New retroacroetymythostupidnym

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Tue Aug 23 04:29:03 UTC 2005

>1)  Derived from a Tagalog word for "prostitute," which also led to the
>term "poagie bait," which refers to candy bars, soda, ice cream, etc.
>2)  Derived from the acronym POG (Person Other than Grunt).
>I doubt the latter explanation, simply because popular entymology is
>frequently wrong when concerned with acronyms ....

Absolutely right to doubt these IMHO.

"Pogue" is used like "punk" to mean "catamite" or "passive (male)
homosexual". I think it MAY be derived from Polari < Italian "poco" =
"little". [Alternative: Conceivably it could be from the name of a fish.]
[Another alternative: Could it be from the Tagalog word "pogi" below?]

I'm sure it'll be in the next volume of HDAS. It dates from the1940's
according to Chapman's slang dictionary.

I think this "pogue" is likely the origin of "pogy bait" in naval slang.
Offhand I'd say it seems virtually certain to be the same as the backronym

As for the above-mentioned Tagalog word for "prostitute", I await evidence
of its existence.

"Pogi" is colloquial Tagalog for "handsome" (like "guwapo", I guess), says
the book. I'm pretty much ignorant of Tagalog myself.

The usual Tagalog word for "prostitute" seems to be "puta". There are some
other Philippine words for "prostitute", including "pampam" (which exists
in Pacific military slang still, I think), but I can't find one like
"pogue". Sometimes it's hard to tell were a word originated: my own
suspicion is that "pampam" may have originated in English.

-- Doug Wilson

More information about the Ads-l mailing list