Drill Slang Glossary (2020)

Uploaded: 2021-02-08
Languages: English
Collected from: 2014-01-01
Access category: Open
Email: Not available
To: 2020-12-31


The dataset comprises a list in alphabetical order of typical terms of Gang and Drill Rap slang from 2014 to 2020.

Subject keywords: Lexicology, Sociolinguistics, drill rap, slang, British English
Data types: Written
Funders: N/A
Associated AIFL centres: Forensic Linguistic Databank (FoLD)
License: non-commercial


The following list of terms has been compiled from transcripts, texts, messages and lyrics authored by young UK gang members and their associates, and by amateur and professional Drill rap performers and devotees of that musical genre. The glossary does not record highly localised dialect or ‘idiolect’ – terms peculiar to just one individual. Most of the material has been gathered, since the beginning of 2018, in the course of criminal investigations and/or has been considered in evidence in court proceedings. The material is ‘authentic’ in that it is generated by those actually active ‘on the street’ or otherwise closely in touch with urban discontent and youth violence. It’s essential to understand that this variety of language, however controversial and provocative, is also widely understood and sometimes used by young people who are quite innocent of any wrongdoing. Any compilation of this kind cannot hope to be fully comprehensive and will require additions and updates. You can find elsewhere on this site instructions on how to contribute or comment. The material, some of it first collected in the Slang and New Language Archive at King’s College London, is in simple format, presented as headwords and definitions, without pronunciations, etymologies, links or other apparatus employed in traditional dictionaries. This is in order to make it immediately accessible to both non-specialists and specialists, and to allow its contents easily to be converted into checklists or teaching materials for use, for example, with slang user informants, students, teachers and agencies. Also on this site is a separate lexicon of ‘everyday’ slang currently used by young people across the UK with which the expressions below may be cross-referenced for more complete coverage. Associated publications: Thorne, T. (2014). The New Canting Crew. in J. Coleman (ed.), Global English Slang. Routledge. Thorne, T. (2014). Dictionary of Contemporary Slang (4th Edition). Bloomsbury.

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