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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

British slang, "antisocial youth," by 2004, of unknown origin.


n. (context UK pejorative offensive English) A working-class youth, especially one associated with aggression, poor education, and a perceived "common" taste in clothing and lifestyle.


Chav is a pejorative epithet used in Britain to describe a particular stereotype. The word was popularised in the first decade of the 21st century by the British mass media to refer to an anti-social youth subculture in the United Kingdom. The Oxford English Dictionary defines "chav" as an informal British derogatory, meaning "a young lower-class person who displays brash and loutish behaviour and wears real or imitation designer clothes". The derivative chavette has been used to refer to females, and the adjectives "chavish" and "chavtastic" have been used in relation to items designed for or suitable for use by chavs.

Usage examples of "chav".

The big brass would soon boot out Chav if they found he was a dangerous fanatic.

If Chav were even hurt, Terekomy would have every one of us in the City killed.

As soon as they saw there was a plot against Chav, they came and nabbed the conspirators, just in time.

Here under Chav with a rigid censorship it's impossible to know how the Empire actually fares.

It was a four-sided contest, formed by two nuls and two Earthmen: Chav, Synvoret, Rivars, and Gary.

As soon as this crisis was over, and before Chav had them all back among the un-fightable restrictions of the other City, he would break out and find Elizabeth.