Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Mon Apr 4 01:49:39 UTC 2005

Doug Wilson:
>>... "cushy" (which is of Anglo-Indian origin, from Hindi _khush_
>So say OED and HDAS and MW3 (not RHUD or AHD however).
>Compare "cushy job" [OED, 1916] with earlier "cushiony job" [OED, 1908]
>in apparently similar sense.
>I suppose there is some evidence to favor "cushy" < Hindi "khush" (=
>"happy" or so) over other possibilities, particularly the obvious
>"cushy" < "cushiony" < "cushion"?

Hmm, AHD's word history says there's no firm evidence:

I'd be willing to accept a derivation from "cushiony" or even from French
<couchée> (also suggested by AHD).  Additional early attestations would

Jonathan Lighter wrote:
>A current TV commercial for diapers or something explicitly uses "cushy"
>as a syn. for "cushiony."

As do several of the Google/Usenet cites for reduplicated "cushy-mushy"
(e.g., referring to the cushiony ride of a car or bike).

--Ben Zimmer

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