One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A soldier (used especially by members of the Royal Navy or RAF).
fighter, serviceman, servicewoman, fighting man, fighting woman, comrade-in-arms, warrior, trooperView synonyms
- ‘Later we loaded up with our cargo of tanks and pongos (soldiers).’
- ‘Sailors noted the similarity of the sand-apes' colour to the rough brown uniform of the British Army, thus soldiers are known as Pongos.’
Early 17th century (denoting a large African ape): from Congolese mpongo. The slang sense dates from the early 20th century.
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