One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounEnglish Regional, Scottish, Northern
1English regional (northern). In Cumberland and Westmorland: an ale-posset. Now historical.
2Any of various cooked dishes containing a mixture of various ingredients; a stew, a hotchpotch; (Scottish) specifically sheep's head broth.
Early 16th century (in an earlier sense). Origin uncertain. Perhaps from posset + -y. Forms of the type powsowdy are found earliest in sense 2, and in this sense perhaps show alteration after (or even independent derivation from) poll and sowdy (although this is itself of very uncertain origin, and may show simply a shortening of the present word). However, if this is the explanation for the forms in sense 2, the spread of these forms also to English regional use in sense 1b would be difficult to account for.
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