Talk:Chav/Archive 3

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This page should probably be more correctly called "Chav" as this term is in far more common use - and the page is more informative than that for Chav itself.

This was went over in the chav article. Charva is the original spelling and all that so if anything the chav article should replace this one here however the people at that article disagreed with moving it to a neutral name so that won't happen--Josquius 20:24, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
As suggested in the Wikipedia chat room, this article should stay. Whether 'charva' is the original word or not on Northern POV. I'm from the North but 'Chav' is the more common word. 'Chavs' and 'Charvas' are different things - Chavs don't possess the accent, for example. Charva is generally North Eastern terminology and should remain in this article. Hedley 17:19, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)
Have to say there is absolutely no way that this should be merged with chav. The North East or more specifically, Tyne and Wear, Charvers or chavs or whatever are a different breed. Plus, judging by the fact the north east has the worst binge drinking, higest teenage prenancies, and worst unemployment, I think we've earned our own special page!! csjunior 17:52, 21 June 2005

Point of View

  • No statistics provided to show 'Most crime is by charvas'.
  • Statements like 'charvas wear Fred Perry-stripey jumpers' and 'girls have fringes suspended in a curve' are a point of view of a charva.
  • No definition of a charva can be backed up by any evidence (apart from gaining a point of view walking around Newcastle), and so I doubt whether this article is suitable for Wikipedia at all. If it is, then it needs to be much better written, and as i'm not a charva expert, I don't think i'm up to it. Hedley 00:11, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • The only reason chavs are different from charvas is because chavs are from the south. If they were both called charvas then people would think they were the same but southern and northern charvas. So chavs and charvas are the same thing but it just happens to be that the divide between the two uses of the word is the divide between the north and the south of the country which do have different types of people.
  • Most charvas are young people from very low income households. There are statistics to show a lot of crime comes from this area. The very word charva is assosiated with criminal.
  • That isn't pov its fact. The chances are if they don't have those traits they aren't charvas (though the opposite does not also hold true).
  • Read the evening chronicle, it has spoke of them for eons.
There is no exact definition for the word. Sometimes it means just charva kids, sometimes the whole non-working class, sometimes typical boy racers etc... I've went for the broad cover all category.
Anyway, I said it wasn't well written in the page history. I'm not very good at writing about such things. --Josquius 20:24, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)
  • Its not well written in the respect of the Wikipedia writing standard, hence why it was on cleanup before. I actually agree that those are the traits of your typical charva, but as it happens it isn't backed up by fact, and a lot of the article is the writer's opinion of a charva, hence why its a non-NPOV article. I may opt to make it a bit more 'POV' some day soon. Hedley 17:17, 24 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I have spent a lot of time in the Newcastle area and would agree with the pov claims in the article but it needs clarification.

Merge with 'Chav'

As far as I can see, most, if not all, of the information here is already in the chav article. The two terms do not appear to be different enough to justify separate articles, where most of the information (if the charva 'stub' is extended) would be duplicate. Someone possessing more knowledge than I should pick out any potential good stuff from this article, move it to chav, and remove this one. If necessary, charva should be mentioned inside the chav article, but I can see no reason to give it an entry of its own. I'm adding it to the list of articles to be merged. EldKatt 16:37, 25 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Definatly not. There was a decision made over on the 'chav' article that the two should have seperate articles. If charva gets merged it should be merged into townie- along with chav.--Josquius 18:15, 29 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I can't find the decision you're talking about. Only more arguments in favour of charva and chav being the same thing. That said, I'm not English, so I wouldn't know for sure myself. But I'd appreciate more of an explanation. Thanks in advance. EldKatt 13:38, 5 May 2005 (UTC)
    • The above talk page comments mainly. You hardly here of Chavs in the North East, and a chav is very different to a Charva in many respects. As I stated, chavs have no definitive accent, and charvas do. It's important that such cultural differences have their own article. Hedley 19:42, 23 May 2005 (UTC)
      • you hardly hear of the term Chav - thats simply because they're called different things in different places. There's really not enough material to sustain more than one page on this topic, and it seems we have at least three now. Jon Dowland 10:44, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
        • If you read the article you'd clearly see theres differences. You wouldn't call Ali G a charva - Hes a skit of a chav. They're different things, correct, in different places. That means that they both need an article. Hedley 15:57, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
          • Yes, I would call Ali G a charva. If I lived outside of the north east, perhaps I'd call him a chav. Jon Dowland 10:55, 25 May 2005 (UTC)
            • I've never once seen a charva who dresses or looks like Ali G. Hedley 11:11, 25 May 2005 (UTC)
              • I always thought Ali G was a parody of white boys from affluent middle class backgrounds who style themselves as "gangstas"; I believe the term "wigger" is used in some quarters. I didn't think there was any connection with chavs/charvas. AdorableRuffian 3 July 2005 22:39 (UTC)
                • No, hes a skit of a chav. Hedley 3 July 2005 23:01 (UTC)
                  • I still beg to differ - that explanation is at odds with everything I've read about the character, including the Ali G article on Wikipedia. It strikes me that if he's intended to be a skit of a chav, he isn't a very good one. AdorableRuffian 3 July 2005 23:28 (UTC)
                    • Thats exactly my point. Chav is a dictionary term ultimately meaning an unruly youth - Its broad, going from charva-like individuals to any teenager in a London street gang. I'd say Ali G's more of a townie, but thats just a more broad definition of a chav. Much like this. Its important that an encyclopaedia covers these seperately. Hedley 3 July 2005 23:45 (UTC)
          • But that's based on the assumption that every little thing that is in any way ever so slightly different from some other thing should have its own page. I can understand that they're different, but if they're really different enough, the articles should reflect that. As it is now, most information in charva is, as I've already stated, duplicate from chav. Given the current articles, I probably couldn't pinpoint many of these differences; at least not enough to justify each an article of its own. Based on that knowledge, I still suggest a merge. Please do convince me otherwise if you disagree. EldKatt 17:00, 24 May 2005 (UTC)
            • It isn't a duplicate. Infact, I written most of this myself and I hate the term 'chav' as it is a different thing. If you want me to go off every little difference I will - These are similiar terms, very much like a lot of other things, but they are different. The big difference is that a chav is generally a lower class individual who wears excessive jewellery, shows antisocial behaviour, etc. A charva isn't necessarily a lower class individual, but instead a member of a subculture which involves some similiarities, but many differences (such as accent, clothing). Chav is generally a derogatory term for anyone in the lower class whereas high-class charvas do exist. Hedley 17:28, 24 May 2005 (UTC)

Northumbrian Gaelic?

It is many many years since I lived in Newcastle, so I do not feel competent to edit the main article on this one. But, hmm, "Northumbrian Gaelic word"? Northumbrian fine; Gaelic fine; but the two together? Can someone investigate that one a little further? If it's Northumbrian, then would "Northumbrian dialect" be more accurate?

First off, I've never heard of Northumbrian Gaelic, and google doesn't find a single instance of the term (although google isn't really suitable for any serious research). Now, turning to this particular issue, the proposed Gaelic etymology has little basis anywhere but in this article, from what I can see. The Wikipedia article on chav (which, incidentally, is much more well-written and more likely to be factually correct than charva) states the common theory that it's of Romany origin. The relation between charva and chav can probably not be denied, given the similarity of the terms. The Wiktionary entry on chav links it with a couple of possible Romany words, including charver ("prostitute") which further strengthens the relation between charva and chav. The single search result found on gives the etymology "perh. Romany chav child", which corresponds to one of the Wiktionary suggestions. In short, there's plenty of evidence for a Romany origin, and, from what I can see, none for a Gaelic origin. I might edit charva to correspond to the etymology given on chav. --EldKatt 10:40, 14 May 2005 (UTC)
Ah, you answered my original query in the first sentence. What I was querying was not the etymology, but the term "Northumbrian Gaelic". Gaelic isn't just some dialect of English. It's a completely separate language -- several separate languages, in fact -- with (as far as I know) no connection with any form of English spoken in Northumbria. In fact that article mentions similarities to Scots/Lallans, which is not remotely like Gaelic. That's what concerns me: that I have never heard of "Northumbrian Gaelic". I'm happy to be proved wrong, but I am deeply sceptical that there is or was any such language. And I don't think it's likely to be the right term for old dialect words in the north-east, even if you stick "now extinct" in front of it.
We need a Geordie, Northumberland or Gaelic expert, to confirm, I think, because I think that reference should come out. Telsa 16:25, 14 May 2005 (UTC)
I see what you mean, I think. In fact, you've brought to my mind a new possibility as to the meaning of the statement in the article; that the word came into standard English usage from a Northumbrian dialect of English (instead of, as I have interpreted it, the patently false idea that the word is, from the very beginning, of Gaelic origin). If so, 'Northumbrian Gaelic' is indeed as wrong as it can get, Gaelic being only very vaguely related to English in being Indo-European. Still, though, I think it should be removed in favour of the Romany origin. When talking about a word's etymology, the ultimate origin (as far back as can be traced) should be more important than the English dialect in which it was used a mere couple of centuries ago. --EldKatt 19:04, 14 May 2005 (UTC)

So far as I know, the only Gaelic spoken in Northumbria would be by Scots or Irish that'd gotten quite significantly lost. It's just about possible there's a historically identifiable "Northumbrian Brythonic" (P- rather than Q-Celtic), but even that's quite a stretch. I suspect what's meant is Northumbrian dialect (i.e., dialect of English), and even that I'd like to see a source for before I'd be 100% happy about seeing it in the article. Alai 03:54, 28 May 2005 (UTC)

Northern England had parts where gaelic languags were still spoken until the beginning of the last millenium, the language utterly died out due to a mixture of the standard moving in of the English and the vikings though it did leave behind words which entered the English of the people in the area. I took this from what was written in the evening chronicle about charvas several years ago. josquius

The recent edit by Hedley reworded the paragraph about etymology from the "Northumbrian Gaelic" origin mentioned as secondary (by a previous anonymous editor), after the Romany origin, to stating Northumbrian Gaelic as (more or less) the most likely theory. I'm still a bit bothered about it being mentioned at all, simply because all evidence I found last time I thought about it pointed against it and towards Romany. Someone (and I'm particularly addressing Hedley, who seems eager to put it in the spotlight) might be able to point to some kind of source? It's also not specified whether we're talking about an English accent, or an actual Celtic language (I'm betting on the former), but this would sort itself out if we see some sources. Worth pointing out is that these two ideas (Northumbrian Gaelic versus Romany) are not opposites. It might have been borrowed into Standard English from Northumbrian Gaelic, but ultimately of Romany origin. --EldKatt 5 July 2005 18:39 (UTC)

  • It seems more likely. The Romany word looks more like 'chav', and means 'male youth', which doesn't mean much as charvas are of both genders. "Unruly youth" is a good description of charva, and as charvas originate in the North East near to Northumbria, it seems logical that it is likely. Hedley 5 July 2005 19:55 (UTC)
Is this a conclusion you're making yourself? When the sources we have contradict what we feel "seems more likely", an encyclopedia should follow the sources. In this case, I don't think this is likely enough for us to just assume it's true and point it out as fact in the article. The meaning of words shifts over time, perhaps quicker than some think. If one dismisses the possible Romany origin of "charva" because the Romany word meant "male youth" and "charva" doesn't, one is greatly simplifying the way language works. Also, can you please show me any sources mentioning this Northumbrian "unruly youth" thing, or at least tell me what "Northumbrian Gaelic" is? Because the conclusion here also happens to be based on a fact that I haven't been able to verify. Please help me. --EldKatt 5 July 2005 21:16 (UTC)
We don't have sources stating it is of Romanian origin. If i'm wrong about that, feel free to note it. As we don't have sources, we have to be logical. The word is more likely to come from a local dialect meaning "unruly youth" than from a completely foreign one meaning "male youth". The Geordie language is very much a local thing, and charvas definetly spread from Newcastle outwards. The source from given is for a "chav", which is a different term altogether. Hedley 5 July 2005 21:20 (UTC)
Firstly, just for the record, Romanian and Romany are two quite different things, but that's just a sidenote. Anyway, external sources aren't as I remembered them, but chav on Wiktionary does mention charva. I don't need to repeat anything here. I don't have any personal connection with any part of Britain, but I wouldn't quite agree that "chav" is a completely different term and that we can't learn anything from tracing its etymology. It can't be denied that the phonological similarities are great, and that, semantically, the words overlap very much. So what we have is many reliable sources for a Romany origin of a very similar word (chav), one possibly but not certainly reliable source (Wiktionary) claiming a possible Romany origin of charva itself as well, and no evidence, as far as we've seen, for the origin you state. The conclusion I find most logical is that it is of Romany origin.
But, and this is a big but (albeit one that I have stated repeatedly before), it can be both. I would have no problem imagining that charva came from a local dialect into Standard English recently, but that originally, if we trace it as far back as we can, it's of Romany origin. Before we can get anywhere we have to consider that we're dealing with a chain of borrowing that can go far back and through lots of languages, not a simple question of "did we get it from Romany or from Northumbrian". So these two theories aren't really two different theories about the same thing. They're two different theories about completely different things. I am, now, making the assumption that the "Northumbrian Gaelic" is a dialect of English (i.e. not Gaelic in any way, in the generally accepted sense), since nobody has disagreed with that. --EldKatt 5 July 2005 21:55 (UTC)
Northumbrian Gaelic, roughly put, is probably very much Geordie. I have no problem mentioning both theories, but as those with experience of "Geordie speak" will agree, it is kept local. Chav originated down south, so the chances of them having the same origins isn't certain. Mentioning both is fine, but I personally doubt that it is of Romany origin, as Geordie speak (as 'charva' originally is) has always remained very much local. Hedley 5 July 2005 22:23 (UTC)

If you say it is from Northumbrian Gaelic then you are going to have to provide a source. A similar word in other celtic languages would help. Otherwise it looks more than likely that this is an alternative pronounciation of chav - the root of chav is Romany through the Polari word chava meaning child. Note that the r in charva will just be a lengthening of the 'a' sound as Geordie isn't rhotic. Secretlondon 5 July 2005 22:30 (UTC)
"Charvas" aren't always "male" or "children". There are a lot of older youths and even adults, and the female 'species' is as much of a plague is the male. Hedley 6 July 2005 07:42 (UTC)
I thought I had already explained the concept of semantic shift enough for this to be irrelevant. I could probably dig up many examples of words that have been imported into English, in a manner similar to this example, and have since changed their meaning by a similar amount, but it'll be easier if we can just accept the linguistic reality that this is. Now, back to this case: I guess I could be bold and remove the Northumbrian Gaelic deal by now since nobody has been able to verify it, but since you seem to be somewhat sure of it, I'll ask again. Do you have any sources? EldKatt 6 July 2005 16:22 (UTC)
No, I don't. You also have no sources that specifically say that it derived from the Romany language. Therefore, we have to assume both, and will have to continue to do so. Hedley 6 July 2005 16:52 (UTC)
First, I'll quote myself: "So what we have is many reliable sources for a Romany origin of a very similar word (chav), one possibly but not certainly reliable source (Wiktionary) claiming a possible Romany origin of charva itself as well, and no evidence, as far as we've seen, for the origin you state." And the "no" is bold for a reason: It's a very big no. We don't even know there is a similar "Northumbrian Gaelic" word, or indeed any "Northumbrian Gaelic". We do have this information on the Romany thing.
Your logic is a bit flawed, though, by Wikipedia guidelines. If we have no sources for two claims, then the proper way to act is NOT to assume both. It's to remove them completely, because they're not verifiable. This is definitely how we should treat the Northumbrian Gaelic, if you have no sources. I think the sources I state above have some weight, at least (and most importantly) more than none, but I'm not unprepared to change my mind if it meets disagreement. If we do agree that these sources are indeed not enough, then the proper way to act is not to assume both, but to remove it all. EldKatt 6 July 2005 18:27 (UTC)
I'll give my source. The Cassell Dictionary of Slang.(1998). p217. chavy/chavvy n. 1 [mid-late 19C] (Polari) a child. 2. [late 19C+] a form of address to a man, eg. wotcher chavvy. Romany chavi, a child]. There is also a US possible chavalas n. [1960s] (US) 1. women. 2. men used in a derog. way. [Spanish. chava, a girl]. From this I'd say that we have an obvious root.
This article is not chav. That tells me nothing relating to the word "charva". Hedley 8 July 2005 16:18 (UTC)
Please. They're practically the same word. As coincidence would have it, only wiki sources (Wiktionary, look up charva and chav yourself if you're interested) even mention the word charva, but luckily we have a nearly identical word (semantically and phonetically, of course, and perhaps also geographically, depending on how you see it) with well-attested etymology. Some sources, such as the one quoted by Secretlondon above, mention several variations in spelling, as you might expect with slang. With any bit of common sense, it's a very logical (and very plausible even if you view it from a stricter linguistic standpoint) to assume charva is just another variation. Everything points to an etymology similar to that of chav. I seriously don't see why you can't seem to accept that. EldKatt 8 July 2005 18:16 (UTC)

I can find no eveidence of a Northumbrian Gaelic. Gaelic was once spoken to Galloway but not any time recently.. Geordie may be helpful, as might Geordie Origins. Secretlondon 8 July 2005 11:54 (UTC)

Northumbrian gaelic certainly did exist. Surely you have read of how sheep farmers in Northumbria used the gaelic method of counting up until this century? I have also heard mention of the romany word for prostitute though...It is the actual word in usage too. I guess a theory of where it comes from bit would be best.-josquius

I haven't heard of it, but I wouldn't consider it evidence of the language's existence. At least not evidence that we know of a particular language that we call "Northumbrian Gaelic"; I don't doubt for a second that some form of Gaelic was once spoken in Northumbria, though. Incidentally, Google finds a single mention of "Northumbrian Gaelic worth noting, but it's a forum post [1], and single forum posts can't really be considered evidence. EldKatt (Talk) 14:28, 11 September 2005 (UTC)


Ok, I think i've fixed the POV and cleared up why a chav is different. Any thoughts? Hedley 20:27, 23 May 2005 (UTC)

Could still use more NPOV editing. If charvas were a real ethnic group with a strict definition, much of what is said here (particularly in the Characteristics section) would probably be considered patently racist. Luckily, there appears to be no real definition that can foolproofly separate all the charvas from the non-charvas, but this only makes the claims less verifiable. Also, I still have my doubts regarding the differences between chav and charva and whether they really justify different articles, mainly since the main differences still appear to be geographical and accent-related (the latter being a direct extension of geographical). Still, though, I don't think that issue is too urgent to discuss anymore, as charva, like chav, is starting to become a well-written, real article. It was more of an issue when it was really terrible. Overall, nice work. --EldKatt 10:57, 28 May 2005 (UTC)
"Charvas are widely thought of as the scum of British youth today, and their subculture is one of the biggest in the country which ranges from young children through to adults." - widely thought of by whom? If this is a north eastern only concept then it doesn't cover the whole country. If it's the whole country then it's chav. This just smells of classism, sorry. Secretlondon 2 July 2005 18:39 (UTC)
Well, I've read both articles a couple of times and I'm still not sure about the distinction between chavs and charvas. If there are any significant differences (other than the obvious ones relating to geography and accents), the chav and charva articles fail to spell them out in my view.
"For example, a chav is often anybody who is stereotypical of the lower class, whereas charvas are often identified more distinctively for their dress sense, speech pattern and way of life." However, according to chav, chavs may be identified by their behaviour and mode of dress, and later on in the charva article there are references to "difficult and lower class council estates." So... I'm still none the wiser, I'm afraid.
In an earlier post, you wrote "If you want me to go off every little difference I will" - that might not be such a bad idea! AdorableRuffian 3 July 2005 21:53 (UTC)
Well, firstly, its a matter of being specific. Chav is a broad term - Infact a dictionary term - For several similiar types of unruly, youth subculture. Going off chavscum, which doesn't sum up charvas at all but is deemed as 'god' for summing up chavs, chavs wear excessive amounts of gold jewellery, copy US gangsters, and wear burberry/tracksuit bottoms. Some of that is true of charvas. However, charvas would never be seen wearing massive gold chains, US-style 'duds' and other fashion items. My point is that enough can be said about each for them to have their own article. Hedley 3 July 2005 23:01 (UTC)
Whether a term is chosen by any specific dictionary is neither here nor there. Do you think a site called chavscum is likely to be NPOV? Secretlondon 5 July 2005 22:21 (UTC)
Chavscum don't even seem to have a clear idea of what a chav is - look at their Celebrity Chavs section. What do Jim Davidson, 50 Cent and Britney Spears have in common? AdorableRuffian 3 July 2005 23:44 (UTC)

Charva Engineers?

"Most current young charvas take up Engineering in their GCSEs due to the subject often interesting them."

Any comments? If this is actually true I think it need to be substantiated and maybe expanded in some way, as it's somewhat at odds with the rest of the article and with the general charva stereotype. Why engineering, anyway? (PS I'm an engineer myself, so I do have a vested interest here!) AdorableRuffian 4 July 2005 00:01 (UTC)

  • Its mostly a case of intelligence and behaviour, although in may be POV. Basically, Engineering is a derogatory subject sometimes, chosen by those with average-to-low intelligence at GCSE. It is recommended in option interviews to those with questionable behaviour, and low chance of going on to further education. The course is connected with local firms and modern apprenticeships, so really its a stepping stone to instantly entering the world of work. Additionally, its desirable as it often involves studying off-site as colleges. Hedley 4 July 2005 00:11 (UTC)
    • Right, that makes sense now. I was thinking in terms of charvas taking A-levels then going on to study engineering at degree level, which seemed to me to be quite unlikely. AdorableRuffian 4 July 2005 08:08 (UTC)


My recent edits to clarify the origin of the word where partially reverted, but I also noticed you "corrected" "Romany language" to "Romanian language"! This pretty much confirms your lack of lingustic knowledge - Romany is an Indo-Iranian language spoken by Romany Gypsies, wheras Romanian is a Romance language spoken in Romania. I can find no evidence to suggest that Charvi derives from Gaelic, Northumbrian or otherwise, but I kept that in as an alternative etymology - however the fact is that it most likely is Romany in origin. I guess it's possible that both the supposedly Gaelic word "Chava" and the Romany "Chav" are distantly related, which accounts for the similarity, but I don't think that "Chav" was a Proto-Indo-European root word ;) -- 6 July 2005 11:38 (UTC)


I've added the NPOV tag to this page as I don't really know where to start with it. Secretlondon 19:23, 17 July 2005 (UTC)

I agree it needs real work. The article text may sound frightfully witty in the sixth form common room but unless someone can point to some sociological study that confirms all the unsubstantiated statements made here then charva should be completely overhauled or even just plain deleted. adamsan 21:00, 17 July 2005 (UTC)
I would be tempted to merge this and Chav into one. -- Francs2000 | Talk 21:03, 17 July 2005 (UTC)
We don't delete articles on Islam for their content. This shouldn't be deleted. Also, Chav is not the same, as we've discussed before. Hedley 08:31, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
Forgive me, but where on earth does Islam come into it? -- Jon Dowland 11:36, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
We do delete articles (or at least delete the bad parts of them) if they state things for which there is no evidence. We're trying to make an encyclopedia here, not a repository of our own opinions. It doesn't matter how convinced you personally are that what you write is fact: you must be able to confirm it with written sources. I don't really see what Islam has to do with anything here, by the way.
Aslo, I wouldn't quite agree that we've discussed the merge issue enough. We've discussed it, but we have not reached a satisfactory conclusion. The opinion of one Wikipedia user does not equal a decision. EldKatt (Talk) 10:03, 18 July 2005 (UTC)
I think we should vfd with a delete resolution meaning, merge content into Chav. -- Jon Dowland 11:35, 18 July 2005 (UTC)

Charva is not the same as chav though there are often cross overs. Chav is the fashion of dressing in burberry and the like. Charvas are a sub culture which often dress in the chav style. In the south they do not call their charvas chavs so much, they seem to be more often termed hoodies or just not grouped in a category as they are not such a big deal until some commit a crime. Just look at the amount of celebrity chavs- they are certainly not charvas. -Josquius