Macquarie Dictionary


Lair lair

There are few more inspiring sights than a group of sharply dressed young blokes loitering on the street corner with absolutely no ill intentions, and so, inspired by the upstanding behaviour of such young men we selected lair as this week’s Word of the Week. A lair isn’t just a supervillain’s hideout, it’s also a flashily dressed young man of brash and vulgar behaviour. 

‘Flashily’ dressed might depend on your personal definition of what constitutes well-dressed but the idea of linking clothing to behaviour got us thinking about other ways to describe such young men. The first word we thought of was lad. Originally a word for a boy, lad is now commonly used for an adult man who behaves obnoxiously or in a chauvinistic way while engaged in laddish behaviour like drinking to excess. 

Lads typically wear brand name clothing and present an image of an aggressive troublemaker. Ladette is the young female partner of a lad, with similar dress style and behaviour. Lad culture seems to have mainly arisen in 1990s Britain where it was linked to footballing and music cultures, but it lives on, even in Australia where a lad is known as an eshayThough there are differences between eshays and lads. 

So, there we have it. If you want to engage in some lairise or ladish behaviour, then you can either lair it up or lair about

Each week, we have a look at a slang word from Australian English. You can see other Aussie Word of the Week posts from the Macquarie Dictionary here.

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