Subcultures of the British Teenage Population Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

Subcultures of the British Teenage Population

18 Conversations

Many people over the past few years have become aware of the wide variety of teenage subcultures in the UK. For example, when on shopping trips in certain parts of England, people are often set upon by 'scally'1 groups. This of course means that they quickly move to the opposite side of the road and begin to shout abuse from a distance, along the lines of:

' a Goth are you?'
'Moshers! Go home!!'

It has amused many onlookers that these scallies look, on average, about 12 years old, and are all dressed alike, with tracksuit bottoms tucked into their socks, girls with scrunchies - rather like we were back in the 1980s. However, scallies are not the only group to have multiplied and exerted their force on an unsuspecting Britain, and although the names might be different in different parts of Britain, the descriptions are often the same. This is a list of teenage stereotypes, describing some of their 'best' features. This list consists entirely of opinion and hearsay, as this is probably what created these groups in the first place.

Note: It often happens that these subcultures are defined slightly differently in different parts of the UK, and these findings are based mainly on the subcultures found in and around the north-west of England.

Scallies, and their offspring...

The Scally: Originating in Liverpool, the overflow of this group has been tremendous. They don't speak proper English and prefer to use syllable sounds like 'ay' instead. They can be identified by their characteristic 'pants-tucked-in-socks' look. Girls are also noticeable due to their wearing the aforementioned 'scrunchies' and excessive use of 'applied-with-a-trowel' make-up. Often to be found in 'Can Gangs'.

The Kappa Slapper: Very similar to a scally, but so-called because they wear an indecent amount of Kappa sports gear. Found in the Runcorn/Vale Royal area of Cheshire.

The Meader: Kappa Slappers found in Bristol, named after an area of Bristol called Sounthmead, from which the style is thought to be most popular. However one need not herald from Southmead to be a Meader.

The Townie: Again, another name for a scally, but found in Cornwall, Essex, Manchester, Birmingham and Warrington, as well as in many other places in Britain.

The Charver: Here you can see Geordie scallies!

The Kev: Like scallies again, but heralding from Cornwall.

The Ned: Again similar to a scally, but this name refers to scallies who are found in and around Glasgow.

The Knacker: The name derived from a colloquial word for 'traveller', knackers are found in Ireland and are not dissimilar to scallies. They are almost always to be found drinking.

Can Gangs: Groups of scallies, most often found hanging around shops, asking people going past to buy them beer, vodka and cider.

Knuckle-draggers: Mostly really big, beefy types, who spend their free time terrorising pedestrians by saying (or often shouting) stupid things. This term found fame when it appeared in an episode of the children's drama series Press Gang, which suggests a Scottish origin (as the writer of the series hails from Paisley), although its true beginnings are hard to confirm.

Moshers, and their kind...

The Mosher (see also 'Skater', and 'Greebo'): Usually relatively intelligent people attempting to be 'different' and characterised by the big pants, band T-shirts, patches, chains, and badly-dyed spiky or long straggly, unwashed hair. Other accessories include skateboards or roller blades. These people are often seen in gangs round half-pipes in parks, or harassing small dogs by skating past them at high speed.

The Smelly (version 1): A breed of Mosher into a heavier genre of music (i.e. Slayer rather then Blink 182).

The Smelly (version 2): Followers of early punk, notable for wearing leather jackets adorned with safety pins, and having big spiky hairdos of various colour.

The Mosher Scally: Although rare, this breed does exist! Characterised by having their big pants tucked in their socks. A group to be mocked in the highest.

The Indie Mosher: A breed best known to itself. In trying to be 'eclectic' these people have just become half-breeds, not taken seriously by anyone.

The Skater: People who skate, often in parks or on random half-pipes around the country. This group have really come into their own again over the last few years. They are often to be found sporting baggy attire, and can often, at first glance, be confused with moshers. However, this time their attire is actually put to some use, as the extra folds of material prevents them from being permanently disfigured by skating accidents. Not to be confused with non-skating posers and Avril Lavigne2 fans.

The Greebo: See 'The Mosher'

The Death Kiddie: A perpetually-angry 12-year-old Slipknot3 fan. Known for such phrases as 'f*** you! I won't clean up my bedroom!', or 'I f***ing hate my mum, she makes me do the washing up!'

The Fake Mosher: You all know the ones, those twelve-year-olds who still think that Korn is a clothing label, or wear Slipknot shirts because they got them free. Hmmm...

The Fake Skater: These have only come to light very recently, after the unfortunate rise of Avril Lavigne. These can be clearly seen in any shopping outlet as the ones with the big pants, tiny tops and stripey ties, which they have clearly just bought at a well-known chain of shops famed for their cheap accessories.

Random others...

The Oik: This is a derogatory term referring to all those who still have the burden of having to wear school uniform. This term can only be used by those who have completed GCSEs and are doing 'A'-levels or are in higher education.

The Britpop Boy: Defined by their big fur-lined, or sheepskin, coats. These fine creatures often fall asleep on buses with their headphones on.

The Goth: The most misunderstood of all stereotypes. Characterised by their uniquely black and white (with occasional red or purple) wardrobes. This group is the most taunted, but also the bravest. Other accessories include chains, fake nails, black lipstick, black eyeliner, spiky chokers and bracelets.

The Bohime (after the old Bohemian): These people just do what they think is best and wear what the hell they like. They are non-conformists of the highest order.

And finally...

The Ginger: These fall into two categories: male, and female:

The male ginger is often the victim of undeserved abuse because of his pale skin tone and unusual hair colour. These can often lead to dramatic insults such as 'Ging-er!' or 'Why so pale?. Again, these are lacking originality and are often the outcome of jealousy on the part of the abuser, as it has been statistically proven that women like ginger men.

The female ginger has entirely different powers. Far from being taunted by the opposite sex, they seem to be desired beyond all comprehension. Hence the phrase 'fiery redhead'. They cultivate the 'pale and interesting' look in an entirely different way!

The Gwar: 'Gwar' is a term used in the Welsh Regiment of the Territorial Army to describe ginger people. It is often accompanied by pointing and laughing, though no one knows why.

All these people, except maybe The Ginger, try to be different by doing exactly the same as others have done, and are doing. So, they're not really so different are they?

1Short for either 'scalliwag' or 'rapscallion', depending on who you believe.2American teen singing sensation famed for the hit 'Skater Boy'.3Shock metal band who wear monster masks in their live performances. Tend to appeal only to children and young teenage boys.

Bookmark on your Personal Space

Edited Entry


Infinite Improbability Drive

Infinite Improbability Drive

Read a random Edited Entry

Categorised In:

Edited by

h2g2 Editors


h2g2 Entries

External Links

Not Panicking Ltd is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more