Breaktime - Yoofspeak

3rd June 2011 at 01:00

Wallad (n)

Means: A foolish male

Usage: "Your gang are all wallads." "Ya messed up big, ya wallad."

There are plenty of UK teen terms that originate in Afro-Caribbean speech, one or two from Bengali, a couple possibly from French, but right now just one significant example that comes from Arabic. "Bint", the Arabic translation of "girl", and the more recent "binta" have been used by an older generation as a less-than-complimentary nickname. But the term du jour in London is "wallad", from the Arabic (walad) for "boy", "son" or "kid". And it, too, is far from complimentary. For some young users of the word it just signifies an idiot: they don't seem to realise that it started out in street gang terminology where it can be a trigger for serious interracial violence. Could it be that they are, consciously or unconsciously, confusing the new word with the cosy old Cockney insult of the 1970s, "wally"?

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