Definition of pho
: a soup made of beef or chicken broth and rice noodles
pho was our Word of the Day on 07/10/2014. Hear the podcast!
Did You Know?
Pho, which first appeared in print in English in 1935, was borrowed from a Vietnamese word which was spelled phở. English speakers replaced the vowel with "o" but preserved the pronunciation as "fuh," rather than "foh." Another Vietnamese food word that was borrowed into English is nuoc mam, which refers to a type of fish sauce that is fermented in brine. In that case as well, the original Vietnamese word had accent marks that were lost on the journey into English. Nuoc mam was recorded in English just a few years before pho arrived.
Origin and Etymology of pho
First Known Use: 1935
Seen and Heard
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