BOVVER BOOTS (DEFINITION OF) | TBAMFW # 5.3

Bovver, an imitation of a working-class london pronunciation of bother, has made two spectacular appearances in the English national conversation in the last half-century. Bother, often in the phrase 'a spot of bother', was part of the vocabulary of menacing understatement and euphemism favored by both criminals and the police …

… Bother (a synonym for 'aggro', which seems to have fallen out of use) thus referred to extreme aggravation and/or physical violence, and in this sense was adopted by the skinheads of the later 1960s in their standard challenge, 'you want bovver?'
Tony Thorne
From: The 100 Words That Make The English (Abacus Software, 2011)


1985, 1995 | Mona Hatoum | Performance Still
Source: TATE

There was mods and skinheads, and mod seemed a bit expensive dress-wise, so that's why I became a skin. Big boots, cropped hair, a working class look. Young, aggressive, and I thought, that's for me. The first time I had a crop, I felt tremendous. A bovver boy.
George Marshall
From: Skinhead Nation (S.T. Publishing, 1996)


The Clichés | Bovver Boots 7"
(Randale Records, 2014)

Once the media became aware of the skinhead, cast him as the latest in a line of hooligan folk-devils (teddy-boys and later punks were others) and fomented a moral panic around him, the public became acquainted with the phrases "bovver boy" and "bovver boots" (first heavy black polished army surplus boots; later Doc Martens boots worn as part of the skinhead uniform).
Tony Thorne
From: The 100 Words That Make The English (Abacus Software, 2011)


Boots For Dancing | S/T 12"
(Aural Pop, 1980)

One of the things I hated and feared, hated because I feared, was the NF, the National front, especially the skinhead gangs. These would hunt for "yids n pakis n coon", though not necessarily in that order. 
If they weren't already chasing you in their Doctor Martens boots, also known as "bovver boots", they'd stop you to ask if you wanted "aggro", the abbreviation for aggravation. "You wan' aggro?" they'd ask. "You wan' some bovver?" Or they'd chant in your face: "A,G / A,G,R / A,G,R,O / AGRO!" And who would question their spelling?
Nick Barlay
From: Scattered Ghosts: One Family's Survival Through War, Holocaust and Revolution (I.B.Tauris, 2013)



The Explosion | Bury Me Standing
(Chunksaah Records, 2014)

As he walked, Joe thought. He wasn’t completely satisfied with his mob. For one thing, they weren’t strong enough. He wanted command of a larger force. Say about forty guys all tooled up and ready to follow where he led. The other mobs had larger forces – he could name dozens like the Willesden Whites, the Hendon Mafia, the Kilburn Aggro Boys. Even in West Ham they had mobs numbering close on fifty qualified bovver boys.
Richard Allen
From: Skinhead (New English Library, 1970)


Freak Vibe | Prostration (Tape)
(Casino Trash, 2014)


… because you're looking for fuss 'n' bovver, oh yeah
Don't come tryin' to start a fight
'cause you think you're the greatest thing since sliced bread
You might be a hit with all the girls
But that won't help you when I break your head, 'cause

Just one look at your face
Just one look at your face
Just one look at your face
I Got to get out of this place

You say you're looking for fuss 'n' bovver, alright
You're gonna get it now …


The Nips | Fuss 'N' Bovver
From: Only The End Of The Beginning (Soho Records, 1980)




Blare | S/T 7"EP
(DIY, 2013)


DR. MARTENS
TBAMFW # 05

SNEAKER PIMP (DEFINITION OF). A WHAT??
TBAMFW # 25

THESE BOOTS ARE MADE FOR WALKING
SHOES ON RECORD JACKETS



Bovver Boots
Source: Spirit Of '69. A Skinhead Bible By George Marshall

P.T. Publishing, 1994


 

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