Pogue

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Pogue is pejorative military slang for non-combat, staff, and other rear-echelon or support units.[1] "Pogue" frequently includes those who don't have to undergo the stresses that the infantry does.

History and etymology[edit]

It has been used in the United States Navy and Marine Corps since before World War II, entering Army usage around the time of the Vietnam War.[2] In the Canadian Forces a pogue is referred to as a WOG, short for "without guns" or "without guts".

Originally, the term was a sexual insult in early twentieth century gay culture, as "pogue" was slang for a young male who submitted to sexual advances.[3]

Also referred to boys that were kidnapped by press gangs and brought onto ships during the 1700s, that were then raped by the crew and forced to do other menial labor.

Due to having lost contact with its linguistic source, the modern military vernacular has turned "pogue" into a retronym/backronym. "Pogue" is now sometimes described as the pronunciation of the acronym POG, or Person Other than Grunt, or Posted On Garrison.[2] It is also sometimes retronymed out to "Person On Ground with Unused Equipment" (hence the spelling). Sometimes used as "People Of Good Use Elsewhere."

Fobbit[edit]

This term is thematically similar to the newer word Fobbit which refers to non-combat arms soldiers who never leave their Forward Operating Base. Fobbit is a combination of the acronym FOB and term Hobbit from Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings series. Hobbits never leave the Shire, while Fobbits never leave the FOB. However, the terms are not synonymous because a functionary at the Pentagon might be termed a pogue or REMF (Rear Echelon Mother-Fucker) but could never be termed a Fobbit.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

  • FNG - "Fucking New Guy"

References[edit]

  1. ^ "pogue definition - Dictionary - MSN Encarta". Encarta.msn.com. Retrieved 2010-06-29. 
  2. ^ a b "Listserv 14.4". Listserv.linguistlist.org. Retrieved 2010-06-29. 
  3. ^ The Other Side of Silence: Men's Lives and Gay Identities, A Twentieth-Century History. John Loughery. A John Macrae Book; Henry Holt and Company, New York, 1998 (page 6).

External links[edit]

  • The dictionary definition of pogue at Wiktionary