In the age of sail, the surgeon's assistant on board a ship was known (at least semi–officially) as the loblolly boy. In Tobias Smollett's The Adventures of Roderick Random (1748), the title character was made a loblolly boy upon entering the Royal Navy. Smollett himself claimed to have been a loblolly boy during his naval career, although as a surgeon's mate rather than surgeon's assistant his role did not strictly fit within the definition of the term. Loblolly boys also appear in the works of novelists such as C. S. Forester, Alexander Kent and Patrick O'Brian.

The loblolly pine and the loblolly bay are trees native to the southern United States – named after the kind of terrain in which they grow (i.e. swampland).

© Haydn Thompson 2021