Words: Yob n. (slang)

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The Independent Culture
BACKSLANG FOR Boy is the OED's explanation of the origin of the word yob, but can we really believe that a yob is no more than a backward boy?

There are only four other words in the OED cited as examples of backslang, and one of them is labelled "uncertain". Neves ("seven" backwards) is given as a slang term for seven years' hard labour; rouf is backslang for four shillings; pinnif is a five-pound note, (allegedly via finnip, out of finnif, said to be a Yiddish pronunciation of the German funf). The uncertain one is naf, linked tentatively with fan in its rude connotation ("see FANNY", says the OED, and tells you to "Cf EFF v.)

Yob, whether a boy in reverse or not, dates back at least to 1859, so he is older than hooligan. Yobbo arrived in 1922.

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