Green’s Dictionary of Slang

barrack v.

[Northern Ireland dial. barrack, to brag, to be boastful of one’s fighting powers; unlike SE use, no antagonism is implied, other than the usual partisanship; Partridge , via a correspondent in 1944, offers an alternative ety., ‘from the rough teams that used to play football on the vacant land near the Victoria barracks (in Melbourne)’; such players were known as barrackers]

1. to talk.

[UK]Worcester Herald 26 Dec. 4/3: barrak, to talk; barrack the broke, talk to the dupe.
(Aus./N.Z.)

2. to support a team or individual in a sporting context; thus barracker, a supporter; thus to support or promote anything or anyone.

[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 14 Sept. 4/4: The little newsboys ‘barracked’ cheerily for their pet paper.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 19 July 15/1: The most prominent player on the ground was the colossal Frazer, who hails from Parramatta, and whenever he seized the ball a cry of ‘look out for the Infant!’ went up from the Bathurst pavilion ‘barrackers.’.
[Aus]H. Lawson ‘Bill, the Ventriloquial Rooster’ in Roderick (1972) 142: I wanted to go down badly and see the fight, and barrack for Bill.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 26 May 24/2: Balmain barrackers made a dead set against the referee, and gave him a parlous time from end to end. At the close he had to be escorted away, and could only get out of the suburb disguised.
[Aus]Stephens & O’Brien Materials for a Dict. of Aus. Sl. [unpub. ms.] 10: BARRACKING – BARRACK: to shout encouragement to your own side at any contest and to deride the efforts of the other side or cheer their mistakes or failures. Football, cricket, pugilistic and political partisans who [...] encourage and aid their own side with cheers and shouts and discourage or deride the opposition with yells or insults are known as barrackers [...] The word has reached up out of the domain of pure slang and has become good journalese.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 3 Apr. 4/5: It seems that [barracking] isn’t Australian slang at all, but good Cockney English, the expression ‘Choose your Barrikin’ (i.e. shut your row, stow your gab) being a common one in thieves’ patter, and the French form of the word, very slightly different, being found in no less a writer than Rabelais.
Kalgoorlie Wester Argus (WA) 31 Oct. 14: With the arrival of each Anglo-Australian cricket season some London newspaper invariably falls to discussing the orgin of the word ‘barracker’.
[Aus]E. Dyson ‘The Disposal of a Dog’ in Benno and Some of the Push 132: ‘’Ello, Ned! Gettin’ ’ome with the week’s meat?’ roared a hardened barracker.
[UK]Wodehouse Psmith Journalist (1993) 279: With an aggrieved air, akin to that of a crowd at a cricket match when batsmen are playing for a draw, they began to ‘barrack’.
[Aus]C.J. Dennis Digger Smith 107: Barrack—To take sides.
[Aus]K.S. Prichard Working Bullocks 298: His barrackers shouted ‘You’ve got it, Niel!’.
[UK]J. Campbell Babe is Wise 360: A football match was in progress. [...] Every now and then one could hear the muffled roar of the ‘barrackers’.
[Aus]N. Pulliam I Travelled a Lonely Land (1957) 36: Barracking is a part of every good sporting event and the Australian barracks [...] with the abandoned passion of a Mexican at a bullfight.
[Aus](con. 1944) L. Glassop Rats in New Guinea 118: He thinks I’m much better than I am. A typical one-eyed barracker. [Ibid.] 118: I know a man who won’t talk to his daughter if the team she barracks for, Melbourne, beats his team, Footscray.
[Aus]S. Gore Holy Smoke 8: It depends on yer attitude of mind and who you’ve got barrackin’ for yer.
[Aus]M. Harris Angry Eye 205: When the pubs are emptied and the barrackers have dispersed from the Hill, the Australian language reverts to a grey verbal solemnity.
[Aus]N. Keesing Lily on the Dustbin 57: Passionate parents barracked furiously and frequently disputed decisions.
[Aus]R. Beckett Dinkum Aussie Dict. 7: Barrack: To encourage one’s team from the sidelines, not always in complimentary terms, e.g., ‘Get in there and fight, you bunch of bloody pansies’.
[Aus]G. Seal Lingo 139: barracking is an essential sporting term in use from at least the 1870s and is applied nowadays mostly to football. It means to loudly and often aggressively verbalise support for one’s team.
[Aus]P. Carey Theft 21: His old mates would barrack him from the doorway.

3. to talk to (persuasively).

[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 2 Aug. 1/2: Heed not the red-nosed man who flattereth you in a pub, for he barracketh only for a booze.
[Aus]J. Furphy Rigby’s Romance (1921) Ch. viii: [Internet] Moses went an’ barracked with this Parryo [i.e., Pharaoh] to let the Children go.

4. to back up a confidence trickster.

[UK]A. Binstead Pitcher in Paradise 183: Bob starts chuckin’ the broads out o’ the box, with Charlie takin’ in an’ payin’ out, an’ me barrackin’ up.

5. to tease.

[Aus]E. Dyson Fact’ry ’Ands 75: The Beauties were barracking noisily at their work.
[Aus]K.S. Prichard Working Bullocks 290: Mary Ann Colburn and Mrs. Pennyfather were [...] afraid to miss the fun of the obstacle race or the old woman’s race they had both entered for, and had been barracking each other about all the morning.
[UK]Lancs Eve. Post 24 Sept. 6/4: It was stated that cricketers there were ‘barracked’. Asked the meaning of ‘barracking,’ witness replied, ‘cheering a fellow on when you don’t really mean it’.
[Aus]D. Stivens Jimmy Brockett 54: ‘I’m still a working man, even if I sport a white collar.’ ‘Yes,’ he said. ‘I was only barracking you, pal.’.
[Aus]B. Wannan Fair Go, Spinner 51: I was on my way to see my girl-friend [...] As everyone knew me I got a lot of barracking.
[Ire](con. 1920s) L. Redmond Emerald Square 165: The Dublin bus driver knew them all and barricked them.
[Aus]G. Seal Lingo 2: Although mostly taken for granted, the importance of the vernacular in everyday life is apparent from the number of Lingoisms describing or referring to it [...] spieler; chiack; barrack; sledge; spitting chips, magging.