Barrack / Barracker / BarrackingWhere does the word "Barracker" come from?
A former Australian footballer now living in London UK, writes to the Australasian (August 12 1922 p26) and give his opinion.
This man played in the very early days of the game, he says;
"Folk here often ask me how the word "barrack" originated. Well, I stand to be corrected on this also, but if my information is correct, I believe the word was the outcome of a match between the keen football rivals of that day, viz, Carlton and Melbourne.
An Irish policeman, in giving his evidence, about something that occurred, stated that he could not hear because of the barking (he referred to the enthusiasm of the various supporters, and spoke the word with a strong Irish accent) The papers next morning somewhat exaggerated it, so that it read like 'barakin, and the phrase was adopted ever after to signify 'supporting,' as for instance, we would ask the question, 'are you going to the match on Saturday?' and if the answer was in the affirmative would follow up by further inquiring, 'Who are you going to "barrack" for?'
The word larrikin was coined under similar circumstances."
The earliest mention of barrack, as a word for supporting a football team found on Trove, is from The Geelong Advertiser August 06 (p4) 1884. There is also an advertisement in the Traralgon Record July 12 1889 (p3) calling on "Barrackers Roll Up!!!" to see a local football match, Warragul v Traralgon.
On the eve of the Second Cricket Test England v Australia at Lords August 2019 there was a report in one of the English newspapers that mentions supporters as barrackers!
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1942 60 Years A Member"Carlton officials have entered the list on the question of the oldest football member. They said last night that Mr. Arthur Page, of Glen Iris, has been a member for 60 consecutive years, and his membership tickets were now displayed in the rooms. His nephew is Ted Kennedy , a former champion wingman who had McGregor and Bruce on the same line.
Carlton claims also to have the oldest living footballer. He is Mr. A. E. Chadwick*, of Dromana. Now aged 95, he was captain in the first year of the club in 1864.
Another old player is John Melville, who first played in 1877, and was later secretary."
(Argus June 03 p8)
.* Blueseum has not found any record of A. E. Chadwick, but there is William J. Chadwick who played with the Blues in 1866 and was the brother of first Carlton captain Harry Chadwick.
William who lived in Dromana passed away soon after his 91st. birthday in June 1941.