CHECKING OUT THE CULÉS
Many of you reading this might consider yourselves Barça fans, which would make you “culés.” If you look up that word, the only definition you’ll find is “FC Barcelona fan.” In order to really understand the word, you have to go back to 1909.
Camp Nou hasn’t always been home for Barça and its fans. Before Camp Nou, there were the Camp de Les Corts (1922-1957) and Camp de la Industria (1909-1922). The latter had a capacity of 6,000, and it would fill up very quickly.
Whenever there was an important match, more than 6,000 would pack in, filling the stadium to the brim, literally. Due to the tight quarters, many fans would sit on the edge of the stadium’s walls to try to get a good view of the action on the pitch.
As pedestrians walked past the stadium below, they could see the buttocks of those fans sticking out over the edge. Subject to lots of pointing and laughter, those fans were given the nickname “culers.” The word “cul” in Catalan means “ass.” So, “culers” means “those who show their bums.” The nickname quickly became synonymous with all Barça fans.
With the passage of time, “culer” was shortened to “culé,” and the nickname has stuck until now.
Whether you’re a culé or not, you have to find the nickname amusing and maybe even endearing. In my opinion, at least, it seems appropriate considering Catalans’ fascination with “going number two.” If you’re not familiar with this phenomenon, look no further than the “caganers” and “Caga Tió.”
By EMILY BENSON
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