See also: Pooh


Alternative formsEdit


Originally onomatopoeic for a puff of air, after earlier poh and similar to later pew, phew, pho, phoo, poof. Later influenced by poop, onomatopoeic for the sound of flatulating and defecating, and by interjections of disgust similar to phew, pee-ew. Interjection for an unpleasant smell possibly linked to French puer (to stink).




  1. Expressing dismissal, contempt, impatience, etc.
    • 1600, Ben Jonson, Every Man out of His Humor, iii, i, sig. iii:
      I am carelesse what the fustie World speakes of me, puh.
    • 1694, William Congreve, Double-Dealer, I, i, 2:
      Pooh, ha, ha, ha, I know you envy me.
  2. Expressing disgust at an unpleasant smell.
    • 1859, S.S. Steele, Conjugal Lesson, page 182:
      Pooh!... How you smell of tobacco.
  3. (euphemistic) Alternative form of poo: a minced oath for 'shit'.
    • 1992 July 22, Time, page 55:
      Mom offers everybody fudge and says ‘Oh, pooh!’ when she gets upset.


Derived termsEdit


pooh (countable and uncountable, plural poohs)

  1. (countable) An instance of saying "pooh".
    • 1593, Gabriel Harvey, Pierces Supererogation: Or A New Prayse of the Old Asse, London: [] Iohn Wolfe, OCLC 165778203; republished as John Payne Collier, editor, Pierces Supererogation: Or A New Prayse of the Old Asse. A Preparative to Certaine Larger Discourses, Intituled Nashes S. Fame (Miscellaneous Tracts. Temp. Eliz. & Jac. I; no. 8), [London: [s.n.], 1870], OCLC 23963073, page 181:
      She [] hath ſtiled him with an immortall penne, the bawewawe of ſchollars, the tutt of gentlemen, the tee-heegh of gentlewomen, the phy of citizens, the blurt of Courtiers, the poogh of good letters, the faph of good manners, and the whoop-hooe of good boyes in London ſtreetes.
    • 1818, Lord Byron, Beppo, canto vii, l. 4:
      A thing which causes many ‘poohs’ and ‘pishes’.
  2. (uncountable, childish) Alternative form of poo: feces.
    • 1961, Camille Auguste Marie Caseleyr, The Living Come First, page 177:
      ‘You're rather in the pooh with the Adelaide police.’ ‘How much do I stink with them?’
  3. (countable, chiefly Britain, childish) Alternative form of poo: A piece of feces; an act of defecation.


pooh (third-person singular simple present poohs, present participle poohing, simple past and past participle poohed)

  1. (intransitive) To say "pooh".
    • 1614, John Taylor, The Nipping or Snipping of Abuses, L4:
      The wrimouth'd Crittick...
      That mewes, and puh's and shakes his brainelesse head...
    • 1798, Charlotte Smith, The Young Philosopher, Vol. I, page 44:
      The Doctor... pshaw'd and pooh'd for some time.
  2. (transitive) To say "pooh" to.
    • 1858, Archer Polson, Law & Lawyers, page 15:
      ‘Pooh! pooh!’ re-echoed his mother, ‘don't pooh me, John.’
  3. (intransitive, childish) Alternative form of poo: To defecate or dirty something with feces.
    • 1989 April 1, Crisis, page 19:
      My cat poohed in here.
    • 2003 March 13, The Sun:
      We all know what happened to them—they... poohed their pants.