• noun
    (written as VALS)
    a system of dividing people into segments according to their way of living.


  • plural noun a Californian (and later more widespread) youth culture of the early 1980s, based on the habits, mannerisms and distinctive vocabulary of teenage girls from the San Fernando Valley region of outer Los Angeles. The Vals, daughters of affluent parents working typically in the media, music industry or professions, had developed a sybaritic lifestyle in which consumerism (‘recreational shopping’) and leisure activities were elevated to a social code. Vals employed a colourful hyperbolic repertoire of slang, typically expressed in a high-pitched, breathless drawl. Their lexicon was partly invented and partly adopted or adapted from the argot of surfers, college and high-school students and other sources. (Grody, gnarly and to the max are examples). Many of these terms became teenage vogue expressions on a wider scale in the mid-1980s.