Oggy Oggy Oggy
The Oggy Oggy Oggy chant (alternatively spelt Oggie Oggie Oggie), and its variations, are often heard at sporting events, political rallies and around numerous Scout and Guide campfires, primarily in Britain, Ireland and some Commonwealth nations. One group will shout Oggy three times, while another will respond with Oi! three times.
Of Cornish origin, the chant appeared in British sports grounds in the 1960s and 1970s, namely rugby union and football. Welsh singer and comedian Max Boyce popularised its use in Rugby Union, while in football a popular variation was the “Ozzie Ozzie Ozzie” chant by Chelsea fans in homage to their star striker Peter Osgood. When Margaret Thatcher became British Prime Minister in 1979 a variation of the chant, "Maggie Maggie Maggie, Out Out Out!", was adopted by some of her opponents.
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, "Oi!". The words are shouted according to the following pattern.
- Oggy Oggy Oggy!
- Oi Oi Oi!
- Oggy Oggy Oggy!
- Oi Oi Oi!
- Oggy Oggy Oggy!
- Oi Oi Oi!
One theory for the origin of the chant stems from Cornwall – or rather Devonport just the other side of the River Tamar. "Oggy" is a slang term for a Cornish pasty, derived from its Cornish name, "hoggan", and was used by local Devon and Cornish sailors at the Devonport Dockyard in reference to pasty sellers who once stood outside the gates. The Devonport marines are still associated with the song which they generally sing at public displays.
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 folk song and has always been heard at Cornish rugby matches so this seem another possible origin.
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."
Members of the Royal Navy claim to have used the chant, or a version of it, since the Second World War. 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).
It was then adopted at a few British football grounds at some point during the postwar period, and was certainly in common use by the 1960s most notably at Home Park amongst the supporters of Plymouth Argyle.
In the 1970s the Welsh folk singer and comedian Max Boyce popularised the chant 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 and international level. In a patriotic outburst during her BAFTA Award acceptance speech in 2003 Welsh actress Catherine Zeta-Jones shouted the chant.
The chant was also used by Coventry City football fans during the 1980s and 1990s in appreciation to then goalkeeper Steve Ogrizovic who had been nicknamed 'Oggy'.
It is also often used at sideshows on rides such as the Heartbreaker and the Waltzers, where the rides controller says "oggie, oggie, oggie" and the people on the ride shout 'oi, oi, oi" to get the ride to speed up or get more spins etc.
Use within scouting and guiding
Oggy Oggy Oggy has long been a major chant within Scouting and Guiding, especially within the UK. "An Oggy" as it is termed within Troops and Units is usually used at Scouting events and as a way of expressing thanks to those within and outside Scouting.
Several variations of the "Oggy" chant have arisen as its cultural significance and recognition has grown. In the mid 1960s Hull City A.F.C. fans adapted it to "Waggy," to cheer for Ken Wagstaff and in the 1970s, Chelsea F.C. football fans changed it to "Ozzie," in honour of Peter Osgood, the footballer. When Margaret Thatcher came to power in Britain in 1979 a variation of the chant ("Maggie Maggie Maggie, Out Out Out!") was adopted by some of her opponents.
The "Oggy" chant was quite popular in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, in the late 1970s and early 1980s at the matches of North American Soccer League version of the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Another variation is the "Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi" chant. It had been heard at Australian sporting events as early as 1987. The chant had found widespread popularity by the time of the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.
At Arizona Diamondbacks games during the 2008–09 seasons, fans would shout "Augie Augie Augie, Oi Oi Oi" in reference to utility infielder Augie Ojeda. (In many dialects of American English, "Augie" and "Oggy" are homophones).
The chant was also popular in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, where a variation had fans of the Calgary Flames shout "Iggy, Iggy, Iggy, Oi Oi Oi" when Jarome Iginla fought or scored in a game. This was especially popular during his 50-goal season in the 2007–08 NHL season.
In Sweden a popular version of the chant is "Bira Bira Bira, Bärs Bärs Bärs". Both words are slang for beer. It is used mostly among students and young people.
In France, there is another version: "Atchik Atchik Atchik, Aie Aie Aie". It's usually played in football match. This Tchik-atchik-atchik-aï-aï-aï is reminiscent of the song La Belle de Cadix by Francis Lopez.
A more recent variant of the chant has been adopted by fans of the British male singer and former runner up of The X Factor, Olly Murs. Here, it is changed slightly so that the chant becomes "Olly, Olly, Olly, Oi Oi Oi", and it is often chanted at his live concert tours/public appearances or incited by Murs himself at such events as these.
In Season 2, Episode 1, Part 1 of the Office TV series, Gareth Keenan receiving a call from his friend Nathan nicknamed Oggy gives a "Oggy Oggy Oggy! Oink oink oink!" variation which Tim calls "a pig impersonation".
In the 1990’s, Birmingham, UK, when some children played outside in areas with very few people, and who became temporarily split up and lost from their friends or family while playing, they would shout “Oggy, oggy, oggy” for their friends or family to hear their general direction and to respond with “Oi, oi, oi”. They used this to try and find each other again through sound and hearing. This may not have been limited to the 1990’s, and may not have been limited to Birmingham, UK.
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- Kampfner, By John (16 April 2008). "Margaret Thatcher, inspiration to New Labour" – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
- "Who invented the Cornish pasty? – Features, Food & Drink – Independent.co.uk". The Independent. 13 November 2006.
- "Tawney in Depth – The background to some of Cyril's classic songs". Cyriltawney.co.uk. 28 June 1977. Archived from the original on 26 August 2010. Retrieved 18 September 2011.
- "Cornish Rugby Songs". www.trelawnysarmy.org.uk.
- Oxford English Dictionary, 2004 edition.
- "Oggie Song". 2 February 2009. Archived from the original on 2 February 2009.
- "Portsmouth Field Gun Crew, Whale Island". portsmouth-guide.co.uk.
- "Zeta Jones wins Bafta". BBC. 26 March 2018.
- Mike Downey, Hoisting a Few' Does Not Just Mean Raising the Sails, Los Angeles Times, Wednesday February 2, 1987
- Luba Vangelova, Oi, Oi, Oy, CNN Sports Illustrated, Wednesday 27 September 2000 
- "The Office (UK) s02e01 Episode Script – SS". Springfield! Springfield!.