Oggy Oggy Oggy

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The Oggy Oggy Oggy chant (alternately spelt Oggie Oggie Oggie), and its numerous variations, are often heard at sporting events, political rallies and around Scout and Guide campfires, primarily in Britain, Ireland and some Commonwealth nations.

Max Boyce popularised the phrase in the 1970s. It is also considered a Welsh institution. The origin of the phrase was as a means for Cornish pasty sellers to communicate to workers that it was lunch time. 'Oggy' is from the Cornish hoggan for a pasty.

Contents

Form

The usual form of the chant consists of two groups, one shouting the word "Oggy!" and the other group shouting the word "Oi!" Often a single individual will shout "Oggy" and everyone else will shout the reply. The words are shouted according to the following pattern.


Origins

One possible theory for the origin of the chant stems from Cornwall. An Oggy is a slang term for Cornish pasty derived from its Cornish name, "hoggan"[1]

Tin-miners' wives or pasty sellers supposedly shouted "Oggy Oggy Oggy" - the response from any hungry miner or labourer would be Oi!, Oi!, Oi!. The chant is also the chorus of a Cornish folk song and has always been heard at Cornish rugby matches so this seems the most likely origin.[2]

The Oxford English Dictionary (2004) entry for "Oggy" states: "Oggy, noun. West Country regional (orig. Cornwall) and Navy slang. A Cornish pasty. Probably an alteration of Cornish hoggan pastry, pie (18th century), perhaps cognate with Welsh chwiogen muffin, simnel-cake (1562), of unknown origin."[3]

Members of the Royal Navy claim to have used the chant, or a version of it, since the Second World War.[4] The 'Oggie, Oggie, Oggie' chant was used by supporters of the Royal Navy's Devonport Field Gun Team. (The field gun competition was disbanded in 1999 after a hundred years of competition).[5]

It was then adopted at British football grounds at some point during the postwar period, and was certainly in common use by the 1960s.

In the 1970s the Welsh folk singer and comedian Max Boyce popularised the chant in order to excite the crowd at his concerts. Boyce was also a big rugby union fan, and through him it then began to be adopted by Welsh rugby union crowds at international matches. Soon it spread to rugby crowds at club level and eventually to many other sporting occasions at all levels.

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