An acronym for: Plain Old Java Object.
The term was coined while Rebecca Parsons, Josh MacKenzie and I were preparing for a talk at a conference in September 2000. In the talk we were pointing out the many benefits of encoding business logic into regular java objects rather than using Entity Beans. We wondered why people were so against using regular objects in their systems and concluded that it was because simple objects lacked a fancy name. So we gave them one, and it's caught on very nicely.