POSSLQ

POSSLQ

POSSLQ (pronEng|ˈpɒsəlkjuː) is abbreviation (or acronym) for "Persons of Opposite Sex Sharing Living Quarters," a term coined in the late 1970s by the United States Census Bureau as part of an effort to more accurately gauge the prevalence of cohabitation in American households.

After the 1980 Census, against all odds, the term gained currency in the wider culture for a time, with CBS commentator Charles Osgood memorably composing a verse which began:"There's nothing that I wouldn't do":"If you would be my POSSLQ":"You live with me and I with you,":"And you will be my POSSLQ.":"I'll be your friend and so much more;":"That's what a POSSLQ is for."

Elliot Sperber, the writer of the Hartford Courant's weekly cryptogram, invented a cryptogram that (when solved) said:

:"Roses are Red,":"Violets are Blue,":"Won't you be my POSSLQ?"

After demographers observed the increasing frequency of cohabitation over the 1980s, the Census Bureau began directly asking respondents to their major surveys whether they were "unmarried partners," thus making obsolete the old method of counting cohabitors, which involved a series of assumptions about "Persons of Opposite Sex Sharing Living Quarters." The category "unmarried partner" first appeared in the 1990 Census, and was incorporated into the monthly Current Population Survey starting in 1995. By the late 1990s, the term had fallen out of general usage, and returned to being a specialized term for demographers.

See also

*Cohabitation
*Common-law marriage
*Significant other

External links

* [http://www.census.gov/population/www/documentation/twps0036/twps0036.html "How Does POSSLQ Measure Up? "Historical Estimates of Cohabitation" (1999)] , a US Census Bureau working paper.


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • POSSLQ — 1979, acronym of person of opposite sex sharing living quarters; but it was never an official category …   Etymology dictionary

  • POSSLQ — (Persons of the Opposite Sex Sharing Living Quarters) unmarried people sharing households (coined by the U.S. Census Bureau during the 1970s) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • POSSLQ — /pos euhl kyooh /, n., pl. POSSLQs, POSSLQ s. either of two persons, one of each sex, who share living quarters but are not related by blood, marriage, or adoption: a categorization used by the U.S. Census Bureau. [p(erson of the) o(pposite)… …   Universalium

  • POSSLQ — [[t]ˈpɒs əlˌkyu[/t]] n. pl. POSSLQs, POSSLQ s cvb person of the opposite sex sharing living quarters • Etymology: 1975–80 …   From formal English to slang

  • POSSLQ — /pos euhl kyooh /, n., pl. POSSLQs, POSSLQ s. either of two persons, one of each sex, who share living quarters but are not related by blood, marriage, or adoption: a categorization used by the U.S. Census Bureau. [p(erson of the) o(pposite)… …   Useful english dictionary

  • posslq — abbreviation persons of the opposite sex sharing living quarters …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • POSSLQ — Person Of Opposite Sex Sharing Living Quarters …   Abbreviations SMS and Internet

  • POSSLQ — Persons of the Opposite Sex Sharing Living Quarters …   Glossary of chat acronyms & text shorthand

  • POSSLQ — abbr. and/or acronym. Person of the opposite sex sharing living quarters …   American Life League. Abbreviations and acronyms

  • Charles Osgood — For the psychologist, see Charles E. Osgood. Charles Osgood Birth name Charles Osgood Wood, III Born January 8, 1933 (1933 01 08) (age 78) New York City Show The Osgood File Network …   Wikipedia


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