History and etymology
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.
The word "pogue" was never originally spelled "pog" nor was it an acronym. The change of spelling from "pogue" to "POG" may be a direct result of the word "póg" meaning "kiss" in Irish Gaelic. A popular Irish phrase "póg mo thóin" literally means "kiss my ass." The Irish punk band "the Pogues" derived their names directly from that phrase. Coincidentally, the spelling itself is anglicized "pogue" because "pog" is pronounced like the word "rogue."
Due to having lost contact with its linguistic source, the modern military vernacular has turned "pogue" into a retronym/backronym. "POG" is said to stand for "Personnel Other than Grunt" or "Posted On Garrison." The spelling "pogue" itself is sometimes "retronymed" out to "Person On Ground with Unused Equipment" or "People Of Good Use Elsewhere."
"Pogey bait" is a reference to sweets or candy, which was in usage in the military as early as 1918. The term simply alludes to food (and other luxuries) rarely afforded to grunts in the field.
In the Canadian Forces the equivalent term for "pogue" is a "WOG," short for "without guns" or "without guts." Although in Australia, "wog" (spelled and pronounced in exactly the same manner) is a pejorative term referring to Middle Easterners and Eastern Europeans immigrants.
- REMF: An acronym that stands for Rear Echelon Mother Fucker
- Fobbit pejoratively denotes one who never leaves one's forward operating base (FOB). It is an amalgamation of the word FOB and the race known as hobbits from J.R.R. Tolkien's book The Hobbit—a people known for rarely leaving their homes mainly in fear for their safety.
- "pogue definition - Dictionary - MSN Encarta". Encarta.msn.com. Retrieved 2010-06-29.
- "Listserv 14.4". Listserv.linguistlist.org. Retrieved 2010-06-29.
- 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).
- The dictionary definition of pogue at Wiktionary
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