One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounIrish English, British
A promiscuous woman; a prostitute. Hence: women considered sexually.
nounEnglish Regional, North
A young person of a type characterized by brash and loutish behaviour and the wearing of designer-style clothes (especially sportswear); usually with connotations of a low social status.
verbIrish English, British
with object To have sexual intercourse with.
Mid 19th century. Origin uncertain. Apparently related to later charver<br>1990s; earliest use found in Usenet (newsgroups). From Angloromani chava man, child, boy from Romani čhavo<br>late 19th century. Origin uncertain. Compare earlier charver, which is apparently related, and from which the verb could be derived, although most have assumed that the opposite is the case (in spite of the chronology of the first attestations, which may well be accidental). Both words have been identified as part of Polari slang (compare I. Hancock Shelta and Polari in P. Trudgill (ed.) Language in the British Isles (2003) 384–403), although they may not have originated as part of it.
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