How are you doing? Hoje eu falo sobre as palavras fancy e posh. “Fancy” é comum tanto nos EUA quando no Reino Unido, mas com um significado diferente em cada país. Já “posh” é bem mais comum no Reino Unido. Confira!
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How are you doing? You’re listening to the new episode of the Inglês Online podcast, and today I’m talking about two little words that I hear a lot here in the UK – posh and fancy.
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Today I’m talking about a topic that always seems to attract a lot of interest from English learners: differences between American and British English. My focus is on the words posh and fancy. So let me start out by saying that before I moved to the United Kingdom, I hadn’t heard the word “posh” that many times. And why is that? Well, that’s because I was used to listening to, almost exclusively, American English – really, like, almost 100% of the time.
In fact, I knew of the word “posh” only because I knew that British girlband Spice Girls, and one of the members was nicknamed Posh Spice. In all my years hearing American English I don’t think I’ve heard the word ‘posh’ once, except to refer to that artist. Now, the United Kingdom is a different story (for those of you who don’t know, by the way, the United Kingdom is a country comprised of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland). The word posh is used here all the time – for example, if someone has a posh accent, that means they speak the way rich people or upper class people speak.
That’s what “posh” means, in general: anything related to the upper classes, or anything luxurious, sophisticated – whatever it is, it’s about something that upper class people, or at least wealthy people would do, have or be. Now, that’s not what people say in the United States. Americans use the word “fancy” instead. If you tell an American that you’re going on a five-star cruise to the Greek islands, they might say “Oooh, fancy!”. That’s pretty much the same as our “Que chique!” in Brazil.
So in the US you will often hear people refer to a fancy restaurant, a fancy hotel and a fancy car; whereas in the UK you’ll hear people talk about posh people, posh places, posh accents and so on. As I said before, though, you don’t hear the word “posh” that often in American English. That’s not the case for the word “fancy” in the UK, however. You do hear it a whole lot, but with a different meaning.
To fancy, in the United Kingdom, means to like, to have a desire for something… or someone. As soon as I moved to the UK I started hearing things like “Fancy a beer?” or “Let’s get something to eat. What do you fancy?” In these questions, fancy is used with the same meaning as “feel like” as in “Do you feel like having a beer?” and “What do you feel like having for dinner?”
I still say “feel like” or “want” instead of fancy, but I’ll admit I quite like this word – it sounds kinda nice :-) Also, the simplest way to say that you’re attracted to someone or that you like them in a romantic way here in the United Kingdom is to say “I fancy him” or “I fancy her”. It’s rare to hear “I have a crush” but if you say you fancy someone, everyone will know you’re romantically interested in that person. So, tell me: who do you fancy at the moment?
That’s it for today. Let me know if the words posh and fancy are new to you and talk to you next time!
I knew of the word posh = eu tinha conhecimento da palavra posh