English Dictionary

Pioneers in dictionary publishing since 1819

chav (tʃæv



  1. (British, informal, derogatory) a young working-class person whose tastes, although sometimes expensive, are considered vulgar by some

Derived Forms

ˈchavish  adjective

Word Origin

perhaps from Romany chavi a child


Comment by malcolma59 on 10 Dec 2012

Contrary to OED's Susan Dent's comment on the word 'chav': As a teenager in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, in the late 1940's and early 1950's, my grandfather regularly addressed me as 'chav' or 'chavy', probably in a derogatory way. I would imagine he had probably been addressed the same way as a teenager in the 1890's.

Report as inappropriate
Log in to comment on this word.