Posted by TheFallen on November 22, 2002
In Reply to: Pooky/Pookie posted by R. Berg on November 22, 2002
: : : Try as I might, I can not find the origin of the endearment. A friend said she thought there was a comic strip or fictional character at one time called "Ooky Pooky," but again, I can find no reference to it. Anyone?
: : Couldn't that be 'Hokey Pokey'?
: The closest thing I found is "pooka" or "phooka," an Irish word for "a hobgoblin, a malignant sprite" (OED); related to Welsh "puca," goblin. "Pookie" sounds like baby talk to me, in a category with "snookums."
I think I am right in saying that there was a children's book (or series of books) around in the UK during my mother's childhood - so 65 or so years ago - featuring Pookie, a winged rabbit. In fact, checking Amazon confirms this, the series being written by someone called Ivy Wallace - see sickeningly cute example jpg. I doubt that the flying rabbit spawned the term though - more likely vice versa.