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Abelard Giza dressed as dresiarz during his performance at Festiwal Kabaretu 2007 in Zielona Góra, Poland.

Dres [drɛs] or dresiarz [ˈdrɛɕaʂ] (plural dresy [ˈdrɛsɨ] or dresiarze [drɛˈɕaʐɛ]) is a term used in Poland to describe a specific subculture or class of young males. Dresiarze stereotypically live in urban tower blocks or tenement houses. They are usually portrayed as undereducated, unemployed, aggressive, and anti-social.[1] The dresiarz phenomenon was first observed in the 1990s and is sometimes compared to the British chavs, Scottish neds, Australian bogans or Russian gopniks. It would later partially merge with the hooligan subcultures and sometimes attributed to football hooligans.

The term refers to tracksuits, which in Polish is dres.[2] Kark (pl. Polish: karki – napes) and blocker (pl. Polish: blokersi – block-people) are related but not synonymous terms; see below.[3] The term has a pejorative connotation in Polish mass media.[1]

Dorota Masłowska's novel White and Red[4] is one of the first books published featuring the dresiarz phenomenon. Dresy have been a theme of (usually critical) songs by Dezerter and Big Cyc. They are also popular negative characters in the comic strip Jeż Jerzy.


The following traits are typically attributed to the dresiarz stereotype:

Related terms[edit]

  • Kark, meaning "neck" and a short for byczy kark ("bull neck"), is most used in connection with weight lifting; a person perceived as a kark may be wearing neither trainers nor a tracksuit, but shares most other elements of stereotypical dres behavior. The term may also refer to lower-ranked members of gangster groups, i.e. "thugs".
  • Blokers – a term for a young person exhibiting anti-social behavior, living in commie blocks (blok in Polish, also known as Soviet Khrushchevka). This term was used first time circa 1995 by Robert Leszczyński, a Polish music critic and journalist.
  • ABS – an acronym for Absolutny Brak Szyi ("Total Lack of Neck"). See Kark. Often used pejoratively for heavily "pumped up" thugs and hooligans. The implied characteristic is anabolic steroid use.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ a b (in Polish) Dialogi polityczne, O tym, dlaczego dresiarze noszą dresy. Rozważania nad antropologią odzieży sportowej w subkulturach chuligańskich Archived July 13, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ (in Polish) Poradnik pedagogiczno-resocjalizacyjny: "(...) określenia odnoszą się do młodzieżowych subkultur dewiacyjnych, których powstanie jest efektem ubocznym procesów transformacji ustrojowej i zmian społeczno-politycznych zachodzących w naszym kraju w latach 90."
  3. ^ (in Polish) Newsweek.pl, Dresiarz ściąga dres Archived 2011-06-08 at the Wayback Machine 2002-09-22
  4. ^ Wojna polsko-ruska pod flagą biało-czerwoną. Warsaw 2002: Lampa i Iskra Boża, ISBN 83-86735-87-2 (UK edition: White and Red, Atlantic Books, ISBN 1-84354-423-7; US edition: Snow White and Russian Red, Grove Press, ISBN 0-8021-7001-3)
  5. ^ (in Polish) Wprost.pl: Blachary atakują