Dictionary of Playground Slang (Online)

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scally, scallies

(stereotype) Name for a person who wears lots of sports clothes, often Adidas or Nike, and tend to hang out on streets drinking cider and usually likes to listen to dance music., The scally is a generalisation and usually a degrading word, often the scally isn't aware that they are one, of will at least not admit to it (usually they're not the sharpest tool in the box so probably wouldn't realise anyway.

We got a right telling off from 'JG' about the above definition, as you can see below. Trouble is even in the same area, different groups use the same word with a different meaning sometimes the difference is small, sometimes large. We just print 'em as we get 'em. Here's JG's definition. You can decide which definition applies to your area:

"Your definition is totally wrong!! The word scally comes from `scallywag´. `Scally´ is directly traceable to the Merseyside area. It denotes a person who is sharp and street wise, perhaps a a small time thief. Or used as an adjective can describe someone who is untrustworthy, but again sharp: `scally builder´.

In the mid- seventies a hardcore group of Liverpool supporters followed the team into and all over Europe. Along the way they stole and robbed from many sports goods stores. They brought these goods back to sell and wore them too. Hence the beginning of the `scally´ football fashion which began to spread nationwide in the very early eighties. Regional variations on the word to describe football supporters are easy to give: Manchester, Perry boys; SE, Casuals; Sheffield/ Yorkshire, Townies or Trendies. This most underrated of scenes eventually spliced into the warehouse party scene. The etymology of the word itself can be guessed at by looking at a word which covered the same meaning on Merseyside with an older generation. 'Buck´ or ``Bucko´ meant a young man who was wild and in trouble with the police for relatively petty offences. Its precise etymological history is Irish, brought over by the wave of immigrants into the area. The word is still used by Merseyside Police as a slang term to describe a young male offender of repute. This definition mirrors the meaning of `scally´. Which as a word again has Irish origins. In conclusion your definition is wrong for two reasons:1) You describe scallies as having low intelligence therefore showing an ignorance of this social group 2) Scallies are so famously Liverpudlian I am amazed you could attempt to locate the word as NE That is utter shite!! From reformed scally JG."

(ed: thanks for that JG - any comments from alternative viewpoints gratefully received!)

See also: meesh, townie
Source: circa 1970's - 1990's, UK (NW, NE)