The Full Wiki

Pom-pom: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


(Redirected to Pom-pon article)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A pair of pom-pons.
A Balmoral bonnet with red toorie or pom-pon.

A pom-pon is, at its most basic level, a decorative ball of fluff. Pom-pons may come in many colors, sizes and varieties and are made from a wide array of materials, including fabric, wool, cotton, paper, plastic, or occasionally feathers. While not necessarily the most common usage of a pom-pon, the most noticeable and widely-recognized use is generally in Cheerleading and often by fans during other spectator sports.

Pom-pon is originally a term derived from the French word "pompon" and sometimes hyphenated (though possibly erroneously) in imitation of the echoic word "pom-pom". "Pompon" refers to ornamental spheres of fabric, feathers, etc., and, by extension, to a kind of chrysanthemum characterized by small, spherical flowers. This term is often spelled "pom-pon", "pom-pom", or "pompom" (see Variations below).[1] It can also refer to a pomeranian dog.

In English, there is also the synonym toorie, more used for clothes.



Cheerleaders using Pom-pons during a football halftime show.

Cheerleaders use pom-pons for a variety of reasons including attracting the attention of a crowd, accentuating movements, distracting an opposing team, and adding an element of sparkle to a cheer, chant or cheer/dance routine, especially at cheer competitions. Most often, pom-pons are used in pairs (one for each hand) by each cheerleader, but this may vary based on the particular requirements and choreography of a routine or cheer.

Cheerleading pom-pons come in a variety of shapes, styles, colors, color combinations and sizes. Of particular note is the emerging variation in handles used by many manufacturers. Metallic (shiny) poms have become very popular in recent years, as have more cost-effective look-alike poms that are often given to spectators at sporting events. These spectator poms are often called Rooter or Spirit poms.

Pom-pons are also waved by sports fans, primarily in college and high school sports in the United States.


While large handheld pom-pons may be used by cheerleaders and sports fans, smaller ones adorn curtains or hats such as the Tam O'Shanters and tuques, and this usage on clothing and decorations may be the most widespread, if not widely recognized. The ones on clothing and curtains tend to be small and made of cloth or ribbon.

Group performance using pom-pons.

Other activities

Pom-pons are sometimes used as children's toys[citation needed], though the fact that pompons are made of strings also renders them as a choking hazard.

Many schools and universities have dance teams - different from a cheerleading unit - that may occasionally use poms as well.

Red pom-pons form a conspicuous part of the uniform of French naval personnel, being sewn on to the crown of the round sailor hat. Belgian sailors wear a light blue version.

When Catholic clergy wore the biretta, the colour of the pom-pon denoted the wearer's rank. Priests had a black biretta with a black pom. Protonotaries and Domestic Prelates (now a Prelate of Honour) had a scarlet red pom on their black birettas; while Papal Chamberlains (now Chaplain to His Holiness) had a Roman purple pom on a black biretta. Bishops and Archbishops had Roman purple biretta with matching pom. The scarlet birettas of the Cardinals have no pom, only a red loop; there is no Papal biretta. Some of the religious orders and congregations either had unique birettas, such as the Norbertines who had an all white biretta and pom, or some of the St. Francis' fathers who had brown ones with a black pom; others had the black biretta with a white, green or blue pom, or used the black biretta of the secular priesthood.


Various non-Cheer references give preference to different spellings of the term, and many are common in popular culture. Cheerleading trade publications almost exclusively use the spelling pom-pon and refer less formally to them as poms. Other spellings are given by general dictionaries. The actual level of controversy this causes is generally minimal.



Within cheerleading, the term pom-pon is used almost exclusively. The same spelling without a hyphen is slightly less common. Inside Cheerleading Magazine, American Cheerleader Magazine, Cheer Coach & Advisor Magazine, the AACCA, the USASF, the NFHS (National Federation for State High School Associations), and most commercial providers, such as Varsity, generally use the pom-pon term or alternatively, simply use the term "poms", as WinCraftSchool.


The use of the similar-sounding rendition "pom-pom" is very common, especially among popular culture, including films, entertainment sources and general laypeople, but most cheerleaders, coaches, cheer equipment suppliers and manufacturers and others involved in the sport will use the term "pompon". Often, pompons are referred to simply as "poms".

When speaking about clothing or decorative purposes, rather than cheerleading uses, the spelling pom-pom is very common and considered correct in such context. Therein it contains almost the same exclusivity that pom-pon enjoys among cheerleading professionals.

Pom-pom has given rise to the word for cheerleader in the French, pom-pom girl (see Pseudo-anglicism).

In the popular video game series Final Fantasy, the small animals known as Mogs or Moogles have a peculiar bit of anatomy atop their heads that they refer to as a "pom pom" and become exasperated or enraged when someone touches it.


Fans at Australian rules football matches behind the goals wave floggers to signify a goal

In Australia, the term flogger is used rather than pompon. Floggers are an important part of Australian rules football culture and cheersquads. They are giant heavy pompons in the team's colours which sometimes require more than one person to lift and are waved when a goal is scored.


  1. ^ Webster's New World Dictionary of the American Language


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address