The term posh can be tricky to define, especially in the modern day. It first cropped up in the early 20th century, and there's no doubt that things have changed quite a bit since then. It's a pretty odd term, and one that everybody seems to have a different opinion of. To put our curious minds to rest, we decided to survey 1000 members of the British public, from ages 18 to 65 plus, to find out exactly what being ‘posh’ means in 2016.
So, what exactly does a posh person look, act and live like we hear you ask? There's no right answer of course, but for fun we've decided to combine the results with the highest percentage of votes to create our fictional, posher-than-posh character.
Are you ready to meet them? Here's what the 'poshest' person in the UK would be like, as voted for by you.
Starting with the voice, because nothing says posh quite like a well-pronounced vowel, the ultimate posh accent is from the extended home counties. 34.1% of people believe this accent is quintessentially posh, with received pronunciation following closely behind. As for names, double-barrel surnames were voted a must-have, and a private school education certainly helps when it comes to climbing up the posh scale. While we’re here, we might as well give our posh persona a distant royal relative as well - 32.5% of our those we surveyed did think it was a major sign of being posh after all.
Our posh friend has not one, but two homes. We have to admit, having a second home or summer home does sounds lovely, and the public think no truly posh person can be without one. Inside this second home you’ll find a nanny, tea (we have to keep it British!) served in a decorative pot with cups and saucers, and lots of smoked salmon - it’s a staple ‘posh’ food according to 9% of our survey participants! Personally, we’re not too sure about the slimy dish.
Let’s give our posher-than-posh persona some wheels, as an expensive, flashy car was one of the most popular signs of being posh. A Range Rover is perfect for travelling between homes or going shopping at Waitrose and Harvey Nichols - we bet you can fit a lot of amazing items in a Range Rover’s boot!
Buying champagne on a night out, being kitted out with the latest Apple gadgets and referring frequently to others as ‘darling’ were also voted as posh characteristics. Funnily enough, 13.7% of 18 to 24 year olds also thought that eating a cheese board was posh, compared to only 2.5% of those aged 65 and above. It seems like tastes, and our perception of what posh means, has certainly changed over time!
And that’s it, the complete list of what makes a person ‘posh’ in 2016 according to the British public. Are there any features we’ve missed that define the term posh to you?