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Old Dec 22nd 2005, 8:16 am   #1
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Smile Where does the word "pom" originate, and who does it refer to?

I've heard so many explanations for this - here are a few -

POME - Prisoner of Mother England - refers to the convicts transported to Australia and therefore to the original Australians.

POHM - Prisoner of Her Majesty - refers to the convicts transported to Australia and therefore to the original Australians.

POM - Prisoner of Millbank - which apparently was the name of the prison which held transportees until they sailed - refers to the convicts transported to Australia and therefore to the original Australians.

POMegranate - Rhymes with Immigrant (if you have a bit of an imagination) and therefore refers to more recent arivees.

But NONE of these refer to people who live in England, just people who live in Australia. So shouldn't the English be calling the Australians "poms" and not the other way round?

Discuss..... n.b. do not write on more than 2 sides of the paper.

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Old Dec 22nd 2005, 8:27 am   #2
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Default Re: Where does the word "pom" originate, and who does it refer to?

I know nothing about this and speak with zero authority, but could "Prisoner of Mother England" or "Prisoner of Her Majesty" be an ironic joke amongst the original transportees to describe the predicament of the poor buggers left back at home?

cheers,

Ian
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Old Dec 22nd 2005, 10:03 am   #3
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Default Re: Where does the word "pom" originate, and who does it refer to?

"Pommy" (or "pom" or "pommie") is a primarily Australian (and largely derisive) slang term used to indicate a recent immigrant from Great Britain, or a Brit in general. Hwoever the origination of this word is a little unclear. "Pommy" might have been based on the word "pomegranate" -- either because the redness of the fruit supposedly matched the typically florid British complexion, or because it was used as rhyming slang for "immigrant." Also a possibility is since Australia was originally a hold for convicts from England, the letters P.O.H.M. (Property of her majesty) were printed on their clothing and then began to apply to all immigrants from England. Interestingly enough, the Oxford English definition of POM stands for Prisoner of Mother England.

Another explanation: it originated in Victoria, where the British immigrants came by ship to the Port of Melbourne. The initials POM were quickly adopted as a fond nickname.
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Old Dec 22nd 2005, 10:24 am   #4
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Smile Re: Where does the word "pom" originate, and who does it refer to?

Quote:
Originally Posted by it_hooker
"Pommy" (or "pom" or "pommie") is a primarily Australian (and largely derisive) slang term used to indicate a recent immigrant from Great Britain, or a Brit in general. Hwoever the origination of this word is a little unclear. "Pommy" might have been based on the word "pomegranate" -- either because the redness of the fruit supposedly matched the typically florid British complexion, or because it was used as rhyming slang for "immigrant." Also a possibility is since Australia was originally a hold for convicts from England, the letters P.O.H.M. (Property of her majesty) were printed on their clothing and then began to apply to all immigrants from England. Interestingly enough, the Oxford English definition of POM stands for Prisoner of Mother England.

Another explanation: it originated in Victoria, where the British immigrants came by ship to the Port of Melbourne. The initials POM were quickly adopted as a fond nickname.

This confirms my earlier statement - shouldn't the English be calling the Australians "poms" and not the other way round?


Cheers

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Old Dec 22nd 2005, 11:13 am   #5
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Default Re: Where does the word "pom" originate, and who does it refer to?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buzzy--Bee
This confirms my earlier statement - shouldn't the English be calling the Australians "poms" and not the other way round?


Cheers

Buzzy
I always thought that too !!
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Old Dec 22nd 2005, 11:39 am   #6
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Default Re: Where does the word "pom" originate, and who does it refer to?

Quote:
Originally Posted by it_hooker
"Pommy" (or "pom" or "pommie") is a primarily Australian (and largely derisive) slang term used to indicate a recent immigrant from Great Britain, or a Brit in general. Hwoever the origination of this word is a little unclear..
Derisive? .....nah, get over it & get used to it....in fact use it to your advantage

Recent?...... nah, what's recent got to do with it?

Great Britain, or a Brit in general? lol ......when do scots or welsh get called pom?........not in my lifetime
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Old Dec 22nd 2005, 1:24 pm   #7
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Smile Re: Where does the word "pom" originate, and who does it refer to?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gogdownunder
Great Britain, or a Brit in general? lol ......when do scots or welsh get called pom?........not in my lifetime
Yes it does seem to be the English exclusively it is aimed at. Or those associated with them. My New Zealand born wife gets called a pom by antipodeans wishing to insult her.

I still maintain it should refer to the Aussies.

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Old Dec 22nd 2005, 2:30 pm   #8
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Default Re: Where does the word "pom" originate, and who does it refer to?

i was lead to believe that POM came from "Prisoner of the Motherland"

this was applied to brits by the aussies because although some of the first settler australians were prisoners/convicts.... the aussies were merely pointing out that the real prisoners were those stuck in back in the UK.
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Old Dec 22nd 2005, 2:50 pm   #9
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Smile Re: Where does the word "pom" originate, and who does it refer to?

Quote:
Originally Posted by YoSemite
i was lead to believe that POM came from "Prisoner of the Motherland"

this was applied to brits by the aussies because although some of the first settler australians were prisoners/convicts.... the aussies were merely pointing out that the real prisoners were those stuck in back in the UK.
OK, I can go with that...........

Cheers

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Old Dec 22nd 2005, 8:50 pm   #10
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Default Re: Where does the word "pom" originate, and who does it refer to?

I read somewhere it refers to the first British immigrants being issued with passes which had POM on them as an identification mark. This meant "Person of Means". i.e. They were not criminals but immigrants that had moved over and had the means to look after themselves financially.

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Old Dec 23rd 2005, 8:38 am   #11
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Smile Re: Where does the word "pom" originate, and who does it refer to?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Springbok
I read somewhere it refers to the first British immigrants being issued with passes which had POM on them as an identification mark. This meant "Person of Means". i.e. They were not criminals but immigrants that had moved over and had the means to look after themselves financially.

Ewan and the Clan

Further evidence that this expression refers to Australians, not the English. eeeexxxxxxcceeellllleeeennnntttttt................ . my campaign is working (gradually).

Cheers

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Old Dec 23rd 2005, 8:42 am   #12
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Default Re: Where does the word "pom" originate, and who does it refer to?

Hmm, i always thought it was from the french word POMME for apple as people on the boats had to eat apples in order to avoid scurvy. therefore those called POM would be only those that survived the journey to australia.

Just my 2cents worth.

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