phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at


Posted by Lewis on October 15, 2004

In Reply to: Pikeys and chavs posted by Henry on October 15, 2004

: : : : : I dont really know what u r askinhg is it the negative point of view you take or r u simply looking to see others views if it is the later I can tell you I belive that as a country and a civilian I feel we do not mistreat them. it is almost like an initiative to put it in lamens terms. I at least do not mean to hurt someone when I say such thing of course on the other ahnd I wont say it in there face and they say if you cant say it to them dont say it at all so I guess it is harsh but with good intintions. people use it worng but it isnt all our fault.

: : : : You sure do type like a blond.

: : : As a blonde myself, I tend to agree XYZ. In fact I must be really blonde, cos I don't even understand the question. About all I can offer is that 'boomers' in my country are kangaroos.

: : Sorry SR, I clicked on the last entry of the thread and your original question had disappeared and been replaced by Blondedude's contribution. That's why I didn't understand the original question. But I rechecked your original entry and now that I do, here are some Aussie offerings: sundowner, drifter.

: : ...and not just Aussie terms: vagabond, gadling, jarkman, tramp, runagate, roamer, wanderer, bum, nomad, rambler, drazel/drossel, javel, landloper/landlouper,lorel, palliard, twire-pipe (a vagabond musician).

: : ...and if I get really carried away - other words for gypsy include... caird, diddicoy, zingaro/zingari, tzigane, gitano/gitana, bazigar, czigany.

: : Ummm... OK, I DID get carried away.

: I can add pikey, from a person who travelled the turnpikes, and chav, from the Romany chavi a child.

My research suggested that "pikey" meaning 'itinerant' comes from "pike-man" - the pike-bearing foot-soldiers. they did not carry the long staves most of the time as they simply fitted their head to a staff when employed as soldiers. in between engagements, the pike-men were itinerant, looking for work, whether as mercenaries, labourers, 'muscle' or otherwise. these grizzled footsoldiers would often make a nuisance of themselves and so itinerants with a pre-disposition to petty crime were called 'pikeys'. there is a misconception that it relates to gypsies, but my research which has a sound historical background, suggests otherwise.

however, as the use of the word 'pikey' to describe gypsies was considered racist abuse by the courts, I have to accept that it has come to be used as abuse of travellers generally, but that does not change the meaning.

I didn't know that "chav" came from the Roma word for child. thanks for that suggestion. it now just means a particularly unsophisticated life-style - typified by that shown by Aldershot and other North Hampshire/Surrey-border benefit claimants. there is a website dedicated to mocking it called "chavscum".

Although Essex is generally considered the home of chav, North Hampshire has a claim too.