The most convincing suggestion for the etymology of the term 'Pom' is to be
found on Michael Quinion's World Wide Words website.
"It is now pretty well accepted that the pomegranate theory is close to the
truth, though there's a slight twist to take note of. HJ Rumsey wrote about
it in 1920 in the introduction to his book The Pommies, or New Chums in
Australia. He suggested that the word began life on the wharves in Melbourne
as a form of rhyming slang. An immigrant was at first called a Jimmy Grant
(was there perhaps a famous real person by that name around at the time?),
but over time this shifted to Pommy Grant, perhaps as a reference to
pomegranate, because the new chums did burn in the sun. Later pommy became a
word on its own and was frequently abbreviated still further. The
pomegranate theory was also given some years earlier in The Anzac Book of
"Whatever your beliefs about this one, what seems to be true is that the
term is not especially old, dating from the end of the nineteenth century at
the earliest, certainly not so far back as convict ship days".
Le dea mhéin
Who made us right 100% of the time, and everyone else fools if they hold a
differnet view or upset us? We need to stop "demonising the other" and find
[mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Barbara Corrigan
Sent: Monday, 27 August 2012 3:46 PM
Subject: [AUS-Tas] (no subject)
I grew up in post war Australia with the understanding our English friends
were called Pommies after the red fruit pomegranate because of how reddened
their fair skin became when working out in our harsh climate.
Barbara Corrigan (Canberra ACT, Australia).
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