Sunday 4 December 2016

The world of the Wag is just not what it used to be

No one wants to be labelled a Wag, says Sarah Caden, since World Cup 2006 gave the gig a bad name

Sarah Caden

Published 12/06/2016 | 02:30

Cheryl Cole, Coleen Rooney and Victoria Beckham at an England game during the 2006 World Cup
Cheryl Cole, Coleen Rooney and Victoria Beckham at an England game during the 2006 World Cup

We all know that she never looks conventionally cheerful, but 10 years ago, at the 2006 World Cup in Germany, Victoria Beckham looked properly peeved. It's unlikely that it was England's performance bothering her but, in retrospect, you'd wonder if this sharp operator realised that peak Wag had been achieved.

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It was another year before this term, an acronym for the pejorative and dismissive 'wives and girlfriends' made the dictionary, but in Baden Baden, in her short shorts, with Cheryl (then) Cole glued to her, Victoria had the dark look of someone who knew the game was up.

These days, no one wants to be referred to as a Wag. To be fair to the term, to take it at face value, it's a neat and knacky way of describing the plus-ones of well-known sportsmen. On the other hand, it's undeniably used as a pejorative, a way of dismissing these women as hangers-on.

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