Tuesday, 28 December 2010

OED and pooh as an interjection

credit: Mikey Mets
Pooh or poo according to OED is a slang term, originally a nursery term, for faeces or excrement. The 1989 edition transcribes it as /puː, puːh/. In the 3rd edition we find the puzzling "Brit." transcription /p(h)uː/. In all probability this is a typographical error. I sent an email to OUP to inform them about it.


  1. The OED /p(h)uː/might more meticulously have separated the phonological version /puː/ from the interjectional impressionistic-phonetic [phu] — for that matter also possibly [pɸuː] — tho LPD doesnt list such variants and EPD doesnt even have the word.

  2. @JWL: If what you assume is true, then OED's transcription is fairly infelicitous and easily misinterpreted (as it was by me).