2

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?

  • 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
  • 2
    We knew both "tush" and "tuchas" in rural Iowa in the 1970s. – MetaEd Apr 16 '13 at 20:48
  • 3
    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
  • In one of the Nero Wolfe novels, Rex Stout has Archie Goodwin use "tush" in a conversation with Wolfe, who protests that it is not a real word. But Wolfe looks it up, finds out that it is actually a word, and congratulates Archie on, for once, showing Wolfe something about English he hadn't known. – Greg Lee Feb 18 '15 at 21:34
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.

| improve this answer | |
1

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

| improve this answer | |
0

In Hebrew we use the word 'tusik' which is like tush and it comes from the Yidish word 'tuches'. We usually use tusik when referring to babies but it can also be used among adults.

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    OED Tush: Forms: Also tushie, tushy. Etymology: Abbreviation or diminutive of tuchus[1] n. slang (chiefly North American). 1962 Amer. Speech 37 205 Another bilingual children's diminutive, tushie—from Yiddish toches or tuches ‘rump’—has appeared in phrases like tushie slide ‘a slide down a slope on one's bottom’, the delights of which a group of Midwestern Jewish children have, I am told, expressed to their Gentile social workers. [1] Origin: A borrowing from Yiddish. Etymon: Yiddish tokhes – Greybeard Aug 6 at 21:23
  • Does that inform how widely it's used in English? – Charles Aug 7 at 0:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.