As a kid, I still remember Grandma talking about certain individuals and expressing a seemingly mixed message in exclaiming “He’s got some kind of gaul!”. Was she debasing him or paying him a compliment? I really wasn’t certain.
It peaked my interest. What is this “gaul” and where does one get any kind of it?
I’ve since learned that gaul is subjective by interpretation but it has some distinctive markings.
What is Gaul?
Acting out with gaul carries with it all of the following requirements:
- Over-confidence to the point of perceived arrogance
- A middle-finger kind of bravery
- Performing an act that is construed as atypical in regards to society’s standards
Gaul is often looked upon as douchebaggery. Let’s further illustrate gaul within the context of a simple story.
If you march into your next job interview and insist that you’re the best man for the job because you’re the best in the business, you might be regarded as a bit over-confident. Still not gaul.
If you wear shorts to the first interview and advise that you want to be paid an extra $50,000 a year because you’re worth it, even after being informed that your potential boss doesn’t make that much, you’ve got gaul.
Gall exists in the swath between over-confidence and asinine.
The History of Gaul
The Gauls were a Celtic-speaking people that inhabited the lands of modern day France. From a military perspective, the Gauls were known as fierce warriors.
In the Battle of the Allia (390 B.C.), Gallic soldiers invaded Rome, slaughtering the men on sight, plundering all they could take and raping the women. They proudly claimed a reputation of savage barbarians (we recommend Vikings for some proper fighting comparisons).
Despite a reputation of being bad-asses, Gallic soldiers lacked proper training and modern equipment. Like real men, they often forged their own weapons that they brought into battle… which was hardly a match against the state sponsored weaponry of the now powerful Roman military. Gaul was eventually overthrown by Rome, led by the mighty armies of Julius Caesar, and they were pissed.
Of Interesting Note: A common tradition of Gallic Warriors was to rush into combat completely naked and flopping free in the wind. The intent was to show bravery and instill fear (or possibly laughter in some cases) in the hearts of their enemies.
Need we any further research on the origin of gaul?
Modern Examples of Gaul
In 2009, country singer (debatable) Taylor Swift had her acceptance speech interrupted by recording artist (also debatable) Kanye West, after she claimed the award in the Best Female Video category. Kanye announced that Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time and MTV tried to pull the plug on his speech by quickly cutting to a commercial. This was a classic case of having gaul.
In 2012, Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven tour wins and banned for life by the International Cycling Union. In the following month, he tweeted the following image to his 3.8 Twitter followers, with the message, “Back in Austin and just layin’ around”.
A most certain case of gaul.
Our list of modern day examples wouldn’t be complete without Charlie Sheen.
Sheen has gaul and while we probably don’t need to offer any further explanation on this one, we’ll casually recount when he referred to himself as “bi-winning” (refuting a bipolar allegation), rambled on about being an F-18 and even called for an investigation into finding out what really happened on 9/11.
I’m an F-18 Bro. And I Will Destroy You In The Air. I Will Deploy My Ordinance To The Ground. — Charlie Sheen
Indeed, Charlie Sheen may be the king of modern day gaul. He has tiger blood, after all.
You’ve Got Some Gaul
Hey, we all do. Gaul is alive and well in all of us on some level. Gaul isn’t necessarily a bad quality but, it can be easily abused. One might even argue that having gaul could lead to a happy and healthier lifestyle.