10 words that prove you're not posh

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Are you a lavatory user or toilet person? Napkin or serviette? What or pardon?

Believe it or not there are certain words which can define how posh you perceive yourself to be.

Back in 1954, linguistics professor Alan Ross devised a set of words which could reveal how upper class you actually were.

Ross called them U and Non-U words. U were traditionally seen as posh words while non-U were a bit more common.

1954 was a long time ago though and many, many new words have entered our vocabulary.

Etiquette expert and author William Hanson, has taken it upon himself to update the list for the 21 Century.

So, if you want to come across as the kind of person who owns a detached home, preferably with a moat, stop using these words.

1. Toilet

Yes, the humble toilet has been deemed too common for posh people.

According to Hanson, the word's origins come from the French word 'toilette' which is used to describe someone's appearance.

You really wouldn't want to look like a toilet would you?

Loo or lavatory are much more acceptable.

2. Pardon

Surely pardon is the most polite and well-mannered way of responding to a question or demand?

Apparently not.

The much ruder (in our opinion) 'what?' is considered to be posher, as pardon comes across as a little false and too try-hard.

However, 'I beg your pardon?' is also ok for posh folks.

3. Lounge

Inviting people into your lounge sounds like a perfectly posh thing to do doesn't it?

Only if you live in an airport, apparently.

Sitting rooms and drawing rooms are much better but really, when is the last time you were in house with a sitting room?

4. Movie

Everyone enjoys a good movie.

Unless you are devotee to art house and only attend the most expensive cinemas the word film isn't too common.

Film, though, is more accepted in posh communities, so ditch the word movie if you want to sound a bit more cultured.

But it will be a more difficult the next time you ask your mate if he wants to come to the 'films' instead of the 'movies.'

5. iPhone

No matter the number or latest model of iPhone you use, the word is just too lower class for some.

Hanson says that anything associated with a brand name is a big no-no, so just a 'phone' will do.

Those in the upper classes are confident in their social standing, so there’s no need to get all flashy.

6. Banter

'It was just banter' is a tired old phrase that should have been eradicated a long time ago.

The word has had a resurgence in recent years thanks to television, but posh people don't like to use words that have come back into fashion.

Although repartee isn't a word that you are likely to every day (or year for that matter) it is more acceptable in some high-brow circles.

7. Uber

Uber is undoubtedly one of the easiest and cheapest ways to get around major cities these days.

Once again, like the iPhone, it is something associated with a brand so don't use the word if you want to sound posh.

Instead use taxi. We know it is more of a private car than a taxi but you wouldn't want your mates to think that you've just been sitting in the bag of a Toyota Yaris would you?

8. Hey

Hey is a quicker and more friendly way of saying hello.

However, if you are shortening words that is considered to be a little lazy.

Hello is the only acceptable posh way to greet someone.

9. Vintage

Vintage clothing and furniture has become all the rage in the past ten years or so.

Blame those trendy hipsters in Shoreditch for that.

Vintage isn't a posh word though, and by it's very definition means old.

If you are walking around telling people you are wearing a vintage jacket, you are just wearing an old jacket.

At least that's what posh people think.

10. Hot Tub

Summer is almost over and if you've been lucky you've been in a hot tub or two.

Hot tub though, isn't a posh word at all though.

Jacuzzi might sound a bit 1970s but is much posher and doesn't sound like you've just brought one from Argos for £50.


More: How posh are you? Take the quiz

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