bovver boots

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From bovver (trouble) + boots.

Noun[edit]

bovver boots

  1. (1970s UK slang, plural only) Stout lace-up boots, especially Dr. Martens, perceived to be worn for the purpose of kicking people in fights, and popular with skinheads or other troublemakers out looking for bovver).
    • 1991, Rupert Loydell, review of England's Dreaming: Sex Pistols and Punk Rock, in December 1991-January 1992, ThirdWay, page 41,
      I remember a punk friend - cockerel haircut, leather trousers, bovver boots, and ripped jumper - being shocked at the TV retrospective of the mid-eighties where long-haired oiks in flared trousers stared desultorily at some screaming youths on stage.
    • 2006, Stuart Hall, Tony Jefferson, Resistance Through Rituals: Youth Subcultures in Post-War Britain, 2nd Edition, page 42,
      The various youth subcultures have been identified by their possessions and objects: the boot-lace tie and velvet-colourd drape jacket of the Ted, the close crop, parker coats and scooter of the Mod, the stained jeans, swastikas and ornamented motorcycles of the bike-boys, the bovver boots and skinned-head of the Skinhead, the Chicago suits or glitter costumes of the Bowieites, etc.
    • 2011, Christine Barter, David Berridge, Children Behaving Badly: Peer Violence Between Children and Young People, page 96,
      Their image of racism was not what our political culture has come to expect – that is, the Nazi, the shaven-headed skinhead with bovver boots. Rather, they were stylishly dressed in suits and wearing Ben Sherman shirts and Armani sunglasses.

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