Pongo | Slang/Nickname | A member of any branch of the Canadian armed forces. The term originally denoted the genus of anthropoid apes that includes orangutans but evolved in British slang to reference lower ranking members of the British Army. It found popular footing in Canada in the 19th century and remains in use in communities close to military bases across BC. Though its origins suggest it was not the kindest of ways to address a person in uniform, the term is largely benign on this side of the Atlantic, and is even employed self-referentially.

Usage: “The bar in Esquimalt was loaded up with freshly paid pongos last night…”


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  1. During my time in the Forces. We in the army where the pongos. While we called the sailors “squids”.

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