How to spell Bosh/Bosch/Boche

The word I need to spell is a slang term used by the British for the Germans circa WW2. It’s for an essay I’m writing on soap operas, which I’ll post on the Essays forum when it is finished.

Buy Bosch kitchen appliances!

Have now found the word in a dictionary.

What is the meaning and origin of the word? I have never heard it.

The correct spelling is Boche, and it is a slang term used to disparage Germans or those of German descent. Dunno the origins.


English soldiers employed a variety of epithets for the Germans. “Fritz” was popular early in the war, with “Jerry” favoured later. According to Brophy, “Hun,” a journalistic creation, was used almost exclusively by officers, as was the borrowed French “Boche.”

Although the French used Fritz as well, Boche was the term of choice. Its etymology is complex and uncertain, (29) but its pejorative implications of obstinacy and generally uncivilised behaviour are undeniable. The Germans loathed the word and considered it a profound insult. Bergmann claimed that the Germans used no such derogatory terms, for “wir Deutschen wissen uns zum Glhck frei von… kindischen Hass” (“we Germans know ourselves to be happily free from such childish hatred”), but Dauzat disputes that. (30)

The unusually derogatory nature of Boche may reflect French bitterness over the defeat of 1870 and the invasion of 1914. Dauzat insists that Boche is a “mot de l’arripre” (“a word of the rear”), and that the soldiers preferred Fritz, Pointu (for the pre-1916 German spiked helmets) or even Michel for artillerymen. (31) Nevertheless, the other collective epithets suggest, in their general mildness, that the front line troops considered enemy soldiers less dangerous than the men to their rear.

Good post there Ben.

I wonder if that word is slang for “anus” as it reminds me a another French word. My girlfriend is fluent in French so I will have to ask.

Isn’t the origin of words fun?

But is nailing a sausage to the door of the office of a man of German extraction a racial slur?

Depends on wether they like sausages or not.

only if nailing haggis on the door of a Scot is a racial slur…

bloody mess that one… :wink: