What does Pogue mean?

Pogue is a military slang expression and a term of contempt, used by soldiers for military personnel, who are uninvolved in frontline combat.

It is widely claimed to be a modified form of the acronym POG, meaning Persons Other than Grunts, however this is disproven by the etymology of the word.


What's the origin of Pogue?

“Pogue” first emerged in the United States military during World War 1, although at that time, it was used predominantly for homosexual men.

The word itself has an Irish Gaelic etymology, having been adopted from the Irish word “Póg”, meaning “kiss” and “peace”, while also carrying a slang meaning referring to “bottom”.

“Pogue” was used in the early 20th century United States as a slang expression among homosexuals for a passive homosexual.

Spread & Usage

How did Pogue spread?

“Pogue” had morphed rapidly in the 20th century and by the start of US participation in World War 2, it was used by drill sergeants to mock recruits and trainees who didn’t display enough motivation or who were failing to meet standards.

Its current meaning, used for non-infantry Army personnel developed by the Vietnam war and was widely established by the 1960’s.

The expression is still used in contemporary contexts, with records dating back to Operation Desert Storm in 1991.

“Pogue” was first defined on Urban Dictionary on August 26th, 2003, with a large amount of entries on the subject uploaded to the site since then.

More interesting stuff