Chav/chaval

A new one to me: chav is British English for “a young working class person who dresses in casual sports clothing” (via Naked Translations). The standard etymology is Romany, and the term’s Hispanic cognate, chaval, forms part of the lexicon of Spanish gypsy language, Caló. (The Grec Catalan dictionary suggests, on the other hand, that it may derive from an Arabic word for boy, xâbb, as in Cheb Khaled; the Central American chavo is semantically related but etymologically obscure.) Xaval gives rise to one of the names for Barcelona’s strongly Spanish working class dialect, xava, “characterised by the elimination of voiced consonants and of open and neutral vowels”, although not all at once.

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