‘I kind of popped it off’: Shaun Johnson on how he helped make ‘Up The Wahs’ a Kiwi phenomenon
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‘I kind of popped it off’: Shaun Johnson on how he helped make ‘Up The Wahs’ a Kiwi phenomenon

Even if he didn't, he did.

New Zealand’s latest hero Shaun Johnson is claiming he has a lot to do with the country having a new catchphrase. 

In a sitdown interview with NRL great Jonathan Thurston on Channel Nine, SJ recalls it was him saying” Up The Wahs” after the team’s historic comeback vs the Sharks that led to it blowing up. 

“I did an interview - it was actually with ‘Channel Nine’ - after the Sharks game early in the year,” he recalled. “And then I said at the end ‘Up The Wahs baby’ - like just casual as.”

“And then I got tagged in that clip so many times. People recorded it and sent it to me. I feel like I kind of popped it off for everyone!” 

“I didn’t start it. I’m not saying I started it. But I’m saying I said it in a sense, where I was like, ‘Did I just say that? OMG, I just said ‘Up The Wahs,’ what am I doing?’’.”

“Then it just blew up!” said Thurston.  

“Yeah,” SJ finished with. “So we’ll just go with that.”

Despite Shaun clarifying he didn’t start it, commenters are ignoring that and calling BS, even adding their own origin theories. 

“Wahtevs breh,” wrote one person. “It wasn’t you, it was Auntie Herewini from the pie shop.”

“I heard it on the radio last year,” another said. “The term ‘Wahs’ has been around for a while, but SJ is right, he popularised it.”

“It actually started 13-14 years ago from a group of people in Dunedin,” a third added.  (which is actually true, according to The Spinoff’s deep dive).  “The term and somehow it made its way around”.

Even though the Wahs' season finished this past weekend, there's still a chance to celebrate as Shauny is up for the NRL MVP award. Give that man the Dally M.