Gopnik (Russian: го́пник) is a Slavic subculture; a pejorative social slur used in Russia, Ukraine, other former Soviet states and Eastern Europe to refer to aggressive young men or women of lower-class suburbans (usually under 25 years of age) coming from families of poor education and income, somewhat similar to British chavs, Scottish neds, or Polish dresiarz. The female form is gopnitsa (Russian: го́пница), and the collective noun is gopota (Russian: гопота́).
One of the stereotypical characteristics of gopniks is that they are often seen squatting in groups, a learned behavior attributed to Russian prison culture.
The gopnik stereotype includes predominant use of underworld mat slang, smoking, occasional delinquency, driving in old or small cars (most preferably 1980's models of Lada, Volkswagen or Mercedes-Benz – often in decrepit condition), street gambling, public consumption of alcoholic beverages, (most usually the least obvious "Jaguar" cocktail or homemade beverage created by adding vodka into soda) and snacking on roasted sunflower seeds while remaining squatted, spitting the seeds' shells. Recently, gopniks are sometimes regarded as being adept in video games, most commonly online gaming. They are often prone to use profanities and obscene utterances while playing such games.
Fashion preferences include flat caps, Adidas tracksuits, often counterfeit and obvious bootlegs or label-less replicas. Shoes include dress shoes and loafers, often made of PVC or artificial leather. In the winter, a leather jacket, an ushanka, and a "gondonka" (a beanie or knit cap) are added to a typical Gopnik's attire.
The term "gopnik" was probably derived from slang term gop-stop (Russian: Гоп-стоп), meaning street mugging.
Another hypothesis is that "gopnik" derived from the acronym GOP, probably a reference to Gorodskoye Obshchestvo Prizreniya (the municipal agency for care of destitutes), the numerous almshouses organized by the government after the October Revolution.
Another version translates the acronym as Gorodskoye Obshchezhitiye Proletariata (The Municipal Dormitory of the Proletariat), putatively organized in the 1920s in Leningrad in the hotel Oktyabrskaya, which quickly became known for the criminal activities of its inhabitants. The major argument against this theory is that there are no surviving records proving the existence of such an institution in Leningrad.
Another theory refers to old slang word "гопать" (literally, "to gop") was already "Dal's Dictionary" and it means "sleeping on street" on the slang of "mazuricks", St. Petersburgh's crooks.
Another hypothetical chain links to English slang phrase "gob stop" being used as "gop-stop!" order to stand still to the person being robbed. Such a usage could happen, because gopnik's collective robbing has modus operandi of suppressing victim by surrounding and asking sensitive questions in loud voice, thus "jokingly" testing the victim for courage rather than perform outlawed activities. Point for gopnicks is, that person, who easily breaks and "gives" goods, phones or accessories, can't clearly describe to the police all the details of gob stop.