\ \ [20] Although it only appeared as recently as the early 20th century, posh is one of the oldest chestnuts of English etymology. The story got around that it was an acronym for port out, starboard home, an allusion to the fact that wealthy passengers could afford the more expensive cabins on the port side of the ships going out to India, and on the starboard side returning to Britain, which kept them out of the heat of the sun. Pleasant as this story is, though, it has never been substantiated. Another possibility is that posh may be the same word as the now obsolete poshdandy, swell’, a slang term current around the end of the 19th century.
\ \ This too is of unknown origin, but it has been tentatively linked with the still earlier 19thcentury slang term poshhalfpenny’, hence broadly ‘money’, which may have come ultimately from Romany poshhalf’.

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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