The Marines, like others, have their own lexicon based on their travels, experiences, etc.
I first heard this particular word when I was a boot at Parris Island in 1952. My drill instructor (D.I.) unexpectedly shouted it across the parade deck--Ponyo!!!
Platoon #437 was then marched to the far side of the field where our D.I.--a corporal w/8 years service in the Corps--enthusiastically renewed his acquaintance with an old friend (ponyo) and China Marine.
Cpl Watts then faced the platoon and proudly introduced his ponyo to us. Although the friend's name is long since forgotten, that occasion is not, for it impressed upon me the bond between Marines who have done duty together.
These many years later, other Marines I have consulted on this have refreshed my memory and verified its meaning regarding the word "ponyo," a Chinese word for friend!
Although it had been many years since I've heard the word, I trust that it has not yet become extinct in the Corps, and/or another meaning or origin ascribed.
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