One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(especially of a horse) short of breath; asthmatic.short, squat, stubbyView synonyms
2(of a person) fat.
fat, fattish, obese, overweight, plump, portly, stout, chubby, paunchy, beer-bellied, thickset, hefty, heavy, heavyset, burly, bulky, chunky, well padded, well covered, well upholstered, meaty, fleshy, rotund, round, well rounded, broad, broad in the beam, of ample proportions, big, large, gargantuan, elephantineView synonyms
- ‘Turkey was a short, pursy Englishman of about my own age, that is, somewhere not far from sixty.’
Late Middle English: reduction of Anglo-Norman French porsif, alteration of Old French polsif, from polser ‘breathe with difficulty’, from Latin pulsare ‘set in violent motion’.
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