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In my dialect of American English, the word "tush" or "tushy" is a dimminuitive of "rear end" (e.g., something you'd say about a baby, not as harsh as "butt" and a word you aren't ashamed to say to your mother). The word derives from Yiddish, and I am from a Jewish family in the New York area, so I'm generally understood when I say it.

How broadly is this word understood? What do folks who don't use it say in its stead?

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This word was rather prominently featured on Scrubs, and in fact that's where I know it from. I don't think anybody who saw that episode had trouble understading the meaning. The show runs worldwide. –  RegDwigнt Apr 16 '13 at 20:35
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We knew both "tush" and "tuchas" in rural Iowa in the 1970s. –  MετάEd Apr 16 '13 at 20:48
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UK - I certainly understand it from American TV, but would not use it. 'Bum' is the all-purpose word over here. In BrEng a tushie peg is a tooth. –  Mynamite Apr 16 '13 at 22:15

2 Answers 2

It's a little difficult to say how widely it's understood, but I can say this: Whenever I've chosen to use that word, no matter who the listener is, they understand me. No one has ever said to me, "What's a tushie?" On the other hand, maybe context has always been effective in clearly implying the meaning.

As for what words others use instead, I imagine you can find a fairly comprehensive list in a number of locations, but I think what you're really asking is what euphemisms are used. Some of these are:

rear, rear end, seat, bottom, bum, seat cheeks, tail, behind, derriere, caboose, booty, trunk

And the list goes on.

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In New Zealand English it's not used, but given reasonable context it might be understood (ie the meaning guessed).

The nearest equivalent would be "bottie" - we have a lot of diminutives formed with "-ie" like this.

Examples: "Nourishing and soothing, "Sweet As" baby's bottom balm helps keep your baby's bottie sweet as." - http://www.historicplaces.org.nz/shoponline_2013/healthandbeauty.aspx?sc_lang=en "Great for quick nappy changes, with a generous bottie area allowing for bulky nappies, these newborn pants look great..." - http://www.thebabysroom.co.nz/category/pants

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