[lit-ideas] Re: Pomegranate

  • From: Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Thu, 3 Jun 2004 08:46:24 EDT

 
 
The OED reads:
 
"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  theories may be found in W. S. 
Ramson Australian English (1966)  63."
 

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, 
before 
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 
stupidity."
 
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 would yell 
at them: â??Jimmygrants,  Pommygranates, Pommies!â??"
 
I have not been able to consult Ramson's book. 
 
Andreas Ramos suggests that 'pom', meaning Brit (in Oz) is an  acronym:
 
>POM = Prisoner of the Motherland.


 
Interesting. It would add to the list of 'etymythologies' -- to use L.  
Horn's word in _American Speech_, vol. 79 (2004), p. 39:
 
COP: Constable on patrol
FUCK: For unlawful carnal knowledge, fornication under consent of the  king
GOLF: Gentlemen only, ladies forbidden
POSH: Port out starboard home
SNOB, Sine nob(ilitate), s(ans) nob(ilite).
TIP: To insure politeness/promptness
WOG: Willy/wealthy oriental gentleman.
 
A good thing about Horn's theory (of etymythology) is that either one is  
correct or the other is -- I mean, if POM is not an etymythology, then  
'pomegranate' is. (Although R. Paul may still provide a _third_ derivation, or  
McEvoy 
falsify'em all). 
 
Maybe 'pomygranate' is a 'reanalysis' of the acronym?
 
Cheers,
 
JL






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