Pogue Mahone

I’ve heard that Pogue Mahone means “kiss my arse”. Since my favourite band changed their name to The Pogues, I assume “pogue” means kiss. But what’s the Straight Dope?

Indeed it does.

But it is spelt mo thóin (my ass).

I f you are not being funny – the spelling is off – even if the pronunciation is close - It is usually written:

Póg mo thóin


That is the basic explanation (e.g. see Listology on band names) but there’s more to it. A Google search will confirm that “pogue” is also early 20th century US slang for a rent boy, and that given the gay allusions of some of the Pogues’ work - for instance, “Lorca’s Novena”, “Hell’s Ditch” (about Jean Genet), and the use of the “Raft of the Medusa” for the cover of “Rum, Sodomy and the Lash” - I think they had that meaning in mind too.

Thanks. :slight_smile:

raygirvan: And then there’s Cáit O’Riordan singing a male part in I’m a Man You Don’t Meet Every Day.

Re “pogue”: A friend of mine uses the word to describe a “loser”. I looked it up, and found “Derogatory military slang used by front line troops to describe staff and other rear echelon or support units/troops”. (My friend was in the army.)

In parts of Canada, “being on pogey” is slang for welfare. Don’t know the derivation of it.

NP, “pogey” orginally meant a poorhouse, but the ultimate origin is unknown. The first citation in the OED is from 1891. The first citation for the meaning of unemployment insurance payments is from 1960.

Interesting - thanks.