Gangs and gang crime

Slang, brands and symbols

Gangs have their own 'language' of slang terms.

Slang Meaning
Air ignore something, not worth talking about
Allow it stop it
Bait easy to get caught
Bare lots of
Beef trouble
Burner cheap phone, pay as you go
Ends home area
Fam family
Food drugs
Hen Hennessy – alcoholic drink
Merk murder or kill
Nitty derogatory name for female
On fleek perfect
Ps money – paper money or notes
Pagan person who moves between gangs, or has no affiliation
Shank stabbed, a knife
Shook nervous, scared
Sket derogatory name for female
Slipping being in the wrong area, not being prepared for something
Strap gun
Whip car

If you hear a word that you don't understand, you should make a note of it and either Google it or look it up on It may seem like another language but it's important you know what they're saying.


What might look plain or inexpensive could actually cost a lot of money. You may question how a young person could afford these items worth hundreds, or even thousands, of pounds.


Several symbols are common in gang tattoos. These include:

  • rosary beads with a cross on the hand
  • a heart with £ or $ on the hand
  • family, loyalty, respect wording
  • postcodes, letters, numbers
  • 'Money over Bitches' – MOB
  • wads, rolls of cash, dollars, paper money
  • 'Soldier', 'Souljah'
  • Nicknames and street names
  • RIP tattoos