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Boche

or boche

[bosh, bawsh]
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noun, plural Boche, Boches [bosh, bawsh] /bɒʃ, bɔʃ/.
  1. Older Slang: Disparaging and Offensive. a contemptuous term used to refer to a German, especially a German soldier in World War I or II.
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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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for boche

Historical Examples

  • Madame Boche was evidently trying to make herself agreeable to Gervaise.

    L'Assommoir

    Emile Zola

  • Boche offered to take her to the dealers, so that she might make her own selection.

    L'Assommoir

    Emile Zola

  • "Nothing is better before soup," declared Boche, smacking his lips.

    L'Assommoir

    Emile Zola

  • "Monsieur Coupeau's very nice this evening," murmured Clemence in Boche's ear.

    L'Assommoir

    Emile Zola

  • Madame Boche was going to a tailor who was late in mending an overcoat for her husband.

    L'Assommoir

    Emile Zola


British Dictionary definitions for boche

Boche

noun derogatory, slang (esp in World Wars I and II)
  1. a German, esp a German soldier
  2. the Boche (usually functioning as plural) Germans collectively, esp German soldiers regarded as the enemy
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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

Word Origin and History for boche

Boche

n.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper