It seems that funny names for Britain’s underclass are much in the news of late. Over at Ben Hammersley’s blog I came across this list of labels: Chavs, Neds, Townies, Kevs, Charvers, Steeks, Spides, Bazzas, Yarcos, Ratboys, Kappa Slappers, Skangers, Janners, Stigs, Scallies. He rounds off the post with a mention of Pikies. Wondering what the connotations of this last were, I asked Google, who sent me to the UrbanDictionary.com. It’s an idea that I very much like: anyone can submit a definition of a slang term, and people vote for the definitions they like. Who better to compile the people’s dictionary than the people? There are things in here that Meriam-Webster just won’t tell you. The number one pikie definition is: “a term used for a common, unfashionable looking youth, usually wearing unsurpassable amounts of gold jewellery and reebok ‘classics’.”
To see if this urban dictionary was any good, I tried out the word “props”. This is a slang term that appears in phrases like “mad props to my peeps, yo.” I understand it from context, but where does it come from? I was pleased to get a satisfying answer: props = proper respects. So: mad props to the urban dictionary, yo.
2 thoughts on “Props and pikies: define”
My last comment (see: Are you a Ned?) should’ve actually been made here. How wierd is that, I was just going to send you to urbandictionary.com. I’ve pasted my previous message below:
You might be interested to know that your last name is actually a slang term. (Well kind of) “Gulley” or “Gully” means a couple of things in the hip-hop world. Its usually runs along the lines of meaning “hardcore” , “gangsta” etc.
You can view some of the 17 odd definitions on this website.
As a side note, this site is someone’s very humorous attempt at creating a dictionary based on slang terms. Its actually pretty accurate.
Not sure how much you’d care, but a funny thought came to mind with your half Ned comment — You’re actually half hardcore or half gangsta. That’s probably more than I will ever be. :-)
“Pikeys” is the English term for Irish Gypsies. Check out “Snatch” (2000, stars Brad Pitt) for examples.
The term comes from where the people in question live: on the turnpikes, in “caravans,” or campers and RVs as they are called in the States. Like other social subgroups, they developed their own mode of dress. Also like other subgroups, loser teenagers with no identity of their own may emulate that style in an attempt to impress others.
Comments are closed.