• Pom


    • Rhymes: -ɒm


    (British person) Australian from 1912.

    1998, Roger Robinson, Nelson Wattie, The Oxford Companion to New Zealand Literature, page 445.


    contraction of pomegranate, rhyming slang for immigrant (“imme-granate”). The older term of Jimmy Grant, meaning immigrant, became Pommy Grant as the Australian sun allegedly turned immigrants′ skin pomegranate red.

    Folk etymologies also exist, for example:

    • A devolution of “Prisoner of His/Her Majesty” or “POHM”;
    • An acronym for “Prisoner of Mother England”.
    • An acronym for "Permit of Immigration".

    Full definition of pom



    (plural poms)
    1. (coctkail) An American alcoholic drink containing vodka and pomegranate juice.
    2. (Australia, New Zealand, sometimes pejorative) An Englishman, a Briton; a person of British descent.
      • 1987, Linda Christmas, The Ribbon and the Ragged Square: An Australian Journey, page 27,I could see more than mere humour in car stickers that read ‘Grow your own Dope: Plant a Pom’ ... ‘Keep Australia Beautiful: Shoot a Pom’.
      • 1989, Tony Wheeler, Australia: A Travel Survival Kit, Lonely Planet, page 10,The prize for being Australia′s original pom goes to the enterprising pirate William Dampier, who made the first investigations ashore about 40 years after Tasman and nearly 100 years before Cook.
      • 2008, Lawrence Booth, Cricket, Lovely Cricket?, page 214,At one stage a group called British People Against Racial Discrimination complained to the Advertising Standards Board in Australia about an advert for Tooheys beer that claimed it was ‘cold enough to scare a Pom’.

    Usage notes

    The use of this word to refer to a British person is considered by some to be pejorative. The word is, however, used by many Australians and some British people as a neutral or even affirmative term. It can however still be offensive.



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