British Expats

British Expats (
-   Australia (
-   -   Aussie (and New Zealand) Guide to Barmy Army (poms) (

Badge Jun 1st 2005 2:51 am

Aussie (and New Zealand) Guide to Barmy Army (poms)
What exactly is a Barmy Army enthusiast? taken from the rugby newsgroup on NEWSNET:

Firstly, and most importantly, they are English. They are not Irish.
They are not Scottish. They are not Welsh. (and that's the order to say
it - England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales - you listen to a Pom)

I know this can be quite difficult for non-UK type people that
regularly mistaken "England" for the "UK". The times I've had to
quietly state, "Britain", to a, "I'm off to England on my OE". Of
course "England" might actually be correct for those that don't get out
of London (capital of England and Britain - get your head around that).

I digress.

The Barmy Army will be English fans. Don't be sucked into the Clive
Woodward, "We're all one family now" attitude. It might be
surreptitious to say such airy-fairy stuff at press conferences and I
suspect the squad will be trying to think as
non-English/Irish/Scots/Welsh but scratch the surface and out will come
the true colours (white, green, blue or red). From all 45 (FORTY-FIVE)
potential players - Christ-on-the-touchline, they're only playing 11

And the fans don't hold press conferences so they can be as partisan as
they like, on 'em.

The Barmy Army has grown from the oh-so-terribly English game of
cricket. Before this tour I wasn't even aware that the Barmy Army had
moved onto other games and most certainly not the game of games. To me
they'll always be cricket fans at which I thoroughly enjoy their jolly,
cheeky chappy antics at the one-dayers.

To summarise: Barmy Army enthusiast = English fan.

And that paves the way for me, a Welshman (with a tad English, alright
half but don't go on about it) to paint a stereotypical picture of your
typical Barmy Army enthusiast (BAe). I will give you the tell-tale
signs you're in the presence of one, what and what not to do and, moist
importantly (according to the NZRU) how to extract as many
Johnny-Foreigner money from their wallets.

What they look like
Whilst there won't be one, all encompassing look to a BAe they will
incorporate at least a few of the following (male and female of the

* Short hair (possibly crew-cut)
* Floppy hair (think Hugh Grant)
* At the game: face and hair painting - St George crosses (English
flag), Welsh dragons, green shamrock and Scots blue flag will be
* English rugby top
* Barbour coats
* Blue jeans (probably too tight)
* Nike shoes
* Doc Martens - these are great shoes/boots
* Gold signet rings and chunky necklaces may be popular
* Any English soccer team short - Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs,
Liverpool or Man Utd will be popular
* Barmy Army T-shirts (bit of a give away this)

How they will act
Again, not everyone will be the same all the time but the more they
drink the more they will gravitate towards these behaviours:

* Be in the company of 3 or more with similar people (they are most
definitely a pack breed)
* Typical tourist with maps and looking lost (enjoy the moment)
* Spotting and noting where the pubs are
* Loud when there's any British sport on TV
* Superior to the rest of the world - they have a world order of:
1: Brits (English, Scots, Welsh, Irish)
2: Aussies/Kiwis
3: Yanks (natives of USA - depends upon their view of recent
4: South Africa
5: Europeans (exl French and Germans)
6: India/SE Asia
9: Russia/China
7: Africa/South America
8: France
9: Germany
'8' and '9' are interchangeable depending upon what the Sun
headline is for the day.
* Like they own the place
* Happy and very keen to have a party (to which you are definitely

Key phrases emanating from your standard BAe
They'll have certain phrases, some of which will be repeated over and
over and over ...

* "We used to own this place"
* "Huh? What? Speak English!" - especially when they don't
understand your particular 'ickceent' and Kiwi phrases.
* "'Fush and chups'. At least you don't sound as bad as Aussies!"
* "... colonials ..." - the word will be used as often as possible
* "All Blacks are has-beens"
* "What!? I have to go outside to smoke??"
* "Johnny Wilkinson is the best rugby player ever"
* "You were good when nobody else played the game but now we do
you're crap"
* "We are the World Champions" - a dead give-away that the BAe is
truly English. Expect this a lot when they loose the test series.
* "Bloody hell it's cold"
* "Where's Hobbiton then?"
* "Anyone know the time in the UK?" - they're 13 hours behind us
(7:30pm here is 6:30am there)
* "What happened to Jonah Lomu" - they'll be genuinely interested
in Jonah as he was the face of rugby to the Brits for many years.
* "Kiwi TV is crap" - the word back from the UK is that they've
been on permanent repeat for the past 5 years so don't let this go
passed you
* "... sheep ..." - this, much like 'colonials', will play a large
part in the general banter.
* "Is this it then" - about your town, your pub, your house, your
job - anything to which they can compare and contrast with back home
* Songs - the BAe requires a "hymn sheet" to sing from unlike their
fellow Gaelic travelers that have been brought up on singing. Expect
songs to emanate spontaneously, be loud and then die very quickly. They
will attempt at witty lyrics. They'll probably fail a lot of the time.
* "Where's the party?"
* "This isn't real beer. This is all lager which is too cold and
too fizzy."

And now, the all important How to Behave when one is caught in the
presence of one or more BAe's. Your standard BAe is here in NZ to spend
their money, have a bloody good time and, in their own minds, help the
Lions win the tests. Of course from the NZRU point of view they are
here for the same reasons but in reverse order.

So, what do to - In the Pub
You are very likely to meet BAe's in the pub as it's quite a central
part in British life (as my mates will tell you). The Barmy Army even
have some official bars - be aware. When you meet them try and:

* If you're on your own - go and join in.
* If you're with others - form an opposing and equally loud team
and give 'em hell during the 80 minutes
* Half time is a good time to shake hands and introduce yaselves -
they'll love it
* Buy each other beers - rounds are sacred, do not miss out on your
* Don't get over emotional about the result; act like the players.
* Give 'em hell about having to smoke outside - ha ha ha
* Discuss the finer points of how 'x' Lions player (let's say
Johnny Wilkinson) was crap and why.
* After the game show them the cool parts of your town - they'll
generally love loud, throbbing places. Live music will go down a storm.

What to do - In a Shopping Situation
You're in town and maybe you've got a BAe to chaperone (they can get
quite homesick) or have just bumped into a few and they've asked for
your assistance re: gifts and 'a little something for the folks back
home'. Here's some key points to remember:

* Ensure they know they can't buy it at home.
* Reassure them they're not being ripped off - well, no more than
the locals.
* Remind them about duty free shopping for all their nick-nacks
(fluffy Kiwis, sheep T-shirts, pictures of the South Island, LOTR
* Make sure they buy it!
* Don't be surprised when they constantly talk about the awesome
service here - it is compared to the UK
* Explain EFTPOS very very slowly - they'll get it eventually.

What to do - Out and About
If you're out in town at lunchtime or wandering through the mall on a
weekend and you see a bunch of BAe's (officially called a "Shout") then
the most important thing to remember is to show no fear, they can smell
it. Other things:

* Acknowledge them - give 'em a nod and, "On ya
* Know the score of the last game
* Ask if they have any tickets for sale
* Ask if they want to buy tickets
* Generally welcome them into your town/mall and let them tell the
folks back home how friendly Kiwis are

And finally, What to do - At the Game
You will probably noticed that the NZRU have done a cracking job on
selling the high price tickets to the Lions fans and, due to the
general smallness of the stadia, the major colour is red. Do not be put
off by this;

* Wear black - every bit helps
* Paint the face - it'll put you in the mood
* Wave those NZ or All Black flags
* Take those trumpet things along (popular with annoying kids
during the Super 12)
* Sing as loud as you can to the Kiwi songs played over the
speakers - I suspect te following will be staple music fodder at any of
the matches:
1: Bliss - Th' Dudes
2: Why Does Love Does This To Me - Exponents
3: Loyal - Dave Dobbyn
4: Not Many - Scribe
5: Slice Of Heaven - Dave Dobbyn & The Herbs
6: any more ... ?
* Learn the anthem in BOTH languages. You will stun the Poms and
really impress them.
* Don't attempt the AB haka - let the team do it properly and with
* Shout, cheer and go wild when the team has done the haka.
* Cheer every Lions mistake - put the pressure on.
* Any up-and-unders (a Gary Owen to the the older BAe's) are to be
equally shouted for - pressure, pressure, pressure
* Be magnanimous in victory. They're a long way from home and need
to have a good time not too much of a hard time.

Tula Jun 1st 2005 3:42 am

Re: Aussie (and New Zealand) Guide to Barmy Army (poms)
That was a big one! It is easy for the non-English to have a dig at things like the Lions; I stopped being British a long time ago. As someone who no longer lives in the old country it wasn't that hard. I believe that if the English had not migrated to Britain 1500 years ago you so called Celts would have had to invent us. Who else would you have moaned at?
By the way a DNA check of 6000 people of the people of the British Isles registered apart from the odd minor difference i.e. Shetlands and Liverpool! (Joke) everyone was the same.
I am not a big rugby follower but I did go to the world cup and even the last Lions tour and may I say that it did more for British relationships than any political system could achieve.
The Welsh, Scots and Irish have had a major roll in World politics I wounder if that would have been the case if the English had never turned up?

All times are GMT. The time now is 11:45 am.

Powered by vBulletin: ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.