The Dictionary of Posh
Incorporating the Fall and Rise of the Pails-Hurtingseaux Family
The Dictionary of Posh serves as an essential guide to the (ab)use of many English words by the decidedly up-market and the resultant — and endangered — language they speak: Posh.
Hugh Kellett hilariously captures the spirit and nuances of those who speak Posh and, allied with Oliver Preston's brilliantly accurate cartoons, this book is the key to understanding and interpreting this language — literally with tongue-in-cheek.
Hidden within normal English is a separate language still spoken by those born with silver spoons in their mouths. It’s called Posh. A word of English can be spelt the same but mean something completely different in Posh. If you say the word 'Mention' in English, people will understand 'Remark upon'; but in Posh this means a large house. Say 'Ace' and speakers of Posh will think you are referring to a cold thing one’s butler puts in one’s G&T.
Reviews for The Dictionary of Posh
‘Mention’, that is to say, ‘mansion. ‘Ace’ that is to say ‘ice’. Hugh Kellett’s wit, along with cartoons by Oliver Preston, provides a hilarious insight into an endangered language, Posh.
Learn how to speak the refined, plummy prose so beloved by the rich and well-heeled in our gracious land (or lend).
How to talk Portia* than Her Majesty. *For us hoi polloi, that means ‘posher’. And as Olivia Colman speaks the Queen’s English […], here’s a witty guide on how we can all sound awfully upper class. Olivia Colman’s first two words as the Queen in the new series of TV’s The Crown are ‘old bat’ as she describes her likeness on a new set of stamps. Colman is said to pronounce the words as ‘ewld bet’. Cearly, the ‘Queen’s English’ is much posher than the one most of us speak. A new book, The Dictionary of Posh, by Hugh Kellett, gives a wry guide to how the royals and fellow upper classes speak. So pour yourself a nice glass of ‘wane’ and get learning! Cheers… or should that be ‘chairs’?
If you are keen to brush up the clipped tones of the 1950s Field reader, or inveigle yourself into conversation with two grand dowagers, then Hugh Kellett’s funny little volume may help. Written with a wordsmith’s ear for the sound of language, it runs from A to Z but incorporates within it a story, a ‘lexiconic novel’, perhaps the first of its kind… In Kellett’s dictionary Dad is dead, and flesh is flash; mind becomes maned and ears for yes; all of which makes perfect audible sense. For those in need of assistance simply turn to Kellett’s guide to phonetics in the appendix first. A jolly stocking filler, illustrated by Field regular Oliver Preston, and destined for yuletide loos.
Alexandra Henton, The Field