Slang dictionary


[ pohg ]

What does pogue mean?

In military slang, pogue is a disparaging term for military members who do not engage in direct combat or those who are not on the front lines of combat. The term may have origins in antigay slurs.

Unrelatedly, the term pogue is used on the Netflix series Outer Banks as a slang term (within the world of the show) to refer to working class people from a certain part of the area, in contrast with the wealthier people from a different part (referred to as kooks). The term is not believed to be based on any real-life slang used in the region.

Related words

Netflix and chill, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Roger that

Where does pogue come from? Logo

Use in military slang

The origin of pogue as a military slang term used to insult non-combat personnel is uncertain. The word itself may ultimately be rooted in a Gaelic word meaning “kiss” (which is unrelatedly also the basis of the name of the band known as The Pogues). The use of pogue in military contexts may derive from antigay slang terms that evolved to be used in reference to non-combat soldiers. However, this connection is not certain.

Pogue is believed to be the basis of the similar military slang term pog (or POG—which is often used as a backronym to spell out phrases like “People Other than Grunts”). It is sometimes mistakenly believed that this term is the basis of pogue (rather than the other way around).

Use on Outer Banks

Within the world of the series Outer Banks, pogue is used as a self-identifying name for working class residents of part of the area, contrasted with the wealthier kooks. This use of kook is believed to be based on real-life surfing slang for inexperienced surfers—those considered posers. The show’s use of pogue is not believed to be based on real-life slang of the region. Within the show, it is explained as being based on the slang term pogie, a nickname for a type of fish found in waters of the Outer Banks.

Examples of pogue

When you look like a pogue but you’re really a kook 😔
@BOSSKyJo, July 2020
Ridiculed as a "pogue," a private who is a mere gun loader on the Bradley and not a true "dismounted" infantryman, Davis has his chance for glory.
Staff, Newsweek, April 2003

Who uses pogue?

Some military members, veterans, and others use pogue as a disparaging slang term (sometimes jokingly) for non-combat personnel. The possible origin of the term in antigay slang is not well known.

Unrelatedly, the term is used on the show Outer Banks, but this is not believed to be based on real-life slang.

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This is not meant to be a formal definition of pogue like most terms we define on, but is rather an informal word summary that hopefully touches upon the key aspects of the meaning and usage of pogue that will help our users expand their word mastery.