Who were the Larrikins?

Back in the 19th century the Larrikins were the rough and tough lads in Australian towns.

The “Larrikins” is a term used in Australia to refer to mischievous and unconventional individuals, often with a strong sense of humour and independence.

They were identifiable by what they were and by their broad brimmed slouch hats and bell-bottomed trousers.

One of the earliest men to earn the nickname of a Larrikin was Peter Lalor with his Eureka Oath of allegiance stating “We swear by the Southern Cross to stand truly by each other and fight to defend our rights and liberties.”

The Southern Cross flag was first flown at the Eureka Stockade, and to this day still remains a symbol of revolution, defiance and Australian spirit.

On 3rd December 1854, the armed uprising at Bakery Hill, Ballarat was fought by gold miners against the corrupt, oppressive colonial forces. It is thought that this event was the start of the Australian democracy.

Facts about Larrikins

Here are 10 interesting facts about the Larrikins in Australian culture:

  1. The term “Larrikin” is thought to have originated in the 19th century and is derived from the Australian slang term “larking,” meaning to play or frolic.
  2. Larrikins are often associated with the working-class and are seen as a symbol of Australian working-class culture.
  3. Larrikins are known for their irreverent humor and their love of practical jokes. They often challenge authority and traditional ways of thinking.
  4. The Australian poet and balladeer Banjo Paterson is often considered a quintessential Larrikin, due to his humorous poems and songs about the Australian bush.
  5. In the early 20th century, the term “Larrikin” was often used to describe young men who were involved in gang violence, particularly in the Sydney area.
  6. The iconic Australian film “The Kid Stakes” (1927) is often seen as a classic representation of the Larrikin spirit, depicting a group of working-class children who are determined to win a horse race against their wealthy rivals.
  7. The phrase “Aussie Battler” is often used to describe the working-class spirit of the Larrikins, reflecting the resilience and determination of working-class Australians.
  8. In recent years, the term “Larrikin” has taken on a more positive connotation, often being used to describe someone who is fun-loving and down-to-earth.
  9. The Australian rock band Men at Work are often considered a quintessential Larrikin band, due to their humorous and irreverent take on Australian culture and politics.
  10. In contemporary Australian culture, the Larrikin spirit is often seen as an important part of the national identity, representing the country’s love of humor and its independent and unconventional spirit.

The Larrikins are an integral part of Australian culture and are revered around the world for their irreverent humour and independent spirit.