The Chav is a phrase that describes an often working-class individuals perceived as anti-social or uncouth. Chavs generally come from a working-to-lower-class background (predominant in Northern England) and tend to adopt a lot of the aesthetic choices and attitudes often associated with wealthy African-American communities (expensive jewellry, designer clothes, etc). The female equivalent is often referred to as a "Chavette". The chav has multiple outlets to be able to get on TV other than Geordie Shore, such as The Jeremy Kyle Show (think of it like a English Jerry Springer) despite that show being cancelled in May 2019. However, references to chavs have been made in more popular English television shows, such as The Catherine Tate Show, Little Britain and Doctor Who.
Although often used as a label for anyone perceived as loutish, violent and anti-social, it is also very frequently used as a classist term in England used to discriminate against white people in the North of England and the working class. The term 'chav' is widely used and has gained awareness internationally recently through TikTok. It is sometimes rumoured to be an acronym for 'Council Housed and Violent', however this is not entirely accurate. The term comes with a lot of problems about the class divide in England, a centuries long issue that still continues very severely to this day.
Chav fashion often involves lots of Burberry (although the high-end fashion house claims that the trademark "Burberry Check" pattern they use that chavs often wear is actually counterfeit), track suits, expensive jewelry (despite them coming from poorer backgrounds), puffed metallic jackets, handbags from labels such as Micheal Kors, and baseball caps. Chavettes tend to have obviously fake tans and wear what is often cheap make-up (again, due in part to their poorer backgrounds).
Staples of chavette makeup include heavy, clumpy mascara or dramatic lashes, foundation (often the wrong shade) applied to the lips, large, drawn-on eyebrows, and heavy, obvious contouring.
Male chavs often wear heavy chain necklaces and large, expensive or expensive-looking watches, to show off that they can afford such things.
Both Chavs and Chavettes have a tendency to enjoy alcohol, cigarettes, (typically underage) and generally arrogant and boorish behavior; often getting into fights with one another or accosting strangers for minor slights, such as disrespecting them.
The phrase 'chav', when used to refer to working-class English people, particularly those from Northern England, is comparable to the usage of the phrase 'redneck', referring to working-class whites from the Southern United States, in the sense that both can be seen as a pejorative slur for white, working class people, yet are sometimes adopted in a tongue-in-cheek fashion by the groups to which they refer, as insider humour.
In a lot of ways, the chav is similar to America's Jersey Shore aesthetic, but with an obvious English twist. This similarity to New Jersey Guido culture can be found particularly in Essex, in South East England. Much like with the Jersey Shore aesthetic, there was an entire show dedicated to the Chav way of life (this one being called Geordie Shore), but unlike with the Jersey Shore aesthetic, there hasn't been any decline in Chavvish activity that has been found yet.
Chav music, unsurprisingly, draws a lot upon Hip-Hop and electronic music. Often described as having monotonous bass and basic keyboard synthesizer noises with vocals that sound incredibly slurred, it probably should come as no surprise that Chav-Hop hasn't exactly lit the world on fire the way other musical genres on this Wiki have in some way, shape, or form.
- Attack the Block (2011)
- Neds (2010)
- Man Like Mobeen (2017-)
- This Country (2017-2020)
- Shameless (2004-2013)
- Misfits (2009-2013)
- Skins (2007-2013)
- Rose from Doctor Who
- Eggsy from Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014), pre transformation
- Taylor from St Trinian's (2007)
- Michele from Derry Girls (2018)
- Lauren, Lisa, and Ryan from the "Lauren Cooper" sketches on The Catherine Tate Show (2004-2009)
Much like the Jersey Shore aesthetic, the Chav also has their own deep and rich language as well (although this one would require several lessons as opposed to a mere 5-hour dissertation). The Chav language can be broken down as follows:
- (Are) You 'avin' a laugh, mate?: A term often used by chavs that is often said when a person says something incredibly stupid.
- Baccy: Tobacco. Hand-rolling cigarettes is much more common in England than America, and chavs will often carry rolling papers and baccy seperately.
- 'Bangin' 'tune: This is often said when a Chav approves of a song being played.
- Bare: Often used to describe multiples of something.
- Bang you up: To fight someone, similar to the American 'beat you up'.
- Bellend: This is the Chav term for a "dickhead".
- Bird: A word used to describe a woman (typically a very attractive one, who will often be described as "fit", though this compliment often applies to any gender).
- Blut-blut: They'll often use this to try and gain attention to themselves. A variation of this was used by Snooki on Jersey Shore.
- Brap: This is a Chav attempting to make a gunshot noise in an attempt to threaten somebody, often ineffectively.
- Bruv: The term often used to describe one's brother, whether by blood relation or not. "Blood" can also be used in place.
- Fag: A term they use for a cigarette. Has no association with the homophobic slur.
- Ends: This is the term given to whereabouts they live.
- I'll crash you back, mate: This is often something to ease one's trepidation in loaning something to a Chav.
- Innit: Considered a shortening of "isn't it?" Can also be pronounced "Ennit". Used very frequently by chavs, as well as by non-chavs all over the UK.
- Mint: This is a term of contentment; not quite at the level of Wickiid (as you'll see below), but definitely positive.
- Missions: When a Chav goes for travelling for a long distance, they'll often refer to it as this.
- Murk: Often a term used to described assaulting or murdering somebody.
- Peng: Means nice - used to describe something they like,
- Peng Ting: Usually used to describe an attractive woman
- Set Me: This typically means they want you to give them something, like a cigarette.
- Snog: Kiss or 'make-out'. As in 'givvus a snog'.
- Startin': This is typically a term used where the chav is trying to initiate a physical confrontation.
- 'Wa'g'wan: "What's going on?" a Jamaican Patois greeting. This is typically a greeting chavs give one another.
- Wickiid: A term of excited approval.
- You wot, mate?: Yeah, you know that internet meme that people often jokingly say in arguments? Now you know the source.