Printable Version
Pronunciation: tU-kês, tu-kês Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: Butt(ocks).

Notes: This word is a widely acceptable way of speaking about the buttocks, even in polite society. Don't forget to spell the [k] sound CH. It is a Yiddishism, where CH represents the German or Scottish [kh] sound. It is used mostly in the northern US. It comes with two diminutives, tush and tushy or tushie. Otherwise, it is a lexical orphan.

In Play: This word is used mostly by people acquainted with Yiddish as a substitute for the less polite A-words: "I never cared for Rodney; he's a big pain in the tuchus." But anyone can substitute it: "I work my tuchus off for this company and it treats me like poop."

Word History: Today's Good Word is the American rendition of Yiddish tokhes "buttocks", from the Biblical Hebrew tahat "buttocks", a figurative use of tahat "under, beneath". There is a variation in the first syllable of the Yiddish word; the northern dialects of Yiddish have O, while the southern dialects have U, so the Yiddish word reflects the Ashkenazic pronunciation. It ultimately comes from the Semitic root tht "under, under part". (Now let's thank Gary Cook recommending yet another fascinating member of the English vocabulary for today's Good Word.)

Dr. Goodword,

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