Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Erm, so the Spice Girls have finally revealed what “zig-a-zig ah” means

rexfeatures_264386bo.jpg

It may have hit the charts way back in 1996 (that’s over 20 years ago, everyone), but the brilliance of the Spice Girls’ Wannabe will never get old. All it takes is Mel B’s opening cackle to get us on the dance floor – and men and women of all ages are, even now, pretty much word perfect on the #girlpower hit.

But, while we may be able to sing (and, when called for, rap) our way through the lyrics, that doesn’t necessarily mean that we know what we’re saying. Especially when it comes to that iconic line, “I wanna really, really, really wanna zig-a-zig ah.”

Sure, we’ve had our suspicions: for years, now, many people thought that the nineties ballad was about women embracing sexual liberation – and that “zig-a-zig ah” was a radio-friendly word for… well, for orgasm.

But, as it turns out, everyone was wrong. Dead wrong.

So what does it mean then?

Well, one of Wannabe’s co-writers has explained that the line was inspired by a saying on set: “S**t and cigars”.

And it gets even stranger from there: the saying was actually a nickname that the Spice Girls had given to a famous musician they were sharing a Shoreditch recording studio back in the nineties.


Read more: How feminism went pop during the nineties


The anonymous co-writer explained to The Sun: “There was this one eighties pop dude who hated us for encroaching on what he considered ‘his turf’ which was boy bands and girl bands.

“This guy had this nasty habit of taking a dump in the shared khazi while smoking a cigar, so we took to referring to him as ‘S**t and Cigars’.”

We might have guessed that the Spice Girls were striking a blow against the patriarchy, even with their more nonsensical lyrics.

The Wannabe video – directed by Johan Camitz – was famously filmed in a single take, which meant that the pressure was on to get it right first time: as a result, the Spice Girls spent the entire night rehearsing as a steadycam followed them throughout the building.

Speaking about the experience at the time, Horner said: “The video I remember as being very chaotic and cold. It wasn't very controlled – we didn't want it to be.

“We wanted the camera to capture the madness of the Spice Girls.”

It certainly did that.

Images: Rex Features

 

Related

geri halliwell apology.JPG

Geri Halliwell apologises to heart-broken Spice Girls fans everywhere

rexfeatures_522259qo.jpg

Victoria Beckham pays tribute to Spice Girls in new fashion campaign

rexfeatures_1816258h.jpg

The brand-new Spice Girls song is a true #girlpower anthem

More

This is why Paloma Faith has never revealed her baby’s name

She welcomed her first child in December 2016, but has chosen not to publicise its name or sex

by Kayleigh Dray
23 Oct 2017

This massive star was very nearly in Hocus Pocus

Oh sisters, how very different things could have been

by Nicola Colyer
20 Oct 2017

Quentin Tarantino on not doing more to stop Harvey Weintsein

“I knew enough to do more than I did”

by Nicola Colyer
20 Oct 2017

Lupita Nyong’o says she was harassed by Harvey Weinstein as a student

“He told me not to be so naïve. If I wanted to be an actress, then I had to be willing to do this sort of thing.”

by Moya Crockett
20 Oct 2017

Mary Berry takes part in heartbreaking film about child bereavement

“I would thank him for being a brilliant son.”

by Amy Swales
20 Oct 2017

Margot Robbie writes stirring open letter to Hollywood

by Nicola Colyer
19 Oct 2017

Gabrielle Union shares a powerful message about rape and harassment

The star says she’ll “keep talking out” for survivors like herself

by Susan Devaney
19 Oct 2017

Why the singer has opened up about her mental health

The singer says it was “really, really bad” during her time with the band

by Susan Devaney
19 Oct 2017

The best A-list Instagrams from the week so far

From Madonna’s touching tribute to a Cruel Intentions reunion

by Nicola Colyer
19 Oct 2017

Anna Faris understands why people were obsessed with her relationship

She and Chris Pratt were often hailed as #relationshipgoals

by Amy Swales
19 Oct 2017