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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 June, 2005, 23:33 GMT 00:33 UK
'Asbo' and 'chav' make dictionary
"Chavs" have entered the dictionary
The latest edition of the Collins English Dictionary has been published, including 1,500 new words reflecting recent changes in language and culture.

Among the new words is "chav" - defined as "a young working class person who dresses in casual sports clothing".

Also included are "Asbo", the acronym of Anti-Social Behaviour Order, and "retrosexual", a heterosexual man who spends little time on his appearance.

The dictionary's editor-in-chief said it reflected a "vibrant" society.

The dictionary suggests the word chav may have come from the Romany term "chavi", meaning child.

'Property porn'

Elaborating on the theme, the tome also includes "chavette" - a female chav - and the adjectives "chavish" and "chavtastic" - designed for or suitable for chavs.

The chav's equivalents from Ireland - "skanger", Scotland - "ned" and East Anglia - "yarco", also get a mention.

People have taken possession of language and are ever more inventive about the way they use it
Jeremy Butterfield

Another new inclusion is "property porn", defined as "a genre of escapist TV programmes, magazine features etc, showing desirable properties for sale, especially those in idyllic locations, or in need of renovation, or both".

Sport is well represented, with new terms including "tapping up" - defined as "the illicit practice of attempting to recruit a player while he is still bound by contract to another team".

Other football-inspired entries include "bouncebackability" - or the "ability to recover after a setback, particularly in sport", which the dictionary says is regarded as having first been coined by Crystal Palace manager Iain Dowie.


And "squeaky-bum time", first coined by Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, is defined as "the tense final stages of a league competition, especially from the point of view of the leaders".

Other new words are "adultescent" - an adult still actively interested in youth culture, "brand Nazi" - a person who insists on buying one particular brand of clothing or other commodity, and "exhibition killing" - the murder of a hostage by terrorists, filmed for broadcast on television or the internet.

Dictionary editor-in-chief Jeremy Butterfield said: "People have taken possession of language and are ever more inventive about the way they use it.

"The new words in this edition do not only reflect change in our culture, but a change in the way we use our language.

"They portray a vibrant, multicultural society finding new ways to express itself and describe the world around it."

Neds make it into the dictionary
08 Jun 05 |  Scotland
'Blog' picked as word of the year
01 Dec 04 |  Technology


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