Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


or boche

[bosh, bawsh] /bɒʃ, bɔʃ/
noun, plural Boche, Boches
[bosh, bawsh] /bɒʃ, bɔʃ/ (Show IPA)
Older Slang: Disparaging and Offensive. a contemptuous term used to refer to a German, especially a German soldier in World War I or II.
Origin of Boche
1885-90; < French, aphetic variant of Alboche German, equivalent to al(lemand) German + (ca)boche blockhead, head of a nail
Usage note
This term was originally French slang, perhaps from the Franco-Prussian War. In English, it appears today only in historical contexts. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for Boche
Historical Examples
  • Madame Boche was going to a tailor who was late in mending an overcoat for her husband.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • Boche, who was on the watch this morning, saw him tranquilly nod adieu.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • Madame Boche held up her arms to heaven, uttering all sorts of exclamations.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • And the uproar increased from an act of vigor on Madame Boche's part.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • My-Boots and the Gaudrons went down to the dance with Boche sneaking along after them.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • Madame Boche would take Claude and Etienne with her for the bridal night.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • Madame Boche was evidently trying to make herself agreeable to Gervaise.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • However, he consented to go over the place, followed by the Coupeaus and Boche.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • Boche offered to take her to the dealers, so that she might make her own selection.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • They were counting on Lorilleux and Boche for Gervaise's witnesses.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
British Dictionary definitions for Boche


noun (derogatory, slang, esp in World Wars I and II)
a German, esp a German soldier
(usually functioning as pl) the Boche, Germans collectively, esp German soldiers regarded as the enemy
Word Origin
C20: from French, probably shortened from alboche German, from allemand German + caboche pate
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for Boche

1914, from French slang, "rascal," of unknown origin, applied by soldiers to Germans in World War I. Another theory traces it to French Allemand "German," in eastern French Al(le)moche, altered contemptuously to Alboche by association with caboche, a slang word for "head," literally "cabbage" (cf. tete de boche, French for "German" in an 1887 slang dictionary). All the French terms are no older than mid-19c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Slang definitions & phrases for Boche



: the Boche infantry


A German, esp a soldier

[WWI armed forces; fr French, a shortening of Alboche, a contemptuous modification of Allemand, ''German'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for boche

Word Value for Boche

Scrabble Words With Friends