Green’s Dictionary of Slang

yob n.

[backsl.; note WWI milit. use, yob, a young, gullible officer]

1. a boy; thus yoblet, a small boy.

[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. 131: YOB, a boy.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict. [as cit. 1859].
[UK]Sl. Dict.
[UK]J.W. Horsley Jottings from Jail 4: Hi, yob! kool that enif elrig with the nael ekom.
[UK]Dly Teleg. 30 Dec. 8/5: ‘There was no fizz in him [...] She liked a yob with a thirst on him and a pair o’ knuckles and a voice.
[UK]‘Doss Chiderdoss’ ‘A Find’ Sporting Times 18 Feb. 1/4: ‘I’ve lost something!’ whined the yoblet, young and tender.
[UK]‘Doss Chiderdoss’ ‘Odd or Even?’ Sporting Times 26 Sept. 1/3: This bloke / Who last week was but a yob at school, and doesn’t even smoke.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 7 Aug. 2nd sect. 12/8: What about the other job / Where the counter jumping yob / Shared the comforts of a bedroom built for both.
[UK]Northern Whig 12 Sept. 8/6: In some parts of the East End of London the coster class [still] say ‘occabot,’ [and] ‘reeb.’ A boy is still a ‘yob,’ a woman a ‘namow,’ and a girl an ‘elrig’.
[NZ]W. Ings ‘Trolling the Beat to Working the Soob’ in Int’l Jrnl Lexicog. 23:1 59: Backslang is a language form that writes or pronounces words backwards, for example, ecaf (face), riah (hair), say (yes), yob/yobbo (boy).

2. (also yobb) an uncouth, vulgar youth; thus the fem. yobette.

[UK]J. Greenwood Wilds of London (1881) 276: Topyob [...] the mysterious cognomen of this last-mentioned personage, to my disgust, I afterwards discovered was merely ‘potboy’ disguised in what is known in certain circles as ‘backslang.’.
[UK]E. Pugh Street in Suburbia 121: Oh, I on’y arst ’cos most country yobs is gen’ly ugly an’ shy an’ awkward.
[Aus]Truth (Syney) 20 Mar. 8/3: Wot's the pay ? why jibes & curses, / Sneered at by the English snobs, / Taunted with our ‘birthstain’ too. sir, / By those Afrikander yobs.
[UK]A.N. Lyons Arthur’s 108: If I wos ten year younger, it’d take more’n a yob in a squash ’at to call me a blighted sooper to me face.
[UK]E. Pugh Cockney At Home 135: You can guess ’ow the yobs chyiked her as we went up the ’Igh-street towards Kentish Town.
[UK]B. Bennett ‘Sobstuff Sister’ in Billy Bennett’s Third Budget 18: The wise guys and yobs payed their tanners and bobs.
[Aus]R. Park Poor Man’s Orange 81: A great big yob with teeth stuck out.
[UK]F. Norman Fings II i: Let all the other yobs / Have tupp’ny ha’p’ny jobs.
[UK]N. Cohn Awopbop. (1970) 194: Mods thought that Rockers were yobs.
[UK]S. Berkoff East in Decadence and Other Plays (1985) 47: Those Irish yobs walk under our huge legs.
[UK]A. Payne ‘All Mod Cons’ Minder [TV script] 13: I don’t get pushed around by yobs like you.
[Aus] in Tracks (Aus.) Aug. 5: Semi-yobbs, mega-yobbs, yobettes.
[UK]T. Blacker Fixx 18: We talked in unconvincing accents, neither toff nor yob.
[UK]Guardian G2 5 May 3: Platoons of drunken yobs [...] run amok in the high street.
[UK]Observer Mag. 30 1 May. 29/4: We hear enough about the ‘Asbo yob’ - why aren’t this other lot more talked about.
[UK]Eve. Standard (London) 18 July 3/2: Drunken yobs taken to hospital after binge drinking should be sent the bill for their NHS care.
[Aus]C. Hammer Scrublands [ebook] Then the ute is alongside, the bare buttocks of some yob stuck out the passenger-side window [...] accompanied by raucous laughter and screeched profanities.

3. attrib. use of sense 2.

[Aus]R. Hughes Things I Didn’t Know (2007) 182: The yob private who was the other half of his team slammed the massive tailgate door on his hand.

4. a man.

[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 21 Dec. 8/4: Ain’t he a multy looking yob.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 21 Nov. 2/4: He was just a naive bushy in town, when a cop comes and warns him about city folk who take advantage of naive country people: Then the officer addressed a few wise, easily-remembered mottoes to the yob from Toobeelookk, and bade him beware of kindly, well-spoken strangers with affluent relatives in Fiji and France.
[UK]E. Pugh City Of The World 268: A smasher, let me tell you, then, is a coiner – a yob that manufactures spurious money.

5. (Aus.) a man, with derog. implications.

[Aus]Mercury (Hobart, Tas.) 4 May 7/5: Schoolboy Slang [...] As against the ‘boshter bloke’ we find tho ‘yob,’ or clumsy fellow, the ‘nark,’ the spoilt [sic] sport, the ‘rotter,’ with whom we are bade to ‘have no truck,’ and the ‘mug’ or duffer.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 3 Oct. 16/2: His name was Herb, he was a yob. / A bush-bred youth of twenty-eight. / He hung on to his ‘stiddy job’ / With Goatee Winge at Pennyweight.
[Aus]T.A.G. Hungerford Riverslake 175: What a set-up he thought. A yob like old Silver getting fifteen hundred a year.

In derivatives

yobbish (adj.)

uncouth, ill-behaved.

W. Boyd Good Man in Africa 205: He did look suitably Christmassy he thought [...] his broad shoulders and thick arms making him appear an aggressively youthful and somehow faintly yobbish Santa.

In compounds

[gab n.2 (1)] yob-gab (n.)

a form of backslang, spoken in East End of London.

[UK]Northern Whig 12 Sept. 8/6: An offshoot of the ‘back-slang’ was known as ‘yob-gab.’ [...] Spelling words letter by letter, adding a consonant after each vowel and a vowel after each consonant. Thus the word boy might be ‘be-of-yu’ or ‘bi-on-ya’.