EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From ponce (kept man; pimp; effeminate man; homosexual man) +‎ -y (suffix forming adjectives meaning ‘having the quality of’).[1]

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

poncy (comparative poncier, superlative ponciest)

  1. (chiefly Britain, derogatory, informal) Of, relating to, or (supposedly) characteristic of a ponce. [from 19th c.]
    1. Intended to impress others, particularly in an excessively refined or ostentatious manner; affected, pretentious.
      • 1988, Janette Turner Hospital, “On Bea-particles and the Relativity of Scone Making”, in Charades, St. Lucia, Qld.: University of Queensland Press, published 2003, →ISBN, part I (Charade), page 100:
        I mean, you could tell he was a Pom all right, but he was trying, he didn't sound so poncy any more, [...]
      • 1992, Liza Cody, chapter 8, in Bucket Nut, London: Chatto and Windus, →ISBN; paperback edition, London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 1997, →ISBN, page 32:
        And in his ponciest voice he said, 'I do most humbly apologise.'
      • 1996, Beverley Harper, Storms over Africa[1], Sydney, N.S.W.: Pan Macmillan Australia, →ISBN; republished Sydney, N.S.W.: Pan Macmillan Australia, 2008, →ISBN:
        Get off my land. Don't come back without a search warrant and by God it had better be signed by someone in authority, not your poncy boss.
      • 1997, Jacqueline Wilson, “Four in the Family”, in Girls in Love, London: Doubleday, →ISBN; 1st American edition, New York, N.Y.: Delacorte Press, 2002, →ISBN:
        He even helps make eggs Benedict, his namesake. Well, he's called Benedict, Anna's slightly poncey choice, but no one's ever called him that.
      • 2004, Warwick Allen, “Thailand (Part One)”, in Sweat, Lincoln, Neb.: iUniverse, →ISBN, page 42:
        We found a decent guesthouse to stay in and then went to a poncey restaurant for food (‘poncey’ meaning that meals and drinks for two cost 3 dollars instead of 2!)
      • 2006, Gautam Malkani, chapter 2, in Londonstani, London: Fourth Estate, HarperCollins, →ISBN; republished New York, N.Y.: Penguin Books, 2007, →ISBN, pages 20–21:
        You could tell from his long hair, grungy clothes, the poncey novel an newspaper on his dashboard an Coldplay album playin in his car that he was a muthafuckin coconut. So white he was inside his brown skin, he probably talked like those gorafied desis who read the news on TV. Probably even more poncier than the way how I used to talk. An think. Probly.
      • 2014, Russell Brand, “Is Everybody In?”, in Revolution, New York, N.Y.: Ballantine Books, →ISBN, page 39:
        I'm not a person who finds meditation a doddle or to whom yoga comes naturally. To tell you the truth, I find the whole business a bit poncey and contrary to the way I used to see myself.
    2. Chiefly of a male person: effeminate; gay, homosexual.
      Synonyms: see Thesaurus:homosexual
      Antonyms: see Thesaurus:heterosexual
      • 1976 April, Colin Dexter, chapter 38, in Last Seen Wearing, London: Pan Books, →ISBN; paperback edition, London: Pan Books, 2016, →ISBN:
        With sudden interest Morse turned up the volume [of the radio]: the voice was donnish, slightly effeminate. [...] 'Shert erp, you poncy twit!' he said aloud, got out of bed, pulled on his clothes, walked downstairs and dialled the speaking clock.
      • 1990, Dale Gunthorp, “Gypsophilia”, in Naomi Holoch and Joan Nestle, editors, The Vintage Book of International Lesbian Fiction, New York, N.Y.: Vintage Books, published 1999 (2010 printing), →ISBN, page 86:
        It was Johannesburg's only regular gay bar in those days, and not even a proper bar. [...] Since apartheid was a way of life, only the ponciest of African queens, only the butchest of Indian dykes could appear—noncitizens acceptable, in this underworld that was deviant but uncourageous, so long as they were no more than bedding material.
      • 1992, Simon Brett, How to Be a Little Sod[2], London: Victor Gollancz, →ISBN; republished London: Orion Books, Orion Publishing Group, 2011, →ISBN:
        After lunch, Her mother suddenly produced a poncy lace dress out of her bag and announced, 'This is the family christening dress, which you were christened in,' etc., etc. [...] Looking at it close to, I saw that it was even poncier than the other one.
      • 2008, Galt Niederhoffer, The Romantics[3], New York, N.Y.: St. Martin’s Press, →ISBN:
        He wore a cream-colored linen suit of a cut and color designed expressly for garden parties, the kind of suit Tom would surely have called "poncy" had he seen it on another man.
      • 2009, David Stedman, chapter 1, in That Terrible Shadowing: The Quest across Time for Caravaggio’s Killer, Kibworth Beauchamp, Leicester: Matador, →ISBN, page 1:
        None of the gallery staff took any notice of a gangly, stick-thin, nose-picking, acne-faced youth wearing a plastic imitation leather jacket, winkle-picker shoes and a greasy Mick Jagger hairstyle. We all looked like that in those days, except those poncey Mods.
      • 2011, Tom Clempson, “Last Break Hanging Out”, in One Seriously Messed-up Week in the Otherwise Mundane and Uneventful Life of Sam Taylor Jack Samsonite, London: Atom, →ISBN:
        Fixing your hair is also something that needs to be done in private (unless it is literally a quick pat and fluff). There are some who will happily stand in front of the mirror (there is only one mirror, you see, none of this fancy mirror-above-every-sink malarkey) and style their hair with pout and pose included, but they are usually too popular to get abuse about how poncey and womanly they look.

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