to think 'posh' and 'rich' are two completely different things?

(115 Posts)
Floogel Fri 11-Jan-13 11:48:43

being wealthy does not make you posh, IMO

Songbird Fri 11-Jan-13 11:49:33

Well, precisely! Wayne Rooney anyone?

Crinkle77 Fri 11-Jan-13 11:50:26

Yes I agree with you entirely

RobinSparkles Fri 11-Jan-13 11:52:31


Money can't buy you manners. Although having manners/class might not be the same as being posh?

DuchessFanny Fri 11-Jan-13 11:56:48

I agree, and as i'm a Duchess (arf !) i would know ( a poor one )

TheCountessOlenska Fri 11-Jan-13 11:58:49

^^ Well I'm a Countess grin, do I win?

I agree OP, DH gets loads of footballers in his pub - they are definitely rich, but not posh bless 'em

Alisvolatpropiis Fri 11-Jan-13 12:02:38


There is a reason the term noveau rich exits.

Nancy66 Fri 11-Jan-13 12:03:46

True. Lots of aristos don't have a pot to piss in.

seeker Fri 11-Jan-13 12:04:19

Absolutely. I'm one, but not the other.

DuchessFanny Fri 11-Jan-13 12:05:20

aaahhh Countess you DO win ( but i'm too poor to buy you a prize )

RobinSparkles Fri 11-Jan-13 12:05:52

I am neither.

WorraLiberty Fri 11-Jan-13 12:06:45

Errm...why would anyone think differently? confused

That's like saying 'AIBU to think lemonade and sausages are two different things'?

Bonsoir Fri 11-Jan-13 12:07:41

Lack of education and upbringing are not quick to remedy, even when you have an awful lot of money to throw at the issue.

PostBellumBugsy Fri 11-Jan-13 12:07:47

I'm not entirely sure what "posh" means anymore.

I am an old 40+ gimmer & when I was little, it meant people who were "posher" than you basically. So, if you were upper middle class, posh people were aristos, if you were middle class, posh people were the upper middle class & if you were were working class it meant everyone else basically!!!! grin

As the UK has become less clear cut in terms of the old class boundaries, I'm not sure what "posh" means at all. I was always really confused as to why Spice Girl Victoria was called "posh".

Hoping someone will be able to explain it all to me. wink

DolomitesDonkey Fri 11-Jan-13 12:07:50

This is news to you? this is what the entire English class system is built around!

MrsMelons Fri 11-Jan-13 12:08:25

I'm neither sad

I know lots of posh people but many of them are not rich. I also know some rich people and the majority of them are far from posh.

Its weird as I do feel like the people that are posh and rich are ok and the posh and poorer people are fine but the rich and NOT posh people just drive me insane. They are the ones that appear to be more snobby - obviously this is only IME not a statement of fact.

TinyDancingHoofer Fri 11-Jan-13 12:08:43

Very very true.

sooperdooper Fri 11-Jan-13 12:08:57

Of course they are, I never thoughy they weren't!

OwlLady Fri 11-Jan-13 12:13:26

does it matter?

woozlebear Fri 11-Jan-13 12:26:55

Of course not, They're v different.

However (extreme examples like Wayne Rooney excluded) I think that amongst some people to two are percevied as increasingly equated. For instance when I went to (private) school the fees were much less in proportion to salaries than they are now, and hence there was less of an assumption than there is now that your family must be rich if you went there. Comfortably off, yes, but not rich. I also hear more and more people describing things (houses, hotels, places etc as 'posh', that are actually just expensive and not posh at all.

TaggieCampbellBlack Fri 11-Jan-13 12:29:17

I'm both.

ouryve Fri 11-Jan-13 12:29:51

A lot of money can buy a lot of bad taste.

Pigsmummy Fri 11-Jan-13 12:30:25

I would like to try out both and get back to you if thats ok?

Fairylea Fri 11-Jan-13 12:31:03

.... just as being educated doesn't make someone intelligent smile

Bonsoir Fri 11-Jan-13 12:31:11

"A lot of money can buy a lot of bad taste."

LOL. So true!

PostBellumBugsy Fri 11-Jan-13 12:31:17

so what is your definition of "posh" woozle?

DamnBamboo Fri 11-Jan-13 12:35:17

Well of course they are different.

Who on earth thinks they aren't?

Dawndonna Fri 11-Jan-13 12:36:10


ComposHat Fri 11-Jan-13 12:39:05

they are both vague and largely meaningless terms.

poshfrock Fri 11-Jan-13 12:40:09

^^ I am posh but not rich. smile

gazzalw Fri 11-Jan-13 12:41:23

I am neither, DW is posh but not rich...

wordfactory Fri 11-Jan-13 12:47:26

They're very different.

Many posh are now quite poor - the nouveau pauvre. It's still very important to them to be posh though. Makes them feel superior wink.

Most rich people I know are not old money. But they are highly educated, highly intelligent and excellent at what they do...

PostBellumBugsy Fri 11-Jan-13 12:51:27

word factory - describe these posh peole for me? I'm still trying to work out what makes a person "posh" in 2013?

wordfactory Fri 11-Jan-13 12:56:06

I think it is largely in their head, how they self identify IYSWIM.

Either their parents or grandparents will have had money and been part of the upper middle class or upper class. Most liekly they will have attended public school and speak RP.

If they have failed to achieve much in their own right (despite privilege), they continue feeling superior by insisting that their accident of birth is more important than achievement and money.

VinegarTits Fri 11-Jan-13 12:57:32

the word 'posh' is believed to come from the accommodations on passenger ships traveling from England to India and back.

The preferred cabins for the trip to India were on the left, or port, side of the ship. The cabins on the right, or starboard, side were considered best for the trip back.

Passengers with these accommodations had their tickets stamped "POSH" for "port out, starboard home."

as this doesnt happen these days (afaik) nobody is posh anymore smile

ifancyashandy Fri 11-Jan-13 13:00:54

I'm considerably richer & posher than yous.

wordfactory Fri 11-Jan-13 13:01:09

I always feel quite sorry for the posh but poor.

Bonsoir Fri 11-Jan-13 13:02:46

The posh but poor tend, IME, to attach far too much importance to bygone rituals and values.

There are lots and lots of them in France... not helped by the fact that families with a particule feel obliged to have a lot of children.

elastamum Fri 11-Jan-13 13:07:50

The only really posh people I know live in a stately home. They are lovely, but live in a different world to me. I expect they are wealthy in terms of land but they arent the ones with the flash cars though.

PostBellumBugsy Fri 11-Jan-13 13:08:00

So we've got quite a few equations with snobbery and it seems that you don't have to be rich to be posh.

Vinegar - I remember hearing that too, but was never sure if it was true. Great historical definition though.

In my huge dictionary with lots of explanations (I love words & semantics) this is an extract of the definition for posh:

" smart, stylish, top-class, expensive and therefore of the wealthy classes"

Does that sound right?

seeker Fri 11-Jan-13 13:15:06

I'm old fashioned posh in a way that generally doesn't carry any weight nowadays- except on the very rare occasions when it does. It's just a club with stupid rules- and it's so much better to decide the club is stupid and you don't want to join it than to be excluded from it because you don't know the stupid rules. iYSWIM.

picketywick Fri 11-Jan-13 13:16:22

In England a lot of posh people are fairly rich. As old GBS said years ago
"an English person only has to open their mouth and you know their position in

POSH spoken counts for more in England than it would in America.

Prem footballers are a special case and have no class historical connection.

picketywick Fri 11-Jan-13 13:20:33

PostBellums dictionary definition is closer to the truth than most of us would like to admit.

I am a little posher than my late mum and dad. But not as posh as Mariella Frostrop.

RuleBritannia Fri 11-Jan-13 13:21:28

I agree with PicketyWick. I have a 'posh' accept so people think I am but I'm not. I just went to a school where we were all taught how to 'speak'.

It does have benefits though. I open my mouth, a few words come out and people run and jump without being asked! True.

I don't know why though because I don't dress poshly.

RuleBritannia Fri 11-Jan-13 13:22:03

*accent. Sorry.

picketywick Fri 11-Jan-13 13:27:21

RuleBrit. It is the George Bernard Shaw theory you are benefitting from.

I used to do phoneins in Sheffield and got nicknamed "Posh" by broadcasters. And they are usually really posh

PostBellumBugsy Fri 11-Jan-13 13:27:53

LOL, so we can add strangulated vowels to the list! grin

wordfactory Fri 11-Jan-13 13:44:19

Bonsoir - same in the uk. The posh but poor disparage the new money (and their lack of adherence to class rules) etc in a way the posh but rich do not. The posh rich I know, love their smart cars and expensive clothes every bit as much as the new money. And they're not very interested in the rules IYSWIM. The posh but poor cling on to help them feel superior. Interesting really.

Bonsoir Fri 11-Jan-13 13:46:50

French posh-but-poor give their DCs ridiculous Christian names to signal their status as descendants of the aristocracy and ruling classes. Sixtine, Quitterie, Tancrède, Thadée...

Bonsoir Fri 11-Jan-13 13:48:31

... and they go to Church a lot and their children spend all their weekends at Scouts and Guides (very economical activities).

wordfactory Fri 11-Jan-13 13:51:55

Bless 'em.

Bonsoir Fri 11-Jan-13 13:53:43

They voted for Hollande angry

Hammy02 Fri 11-Jan-13 14:06:42

YANBU. I used to work with someone v.posh. generations of public school education, corderoy trousers, shooting at the weekend on parent's land etc. But he was always skint.

mummysmellsofsick Fri 11-Jan-13 14:12:00
EmpressMaud Fri 11-Jan-13 14:14:54

Quite right.

PessaryPam Fri 11-Jan-13 14:14:58

YADNBU. They are totally different things and these days they overlap less and less.

seeker Fri 11-Jan-13 14:18:42

"The posh rich I know, love their smart cars and expensive clothes every bit as much as the new money. And they're not very interested in the rules IYSWIM"

Really? is it possible that they are not quite as posh as you think they are? grin

I have a posh accent (went to public school, upper middle class upbringing) but am far from rich.

I'm never prejudiced about whether someone is posh or not, or whether someone is rich or not, but I do have quite the cat's bum mouth when it comes to ignorant people - posh or not. I don't mean lack of education, I mean rather the wilful trotting out of nonsense - racism being the most obvious example. When I hear ignorance, I think 'commoner' and according to DH I come over all patrician and superior, and my accent goes a bit Mitford. When I see money I think 'well played, good on you' as I assume they earned it. When I hear a posh accent I think 'Did you hate your school as much as I did?'

PostBellumBugsy Fri 11-Jan-13 14:29:05

becstar - I can't believe you think they've earned their money - inherited surely to be properly posh! wink

I can't remember who said it now (probably Nancy Mitford), but you can tell they are not one of "us", because they had to buy their own furniture (as in it wasn't handed down through the generations).

wordfactory Fri 11-Jan-13 14:32:17

Seeker - I think in this as in many things you are out of date. Prince Charles drives a Rangie and an Astie lol! And the car park at my sons school is like the back lot of Top Gear.

Ah no, if they're really properly posh all the money went on trying to keep up the estate and on the taxes, they haven't inherited a bean!

That 'bought his own furniture' quip was Alan Clark talking about Michael Heseltine. Alan Clark was proper posh and looked down on Michael Heseltine - who was public school, wealthy family and rich - so we'd call him posh. But to Alan Clark he wasn't. I was talking to an aristo once about class and said that there must only be the Royal Family that are immune to being thought of as 'not posh enough' by some little faction above them. And he say 'But my dear they are so TERRIBLY middle class!'.

wordfactory Fri 11-Jan-13 14:38:43

Ah yes. The poor posh do like to play the 'I'm posher than you' game. There's nothing like a poor snob is there?

wordfactory Fri 11-Jan-13 14:42:03

bec from what I can observe, as an impartial arriviste, the younger generation of posh are far less concerned about pedigree and background and rules then the older generations were.

I think too many of them have seen that pedigree and background and rules are no protection against the big bad world.

PostBellumBugsy Fri 11-Jan-13 14:47:14

Of course, thoroughly unreconstructed Alan Clark!

Yes, I know the Spencers thought the royal family to be terribly nouveau, as they'd been aristos for more centuries. It kind of disappears up its own fundament, when you start going along that route though.

However, it does make me think that the meaning of the word is still very much defined by the social placement of the person using the word!

Viviennemary Fri 11-Jan-13 14:49:01

Rich is a fact that can't be denied. Posh isn't always. I'm not usually philosophical at this time of day. grin

TwinTum Fri 11-Jan-13 14:52:29

I am from a working class (or possibly lower middle class) background (depending on whether you ask my mum or dad). My grandparents were clearly working class. I am wealthy (good job through education). DH is similar, but probably more lower middle class background. My family consider me wealthy, but not posh. My children, on the other hand, are definitely considered posh by my family (not in a bad way - they love them dearly). They go to private school, have "posh" accents (they have grown up in London whereas my family are from an area with strong regional accent), the trappings of a well-off middle class lifestyle (holidays overseas, big house, a nanny(!) etc) are just the norm for them. So the question is how many generations does it take to go from being merely wealthy to posh too (not that I care if they are considered posh or not so just a question).

Clearly if "posh" is equated only with upper class my offspring will never become posh (unless they do a Kate Middleton and marry into the upper class, in which case I might have posh grandchildren). However, there is no doubt that some people at least (e.g. my family) see "posh" as extending beyond the upper classes and they do still make a distinction between weathly and posh (since they do not see me as posh, just my children). So maybe it is a relative question as someone above said.

grovel Fri 11-Jan-13 14:53:32

My FiL was posh but poor. He said the secret to happiness was simply to condemn anything he could not afford as vulgar.

TwinTum Fri 11-Jan-13 14:54:39

Also, is Kate Middleton posh (and was she before she married) or just wealthy?

wordfactory very true! I think a lot of these distinctions will disappear as the generation before dies off. I do find it quite entertaining, and part of me regrets its passing. But then the other part of me looks at the front bench of the government and thinks 'bring on the revolution!'

Viviennemary sums it up beautifully.

LoopsInHoops Fri 11-Jan-13 14:59:36

Hmm, this and you other thread combined would make excellent easy-written article fodder. Call me suspicious...

GregBishopsBottomBitch Fri 11-Jan-13 15:00:49

People who are posh and not rich i refer to as "Hyacinth Bucket",

But Posh and Rich are totally separate.

RuleBritannia Fri 11-Jan-13 15:04:00

PostBellumBugsy said, "I can't remember who said it now (probably Nancy Mitford), but you can tell they are not one of "us", because they had to buy their own furniture (as in it wasn't handed down through the generations). "

Ooh! Ooh! I have some of my parents' furniture and some of my grandparents' china! The table I'm sitting at now was my parents' Utility table.

EmpressMaud Fri 11-Jan-13 15:06:43

I thought Hyacinth Bucket was supposed to be working class, given her background?

seeker Fri 11-Jan-13 15:07:54

"People who are posh and not rich i refer to as "Hyacinth Bucket","

I suspect that's because you don't get the programme- the whole point is that she thinks she's post but isn't.

It's a typically nasty snobbish English programme- laughing at people who don't know the rules. And doubly nasty because the makers must have known that most people would miss the point- so they could laugh at their audience. Very horrid.

blondecat Fri 11-Jan-13 15:14:08


Outside of the US and Australia you can be posh but poor and rich and definitely not posh

LoopsInHoops Fri 11-Jan-13 15:14:21

Anyone else think we're providing fodder for The Wright Stuff? hmm

curryeater Fri 11-Jan-13 15:22:16

posh - rich + time (a lot of time)

Floogel Fri 11-Jan-13 15:30:32

What is the Wright Stuff?!

PetiteRaleuse Fri 11-Jan-13 15:38:24

But posh doesn't necessarily go hand in hand with snobbish.

seeker Fri 11-Jan-13 15:41:21

indeed not- snobbishness is a very lower middle class thing. Hyacinth Bucket is a classic snob.

seeker Fri 11-Jan-13 15:42:33

It was Michael Hesletine who said the thing about being "the sort of person who buys his own furniture"

Labootin Fri 11-Jan-13 15:44:02

Irrc The Wrightstuff is a piss poor programme full of desperately gurning z listers attempting to be provocative and amusing

it fails dismally on both counts

GregBishopsBottomBitch Fri 11-Jan-13 15:45:16

Labootin Theres something about Matthew Wright that really annoys me, not sure what it is.

GregBishopsBottomBitch Fri 11-Jan-13 15:46:37

Seeker She acts posh, as im sure others do aswell, some are posh, some fake it.

beckhamz Fri 11-Jan-13 15:49:36

I sound posh but I'm really middle-middle.

It's great, speaking properly gets you so much further than a regional accent does.

ComposHat Fri 11-Jan-13 15:53:25

It was Michael Hesletine who said the thing about being "the sort of person who buys his own furniture

I am pretty sure it was Alan Clark who said it about Michael Heseltine whom he considered to be new money.

I really don't buy the whole poor but posh sctick 99% they have extrodinary assets in terms of land and property which they don't want to sell. No one makes them live in these vast stately piles crumbling around them. they could sell up and live in a modest home in relative comfort. but no their absurd moral code condemns them and their children to live beyond their means.

it is not poverty in the sense that anyone who was truly poor would understand.

Dryjuice25 Fri 11-Jan-13 16:14:28

David Mitchel= Posh
Ashley Cole= Rich
Kerry Katona= Chav

Me, Not rich,not poor but I would'nt call myself a chav though. Whats a chav? Tulisa? <<<< although I refuse to be a "lady" >>>>

Dryjuice25 Fri 11-Jan-13 16:20:36

Correction= I am poor for now, on benefit! Am I a chav then? I went to private school and got a degree though!

seeker Fri 11-Jan-13 16:42:28

"Seeker She acts posh, as im sure others do aswell, some are posh, some fake it"

No she doesn't. She thinks she does. That's the point!

stopgap Fri 11-Jan-13 16:49:56

You only have to walk round Badminton, any country fair etc. to see that there are two different kinds of posh: the ones bedecked in Hermes and bling, and the ones who look like Helena Bonham-Carter on a less-groomed day. I think it's a misnomer to suggest that all posh people drive old bangers and wear mud-splattered clothes. That Tara Palmer-Tompkinson girl doesn't exactly fly under the radar with cheapo clothes, does she?

In America, I would say that the "posh" are no different to the "posh" in England. My friend's grandfather (shipping magnate) wears Timex watches, and another friend's parents (famous lawyer, WASP-y background) delight in gifting one another $5 presents for birthdays and living in a dusty old house with six-toed cats.

wordfactory Fri 11-Jan-13 17:06:10

Quite stop.

The idea that the rich posh all drive battered landrovers is absolutely not true.

The idea that the rich posh all live in the country is also untrue.

Bonsoir Fri 11-Jan-13 17:44:13

I went to some open days at English boarding schools last year, with a friend from NY and two Parisians. My party were shock shock shock at the large expensive new cars in the car park, and the badly casually dressed families that emerged from them.

mummysmellsofsick Fri 11-Jan-13 21:02:43

dryjuice David Mitchell isn't posh, he's middle class. Not even 'upper middle class' I'd say. I've met a couple of people who describe themselves as 'upper middle class' and their families both had castles/ estates covering entire villages, and were at Eton. I'd call them posh, they'd call themselves 'upper middle class'

Arisbottle Fri 11-Jan-13 21:06:01

I do hope they are different, we are quite well off but dirt common. I like it that way

Arisbottle Fri 11-Jan-13 21:06:40

Compared to me even lower middle class is quite posh grin

HelpOneAnother Fri 11-Jan-13 21:16:34

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Arisbottle Fri 11-Jan-13 21:19:12

I suspect I am a chav ( although it is a vile term but that is how you lot would see me) , I like the fact that it riles people so much to seeme enjoying sparkly things.

mummysmellsofsick Fri 11-Jan-13 21:21:24

My family background is very working class but I seem to mix with posh people fairly often for work. My accent gets a bit posher when I do. I've always found the posher the person, the less common they make you feel. Really good manners are wonderful for putting one at ease wink

catgirl1976 Fri 11-Jan-13 21:22:22


Of course not

Totally different

Morloth Fri 11-Jan-13 21:23:57

YANBU, we are rich (certainly by MN standards wink. But we are bogans.

I quite like being a CUB. Cashed Up Bogan.

Best of both worlds.

Viviennemary Fri 11-Jan-13 22:09:19

What exactly is rich by MN standards. Just wondering. grin

Arisbottle Fri 11-Jan-13 22:11:42

No idea, we are well of in the real world, properly poor little church mice by MN standards!

totallyfrazzled Fri 11-Jan-13 23:30:31

Different things to different people....You can def be posh but broke, but being rich does not make you posh. If you speak 'posh' then most people who don't, will consider you posh!

doyouwantfrieswiththat Fri 11-Jan-13 23:48:46

I've always figured that if you're truly posh you don't care what anyone thinks, toffs & proles have a lot in common that way, it's only the middle classes that are angst ridden about it.

Morloth Sat 12-Jan-13 00:23:38

MN is a bit mental about most things wealth Viviennemary, you must have noticed that if you are not on the breadline then actually having any sort of problem is not allowed because there are many people worse off then you.

DH is a banker and I work in the mining industry, so our gains are pretty ill gotten as well by lefty standards, and to make it worse, we are not even sorry. grin

Rich, but definitely not posh - that can make people a bit crazy as well. We are very much new money, which I find works just as well as old money. wink

Viviennemary Sat 12-Jan-13 00:45:21

A girl I was friends with at school always had fish knives and forks when they had fish and special butter knives for the butter. I thought they were frightfully posh but they weren't really any better off than we were which was just average. But much posher. I was angst ridden about it. grin

seeker Sat 12-Jan-13 07:59:21

But fish knives are fraightfully common!

Morloth Sat 12-Jan-13 08:00:34

I don't think I had ever even heard of fish knives before coming on MN maybe I am posh after all...

seeker Sat 12-Jan-13 08:02:42

"I am thankful to say I have never seen a spade" grin

Morloth Sat 12-Jan-13 08:06:39

I suspect I approach the lack of fish knives from the opposite end of the spectrum.

Don't get many fish where I come from.

Twattybollocks Sat 12-Jan-13 10:08:43

Well I'm definately rich, but I'm as common as muck if that helps. I do have good manners and high moral standards, but still very much working class!

ceres Sat 12-Jan-13 11:42:13

i HATE the word posh.

Loveweekends10 Sat 12-Jan-13 12:00:41


Pandemoniaa Sat 12-Jan-13 12:03:54

The word "posh" is so subjective that it has virtually no value in determining anything. I've been accused of being "posh" on the basis of little more than my disinterest in reality TV. It has nothing at all to do with how much money you have.

Viviennemary Sat 12-Jan-13 12:34:09

So that proves my point that posh is only a matter of opinion. grin But so maybe is rich. Can't believe people on here who think they're quite hard up on £100K plus per year.

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