What is a Rabbitoh? Explaining South Sydney’s unique NRL nickname

South Sydney are the most successful first-grade club in the history of Australian rugby league.

Founded in 1908 as one of the foundations clubs of the New South Wales Rugby League, “Souths” have collected 21 premierships over the years.

They’re also the proud owners of one of the more unique nicknames in all of sport.

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Here’s where it came from:

What is a Rabbitoh? Explaining South Sydney’s unique NRL nickname

The origin of South Sydney’s name can be traced back to the working-class history of the area.

Around start of the 20th century, it’s been said the cry of “Rabbit-oh!” could be heard echoing through the streets of Redfern and surrounding suburbs as a sort of sales pitch by those looking to make some extra money selling rabbits.

The term then evolved to simply mean someone who sold rabbits.

Rival teams and their fans would then mockingly use this when coming up against South Sydney, before the term was proudly reclaimed by the locals.

While its original meaning has now long fallen out of use, “Rabbitohs” has become synonymous with the South Sydney NRL team.

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Why do South Sydney have a rabbit on their emblem?

While a Rabbitoh is a person who traps and sells rabbits for food, the South Sydney emblem still features a rabbit on it.

In addition to “Souths”, they’re also often colloquially referred to as “The Bunnies” and their long-serving mascot is named Reggie the Rabbit.

There’s no real answer to this one, though.

The rabbit first appeared on the club emblem in 1959 and it’s remained there ever since, albeit with a few tweaks over the years.

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