Wednesday, October 05, 2005

King of the Chavs

I regularly travel to the U.K., and in the last few years have become very interested in the growth of "Chav" culture (there are a variety of other names, including "Neds," which I am told means "non-educated delinquent and is used mostly in Glasgow). My English sister-in-law calls them "common people." (She lives near a centre of this culture, Bournemouth.)

"Chav," according to Wikkepedia, "is a derogatory slang term currently in popular usage throughout England. It refers to a subculture negatively-stereotyped as being uneducated, uncultured and prone to antisocial or immoral behavior. The label is typically (although not exclusively) applied to teenagers and young adults of white working class or lower-middle class origin. A male chav is sometimes referred to as a chavster and a female as a chavette, although chav is typically used to refer to both sexes."

In the U.S., think of these folks as the people who appear on the Jerry Springer Show, White Trash, or Po' Folks. They are rampant in England. Known for flamboyant clothing, loutish behavior, and reliance on the dole, Chavs are a major issue in some British towns.

Other descriptions, "'Chav's' are the 'young louts who wear cheap gold jewellery and baseball caps and hang around in shopping centres all over Britain.'"

"...they tend to wear tracksuits, walk with a pronounced stroll that encourages their gait and shoulders to 'roll' in a drug-dealeresque fashion, and that they are apt to say 'bitch' rather more then the average student of advanced biology (even though many of them are women). "

Here's a site with all you need to know on Chavs:

The attention paid to this classification has even reached the august New York Times, which recently profiled the "King of the Chavs," a lout who scored big on the lottery.


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