OT: some word questions

mks at brisingamen.demon.co.uk mks at brisingamen.demon.co.uk
Fri Aug 20 12:51:43 EDT 2004

On Fri, 20 Aug 2004 17:25:58 +0100, Robert  wrote:

>> Why Pikeys?
>It's from Kentish dialect, and is believed to be derived from the word
>turnpike, which is a tollgate or a road with a tollgate on it. It originally
>was a derogatory term for gypsy (see "chav"), but it's also applied to what
>might be referred to in the US as "white trash" or "Trailer-park trash".

I live in Kent, having moved here from Oxford eighteen years ago, and
had never heard the word before I came down here. And indeed, I only
heard the word used for the first time three years ago by an older
woman. Everyone else in the group I was with also knew the word.

But a young woman I know from Hampshire also knew the word ... it had
been used by her grandparents, so it seems to have a certain currency
along the South Coast.


Maureen Kincaid Speller
Folkestone, Kent, UK

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