Aesthetics Wiki

Cocalar (or plurally, Cocalari) is a slang term used in Romania to describe a subculture of adult men who stereotypically wear kitschy clothing, have a "poor" or "ridiculous" taste in fashion, participate in BMW car culture, wear lots of gold, jewels or glitter and have multiple tattoos, among other stereotypes[1]. The Cocalari tend to express themselves through a loud and outstanding appareance rather than their personality or actions. The signature musical genre associated with this subculture is Manele. The feminine equivalent of a Cocalar is a Pițipoancă.

The term Cocalar or Cocalari tends to be used pejoratively, although regardless, some people in Romania proudly identify with it. The Romanian word cocalar is derived from the Romani word kòkalo[2], hence why this aesthetic is sometimes associated with the Roma minority. Nowadays the term Cocalar is being phased out in popularity and as Romanian society shifts the modern equivalent is a Bombardier; another similiar phenomenom emerging in the late 2010s.


Cocalar outfits often use the following elements:

  • Gold chains, as well as fake money
  • Oversized jewellery
  • Gold rings and even teeth
  • Aviator sunglasses
  • Open jackets or shirts
  • Rolled-up shirts
  • Overaccesorizing
  • Revealing skin
  • A touch of Kitsch


Some activities associated with the Cocalar subculture include:

  • Buying and driving expensive cars (particularly BMW models or Audi A4)
  • Calling people "boss", even when speaking Romanian
  • Taking pride in acting "dumb" or extravagant
  • Pretending to be or look rich
  • Listening to Manele music
  • Frequenting Manele nightclubs
  • Using social media, especially Facebook
  • Travelling to western European countries, usually Italy or the United Kingdom
  • Getting into fights
  • Criminal activity (mostly in extreme cases; examples include ties to the Romanian Mafia, theft, human trafficking, owning katanas, or rarely ties to the police)



Manele is a common name for two closely related Pop-Folk musical genres originating from Romania:

Classical Manele traces back its roots the 18th century in Ottoman-occupied Romania. Being derived from Turkish music, it used to be traditional music played by the Roma people, who originally came from Istanbul.

Modern Manele is a more diverse genre that includes Romani, Romanian, Turkish, Greek, Arabic, Serbian and Bulgarian influences, using modern instruments and electronic beats. In the Balkans, there are other similiar music genres, such as Chalga in Bulgaria, Skiladiko in Greece or Turbo-Folk in Serbia.