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[poh-gee] /ˈpoʊ gi/
noun, plural pogeys.
Slang.. Also, pogy.
  1. a package of food, candy, or other treats sent to a child at boarding school, a person in an institution, etc.
  2. candy or a treat.
Canadian Slang.
  1. an institution maintained by private charities or government funds for the housing of the aged, sick, orphaned, or feeble-minded; an old-age home, charity hospital, orphanage, or the like.
  2. any form of charity or government relief.
  3. unemployment insurance provided by the government.
adjective, Canadian Slang.
of, relating to, or obtained through charity or government relief:
pogey shoes.
Origin of pogey
1890-95; earlier pogie workhouse < ? Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for pogey
Historical Examples
  • “And if they can get enough men ahead of it perhaps they can stop it in pogey Notch,” Lane concluded.

  • Their route lay through pogey, and Wade would be there ready to captain them.

  • That fire threatened Enchanted, once it should sweep through the chimney draught of pogey Notch.

  • At last pogey Notch had begun to suck at the raging fires with its granite lips.

  • Mr. Wade has left the top of the mountain with the girl, and will meet Mr. Barrett to the south of pogey Notch.

  • And roaring a good-natured cheer over their shoulders, the “Busters” filed away into the mouth of pogey Notch.

  • Had not the wind been at their backs, whistling from the north, the passage of pogey Notch would have proved a savage encounter.

British Dictionary definitions for pogey


noun (Canadian, slang) (pl) pogeys, pogies
financial or other relief given to the unemployed by the government; dole
unemployment insurance
  1. the office distributing relief to the unemployed
  2. (as modifier): pogey clothes
Word Origin
C20: from earlier pogie workhouse, of unknown origin
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Slang definitions & phrases for pogey



  1. A poorhouse, workhouse, or old folks' home (1891+ Hoboes)
  2. A jail; pokey (1940s+)
  3. pogey bait (1918+)
  4. Any form of charity or government relief

[origin unknown; perhaps fr the common name of the trash fish menhaden, as suggesting something cheap, common, and to be caught with bait; perhaps fr the Southern pronunciation of porgy, another fish of a similar quality]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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