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August 26, 2004

To Chav and Chav Not


More pop culture on the move I am missing due to not being in the UK. Sadly, I had to Google the word "chav" to understand this Burberry themed b3ta chav joke. There were "townies" in Manchester but that term was used more broadly to refer to "anyone who does not look like us" (i.e. my metal/punk friends and acquaintances).

The term that has become especially widely known in recent weeks, at least in southern England, is the one borrowed for the name of the Web site, chav. A writer in the Independent thought it derived from the name of the town of Chatham in Kent, where the term is best known and probably originated. But it seems that the word is from a much older underclass, the gypsies, many of whom have lived in that area for generations. Chav is almost certainly from the Romany word for a child, chavi, recorded from the middle of the nineteenth century. We know it was being used as a term of address to an adult man a little later in the century, but it hasnít often been recorded in print since and its derivative chav is quite new to most people.

ChavScum has apparently earned some inexplicable notoriety in defining the term. Chav Photos illustrates the style, Chav Olympics illustrates some social conventions and the BBC weighs in with a documentary, To Chav and Chav Not. Brilliant.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at August 26, 2004 08:58 AM

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? A ned by any other name ... from croila
Don't know what a chav is?(Where have you been hiding?!)To illustrate, critics point to their style of dress: a love of flashy gold jewellery (hooped earrings, thick neck chains, sovereign rings and heavy bangles, which all may be lumped together under... [Read More]

Tracked on September 16, 2004 08:19 AM



I'm the guy that did the burberry flag. I've only started using the word "chav" very recently anyway, preferring the words "scallies" or , like you, "townies" (i'm from Manchestershire). But "Chav" appears to be more universally recognised.

So there.

Posted by: Mike "Fishcake" Thorpe at August 26, 2004 05:15 PM

Hi Mike! Well, I am currently exiled to a northern waste (unlike Manchester, despite its also being northern) and so miss out on this stuff.

Your burberry flag is a work of genius!

Posted by: Flea at August 26, 2004 05:19 PM

Can any of you Brits explain the difference between a chav and an oik?

Posted by: Varenius at August 26, 2004 09:50 PM

Languagehat offers a OED definition of oik. It would suggest that chavs might be considered as a group demonstrating oikish behaviour.

How to describe this in terms of set theory is beyond me.

Posted by: Flea at August 26, 2004 10:19 PM

i am a chav, i wear the full gear, burberry this, aquascutum that etc,
and i am proud to be a chav. the only reason why people start taking the piss out of us lot is because of there defence meganism, basically they kno us chavs look the dogs bollocks, and the also know the cant afford it! burberry & aquascutum are equisit brands of clothing with a unique british heritage that has been around for over 150 years, so it cant be bad, can it? KEEP CHAVING IT UP ALL U LEICESTER CHAVS!!!

Posted by: jay at December 11, 2004 11:52 AM

wat the hell is an oik???????

Posted by: jay at December 11, 2004 11:54 AM

there is a defenate diffence betwen a chav and ur every dai towney....i am a towney...i listen 2 d&b....r&b dance ect i wear normal clothes....trainers....jeans.i don not were CHEEP "gold" bling(the creepy clowns freek me out)i do not steel i do not were burbary i do not speek like i have no brain...i do not start fights with peaple for no reson and i dot were burbary there fot i am NOT a chav!and i do not like being called one!!! if you are an intelegent person frm a normal well of family then you are not a chav!you may were cheep bling and all the rest ov the gear but you are not a tru chav! you are a wannabe!! ant that is worse then being just ur normal TRU chav sad sad sad i meen y wod u want 2 PRETEND to be 1...it is beyond me!!

Posted by: aliz [TypeKey Profile Page] at July 8, 2005 02:46 PM