To not know what a chav actually is/means?

(71 Posts)
Chocoholism Tue 15-Apr-14 16:31:54

As it says, I first heard this word many years ago and I still don't really know who or what kind if person a chav is? My initial image is the people you mostly see on the Jeremy Kyle show. AIBU or is that right?
Is it now a class or is it a way a person dresses? Apologies if this has been asked before. I haven't debated it ever.

Nohootingchickenssleeping Wed 16-Apr-14 09:04:11

That's all you got from my post? Not at all, I just think the goalposts have moved. Let me put it a different way: there's a new, lower 'working class' who are perfectly capeable of working but choose not to.

I had someone walk past my work a few days ago (I work in a shop) and I heard him say "I'd rather stay on the dole than fucking work in there." I have perfectly good job with promotion prospects.

usualsuspectt Wed 16-Apr-14 09:07:19

I'm still just getting chav= WC from your posts.

Nohootingchickenssleeping Wed 16-Apr-14 09:13:41

Then you need to re-read them.

Chocoholism Wed 16-Apr-14 09:16:07

I always thought working class was considered the back bone of Britain, I'm not sure you can say working class is people who refuse to work???

usualsuspectt Wed 16-Apr-14 09:18:14

You don't think MC people on benefits are chavs.
You don't think MC people who smoke weed are chavs.
You don't think MC people who swear at their children and buy things on credit are chavs.

So you must think chav= WC.

NigellasDealer Wed 16-Apr-14 09:20:56

I have no idea why people insist on describing people who have never worked as 'working class'

Chocoholism Wed 16-Apr-14 09:21:13

Also I've downloaded the book people have mentioned, Chavs, Owen Jones. It's about time I read something not baby related again blush

Chocoholism Wed 16-Apr-14 09:24:37

I think people misunderstand what middle class actually is

NigellasDealer Wed 16-Apr-14 09:26:09

go on enlighten us then choco
My old history teacher at school in the 70s said it was anyone who owned their own house. Possibly a bit simplistic?

CuChullain Wed 16-Apr-14 09:28:16

Personally, I thought the word chav was for those antisocial feckless twats who make the lives of anyone who has the misfortune to live near them an utter misery. It has very little to do with class and everything to do with said individual possessing a fuck you zero personal responsibility entitlement attitude which if questioned is met with verbal abuse or actual violence. There are some who will claim that ‘chav’ is the demonisation of the working class, I say that does the working class a disservice as in my experience most working people are tucked up in bed at 2am and not driving around town in their ‘modified’ Honda SR blasting shite drum and bass out at 400db. These are the muppets who all too often ‘know their rights’ despite not actually being able to spell them as school was perceived to be a somewhat optional distraction.

Chocoholism Wed 16-Apr-14 09:49:16

To be honest I don't even know myself anymore what middle class is, I think the lines have blurred. Middle class might have been thought to be well educated people with higher incomes, own home, shop In waitrose and all that jazz but I don't think it's as simple to say it's about money as there are people, I.e myself, I definately come from a working class background but i went to uni, I even shop in waitrose now and again! I can't define it but I don't think that it relates to money.

Horsemad Wed 16-Apr-14 09:49:46

I overheard someone use this word last week and it summed up the culprits exactly, as per supergreenuk's description from the dictionary.

The person who used it was a middle aged woman who had to split two parents who were having a dispute after a youth match.
One of the parents had been having a private conversation & the other (a manager of one of the teams) interjected and was threatening to headbutt the other parent!
The woman intervened & told the manager and his cronies they were acting like a bunch of chavs. They were most put out and outraged at her choice of adjective.

I think she used the correct description, they were acting in a loutish yobbish fashion.

LouiseAderyn Wed 16-Apr-14 10:28:51

I think MC is when you assume your dc will go to university and have a well paid career because that's the experience of the last 3 generations in your family. It is your assumption that they will be able to buy a house, go on holiday at least once every year. Its not worrying about the future because your family experience is that it will all be okay.

WC is not having these automatic assumptions. Even if you become wealthy, poverty is still within memory for you. WC is knowing that your kids might not have sparkling careers ahead and might have to have a boring job. It's knowing that we are all only a step or two away from financial disaster, so we worry about it rather than having the easy confidence of the MC (who are also a step or two from financial disaster but think it couldn't happen to them).

Chavvy I think refers to an underclass, who have a huge sense of entitlement that the world owes them a living and they don't actually have to do anything to earn it. It also imo refers to money but no class.

Horsemad Wed 16-Apr-14 10:35:27

Based on my pp, I think 'chavvy' is not about money/wealth, it's about attitudes. You can be rich but still be 'chavvy'. Likewise, you can be poverty stricken yet still have more class in your little finger than someone with loads of money.

It's more about how people conduct themselves imo.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 16-Apr-14 10:47:44

Anyone remember the appalling Harry Enfield/Kathy Burke couple that were 'considerably richer than yaow'...? To me they epitomised chavvy. Vulgar. Common. No taste, no manners & no class (in the non socio-economic sense of the word)

Pammy and Stanley Cogito?
I was thinking Wayne and Waynetta at first. grin

Horsemad Wed 16-Apr-14 10:54:39

Agree Cogito!

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 16-Apr-14 13:41:57

Pammy and Stanley. Toe-curlingly chavvy they were. Wasn't there a sketch where Stanley had treated Pammy to some new 'titties' and she wanted to show them off? Brrr....

Wayne and Waynetta were grotesque but not vain enough to be chavvy. Vicky 'yeah but no but' Pollard on the other hand... the pink tracksuit and Croydon Facelift are perfect.

NigellasDealer Wed 16-Apr-14 13:47:22

Pammy and Stanley were pure genius - what a comedy pair Harry Enfield and Kathy Burke were - and just spot on! I have actually met people from the Midlands like this! shouting about their koi carp etc.

struggling100 Wed 16-Apr-14 15:58:11

My first encounters with the word seemed to involve people from Essex who wore fake burberry, the children of tradesmen who had more money than middle class people but were rather showy with their new found wealth rather than restrained in their style. they went on holiday to the costas or florida rather than camping in France or skiing on a budget! - Billybanter

I am SO glad to read this! This was definitely my first encounter with the word, too - but everyone I mention it to looks at me like I am crazy. I was in London at the time, and I distinctly remember it started out as a term for wealthy but uneducated people who wore a lot of (real) designer clothes, and drove blingy cars. So Stephen Ireland and Katie Price were 'chavs', as were the sons and daughters of wealthy builders etc. It was a disparaging term that used standards of taste to ridicule a form of very in-your-face (and slightly ridicule-worthy) conspicuous consumption by a newly wealthy class.

It wasn't until about a year after that I heard it used to describe people from the underclass who were aspiring to be like these more wealthy types, but wearing fake designer clothes etc. It's this use that seems to have 'stuck', as a way of denigrating the poor. I absolutely hate this.

Horsemad Wed 16-Apr-14 17:33:50

The 'nouveau riche' smile

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