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Rah is a pejorative term referring to a stereotypical affluent young upper class or upper-middle class person in the United Kingdom. The characteristics of a rah are similar to those of the Sloane Ranger stereotype also recognised in the UK, though a rah is generally younger, typically around university age (18–25). An important feature of the rah stereotype is the enjoyment of an affluent/party lifestyle with excessive financial assistance from their parents.
The term is possibly an onomatopoeic reference to how those fitting the stereotype are perceived to talk, with the word 'rah' being associated with upper-middle class affluence since at least the early 1980s. In St Andrews the term used is 'yah'.
Characteristics of the stereotype
Rahs stereotypically study at prestigious institutions such as Russell Group universities, having previously attended a private boarding or day school, or sometimes a grammar school or faith school in an affluent area. Another stereotype is that rahs have taken a gap year, usually in Africa, South America, or South East Asia.
Certain clothing is often associated with rahs; mid-market names such as Jack Wills are common. For girls, pashminas, jodhpurs, Ugg boots, flares and cable-knit jumpers combined with scruffy hair arranged in a bun or drastic side partings are common. Boys are stereotyped with chinos, board shorts, boat shoes, and sports team clothing. Gilets, quilted jackets, jogging bottoms, sunglasses, and flip-flops are common for both sexes. In colder seasons, country attire and outdoor wear is popular, especially brands such as Hunter Boot and J. Barbour & Sons.
Rugby union and cricket are popular for male rahs. Other sports such as skiing, sailing, rowing, tennis, Rugby and Eton Fives, canoeing, fencing, lacrosse, polo, shooting and yachting are also popular.
In popular culture
- Tom Meltzer (2010-03-28). "The gap-year video spoof that went viral | Technology". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-09-29.
- "The Young Ones (episode 1 series 2) Bambi part 2". YouTube. Retrieved 2013-09-29.
- "St Andrews: Home to the well-heeled student". British Broadcasting Corporation. 2000-08-17. Retrieved 2019-07-28.