Thursday, 7 August 2014

Cushy - A Comfortably Urdu Origin

Del Boy, Derek Trotter, from Only Fools and Horses
Derek Trotter, a.k.a Del Boy, from the classic British sitcom Only Fools & Horses


Adjective. Colloquial (originally Anglo-Indian). Also cushty. Early 20th century.
[Urdu kushi from Persian kuš.]

Of a post, task, etc.: easy, comfortable, especially more so than might be expected.

If your vocab is lacking that little bit of Anglo-Indian Peckham piquancy, it is my kushi (Urdu 'pleasure') to introduce you to cushy, or Del Boy's favoured variation of cushty if you prefer. Of course, if you're from Britain you're probably already well used to this pukka little number as it's been in constant use since World War I. Even so, I bet you didn't know its origin was Urdu, did you, you saucy little git. Ah ha! See? That's what Lexicolatry does; brings you the creme de la menthe of cosmopolitan vocab. Mais oui, my friend, mais oui.

Do please leave your cushiest little numbers in the comment box below.


  1. I didn't know the origin (thank you Lexicolatry!) but I always liked the sound of the word.
    Not really understanding the origin or the proper meaning I always felt it was a comfortable word... don't know why... I must have crossed with the reference of a cushy life somewhere... Urdu you say?! Not that's a origin I would like to know when you get to U :)
    Have a Nice and Cushy Day yourself,

    1. It's somewhat similar to 'cushion' and 'cushioned'; I suspect that's part of how it stuck in English.

      Urdu is a long way off, but 'Indian' would certainly be interesting, particularly a post on all the words in English of Indian origin.

    2. I need to watch one episode of that Only Fools and Horses, you mention. (picture makes me almost laugh :D)

      There must be a few with British Imperial Past and all... not so many rubbed off on us - Portuguese - from our colonies.
      But I imagine Africa or Brazil were different - culturally - from India. Or maybe we were when there...

      I wish I had a Lexicolatry for my language. My loss and to the Portuguese Language. (now we've adopted a new Orthographic Agreement to align Portuguese to Brazilian... result: we have to write like them (silliest thing ever - glad you don't notice when speaking or I'd move XD) but they decided to postpone the application a few more years and let's wait they ever do or it will become another silliness imposed by governments. So here I was thinking that a Lexicolatry about Portuguese Language would show the world how silly these politic moves are... "enough of rants, teresa, let poor Eddie work" ahahah)

    3. They're planning to change Portuguese spelling to Brazilian? Quel fromage!

    4. I thought they had already done that some years ago with Portuguese?

      And Teresa ... Only Fools is a national treasure in England! It has some of the best-loved characters in all of British television, including Del Boy in the picture who is, as you rightly see, very funny!

      When an appropriate word comes up, Teresa, I will indeed write a post on governments getting involved in dictating the course of a language : o )

  2. Well 'cushy' is definitely British slang but 'cushty' cited as being derived from Romani in the dictionary, I don't think I've heard 'cushty' uttered outside of Only Fools & Horses and then years late out of the mockney mouth of Jamie Oliver, mange-tout?

    1. Hmm. Now that you mention it, I don't think I've heard 'cushty' anywhere else either, and not even from Jamie.

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