Combining an endearing hint of "possum" with a touch of mock officialese, it was an ideal word to introduce a live-in lover in a way that could not offend.
Yet, as Jean Aitchison claimed in her 1996 Reith Lectures, it is not posslq but "partner" that has become "the standard word for a life-companion".
How can we have abandoned the beautiful posslq for the mundane "partner"? I blame the gay lobby. Pssslq would have been too much to bear.