Screever — what the heck is that?


Screever is a word that came up in a conference I attended last week.  This was the Quid Novi Festival (quid novi is Latin for what’s now).

The speaker was Orvel Ray Wilson one of the authors of the books on guerilla marketing.

Wilson was showing slides of visual ways to grab people’s attention to your product or company.  Many of the colorful slides he used to make his point showed the work of screevers.  Many were very detailed, realistic and looked three dimensional.

So, what is a screever?

The definition of screever is an artist who draws pictures on sidewalks, usually with colored chalk.  Many screevers, like buskers, earn their living this way through donations from those passing by.

In the U.S., we call these people sidewalk artists.  Other terms are pavement artist and chalk artist.

See my prior blog post in wordsbybob for the definition of a busker.

The term is used extensively in the U.K.

Surprisingly, the word screever appears in George Orwell’s, “Down and out  in London and Paris.”   It is also found in some older English dictionaries.

Origin — 1875–80;  earlier screeve  (v.) (< Polari ) < Italian scrivere  to write (< Latin scrībere )




3 responses to “Screever — what the heck is that?

  1. Love learning something new, even on a Monday morning. Thanks, Bob!

  2. Scriobh, pronounced screeve, is Irish for write so screever means writer

  3. Thanks. Are you in Ireland?