Eshays and Adlays: Australia’s answer to London’s Roadmen

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Eshays and Adlays: the latest bunch of Pig-Latin-speaking, Nike-wearing young bogans (vilified poor working-class people) to cause massive moral panic in Australia ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ

My 11-year-old Aussie nephew warned me the other day that the new skate park ๐Ÿ›นthat the council is building near his home is going to bring all the “eshays” there.

Now that totally confused me: what’s an “eshay”? ๐Ÿคทโ€โ™‚๏ธ I’d never heard of this Aussie term before.

So to test out how understood it is, I started mentioning “eshays” in conversations with other Aussies… and the result was most had some choice words to say about them ๐Ÿคฌ

Eshays or adlays usually:
๐Ÿ–– are from poor, working-class backgrounds
๐Ÿ–– lack education
๐Ÿ–– often hang out in gangs at public spaces such as shopping centres, parks, bus and train stations, etc.
๐Ÿ–– are attributed to violence and petty crime, with aspirations to be part of bigger action, though more often are wannabes with more bark than bite
๐Ÿ–– like wearing brand-name, sometimes stolen, uniform items such as Nike TNs, striped t-shirts or polo shirts (Nautica in particular), Nike or Adidas trackie daks (tracksuit bottoms) or shorts, and a bumbag across the chest
๐Ÿ–– love sporting mullets (seriously guys?!)
๐Ÿ–– are associated with drug use
๐Ÿ–– are subject to much derision and contempt by others, often fueled by constant tabloid reporting

Like any social group, eshays and adlays have their own argot, which is based on Pig Latin and using such slang terms as “gronk” (“idiot”).

The term “eshay” itself was coined in the late 1980s in western Sydney from the Pig Latin for “seshie”, Aussie slang for someone who does a “session” (i.e. a drug use session)๐Ÿ˜ฎโ€๐Ÿ’จ. “Adlay” is Pig Latin for “lad” (young guy).

Use of these terms have waxed and waned over the decades in Sydney โ›ด, but have recently spread to other parts of Australia, particularly Western Australia.

๐Ÿ‘Ÿ But eshays and adlays are far from unique. The description of them can apply to a whole range of youth subcultures around the world, such as Roadmen in England, gopniks in the former USSR, dizelaลกi in Serbia…

โ“ What do you call your local version of eshays? And what’s the general attitude to them like?