Pooh-poohed

Pooh-poohed is an odd idiom with roots in the 1500s. We will examine the meaning of the idiom pooh-poohed, where it came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.

Pooh-poohed means to have expressed disdain, impatience, contempt, or dismissiveness. The idiom pooh-poohed is a verb, related terms are pooh-pooh, pooh-poohs, pooh-poohing. The expression pooh-poohed has its roots in the 1500s, when the word pooh was only an exhalation of disgust or impatience, similar to the words fft! or pish! By the 1600s, the reduplicated form pooh-pooh came into use. Pooh-pooh is an exact reduplication, meaning the exact same word is repeated. The word pooh-pooh became a verb in the early 1800s. Note that the spelling poo-poo means excrement.

Examples

That has not been true of President Donald Trump, who has pooh-poohed the danger of the new disease, played down case counts, and insisted that the new disease will soon taper off. (The Atlantic)

If what’s happening in and to America right now had been authored by a Machiavellian script writer it might have been pooh-poohed as just a bit too much, having a deadly pandemic blow through Boston while Tom Brady’s telling us goodbye, on St. Patrick’s Day no less, relegating an ongoing presidential election to the back seat, making it momentarily irrelevant. (The Boston Herald)

Rex Ryan apologized Friday for a particular word he used while pooh-poohing the five-year, $100-million contract the Dallas Cowboys gave to receiver Amari Cooper last month. (The Los Angeles Times)

Want to know more idioms? Check out some others we covered: