Breaktime - Yoofspeak

26th August 2011 at 01:00

Bally (n)

Means: A mask used by miscreants

Usage: "Let's grab a bally and go hard down the Centre"

This summer's urban unrest highlighted the dark side of Yoofspeak as police published the contents of social media postings and texts sent from the front lines by rioters, translating the street argot where necessary for the benefit of an outraged readership.

Journalists were taken by the would-be gangstas' use of dated US slang terms "Feds", "5-0" and "po-po" for the police and were bemused by deliberate or accidental misspellings ("Let's have some havic."). Learned articles analysed the social significance of the "hoodie" (garment and wearer), but in their "BBMs" (encrypted BlackBerry Messenger exchanges) the "yutes" (their preferred term) were focused on the practicalities of the moment, warning fellow perpetrators of the location of "bully-vans" - police vehicles - and reminding each other to hide identities from CCTV and press photographers with ballies, seemingly referring both to balaclavas and bandanas.

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now