Pikey

From Academic Kids

Template:Wiktionary Pikey is a pejorative slang term used in the United Kingdom. The term, a contraction of the word "turnpike", was originally used to denote Irish Travellers, but in recent years the definition has become looser and is sometimes used to refer to a wide section of the (generally urban) underclass of the country, particularly those on whom the lower middle classes look down. When used to refer to Gypsies it often considered to have racist connotations; even when it refers to others, many people still consider it to be derogatory and offensive. However, it is also commonly used as a synonym of chav, a word which is not regarded as having racist overtones.

Related terms for urban or suburban miscreants can be found in the dictionary entry for "chav". The popularity of these terms has grown since the 1980s, and their usage reflects serious and light-hearted issues arising from changes in British urban life rather than an increased need to characterize the lifestyle of travellers.

Pikey has quite a different meaning from crustie - a word which became popular during the 1990s and refers to a kind of hippie traveller who rejects many aspects of modern society and identifies with the underground festival and protest culture.

The Oxford Slang Dictionary indicates that the original usage dates back to 1847.

Negative British attitudes towards "pikeys" (in this case meaning Gypsies) were a running joke in the 2000 Guy Ritchie film Snatch.

The American terms "trailer trash" and "white trash" are similar in the condescension and disdain with which they are used, though the stereotypes differ in some particulars.

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