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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Boche
Historical Examples
  • The Boche came over to raid us, and when the alarm was given every one popped out of his bed and made for the dugout.

    The Glory of The Coming Irvin S. Cobb
  • They have no high-falutin, altruistic ideas of improving the Boche.

    The Rough Road William John Locke
  • The Boche recaptured his battery, and, after firing one or two rounds into Cheval Blanc, took away the guns.

  • Madame Boche held up her arms to heaven, uttering all sorts of exclamations.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • Chased one of the airplanes and fired about 250 cartridges: the Boche dived, and seemed to be hit.

    Georges Guynemer Henry Bordeaux
  • They were counting on Lorilleux and Boche for Gervaise's witnesses.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • "Nothing is better before soup," declared Boche, smacking his lips.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • Boche slyly suggesting a most amusing game, the game of true confessions.

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • By this time I had gotten to 2,200, the Boche was almost up to me and taking a diagonal course right in front.

    Flying for France James R. McConnell
  • My-Boots and the Gaudrons went down to the dance with Boche sneaking along after them.

    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
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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
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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.
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