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Dosh
Posted: 13 May 2007 12:57 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Just wondering if “dosh”, meaning money could be related to “dash” meaning a tip or gratuity in Africa.

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Posted: 13 May 2007 05:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I can’t help you with “dosh”, especially since I’ve never heard it before where I live (California) but I can help you with “skosh” which may rhyme depending on your dialect. Here’s Wordmaven on the subject:

Well, as you already know, a skosh is a tad.

The main use of skosh, and really the only widespread use, is as a noun meaning ‘a little bit; a small amount; jot’, in phrases such as “just a skosh.” The word is a borrowing from Japanese sukoshi, which means ‘a little bit’ as a noun, or as an adverb ‘a little; slightly; for a short time’.

Blimey, which mikes me think, why’d we go thru all that gorse/furze, furze/gorze biznezz when we ‘ad the pehfect synonym roight-’t-’and: skosh/tad. I ‘ope yeh fehst nime eyen’t Tad an’ all that, mite, but if it is, bugger-all.

WWII in origin.

[ Edited: 13 May 2007 05:27 PM by foolscap ]
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Posted: 13 May 2007 05:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Apparently not.  Dash is short for dashee, attested from 1705; dosh is attested only from 1953 (H. CLEVELY Public Enemy xviii. 114 He hadn’t enough dosh on him) and the etymology is “Origin unknown.”

(Note to foolscap: It’s generally considered polite to at least try to provide help, or wait till someone else has done so, before proceeding with random fun and games.)

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Posted: 13 May 2007 08:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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"Dosh” = “money” had an earlier US incarnation: HDAS shows examples from 1854 to 1871; I find an instance from 1836. The connection between this and the late-20th-century UK word is a mystery (at least to me). Etymology of [either] “dosh” apparently is unclear. It has been thought to be from “doss” = “[place to] sleep”, i.e., originally “money for lodging”. Somebody has also speculated “dollar"+"cash".

“Dash” = “gift” is thought by OED to be a contracted form of “dashee”. I don’t know whether this is substantiated or just a guess; “dash” and “dashee” apparently are/were synonymous, and OED has “dashee” attested earlier. One speculation (I think it’s unsubstantiated) is that the word is from Portuguese ("das" = “you give"). I haven’t seen any proposed African-language etyma, but I suppose there are some candidates around. RHUD says the word is possibly attested in Dutch ("dasche", “dache") as early as 1602.

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Posted: 13 May 2007 10:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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One citation of “dosh” meaning money from Pine Tree Ballads: Rhymed Stories of Unplaned Human Natur’ Up in Maine - Page 87 by Holman Day – 1902

His nose was like a liver and the color wouldn’t wash, But the men that “ chanced “ on trips with him, they always got the dosh,

and an earier one from
A Story of Life on the Isthmus by Joseph Warren Fabens, New York 1853:

Where the ‘dosh’ is to come from to carry out this idea does not appear as yet, - but doubtless will

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Posted: 14 May 2007 12:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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It’s generally considered polite to at least try to provide help, or wait till someone else has done so, before proceeding with random fun and games.

Naow, I dunno, I waited a couple or three hours or so.

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Posted: 14 May 2007 07:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I forwarded the citation I found to the OED and here’s the reply I’ve just received:

Thank you for your interesting message.  The OED entry for dosh was written for the OED Supplement and first published in 1972.  Since then the Historical Dictionary of American Slang has started to appear, and its entry for dosh has US evidence dating from 1854.  Your citation antedates even that, and will be most helpful when we come to revise the entry.

As dosh is long obsolete in US slang, it is not clear whether the British mid-twentieth century use is a revival or a coincidence.  This is something we shall have to investigate.

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Posted: 14 May 2007 07:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Clutching at straws, I know, but is there any evidence that “dosh” comes from African-American dialects, or indeed Afro-Caribbean?  ISTR the early 50’s were a time of immigration of Afro-Caribbeans to the UK.

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Posted: 14 May 2007 09:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Eliza, you’re becoming a pillar of the OED! They should give you a copy with your name in gold leaf on the cover.

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Posted: 14 May 2007 08:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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The West African “dash[ee]” apparently was written in Dutch by 1642 as “dasje”, which can be taken as “strip of cloth”. Thus one possibility: that the gift originally was typically a piece of cloth and that the word was originally Dutch.

Another possibility for “dash” (suggested by Paul Christophersen [in J. L. Dillard, _Perspectives on Black English_] in 1975) would be the Spanish “dacio” = “tribute” (or a hypothetical Portuguese equivalent thereof).

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Posted: 14 May 2007 11:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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...attested in Dutch ("dasche", “dache") as early as 1602

Now that bothered me, because I had no clue as to what that could be.

...was written in Dutch by 1642 as “dasje”

That makes sense. ‘dasje’ is a diminutive for ‘das’ meaning scarf.

Was your quote from RHUD correct? If so, I strongly doubt they got it right.

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Posted: 15 May 2007 07:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Here’s Christophersen’s quote from de Marees, ca. 1602, I think probably the same work mentioned in RHUD.

“so moetmen hunlins schenckasie geven, d’welck sy noemen Dache”

On the same page is pointed out de Marees’ mistaking words of local Portuguese Pidgin for truly indigenous words. Of course a Dutch word or two could have gotten into the local Pidgin too.

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Posted: 15 May 2007 08:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Okay. So Marees is mentioning a word he picked up from locals. He isn’t necessarily saying it is a Dutch word (or a word from Dutch). If that is the cite RHUD would be referring to, I don’t think it would justify the conclusion ...attested in Dutch ("dasche", “dache") as early as 1602

FTR the sentence would translate something like “and they should be given presents which they call ‘Dache’”

[ Edited: 15 May 2007 09:03 AM by Dutchtoo ]
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Posted: 15 May 2007 01:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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The RHUD uses the words “recorded in D”, where “D” means “Dutch”. I used the word “attested”, by which I mean that the word is recorded in text.

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Posted: 16 May 2007 07:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I am surprised to see that DARE says archaic US “dosh” = “money” might perhaps be derived from “dash” = “tip”.

This doesn’t seem likely to me offhand. AFAIK “dash” = “tip” has always been pretty much restricted to Africa. This “dash” does not appear as a headword in DARE or HDAS.

“Dosh” is said to be Polari (this would pertain to the modern UK word, I suppose). The Polari lexicon seems to have a number of Yiddish words, so I suppose one might consider something like German “Tasche[ngeld]” as a candidate etymon. Polari has a lot of more-or-less frivolous alterations.

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Posted: 17 May 2007 07:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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“Dosh” is said to be Polari

I wondered that, too, but couldn’t find anything specific to relate to it, though I agree with your subsequent comments.  Where did you read that?

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