Help with Howl: Rugby, Welshisms and saucepans

Dorian E. Gray israfel at
Wed Mar 16 14:37:21 EST 2005

Ven said...

> Gili enquired
> <Are the Welsh known to be particularly musical,
> or just the opposite? (Howl
> bemoans being born "an unmusical Welshman")>
> It's one of those things that's kind of an ethnic
> cliche --  Welsh people being practically obliged
> to be musical.

As my brother has been known to remark, with heavy cynicism, "there never 
was a Welshman didn't fancy he could sing".  (I suspect he may be quoting, 
though what I don't know.)

My brother, I should point out, sings bass in a fairly good amateur choir, 
and gets incredibly snobby about other people's singing abilities (or lack 

> Would a Rugby club be a group of fans, or the
> actual players themselves?!
> I've just realised this could be one of those
> phrases that means something
> quite different in British and in American!
> That's a difficult question to answer as it might
> mean a number of things, depending on context.

I would think of a Rugby club as I would a GAA club, a yacht club, etc. - an 
organisation of people who like to play rugby (play Gaelic football or 
hurling, sail a yacht, etc.).  They would have facilities and teams for 
their sport, and also a clubhouse (with bar!) for socialising.  Not all such 
clubs require you to actually take part in the specific sport, though most 
members would.  Nearly all would have an annual subscription to pay for the 

I can't find my copy of Howl, but IIRC he says he's going to a Rugby club 
reunion - that would be a get-together of club members who were all playing 
on the club team(s) around the same time, I think.


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