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Scientific classification
Kingdom Fungi
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Lesser Primates
Family Hominidae
Genus Wha?
Species Inferior
Binomial name
Homo Retardus
Primary armament Disfigured Face
Secondary armament Lack of Intelligence
Power supply Dutch Gold
Health 2
Mana 0.4
Strength -0.1
Intelligence Off the charts (in the wrong direction)
Weight average 80kg (60 kg without ugly, gaudy, tasteless, cheap jewellery)
Length 0.4 - 1.0 metres
Special attack Fiat Punto or a Honda Civic, although the pinnacle of all skanger cars is the Subaru Impreza
Conservation status
Open to mass culling

“Are ye sterrr'ing? Arye? Oi'll fukin batter ye, ye fukin cunt!”
~ Oscar Wilde on Scangers

Scanger or skanger (female: howiya[1]) is a derogatory term for a stereotypical member of a youth subculture group in Ireland, similar to the chav in the United Kingdom.[2][3]

The stereotypical scanger is known to wear a tracksuit, gold jewellery, runners, tattoos, piercings, is usually from a working class area of an Irish city or town, and speaks with an exaggerated version of the accent that is customary to the indigenous people of that city or town. Male scangers tend to have cropped haircuts, wear Celtic F.C. shirts, The term scanger also has cultural ascociations with the term Boy Racer and older male scangers often drive cars with loud sound and exhaust systems alloy wheels and extensive (and often illegal) modifications.

The female skanger can generally be identified by the distinct 'hoopy' earings, bleached-blonde hair and a propensity for wearing Pyjamas, while shopping or indeed as casual clothing. Female scangers are also usually seen pushing pram(s) whilst shopping or just out in public. Another feature would be the distinct use of hair 'scrunchies' to perform facelifts. This is achieved by pulling the hair back into a tight ponytail in order to tighten the facial skin. This can lead to some curious facial expressions and a look akin to rabbits in the headlights of cars.

Male scangers can be defined by their tendency to tuck their tracksuit bottoms into their socks, their short hair and gelled-down fringe. They smoke John Player Blue and walk with an aggressive swagger, as if carrying tennis balls under both their armpits. Typical scanger phrases include: "Alrigh, bud?", "Ah Jaysus, Howaya?", "Shtory, bosh!". All names must end with an 'o', e.g. Declan changes to Deco, Anthony changes to Anto, Johnathan changes to Johno, etc. Female names are usually added with 3 or 4 "e's" at the end, e.g. Fiona changes to Fioneee', Jecinte to Jecinteee', etc.

Scangers are also known to wear such clothes as:

Brand name athletic clothing and shoes. This might include white trainers and tracksuits. Fake Gold jewellery- hoopy ear-rings and large gold chains for women, and gold sovereign rings and large gold chains for men. Sports caps or Burberry caps are always pointed at very high angle, usually 45-90 degrees.

Many younger scangers often take part in underage drinking, underage sex, smoking and sometimes drug abuse. Dutch Gold would be a particularly common drink for youths who take part in underage drinking, due to it's high alcohol content and low retail cost. Druids Celtic Cider is also popular among certain groups of young people, primarily in Dublin and Cork.

[1][4] Scangers have a reputation for anti-social behaviour.[5]


According to Professor Terence Dolan in the Department of English in University College Dublin and author of A Dictionary of Hiberno English[6]:

"Much of the influence comes from London where the origins of the word 'skanger' can be found. I'm pretty certain this is a collapsed form of the word "scavenger" from a West Indian word used by the Caribbean community in London."[1]

Dolan's dictionary gives the West Indian slang word "skanker", meaning an untrustworthy or unreliable person, as a possible source of the word.

Stereotypical Appearance[edit]


  • Very short haircuts (sometimes with a short fringe or quiff at the front) in males. The wearing of a high pony-tail in the girls (usually at the crown of the head), negatively referred to as the "knacker knot", "scrunchie" or "Annie". The wearing of 'quiffs' on women is also becoming quite popular.
  • Peroxide blonde highlights, usually on the top of the head and quiff of males, and as streaks in females have been popular in the Summers of recent years but are losing out to shaved-in patterns among short haired males.
  • The wearing of thin moustaches, ("knacker-taches"), such as that made famous by Irish Boxer Barry McGuigan.
  • The wearing of branded baseball caps (such as the Burberry check pattern). The cap is often worn at a sharp 30-45 degree angle. The Nike brand has a high take-up rate traditionally among this market segment. In recent years Burberry has also emerged as a strong market player.

Females can be identified by the so-called "Knacker Facelift"; a ponytail with hair pulled back so far that it stretches the facial skin, hiding the wrinkled skin developed from years of eating chips and smoking since childhood.


In males:

  • Collared, shortsleeved golfing style teeshirts have become popular, again usually branded to the same companies as the popular tracksuits/trainers. This emerging fashion is not surprising as many drinking establishments have a dress codes which do not allow football jerseys, golf clothes look more respectable than collarless teeshirts and are sold in the same shops (such as Lifestyle Sports and Marathon Sports) as the other heavily branded sports gear.
  • Woolly Jumpers are common on scangers in winter (particularly popular are ones showing prominent brand names such as Fila), football jerseys can be worn beneath and the collars look similar to a full shirt (usually worn with dark coloured tracksuit bottoms).
  • Aforementioned dress codes in nightclubs bars the scanger from wearing trainers and tracksuits. Instead long sleeve branded shirts are worn (typically Stone Island, Ben Sherman, Fred Perry, or Lacoste shirts), usually untucked at the waist, with jeans. During the winter the vast majority of scangers wear Columbia Jackets

In females:

  • The wearing of all white, pink or baby blue clothing. Many sports brands market directly to "scanger fashion" by manufacturing impractical sports gear, such as velour tracksuits for girls.
  • The "tramp-stamp," a tattoo on the lower back is often associated with scanger females, often a word in Chinese, Japanese (or another symbolic language) or a modern tribal tattoo.


  • Beer cans are often carried in the hands of scangers, who flout by-laws which ban public drinking, typically cheap brand lager or cider (regional variations apply as to the brands though Dutch Gold lager and Linden Village cider are common). Buckfast Tonic Wine is also popular amongst scangers, due to its sweet taste and reasonable price. Soft drink cans are often carried in areas where where public drinking would be stopped, such as in the city centre.
  • Since the advent and proliferation of prepaid mobile phones their obnoxious use has become a trademark of the scanger, such as the playing of ringtones on buses. Scangers have strong associations with football, dance/rap culture and sectarianism. Many a multimillion Euro industry has developed around supplying ringtones and animated graphics, as well as phone covers, with these themes directly marketing to scangers.
  • Prominent jewellery: sovereign rings (on men); large earrings, especially hoop earrings, (on women); and thick chains (worn around the neck or wrist) is another characteristic of the scanger; another overt display of affluance, these are often hallmarked silver or gold, or at least gold in appearance—another similarity with the british chav.
  • Smoking is very common among scangers, traditionally preferring cheaper brands such as Superkings, John Player Blue (especially in Dublin, often bought in 10 packs and referred to as "Johnny Blue") or Lambert and Butler.
  • A popular venue for the consumption of soft drugs, i.e. cannabis, is the back seat of the top deck of a Dublin Bus.
  • The Livestrong wristband and other silicone wristbands were very popular among scangers in 2005.

Speech habits[edit]

In Dublin, the stereotypical accent resembles the typical inner-city accent:

  • A slightly high-pitched nasaltone.
  • Pronunciation of vowel sounds are drawn out, such as the short 'o' sound of 'oh' (/?/), often enunciated as 'ah' (/?/), as in 'story' ('starry').
  • Over use of the word shweeeer/shweeeaar (please note this was written using onomatopoeia and it is near to impossible to type in words).
  • Dublin slang is used. A common greeting used by so-called scangers is pronounced 'starry buud?', as in 'what's the story, bud?', ('how are you, friend?'). Sometimes, diphthongs are split into two different sounds.
  • The tag questions, 'Wha'?', (as in 'what?') or 'Righ'? (as in 'right?'), are used more frequently to close a sentence than would be usual in Hiberno-English in general. (The rain's bucketing down, wha'?) or (I'll bleedin batter yeh, righ'?)
  • The 't' sound is often replaced with a glottal stop as is common in cockney English. To take the last example, 'bucketing' would be said 'buck-ehh-ing'.
  • As in inner city Dublin slang, 'yezzer' is used in place of 'your', particularly when addressing a group. A possible explanation for this is that it is a combination of 'yez', a corruption of Irish slang 'yous' (the second-person plural pronoun), and 'your' ('youser'). Can be heard from Dublin street vendors: "Get yezzer (goods) here!"
  • 'Inanyways'is used in place of 'anyway' as a sentence opener or to notify a change of subject, for example: 'Inanyways, how've you been?'
  • Pronunciation of Jesus as 'Jay-zus'
  • Rhyming slang is sometimes used.
  • 'Bleedin' is a term used for emphasis, as in "Dat's bleedin rapih" or "That's bleeding rapid"
  • Sentences may end with the word "but".
  • Gknackers produce a gnnnnaaahhhh sound which is modulated to produce the grunting speech common to the tribe.

Other distinguishing features[edit]

Scangers, as part of the stereotype, have similar social preferences. Preferred clothing brands include Burberry, Lacoste, Nike, Adidas, Ben Sherman and soccer jerseys.

Scangers are very often anti-British, and graffiti by scangers very often concerns the IRA. The phrase 'up the 'Ra' (the 'Ra being a term for the IRA) is often shouted by scangers in groups, and also scrawled on building walls, as is "Brits Out", a reference to the British presence in Northern Ireland. Despite this apparent strong anti-British feeling, many follow the English Premier League, often in preference to following the domestic league in Ireland, Eircom League. Many also support Scottish club Celtic F.C. which has a strong Irish nationalist support base, as opposed to Rangers F.C., which has a unionist support base.

Many male scangers also fit the boy racer stereotype: modes of transportation will often include small cars such as the Nissan Micra, Opel Corsa (or Vauxhall equivalents), Toyota Starlet GT Turbo and Glanza, Mitsubishi Lancer, or Honda Civic as well as the definitive Fiat Punto, modified with expensive parts (or poor quality immitations), such as cold cathode tube lights, "Lexus lights" (rear light clusters styled like those on a Toyota Altezza/Lexus IS200), body kits, and blacked-out windows. These cars are also sometimes decorated with objects such as stylised number plates (often of which do not conform to the regulations), and stickers showing brands such as 'No Fear', ones from magazines such as Max Power and "Fast Car", performance parts manufacturers or sound system companies such as Sony and Pioneer. This type of modified small car is sometimes pejoratively referred to as a 'muppet-mobile' or a 'scanger-banger'. The boy racer has been satirised by Limerick crank callers The Rubber Bandits.

Scangers stereotypically have notoriously little respect for the environment and litter shamelessly.

Female scangers are sometimes seen wearing pyjamas and / or slippers in public at any time of the day. very often scangers can be seen loitering in a public area,sitting on walls or park benches competing with each other to see who is the most 'scangerish' hence insulting (or 'slagging' as they refer to it) those who are the least 'scangerish' by saying 'yeah ye tink yer all shweh'. the term 'shweh' comes from those insulting the high pitched nasal voices of scangers by claiming when conversing with an angry scanger the only sound to be heard is a sort of 'shcweh' noise. stemming from that came the insults such as 'yeah ye big shweh','ye tink yer all shweh','ye tink yer all shmad' and finally 'you shmad lad'.

Social origins[edit]

Scangers are often considered a phenomenon of Dublin's north and south inner city, in particular areas with state provided housing and apartments. The number of scangers from large residential districts with housing estates and apartment blocks is also very great. However, scangers are not necessarily from underclass backgrounds. It is not uncommon to have a son or daughter of apparently "respectable" parents identifiable with the scanger stereotype, and many youths from certain parts of the city may aspire to the image through peer pressure, except in certain areas (see below). Many Dubliners casually refer to all working class youths as scangers, leading to unfair stereotyping. In reality, scangers can be found in most areas of the city and suburbs—not just areas where local authority housing is located.

Many scangers adhere to the scanger stereotype thanks to outside influences, such as peers and (to a lesser extent) the media. Being a scanger is not necessarily a badge of a member of a lower class.

Scangers around Ireland[edit]

In other parts of Ireland, such as Cork, Limerick and Galway scangers are known by names such as 'shams' (hence the 'muppet-mobile' is known as a 'sham-wagon'), 'scumbags', 'knackers', 'tracker knackers', 'minks' (Galway and Sligo), 'wahs', 'wackers', 'scobes' (Cavan), 'norries' (a reference to Cork's Northside) and 'howayas'. Shams' are named for the regional custom of referring to a fellow as 'sham' (as opposed to 'bud' in Dublin). The word 'sham' actually means imitation or counterfeit and therefore could have the same meaning as 'phony'. Many people use the word sham to refer to scangers of a more privileged background. 'Wah' is short for the term 'wacker', which is a word synonymous with 'scanger' in the southern half of Ireland (especially Munster). 'Wah' is also an onomatopoeic indication of the style of speech of southern scangers. The term 'Mink' comes from the term 'Minceir' (pronouned mink-air), which is what the travelling people of Ireland call themselves. In the 1970's there was a travellers rights organisation called 'Minceir Misli', or 'Us Travellers'. It has nothing to do with the animal of the same name. 'Howayee' is an older term coming from the greeting phrase often used by scangers - "Howayess?" i.e. "How are you?". The term 'scobe' is also used; however, this describes 'hardcore' scangers, that is, criminally intentioned, and so is not as commonplace as 'scumbag' or 'sham'.

These groupings are closely related to scangers, but do have some regional differences. In Belfast, scangers are known as 'millies' (a collective term for women) and 'spides' (usually referring to men, but often to women also). The term 'milly' dates back to Belfast's industrial past, when women who worked in mills were referred to as millies. Relation to Nationalism depends on which side of the sectarian divide the spide belongs to. Protestant spides are traditionally pro militant unionism. The more extreme case of spides known in Belfast as hoods, are connected with street crime, joy riding, violent theft and drug dealing, they are more anti paramilitary than their less harmful relations the spide, due to paramilitaries punishment beatings for anti-social behaviour. The term 'spide' first came into circulation in the early 1980s in Belfast. 'Spide' derives from the shortening of the term 'Spiderman', a term associated with these individuals due to a common tattoo trait, a spiderweb on either or both elbows. Alternative terms are 'smicker', 'steek', 'jock' and 'jaunty', all developing from common spide nicknames.

Dundalk, the northern-most east coast town in the Republic of Ireland, also has its own class of knackers, often referred to as 'scummers' or 'scumbags.' They can be broadly broken down into, and seen to have come from, large housing schemes in the town built in the 1970/80's, most infamously Cox's Domain. These housing estates formed their own gangs with a bitter rivalry, comparable to the hate seen between English Football Hooligans. They too sport a chav-style ensemble, but replace the Lacoste tracksuits with Adidas, Le Coq Sportif, or (in the middle 1990s) Kappa. They, in typical scanger fashion, sport baseball caps with fiercely rounded peaks. Their manner of speaking of late involves replacing vowels (especially broad vowels) with an i. For example, "man" become a high-pitched "min" and most of these words are spoken with a tightened chest, resulting in breathlessness. They frequently can be found eating baguettes filled with wedges and/or fried chicken or sausage rolls for their dinner paying little attention to the health consequences. They generally have beady eyes, 2 distinctivly dark eyebrows (they have those eyebrows that slant upwards), a tight haircut with a greasy island of hair at the top and insist on feeling that their lack of achievement in life is down to the fact that they've been born into a scumbag family and not as a result of thier own lack of ability to delay gratification or lack of effort to achieve. They are generally either very scrawny or very fat.

Monaghan Scangers have also reached this part of the country in recent times. Their appearance varies slightly from native dublin scangers. Here the presence of a football top, tracky bottoms, white runners and golden chains are still in existence but they also hold an unbreakable grasp of a bulmers can. They tend to have no regard for fashion and when surrounded by "norms" they become more proud of their appearance.

DROGHEDA, is in the northeast of ireland and is a town that is only inhabited only by scangers, most people live in council houses and a person would be looked down on if they didnt have children by their early adolescent stage in life, to avoid this they go to as many "raves" as possible, do as much recreational drugs as they physically can before bedding the first girl they see usually a common,............whore.


The first skangers where discovered by Dr. Michael J. Bryan of Trinity College Dublin at 11:37 AM near a fish n' chips in the north side of Dublin...North Circular Road.

Cquote1.png As I traversed the Hibernian metropolis' principal bridge (named for Daniel the patriot), venturing into the uncharted waters of Dublin du Nord, I espied a group of jeunes hommes congregating outside what smelled not unlike an offal-yard. They were attired in sportswear, despite there not being any evidence of a sporting event taking place. They were conversing in a sort of guttural, nasal language and it occurred to me that they may be the Norwegian exchange students who were due to arrive that very day, that being St Swithin's Day, anno domini nineteen hundred and eighty-six. Hailing them, I called "I særdeleshed er kulturen veludviklet i Wien, hvilket har givet anledning til begrebet Wiener Moderne, som betegner perioden omkring århundredeskiftet. Denne status som kulturelt og politisk centrum?" upon which one replied "Arhye fuuk in Schtorten?" Not understanding this odd dialect, I beckoned them to follow me across the river. Of course, upon setting foot upon Westmoreland Street, the Gardaí mowed them down in a hail of bullets. They explained the situation to me afterwards, and I realised my lucky escape Cquote2.png

Missing Link[edit]

Scangers were originally thought to be the missing link between Man and Traveller, but upon a closer examination Scangers were found to be closely related to a retarded chimpanzee in Dublin Zoo called BoBo

Are You A Skanger?[edit]

Do you wear?:

  1. Brand-name athletic clothing and shoes. This may include white trainers and tracksuits?
  2. Trainers costing more than all the rest of your clothes put together?
  3. Designer clothing and accessories (usually counterfeit)?
  4. Celtic shirts, despite your never having been to Glasgow?
  5. Argos jewellery (especially wedding rings)?
  6. Sports caps and hoodies at the same time?
  7. Have you ever shopped in, or shoplifted from, Penney's, JJB Sports, the Jervis Centre, a €2 shop or a charity shop?
  8. Are you on the dole?
  9. Is your grandmother in her thirties?
  10. Does your window have an Irish flag flying from it, even though you are a disgrace to it, your country and your species?
  11. Does your girlfriend wear hoop earrings, pyjamas and too much makeup? Does she carry a Stanley knife in her handbag? Do you refer to her as me mo'h?
  12. Do you call people bud right before assaulting them?
  13. Are you retarded due to your mother smoking hash while she was pregnant with you?
  14. Do you drive a Nissan Micra? (Or a Fiat Punto or any other embodiment of your homosexuality){if yes}does it sound like a mongoose on cocaine? (Sign of Advanced Stages of infection)
  15. Do you loiter in areas such as bus stops, shopping centres, under bridges, corner-shops, fast food restaurants and prison exercise yards?
  16. Do you challenge people to fights but when you frequently lose them run to your father and ask him for back-up?

If you are capable of reading the above questionnaire, then you are almost certainly not a skanger.

External links[edit]



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Did you snog? No, I scored, you muppetIrish Independent newspaper article, 8 February 2006.
  2. 'Asbo' and 'Chav' make dictionary, BBC News, 8 June 2005.
  3. This cackle about cackleberries is enough to leave you scunnered, The Guardian newspaper article, 9 June 2005.
  4. Pyjama PartyThe Irish Times newspaper article, 11 November 2006.
  5. "Every skanger from Timahoe to Termonfeckin is out burning tyres, stoning firemen and demanding bin bags of chocolate."Luas TalkIrish Independent newspaper column, 28 October 2006.
  6. A Dictionary of Hiberno English by Terence Dolan, Gill & Macmillan, ISBN 0-7171-2942-X
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