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P'shaw!

 
 
Noddy24
 
Reply Sun 16 Jan, 2005 08:50 am
Does anyone know the origin of "p'shaw"? My grandmother used to use it occasionally to indicate mild exasperation.

The "P" is silent.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 3,455 • Replies: 17
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shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Jan, 2005 08:56 am
That i do not know,
But I do know that the P'shaw has worked itself into the -street slang- very well.
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colorbook
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Jan, 2005 09:20 am
I don't ever recall either of my grandmothers using this term; however, I have read it in books and heard it on TV.

There is not a great deal information out there about its origin.

http://www.takeourword.com/TOW161/page2.html
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Jan, 2005 09:21 am
I thought it was just kind of like "hmph!" -- an expressive sound without being a word exactly.

I use it a lot but I guess I got it from books 'cause I say it with a "p". Embarrassed
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Jan, 2005 09:24 am
I use it more specifically, to express not just exasperation but disagreement/ disbelief.

"If she drinks that much orange juice she'll turn orange."

"Oh, pshaw!"
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Jan, 2005 09:26 am
Must be regionally silent, as the p was pronounced by the older ladies in the neighbourhood where I was born many decades ago.


edit - what the heck is born up?
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panzade
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Jan, 2005 09:27 am
pshaw in German is pah
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Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Jan, 2005 03:43 pm
colorbook--

Thanks for the link.

I feel pettily triumphant that "pshaw's" origins are obscure for everyone.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Jan, 2005 03:48 pm
I have two pages of "pshaw!" uses here if you want to look up my usage. :-) Only thing is that I seem to use it when I'm annoyed -- those two pages show me at my grumpiest.
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ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Sun 16 Jan, 2005 04:53 pm
from colorbook's link

Pshaw, pronounced "p'shaw" or "puhshaw" or even "shaw", is an exclamation of impatience or disgust.



Puhshaw is the Ottawa Valley pronunciation. Fer sher, eh.
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Jan, 2005 07:29 pm
sozobe--

Thanks for the offer of two pages of pshaws, but I'd rather keep my illusions.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Jan, 2005 07:30 pm
I too pronounce the P.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Jan, 2005 07:52 pm
Puhshaw is Minnesota too, I think. (That's how I pronounce it, can't trace it anywhere in particular.)
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Letty
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Jan, 2005 08:14 pm
true story, noddy. We had a friend, Al, who was ticked off at a lawyer who had sent him a bill. (the lawyer was his friend, too) My husband had a rubber stamp made up for him that said:
Pshit. He used that thing frequently.

Wish I had it now.
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Letty
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Jan, 2005 08:22 pm
Anyway, here's what I found:




pshaw [ shaw, pshaw ]


interjection

expressing disbelief, impatience, or contempt: used to express disbelief, impatience, or contempt


[Late 17th century. An imitation of the sound made.]
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 16 Jan, 2005 08:25 pm
imitation of a sound made... 'zactly. I think of it as a way of scoffing. (Scoff is the word, pshaw is the sound.)
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Noddy24
 
  2  
Reply Sun 16 Jan, 2005 09:17 pm
Sort of a refined digestive explosion?
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pianoman69
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Dec, 2011 02:22 pm
I think it's Chinese pidgin for "Not Likely". I don't know whether it's Cantonese or Chinese, but I've heard it translated thus in a number of Kung Fu movies (Notably: House of Flying Daggers; just after the flower-field fight); and its recorded use in the English language, in conjunction with the European "opening" of China, would make its evolution from Chinese to English a possibility.
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