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Winnie the Pooh is our favorite ball of fluff that likes to eat honey in the Hundred-Acre Wood... but where does he get his name from? Specifically, where does "Pooh" come from?

I know that Winnie comes from a real bear that was the pet/mascot of a Canadian Army solider/battalion that was named after the city of Winnipeg. The bear eventually ended up in the London Zoo. A.A. Milne took his son Christopher Robin to the zoo where Christopher fell in love with Winnie and eventually named is own stuffed bear the same. That toy bear later became the inspiration for the Winnie the Pooh series.

However, this does not explain where "Pooh" comes from, especially since in-universe he is always called just "Pooh" or "Pooh Bear".

So where does the Pooh name come from?

Side bar (not part of the main question): Considering this was a children's series and "Pooh" is close to "poo" which is short for "poop" which is a euphemism for excrement, did "poo" mean the same thing back in 1926 as it does today? If it did, did A.A. Milne take this into consideration when naming his character?

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    "But his arms were so stiff ... they stayed up straight in the air for more than a week, and whenever a fly came and settled on his nose he had to blow it off. And I think – but I am not sure – that that is why he is always called Pooh." - Says Wikipedia. Frankly I'm none the wiser. – Valorum Mar 16 '17 at 17:50
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    @Valorum there was something about the swan there? – Gallifreyan Mar 16 '17 at 18:22
  • @Gallifreyan - I don't know enough about the context. Is he saying "pooh" to make the flies go away or is he a poo that flies are settling on? – Valorum Mar 16 '17 at 18:28
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    The introduction of the original book (or at least the version that is included for free in any copy of iBooks) says that the "Pooh" comes from a swan that was named "Pooh"... Technically, Winnie's name is Edward Bear, though. I'm not really sure this is an answer, though... The name introduction parts are always sort of hand-wavey. – Catija Mar 16 '17 at 19:03
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    Also, your sidebar may be a reasonable question for ELU. – Catija Mar 16 '17 at 19:03
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1) According to When We Were Very Young By A. A. Milne, Pooh was a swan that Christopher Robin named Pooh, so that if he didn't come Christopher could pretend he was just saying that he hadn't wanted the swan to come anyways (or something to that effect). This was before the establishment of Winnie the Pooh proper, so it may be considered invalid.

2) As said in the comments, the first chapter of Winnie the Pooh says this:

But his arms were so stiff ... they stayed up straight in the air for more than a week, and whenever a fly came and settled on his nose he had to blow it off. And I think — but I am not sure — that that is why he is always called Pooh.

This probably refers to the sound blowing a fly off one's nose makes, namely a sort of poohing sound. This is the author's explanation in universe.

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    I am not sure why the commenters did not answer previously, since they seem more well informed than me... – Lianne Caranthir Mar 17 '17 at 3:21
  • I was wondering the same thing. I even left an easter egg in the question – Skooba Mar 17 '17 at 4:27

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