- adjective boisterous, uncouth and macho. The word, which appeared in the late 1970s, refers to the typical behaviour of adolescent males in groups. It is inspired by ‘male-bonding’ expressions such as ‘one of the lads’ and the Geordie battle cry ‘howay the lads!’, but is more often used disparagingly or dismissively by women or more mature males. The term took on greater significance when it was applied to a social tendency among young adult males in the second half of the 1990s which involved celebrating, rather than disguising hedonistic excess, love of sport/cars/hardware, socialising in male groups, etc. The new ‘laddishness’ was celebrated in publications such as Loaded magazine and TV comedies such as Men Behaving Badly.