Posted by Word Camel on October 15, 2004
I've just come across a review of a book called "Mind the Gap:The New Class Divide in Britain" but Ferdinand Mount(whom I thought was dead). The book bemoans the rise of a lower class in Britain which is culturally impoverished and even 'worse than in the United States'. It seems to boil down to the fact that young Britons are aping Britany Spears and her brethren.
I suspect the book is just finding a new name for an old phenomenom because it has a clearly identifiable look. Which brings me to the term "Chavs".
From the review by John Lanchester:
'Chav styles and mores seem to take up more and more space in the public sphere, and more and more seem to be a focus of imitation by non-chavs: baseball caps, tattoos, swearing, spitting, fighting, calling your children Armani and Lexus.'
For more on Chavs, there is a website entitled ChavScum (www.chavscum.com) and a book 'Chav!: A User's Guide to Britain's New Ruling Class'. (Ruling in the sense that they dominate fashion).
From the website:
"Here Chavs, Neds, Townies, Kevs, Charvers, Steeks, Spides, Bazzas, Yarcos, Ratboys, Kappa Slappers, Skangers, Scutters, Janners, Stigs, Scallies, Hood Rats, whatever you know them as, this site is about them, Britains peasant underclass that are taking over our towns and cities!"
Anyway I thought it was a rich source of slang even if it is dubious sociology.
I'm enclosing a link to the review.