[lit-ideas] Pomegranate

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 2 Jun 2004 21:00:06 EDT

In a message dated 6/2/2004 8:52:46 PM Eastern Standard Time,  
judithevans001@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx writes:
US>  Still googling "poms" in my continuing effort to understand.

Poms  (Pommie, Pommie *******) is Oz for Brit!

-- The OED has it as 'origin obscure', poss. related to 'pomegranate'.  Below.

From the OED.
Austral. and N.Z. colloq. 
Also Pommie and with  lower-case initial. [Origin obscure.]  
A. n. A derogatory term for an immigrant from the United  Kingdom; an 
Englishman or Englishwoman, a Briton.    B. attrib. or as adj. Of or pertaining 
 to a 
Pommy; British, English, spec. (often as a term of affectionate  abuse) in 
Pommy  bastard. Cf. pom-2.  The most widely held derivation of this term, for 
which,  however, there is no firm evidence, is that which connects it with  
pomegranate (see quots. 1923, 1963). A discussion of this and of other  
may be found in W. S. Ramson Australian English (1966)  63. 

1915 in B.  Gammage Broken  Years (1974) 86  
We call the  We call Indians and  and <NOBR>â??Britishâ??but Pommies are 
1916 in Ibid. 240 They're only a  T lot of Pommie Jackeroos and just as  
1916 Anzac  Bk. 31  
A Pommy can't go wrong  out there if he isn't too lazy to work.  
1920 D. O'REILLY in Murdoch & Drake-Brockman Austral. Short Stories (1951) 
The â??Pommyâ?? parson  made good, as a good man always will.  
1923 D. H. LAWRENCE Kangaroo vii. 162  
Pommy is supposed to  be short for pomegranate. Pomegranate, pronounced 
invariably pommygranate, is a  near enough rhyme to immigrant, in a naturally 
rhyming country. Furthermore,  immigrants are known in their first months, 
their blood â??thins downâ??, by  their round and ruddy cheeks. So we are told. 
Ibid. 164 In this way  Mr Somers had to take himself to task, for his Pommy 
1926 GALSWORTHY Silver Spoon  II. iv. 137  
They call us Pommies  and treat us as if we'd took a liberty in coming to 
their blooming country.  
1933 â??P. CADEYâ?? Broken Pattern xii. 130 â??You  should have heard the 
accent!â?? â??Pommy gab, eh?â?? commented his mate. 1938 N. MARSH  Artists in 
ix. 128 She was  always shooting off her mouth about the way the Aussies 
don't know a good thing  when they see it. These pommies! She gave me the 
1946 B. JAMES  in Coast to Coast 1945 63 He was  an Englishman, not a 
, mind you. It seemed he hadn't even reached to that dignity. 1947 B. MASON  
in D. M. Davin N.Z. Short Stories (1953) 333 What time we had left was spent 
on fruitless errands for the  Pommie matelots. 1949 F. SARGESON I saw in my 
Dream  II. xiii. 118 Look at Wally's  Loshe got over her Pommy ways. 1951 D. 
STIVENS Jimmy Brockett 214 Like  most of these pommy bastards, he had funny 
but he wasn't a bad old bloke at  heart. 1957 New  Scientist 23 May 13/3 There 
is..an elusive  background of strangeness, imbued with an element of 
timelessness, which comes  home to the sensitive â??new chumâ??, or 
â??pommyâ??, only after 
he has lived for a  while in this new-old southern continent. 1962 J. FRAME  
Edge of Alphabet vii. 47 Look at  the foreigners flooding the country on every 
immigrant ship, la-di-da Pommies  and all. 1963 X. HERBERT Disturbing Element 
vi. 91 He still wore the heavy clumsy British type of clothing of the  day 
[before 1914]. When we kids saw people on the street dressed like that we  
yell at them: â??Jimmygrants, Pommygranates, Pommies!â?? 1966 R. D. EAGLESON in 
Southerly XXVI. 200  Lest British readers should be misled, pommy is frequently 
pejorative. 1974 P. MCCUTCHAN Call for Simon Shard iv. 36 I'm Australian born 
and bred, not a pommie immigrant... Now,  grand-dad, 'e was a pommie bastard! 
1975 Times 27 Aug 10/8 Colin  Shaw..has just sent Ernest Whitehouse an 
explanation of how God came to be  described in the television programme 
Beneath the 
News as a â??Pommy  bastardâ??... Shaw adds that â??Pommy bastardâ?? is an â??
affectionate colloquialismâ?? in  Australia. 1979 Guardian 31 Oct. 3/2 British  
reacted angrily..to antipodean â??pommy-bashingâ?? about the quality of  buses.

Hence Pommyland, Britain, England. 

1957 R. STOW  Bystander 21 I'm a Pommy. And  going back to Pommy-land, after 
twenty-four years. 1967 F. HARDY  Billy Borker yarns Again 61 Sir  Robert 
himself wanted to be a whiskey-taster at the Melbourne show, but ended up  as 
kind of wharfie over in Pommy Land. 1973 Times 12 Oct. 15/7 An adaptation  of 
Barry Humphries's cult strip cartoon about the life of darkest Pommie-land  
seen through the eyes of an antipodean innocent. 1979 M. KAUFMAN Container iii. 
31, I  suppose you'll head off back to Pommyland  now?

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