
  18. We only listen to Radio 4.
  19. That’s a load of poppycock!
  20. I must say, he’s a good egg.
  21. I’m well and truly knackered!
  22. Oh, Margot, you’re such a brick.
  23. You’re looking glum, old fellow.
  24. He came home absolutely blotto.
  25. Out of curiosity, why do you ask?

Posh British phrases (26-50):

  1. Looks like we’re on a sticky wicket.
  2. You’re really getting my dander up.
  3. We spend our summers in Tuscany.
  4. That’s simply beneath one’s dignity.
  5. Darling, please stop being so beastly.
  6. Blue and green should never be seen.
  7. We don’t mix the grain and the grape.
  8. Oh, it’s been yonks since I wore my tiara.
  9. Will you be skiing in Val d’Isère this year?
  10. Oh, it was so dull and such a frightful bore.
  11. I’m not a snob but I dislike common people.
  12. Can you tell me where the lavatory is, please?
  13. Tristan and Jemima are boarding at Haileybury.
  14. Must you really play that ghastly music so loud?
  15. British universities are wonderful. Both of them.
  16. We don’t have serviettes, dear, we have napkins.
  17. Oh, gosh, do please refrain from being so beastly.
  18. We’ll be watching Archie play rugger on Saturday.
  19. Oh, your handbag’s just divine, is it a Balenciaga?
  20. We find ourselves in a rather unsavoury bind, I’m afraid.
  21. We’re all a bit squiffy after a delightful jeroboam of bubbly.
  22. If they’re not sold in Harrods, they’re not something we buy.
  23. We’re in a terrible bind, so the villa in Tuscany will have to go.
  24. We have a delightful bottle of Château Margaux in our wine cellar.
  25. Let’s hope we’re not invited to Jeremy’s soiree next weekend. His events are such a dreadful bore.

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