My dad used the term ‘pogey bait’ to refer to the stuff in grocery stores meant to temp small children (like lollies and jacks and water pistols and cheap dolls). My mother later used it to refer to the type of things you use as stocking stuffers.
I always thought it was a term my family had invented, like Oonkie Monsters and Oxymoronic Badminton (remind me to post about these later).
I was wrong.
After all Lauren’s questions about what a pogey was, I also noticed that people were googling ‘pogey bait’ and ‘capturing pogey’ and ending up at The Dreamstress. Much as I would like to think that I am responsible for making a word a new cultural phenomena, I’m not that vain (or gullible!).
So, I googled pogey.
Should have done that before I started using it!
In Canadian slang, pogey is the dole. Ooops.
And the term ‘pogey bait’ comes from Marines stationed in China, who used it to refer to the candies and cigarettes that they traded for things that they wanted, like…ummmmm…well…errrr…y’know, those things that Marines have always wanted.
Does it help if I tell you that ‘pogey’ bears a phonetic resemblance to a Chinese word for a woman of negotiable intimacy? Double Ooops.
So now I have really conflicting feelings about the term. For me, it’s a happy childhood memory – something I thought was fun and quirky. All my associations around it are really sweet.
When I started using the term here on the blog everyone liked it. I didn’t have a clue there was another meaning until I noticed the pings from the searches.
And then it turns out that ‘pogey bait’ is a tiny bit vulgar, and a tiny bit culturally insensitive.
So what do I do? Continue to use a phrase that made me happy for a long time, or drop it, because it once meant something not very nice?
For now, I’m going to try to re-brand the term, to make it what it meant to me. In my mind, ‘pogey bait’ will always be the temptingly sparkly and shiny trifles that make up a crafter’s stash, and the pogey is the crafter who is so easily tempted to add more shiny trifles to their stash.