Chav (male) and chavette (female) are mainly negative, unkind slang words used in the United Kingdom for a subcultural stereotype of young underclass white people. Chav: "a young working class person who dresses in casual sports clothing or a baseball cap".
They may wear fashion based on American hip-hop such as fake gold jewellery and designer clothing, combined with elements of working class British street fashion. Many are either school age or late teens/early twenties and may come from a family culture of social security claimants ("SS claimants"). The term first appeared in dictionaries in 2005. They tend to listen to R&B, hip hop, UK garage, grime and reggae and drum & bass music.
"Chav" has started to mean a variety of things. Most chavs do not wear Burberry – this happened mostly in the '90s and early '00s. Chavs are stereotypically narrow-minded and more often than not, below average intelligence. Chavs also tend to use slang language to appear "cooler" and more "edgy".
“Chavette” is a term used to describe female chavs.
In 2011, Owen Jones published his first book, Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class. Jones says in it that 'chav' is a word used to make working-class people seem less human. In 2014, The Guardian's Suzanne Moore wrote an article calling R&B singer and songwriter Tulisa a chav.
- Collins English Dictionary
- "Definition of chav in Oxford Dictionaries (British & World English)". Archived from the original on 2013-09-02. Retrieved 2013-05-30.
- "'Asbo' and 'chav' make dictionary". BBC News. 2005-06-08. Retrieved 2006-09-02.
- Tweedie, Neil (2005-08-10). "Don't be a plank. Read this and get really clueful". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 2007-02-22. Retrieved 2006-09-02.
- Moore, Suzanne (28 July 2014). "If Tulisa Contostavlos were middle class, she wouldn't face such scorn". The Guardian.