Why is it Called a Stag Do

History of the Stag Do

A comprehensive study of stag dos through the ages, done by clever blokes with beards, glasses and stuff.


Early Man | 4,000 B.C


Our ancient ancestors were simple people, they lived in an age where pretty much anything could kill you and marriages lasted only as long as both parties managed not to get eaten by a passing predator. The real downside to getting hitched was the fact that most of the women looked more like men than the men did.

GAMES: Paintwall - With no paint to shoot at each other, early stags drew pictures of their mates hunting animals, making sure to draw a really small **** on the groom.

DRINKING: Sadly beer wasn't invented until around 4,000 B.C. so until then man had to make do with fermented Mastodon milk. Mmmmm!

ORGANISING: Getting the lads together was relatively simple: grunt a few times, point to the cave's entrance when the womenfolk weren't looking and you got yourself a stag party.


Dark Ages
It's a grim up Norse


450 years after the Roman's cleared off, Alfred the Great became England's first king. However, he wasn't exactly the jolliest of blokes and banned pretty much anything that involved having a good time. Thankfully the Vikings soon turned up and those guys knew how to party (when they weren't too busy pillaging).

GAMES: As well as wrestling Vikings played a number of ball games, although most ball games actually involved mostly wrestling.

DRINKING: Vikings were also fans of drinking games and wrestling, which involved trading blows and skilfully written poetry.

ORGANISING: The Norse warriors loved a good weekend away with the lads and would often travel by boat to find a new land to party in.


It's not all kicking off!


King Henry VIII was famed for his party prowess which could be down to the fact that he had 6 stag dos. He was also a brilliant sportsman and owned one of the first pairs of football boots. It seems weird then that he actually banned football from being played in order to get more men practising archery.

GAMES: King "H" was a huge fan of blood sports such as hunting. Jousting was another of Henry's hobbies and huge crowds would turn up to watch lads going out on the lance.

DRINKING: Mead was the drink of the age, a sweet concoction made with honey – men would drink it in great volume during lads only weekends.

ORGANISING: Most common men would normally require the permission of the local lord to have a knees up and it was around this time that tax was first levied on alcohol. Boooooooo!


Victorian England
"We are not amused."


The good Queen Vic was not known for her jolly sense of humour, in fact, purity became the fashion of the age, even table legs were covered for fear of men getting aroused. Theatre became all the rage where men could go and see a woman expose her ankles!

GAMES: Victorians loved rules: football, rugby, athletics and tennis all become coded sports. England even played Oz at cricket but lost and so burnt the stumps. Whatever happened to those ashes?

DRINKING: Gin had become the drink of the day and could be bought by the pint. But some good blokes liked to keep things real and stuck to beer.

ORGANISING: With so many pubs to choose from, getting a pub crawl going was simple. Stopping the lads from wandering off in search of ankles was a different matter.


1911 - 1945
The Great Wars


The two great wars had a massive effect on couples tying the knot. 1940 saw a massive rise in the number of weddings, 470,549 (nearly double today's figure). Many honeymoons were one night affairs before men had to rush back to the frontline and give old Kaiser Bill a good bashing. Thankfully Britain and her allies won the day which started a massive knees up.

GAMES: One group of stags found themselves in a bit of a no man's land while touring France in December 1914 and challenged some friendly Germans to a game of football.

DRINKING: Booze, like many things, was rationed. Industrious stags could try brewing their own but with little sugar for fermenting it mostly tasted like a best man's sock.

ORGANISING: Groups of men were brought together by the fighting, many weddings were hastily arranged during leave from service with new recruits becoming lifelong mates.


What your dad did...


Hair was big, fashion was bad and football was suddenly "sexy". The same can probably not be said for your old man who around this time was a vision of polyester and faded denim. On the plus side local pubs had become mostly male territory so were already set up and ready for young blokes to breeze through during a final night out with the lads.

GAMES: In New York in 1977, Hayes Noel and Charles Gaines came up with an idea for a stalking gaming involving forestry tree markers. And paintball was born!

DRINKING: The '70s are the decade that taste forgot, that includes the drinks with some truly rancid creations. Thankfully beer was always on hand to save the day.

ORGANISING: Getting the guys together for a weekend was a tough affair involving having to phone all your mates individually and in some case use actual written letters!?!


Social Stags


In the age of social media, organising a stag do is now easier than ever. The flip side is, it's even more difficult to make sure that 'what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas', one mislaid post on one of the stags' Facebook timelines or Twitter feeds could result in no end of matrimonial earache for the rest of the guys.

GAMES: When it comes to stag party madness, the world is your lobster with everything on offer from lap dance clubs to bubble football. See more activities...

DRINKING: Drinking games now have become complex, sophisticated and brilliant. Homebrewing is back in fashion and alco-pops are thankfully a thing of the past.

ORGANISING: These days organising a stag party couldn't be easier, you even get your own website dedicated to your own weekend.


Stag to the future...

So what will your sons be doing for their stag parties? They'll be using technology that hasn't even be dreamt up yet. They might also be enjoying the fruits of our own imaginations with activities and nightlife we've always coveted.

GAMES: First seen in Back to the Future II, will the hoverboard finally be available to your kids?

DRINKING: Cocktails will be back in vogue, only now they'll be enhanced and infused with the essence of famous people. Long Island Clarkson anyone?

ORGANISING: The abolition of the internet and arrival of 'thinkernet' will make most technology obsolete. Sadly the invention of the 'thought police' will pretty much ruin everything!

Why is it called a stag do?

A stag do is called a stag do after a male deer (a stag) who, in the animal world, is considered a strong leader of its group. In the instance of a stag party, the groom is often referred to as the stag (the main man in the pack), though it is widely used as a collective term for all the guys.

There are other theories which claim a stag do is named in honour of a Celtic god, Cernunnos, who is often depicted with antlers and said to symbolise masculinity. However, there is no actual evidence for this link and though it's a cool story, it probably isn't true.

What is a stag do?

A stag do is a party thrown for a man who is soon to be married. Often referred to as a bachelor party by our transatlantic cousins, the stag party used to be held the night before the wedding, but now more commonly occurs a few weeks or months beforehand as a bigger stag weekend.

Planning a stag do whilst an honour in itself can be a stressful, complicated, pain in the cranium – particularly if you try and go it alone. If you ever get asked to arrange one for the guys, enlist the help of StagWeb who'll take the pain out of the planning process to help you create that epic weekend that'll solidify you as a stag hero for life.

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