Etymology 1Edit


sosh (plural soshes)

  1. (slang) Abbreviation of various terms beginning "social"; used especially in compound terms.
    • 1928, Irwin, Will, Herbert Hoover A Reminiscent Biography, The Century Company, page 50:
      In Hoover's second year there rose a prophet of the "barbs" or non-fraternity men whose appropriate name was Zion. His constant tilting against things as they are gave him the nickname of "Sosh" short for Socialist.
    • 1981, Cameron Crowe, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Simon and Schuster, page 43:
      This, more than anything else, was the true sign of a high school social climber known as the “sosh.” The teeth-baring sosh (long o) began as a glimmer in the eye.
    • 2009, Robert Lockwood, Jr., Political Ducks: Lucky, Lame, and Dead, Xlibris, page 241:
      Both had taught at different times in the Military Academy's Social Sciences Department [] Sosh,” as the academic department was called []
    • 2009, Sean Scalmer, “‘for the sake of a straight out fight’: The Free Traders and the Puzzle of the Fusion”, in Paul Strangio, Nicholas Dyrenfurth, editors, Confusion: The Making of the Australian Two-Party System, Melbourne University Press, page 87:
      In the face of Reid's prominent ‘anti-Sosh’ campaign (in reality an attempt to wedge Deakin's supporters), Labor held its ground in the 1906 election []
    • For quotations using this term, see Citations:sosh.
    1. (slang) A social security number.
      • 2003, Michael Allen Dymmoch, The Feline Friendship, Macmillan, page 33:
        He handed her a paper with Erik Last's DOB and Visa card number. "This guy wouldn't give me his sosh." His social security number.

Etymology 2Edit

Short for association store.


sosh (plural soshes)

  1. (Scotland, slang) A co-op.
    • 1888, Barrie, J. M., Auld Licht Idylls, Hodder and Stoughton, page 77:
      Weddings were celebrated among the Auld Lichts by showers of ha'pence, .... Willie Todd, the best man, ... slipped through the back window ... and making a bolt for it to the "'Sosh," was back in a moment with a handful of small change.
      Barrie's usage is annotated in Hammerton, cited below.
    • 1896, Blair, Alick, Rantin Robin & Marget: With Other Scottish Sketches & Homely Rhymes, Arbroath: T. Buncle & Company, page 82:
      An' as I thocht that a wee hair o' pepper would help to gie the gruel a gude flavour, I opened ane o' the wee bits o' pockies that had been brocht by Marget on the Saturday frae the Sosh an' put in a grain o' its contents.
    • 1897, Mackenzie, Fergus, Sprays of Northern Pine, Oliphant, Anderson and Ferrier, page 110:
      Maggie, rin you to the sosh for a peck o' saut.
    • 1900, Sir John Alexander Hammerton, J. M. Barrie and his books: biographical and critical studies, Horace Marshall and Sons, page 248:
      In many Scottish villages, the Co-operative Store is known as the “Sosh[.]”


  • Joseph Wright, editor (1904) The English Dialect Dictionary, volume R-S, page 625
    (Entry on sosh, including verbal and adverbial meanings.)