Australian national sports team nicknames

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

In Australia, the national representative team of many sports has a nickname, used informally when referring to the team in the media or in conversation. These nicknames are typically derived from well-known symbols of Australia. Often the nickname is combined with that of a commercial sponsor, such as the "Qantas Wallabies" or the "Telstra Dolphins". Some names are a portmanteau word with second element -roo, from kangaroo; such as "Olyroos" for the Olympic association football team.

History[edit]

The oldest nicknames are Kangaroos and Wallabies for the rugby league football and rugby union teams. The other names are more recent, mostly invented to help publicise sports not traditionally popular in Australia.[1] Some journalists have criticised the practice as embarrassing,[2] gimmicky, or PR-driven.[3]

The name "Wallabies" was chosen by the 1908 rugby union side, making its first tour of the Northern Hemisphere.[4] British newspapers had already nicknamed the 1905 New Zealand touring team the "All Blacks" from their kit colour;[5] the 1906 South African tourists had adopted "Springboks".[6] "Rabbits" was first suggested for Australia, but rejected since rabbits there are notorious as pests.[4] Until the 1980s, only touring sides were "Wallabies"; players on the eight tours up to 1984 were "the First Wallabies" up to "the Eighth Wallabies".[4]

The rugby league tour side arrived in Britain later in 1908 with a live kangaroo as mascot and were nicknamed "Kangaroos".[7][8] "Kangaroos" originally referred only to teams on "Kangaroo Tours" to Britain and France.[8][9][10] In 1994 the Australian Rugby League extended the nickname to all internationals for sponsorship reasons, drawing criticism for the break with tradition.[8][9][10] The first such game was a 58–0 win over France at Parramatta Stadium on 6 July 1994.[10][11]

Among the longer-established sports, the test cricket and Davis Cup tennis teams have no common nickname. Harry Beitzel's 1967 Australian Football World Tour team was unofficially nicknamed the Galahs from their flashy uniform. Though this side was a precursor of subsequent Australian international rules football teams, the nickname has not been retained.

Australian Tennis magazine invited reader to suggest a nickname for the Davis Cup team in 1996.[12]

As part of a 1998 strategic business plan, Cricket Australia surveyed "stakeholders" in 1998 about a possible nickname, to enhance marketing opportunities.[13] State cricket teams in the Sheffield Shield had benefited from adopting nicknames in the 1990s.[13] 69% opposed a national nickname, partly from a sense of decorum[14] and partly because the best names were already taken by other teams.[14][15]

Athletics Australia held a competition for a nickname for its squad for the 2001 World Athletics Championships.[16] The winning entry was "the Diggers", from the nickname for ANZAC soldiers.[16] This was quickly abandoned[17] after criticism from the Returned and Services League of Australia and others that this was an inappropriate use of the term.[16] The team previously had a little-used[16] nickname, "the Blazers".[18]

In December 2004, the Australian Soccer Association renamed itself Football Federation Australia (FFA) and announced an effort to rebrand association football as "football" rather than "soccer" in Australia.[19] The national team had been nicknamed "the Socceroos" by journalist Tony Horstead on a 1967 tour to South Vietnam.[20] FFA chairman Frank Lowy commented "It has been commonly used and is a much loved name but we may see it fade out as evolution takes place", and suggested few national football teams had nicknames.[19] A 2007 statement by the team sponsors reads "Qantas is a proud supporter of football and the Qantas Socceroos."[21]

When asked at the April World-Group Playoff against Germany in a press conference about a national team nickname, Casey Dellacqua responded by calling the Australia Fed Cup team the Cockatoos. The name has since been embraced by her teammates in press appearances and the national body, Tennis Australia, now call the Fed Cup team the Cockatoos on their website.[22][23]

Table[edit]

Sport Team (link to team / event) Nickname (link for origin) Name sponsor
Rugby union Men's test Wallabies[4] Qantas[4]
Women's Wallaroos[24] Paper to Paper[25]
Under-21 side Junior Wallabies
Rugby league football Men's test Kangaroos[26][27] Holden[28] (Previously VB[29][30])
Women's Jillaroos[31][32] Harvey Norman[33]
Under-20 side Junior Kangaroos Holden[28]
Wheelchair rugby Paralympic Steelers (official[34]) Wheelabies (unofficial[35][36])
Association football (soccer)[37] Men's Socceroos Qantas
Women's (incl. Olympic) Matildas (from Waltzing Matilda) Westfield
Olympic men's Olyroos
Under-20 (men) Young Socceroos Qantas
Under-20 (women) Young Matildas Westfield
Under-17 (men) Joeys Qantas
Under-17 (women) Young Matildas U17s Westfield
Futsal[38] National team Futsalroos Qantas
Gridiron (American football) National team Australian Outback – formerly Australian Cyclones (1999),[39] Australian Bushrangers (1997)[40]
Netball National team Diamonds[41][42] Australia and New Zealand Banking Group
Cricket National team Baggy Greens (officially for the caps, metonymically for the players) Commonwealth Bank
Women's Southern Stars[43] Commonwealth Bank
Swimming National team (Olympic, Paralympic, and World Championships) Dolphins (dropped 2009, revived 2015)[44][45] Telstra
Softball Men's Aussie Steelers[46]
Women's (Olympic / World's) Aussie Spirit[47]
Women's U-19 Aussie Pride[48]
Water polo Men's Sharks[49]
Women's Stingers
Basketball[50] Men's Boomers Airbnb
Women's Opals Jayco
Under-21 (men) Crocs[51]
Under-21 (women) Sapphires
Under-19 (men) Emus
Under-19 (women) Gems
Intellectual disability (men) Boomerangs
Intellectual disability (women) Pearls
Wheelchair basketball[50] Men's Rollers
Women's Gliders
Cycling World Championships/World Cup Cyclones[52] Toshiba
Field hockey Men's[53][54] Kookaburras
Women's[53][54] Hockeyroos None for 2007 (ANZ for 2004 Olympics)[55]
Under-21 (men)[54] Burras
Under-21 (women)[54] Jillaroos
Ice hockey Men's Mighty Roos[56] (after The Mighty Ducks)
Women's Mighty Jills
Lacrosse Men's Sharks
Women's Sharkettes
Men's U19s Crocodiles
Women's U19s Stars (after the Southern Cross)
Women's U17s Team Koala
Box lacrosse Men's Boxaroos[57]
Bowls Men's Jackaroos – a pun on jack, the target ball[58]
Women's Sapphires[59]
Orienteering National team Boomerangs[60]
Handball Men's Crocodiles[61]
Women's Redbacks[61][62]
Ultimate Frisbee[63] Open Dingos
Women's Firetails
Mixed Barramundis
Masters Taipans
Under-23s Open Goannas[64]
Under-23s Women Stingrays[64]
Under-19s Open Thunder
Under-19s Women Southern Terra
Tennis Fed Cup Cockatoos[23]
Roller Derby Men Wizards of AUS[65]
Universiade National team Australian Uniroos[66]
Baseball Men's Southern Thunder[67]
Women's Emeralds[68]
Volleyball Men's and Women's Volleyroos[69]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mulvey, Paul (11 August 1998). "What's in a name?". AAP. 
  2. ^ Hedge, Mike (8 February 2001). "Sporting nicknames reach new low with Diggers". AAP. 
  3. ^ McFarlane, Glenn; Damian Barrett (5 August 2001). "Stop the nickname nonsense". Sunday Herald Sun. p. 80. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Who are the Qantas Wallabies?". Australian Rugby Union. Archived from the original on 21 February 2009. Retrieved 28 March 2009. 
  5. ^ "All Blacks: How they got their name". rugbyfootballhistory.com. 2007. Archived from the original on 21 February 2009. Retrieved 27 March 2009. 
  6. ^ "The History of South African Rugby: The First Tour". rugbyfootballhistory.com. 2007. Archived from the original on 21 February 2009. Retrieved 27 March 2009. 
  7. ^ Collins, Tony (1998). Rugby's great split: class, culture, and the origins of Rugby League football. Routledge. p. 223. ISBN 0-7146-4867-1. 
  8. ^ a b c Heads, Ian (11 August 1994). "Forgotten relic recalls old values". Sydney Morning Herald. p. 49. 
  9. ^ a b Masters, Roy (27 September 1994). "Critics question Hill selection". Sydney Morning Herald. p. 64. 
  10. ^ a b c Heads, Ian (14 July 1994). "Hectic days that mirror changing face of the game". Sydney Morning Herald. p. 49. 
  11. ^ Mascord, Steve (7 July 1994). "Meninga's farewell no fun for France". Sydney Morning Herald. p. 50. 
  12. ^ Prentice, Tim (13 September 1996). "Aussie Aces serve it up for wider Davis Cup recognition". The Daily Telegraph. p. 100. 
  13. ^ a b Malone, Paul (3 June 1998). "Test side in name game". The Daily Telegraph. p. 71. 
  14. ^ a b Craddock, Robert (6 August 1998). "Test cricket men market talent alone". The Advertiser. 
  15. ^ "There's one in every crowd...". AAFLA Sportsletter (Amateur Athletic Foundation of Los Angeles). October 2003. Retrieved 23 November 2007. 
  16. ^ a b c d Ede, Charisse; Darren Walton (4 August 2001). "Digger nickname could be buried". The Advertiser. p. 2. 
  17. ^ "Aths: AA digs itself out of a hole over nickname". AAP. 4 August 2001. 
  18. ^ "Olympic Review: The nickname game". The San Diego Union-Tribune. 17 September 2000. p. Special, p.2. The Aussie track team is the Blazers. 
  19. ^ a b "Soccer to become football in Australia". Associated Press. 16 December 2004. 
  20. ^ Cockerill, Michael (14 January 2005). "O'Neill wants to lose Roos in the name of progress". Sydney Morning Herald. p. 36. 
  21. ^ "Qantas Socceroos Head to Asia". Qantas. 2007. Retrieved 9 March 2009. [dead link]
  22. ^ "Video: Sam chats from "chair of truth"". Tennis Australia. Retrieved 20 April 2012. 
  23. ^ a b "Aussie Fed Cup team supports juniors". Tennis Australia. Retrieved 22 April 2012. 
  24. ^ "Wallaroos: History". Australian Rugby Union. Retrieved 23 November 2007. 
  25. ^ "Paper to Paper Wallaroos Squad -Samoa" (Press release). Australian Rugby Union. Retrieved 24 July 2009. 
  26. ^ Fagan, Sean (2 December 2009). "The Kangaroos Mascot". rl1908.com. Archived from the original on 16 August 2010. Retrieved 16 August 2010. 
  27. ^ Fagan, Sean. "The Australian Rugby League Kangaroos". RL1908.com. Archived from the original on 16 August 2010. Retrieved 23 November 2007. 
  28. ^ a b http://www.news.com.au/national/holden-signs-10-million-deal-to-sponsor-nrl-kangaroos-and-state-of-origin/story-fncynjr2-1226565702395
  29. ^ "VB Sponsorship a positive for Rugby League in NSW". rleague.com. 18 May 2011. Retrieved 23 November 2011. VB, a long-term supporter of the Blues and naming rights partner for the VB Kangaroos 
  30. ^ "NRL Sponsors". National Rugby League. Retrieved 23 November 2011. 
  31. ^ ARL (2008). "Jillaroos gunning for a spot in World Cup final". Archived from the original on 16 August 2010. Retrieved 16 August 2010. 
  32. ^ "Australian Women's Rugby League – the online home of the Jillaroos". Retrieved 18 January 2008. 
  33. ^ http://www.nrl.com/Default.aspx?TabId=10874&newsid=85815
  34. ^ Australian Athletes with a Disability (October–November 2007). "Australian Athletes with a Disability Newsletter" (Press release). Archived from the original on 26 December 2007. Retrieved 22 November 2007. The Steelers, Australia's National Wheelchair Rugby team, recently competed in the cross Tasman Chris Handy Cup challenge 
  35. ^ AAP Sports News (15 September 2004). "Wheelabies challenged by disability rating change". Retrieved 22 November 2007. The Australian wheelchair rugby team's bid for gold in Athens has suffered a major blow [...] 
  36. ^ Overington, Caroline (30 October 2000). "Paralympics 2000: Hero Hucks not enough". The Age. Australia (which calls itself the Steelers but for whom the popular name is the Wheelabies) 
  37. ^ "National Teams". Football Federation Australia. Retrieved 23 November 2007. 
  38. ^ "Qantas Futsalroos undone by hosts". Football Federation Australia. 15 May 2008. Retrieved 20 August 2008. 
  39. ^ "Astros & the Outback". Astros Gridiron Football Club. Retrieved 21 January 2008. 
  40. ^ "Gridiron History in Aus". Astros Gridiron Football Club. 1999. Retrieved 21 January 2008. 
  41. ^ "Australian netball team named the Diamonds". ABC News. 8 September 2008. Archived from the original on 15 October 2008. Retrieved 29 October 2008. 
  42. ^ "Australian Diamonds history". Netball Australia. Retrieved 29 April 2015. 
  43. ^ "Southern Stars". Women's Cricket in Australia. Cricket Australia. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  44. ^ Newman, Beth (16 March 2015). "Swimming Australia brings back Dolphins". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 29 April 2015. 
  45. ^ "TELSTRA AUSTRALIAN DOLPHINS SQUADS" (PDF). Swimming Australia. 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 September 2007. Retrieved 23 November 2007. 
  46. ^ "Australian Open Men's team". Softball Australia. 2008. Archived from the original on 19 July 2008. Retrieved 20 August 2008. 
  47. ^ "Open Women's Team – Aussie Spirit". Softball Australia. 2006. Retrieved 20 August 2008. 
  48. ^ "Australian Under 19 Women's Team". Softball Australia. 2006. Archived from the original on 19 July 2008. Retrieved 20 August 2008. 
  49. ^ "Aussie Sharks win historic bronze medal at World League Super Finals". Australian Water Polo. 12 August 2007. Retrieved 23 November 2007. 
  50. ^ a b "Basketball Australia Annual Report" (PDF). Basketball Australia. 2006. Retrieved 23 November 2007. [dead link]
  51. ^ BA media (13 April 2005). "Young men vying for Crocs spots". Archived from the original on 18 December 2007. Retrieved 23 November 2007. 
  52. ^ "Toshiba and Cycling Australia – The Perfect Team". Cycling Australia. 5 November 2007. Archived from the original on 27 July 2008. Retrieved 20 August 2008. 
  53. ^ a b "National Teams". Hockey Australia. Archived from the original on 3 November 2007. Retrieved 23 November 2007. 
  54. ^ a b c d "All that you ever wanted to know about hockey in and around Australia.". playinghockey.com.au. 2006. Archived from the original on 23 December 2007. Retrieved 15 January 2008. There are four national hockey teams in Australia, Kookaburras Australian Men's Hockey Team, Hockeyroos is the Australian Women's Hockey Team, Jillaroos is the Australian Under 21 Women's Team and Burras is the Australian Under 21 Men's Team. 
  55. ^ "2004 ANZ HOCKEYROOS SQUAD". Hockey Australia. Archived from the original on 29 August 2007. Retrieved 23 November 2007. 
  56. ^ Rurak, Don (January 2004). "From the President: Newsletter" (Press release). Ice Hockey Australia. Retrieved 23 November 2007. Adoption of the "Mighty Roos" name, logo and jersey for the Australian Senior Men's National Team. 
  57. ^ Koreen, Mike (16 May 2003). "Green Aussies grin and bear it; Box lacrosse underdogs are giving it their all". The Toronto Sun. p. Sports, p.81. They produced some t-shirts with the team's nickname – Boxaroos – printed on them. 
  58. ^ "Jackaroos is a winner". Bowls Australia. August 2004. As a result, the Australian men's bowls team has a new nickname – the Jackaroos. [...] The jackaroo is symbolic of the Australian outback. And the first part of the word – jack – is the most common name for the small white ball that is the prime focus and target in a game of bowls. 
  59. ^ "The shining Sapphires". Bowls Australia. 2004. Archived from the original on 30 August 2007. Retrieved 23 November 2007. After much deliberation the new nickname for the Australian women's bowls team is the Sapphires. 
  60. ^ "Orienteer: Aussie team to be called Boomerangs". AAP. 2 August 2006. Retrieved 9 March 2009. [dead link]
  61. ^ a b Valerino, John (20 September 2000). "What's in a nickname anyway?". The Ledger. p. C1. 
  62. ^ "Women's handball rookie set for world championships". Box Hill Institute. 12 October 2005. Retrieved 9 March 2009. [dead link]
  63. ^ "Australian Flying Disc Association 2008 Annual Report" (PDF). AFDA. Retrieved 20 April 2011. 
  64. ^ a b "Sting Rays and Goannas hit the fields in Florence". AFDA. Retrieved 20 April 2011. 
  65. ^ http://wizardsofaus.com.au/
  66. ^ http://www.unisport.com.au/HighPerformance/Pages/AustralianUniroos.aspx
  67. ^ http://southernthunder.baseball.com.au/
  68. ^ http://emeralds.baseball.com.au/
  69. ^ http://www.avf.org.au/