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English speaking prints on the clothes of modern youngsters

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Of course, it is a personal choice what to wear. For some people a T-shirt with English speaking prints is a symbolic thing, and only knowing person can understand the meaning of them. For others, it is a stylish or fashionable element. It is like an unordinary “dress code”, they haven’t decoded yet. However, sometimes most people, who prefer prints on their T-shirts, have no idea about what nonsense they demonstrate wearing such clothes. But it is so rude! Nowadays, we face English everywhere, for example, on goods, shop signboards, electronics, clothes, in the Internet, and etc. English is learnt at schools, universities and visiting special courses. But what is the easiest and fastest way to learn English? Prints in English can become one of the interesting ways, which can help people enlarge their vocabulary very fast, cheap and effective.

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«English speaking prints on the clothes of modern youngsters»

Ministry of Education of Republic Bashkortostan

Municipal Establishment “Department of Education of Administration of Municipal Region Sterlitamak Region”

“English speaking prints on the clothes of modern youngsters”.

Made by Gainullina Alsu,

The 10th-grader of MBE SES of v. Talachevo

Leader: Bogdanova L.F., English teacher


Introduction. 2

A theoretical part 4

1.1 The evolution of prints on the clothes. 4

1.2 English speaking prints. Is it a tribute to fashion or anything else? 5

1.3 A T-shirt of a modern teenager is … 6

A practical part. 9

Conclusion. 18

Bibliography 19


«First you judge “how nice”, then you judge “how wise”».

Clothes can tell a lot about a person. People judge people based on their look. Meeting a man, we notice how his/her clothes are suitable to his/her age, social status and fashion. Nowadays, when T-shirts with prints are an integral part of a modern person’s wardrobe, our attention has attracted by prints in English which are so popular, especially among youngsters. In some point of view, a T-shirt with an English speaking print has become their “second skin”. And the interest to the learning of English in the modern world makes people focus on the plenty of foreign words on the clothes and think about their meaning and reasons of their use.

From this position, clothes with prints, especially in English, give much stronger impression, than clothes which we get used to wearing. As we know, English is a very laconic and expressive language and it makes English speaking prints more popular and attractive for both the English and the Russian. That is why my attention was attracted by such prints on the clothes of my classmates, fellows and friends.

But the problem is that not everyone knows about the semantic load of words or phrases on his/her clothes. What important to analyze is the text of English speaking prints focused on their meaning and the accordance to grammar and spelling rules of English. I paid a great attention to the prints which are on T-shirts, especially to the slogans’ choice in a correspondence with the information they contain.

The aim of my investigation is to find out the dependence of the semantic load of T-shirts’ prints on the character, cultural and language levels of their owner.

The tasks of my work are:

  • to consider the problem of wide use of English in the design of modern clothes;

  • to study the topics of widespread prints on T-shirts and their functions from the owner`s point of view;

  • to analyze linguistic features of English speaking prints on clothes.

The object of studying is English speaking prints on T-shirts.

The subject of studying is the information which these prints contain.

The originality of the investigation is the possibility to use this material as an additional stimulus for learning English.

The hypothesis is there is a tendency to use English speaking prints on T-shirts not only as a fashionable element but as a way to feel free from "the stamps" and demonstrate who you are.

The methodology of the investigation includes such methods:

  • theoretical ones: analysis, synthesis, generalization, classification and systematization;

  • practical ones: observation, questionnaires and computer graphics.

The practical value of this work is that it can be useful, interesting, and at the same time, let students pay attention to the meaning of English speaking slogans on prints and use the information, reflected the field of interests of its owner, right (because we are responsible for what we wear). It also promotes the enlargement of the vocabulary.

A theoretical part
    1. The evolution of prints on the clothes.

Prints on the clothes already existed many centuries ago. And the earliest ones are familiar for us from Ancient Greece. We`ve already found the embroideries on the belts or names on jewelry which tell us about the owner`s name. There is a fact that some prints, being a part of the ornament, were in fashion very often. As for modern prints, one can say, that everything started very simply: originally prints were used to decorate the uniform of workers, showing their status on their work. Later they started to demonstrate the own of clothes to designers or firms.

Franco Moschino was one of the biggest “hooligan” in Italian fashion. The most famous models of Moschino are a suit with a print on the waste “A waste of money”, a dress-plastic bag, a hat-plane and a hat-hanger. As a result, clothes with prints and accessories with gold volume letters “MOSCHINO”, such as bags and belts, brought him great success.

In 1955 the collection of Christian Dior was created based on three letters – H, A and Y. All dresses of that collection had those three letters in their lines. It was the most fashionable collection in the season of 1955.

In 1985 Gean–Paul Gaultier designed the models of clothes decorated with prints in Cyrillic alphabet. It was a real hit! The whole Paris wore clothes with that logo. Everybody liked the letter “Ж” a lot, because it looked like a bug or some Chinese ornament (symbol). Then Cyrillic came into fashion at all. And it`s worth it!

But what about T-shirts? The history of appearance of T-shirt prints is more difficult and complicated. There are still a lot of disputes about who was the first who offered to use prints on such casual, on the one hand, but so comfortable clothes, on the other hand. The supporters of the ancient art of painting on cloth defend their right to be pioneers of any pictures or prints on any clothes by any means. But they are protested by PR experts and advertisers who urge that T- shirt prints are just a well thought out publicity stunt invented by proficient admen. According to another point of view, such popular T- shirt prints were invented by hippies. There were flowers, doves, “peace”, “no war”, “stop war, make love” and others. Later, the photos of rock groups appeared on T-shirts… And it was just a start! It was the beginning of a new period in the history of prints.

There is no doubt, a T-shirt has got its own place in the wardrobe of a modern man. Recently, the T-shirt industry has just been exploded by various concepts and ideas, where the main idea belongs to free humor. By the way, T-shirts with prints came into fashion at the end of the 20th century and it was connected mostly with the popularity of cartoon characters, which became a start up of humor in a print design. (Do you remember the cartoons such as “The Simpsons”, “Futurama” and “South Park”?) But nowadays these T-shirts are not less popular. Funny T-shirts make a triumphal procession in modern fashion, being a very actual direction of it. If the capital of "high fashion" is Paris, than it becomes obviously why T-shirts with amusing prints firstly appeared on the other side of the ocean – in the United States. An American tendency of using prints has already been widespread in our country too. It is one of the advantages of English speaking slogans, because English is a very laconic and impressive language: “Everything is in one phrase only!” As a result, we apply this trend with a big success demonstrating who we are.

What style of clothes do you wear most of all? If you count the hours spent not only in your office, but on weekends, home evenings, and even on sleep, then probably, this style will be casual, and its most common expression is T-shirts. They are available in a large variety – you should only choose the most suitable variant of implementation: if it is a picture, slogans, cartoons or something else. And it doesn`t matter! Of course, prints are changed with people`s age: a child prefers some cheerful phrases, but as for a teenager, the preference is given to bright and eye-catching slogans.

By and large, there is a tendency to use prints on the clothes. And nowadays we use this point very actively. Humankind will hardly ever refuse to use words on the clothes because it is an easy way to identify who is who!

1.2 English speaking prints. Is it a tribute to fashion or anything else?

Of course, nowadays, to stand out from the crowd is really cool! If you are an ordinary man, it is not interesting anymore. What do you “write” on your clothes? Do your clothes “speak”? There are a lot of options! There are no borders for creation! There are different prints: from screaming banalities, such as “Rich”, “Hero”, “Follow me” and “I love NY” to deep thoughts of great thinkers, converted in a new way – “Live fa(s)t, die young!”.

We don’t know who was the first who started using prints on the clothes. These prints can be very different. They can tell us a lot about a person, especially about his age, field of interests and his attitude to the world around him. T-shirts with funny slogans, which everyone chooses according to his/her character and world view, are the most popular. Moreover, prints tell us about the level of English of the man who wears it and there is a fact, that he doesn’t always understand what is written on his/her T-shirt.

When somebody wears clothes with some prints, what does he want to say? “Nothing, it’s just funny!” is the answer of the majority of people, but not everyone. Nowadays, the fashion of 80th spreads very fast. As we know, a T-shirt with a slogan is a cult thing of that time. It was a thing where you could write everything you wanted to say to this world. Besides, when a T-shirt appeared, it was considered to be “a clean board” for slogans and statements, an ability to express yourself and demonstrate your life credo. So, as you can see, the society uses this privilege with pleasure.

Most of Hollywood stars have already agreed that in spite of their popularity and passion for expensive and luxurious things (due to their status and publicity) they feel much more comfortable in casual clothes. And a T-shirt is a part of it, because it allows them to be themselves and express their thoughts not paying attention to paparazzi and journalists. «Freedom!» is a real slogan of celebrities for whom a T-shirt is as an integral part of their wardrobe, as an evening dress of high fashion for the red carpet.

But by and large, youth fashion has its own trends and obeys its own rules. That is why we should be careful and more attentive using the prints on the clothes. People around you often take these prints like the words speaking loudly by the owner of the T-shirt. And they begin associating them with him/her. And these people are right, because if you don’t agree with the meaning of the words or ideas on your clothes, why do you put it on?

In this way, rephrasing the words of ancient thinkers “We are what we eat!”, can we admit that we are what we wear?

1.3 A T-shirt of a modern teenager is …

As I have noted, an integral attribute of teens` wardrobe is a T-shirt. They can be loose and fitting, the same color, sporting and feminine or with various prints. A T-shirt has become casual clothes, the one worn by both brutal machos, snotty kids, young girls and grannies in the vegetable garden.

A T-shirt with a print is a source of information! That is why it can be a suitable thing in different situations. I am not going to list them all. But let`s have another look at a T-shirt with a cool print and try to use it with some benefits for ourselves. What is the place of such a common thing in our everyday life?

The first one is “Everything is for fun!” There is no doubt that the print should be original.

The second one is “Shock quickly!” It is noticed that the more daring print on the T-shirt, the more people pay attention to you. Such prints cause shock for some people, others feel only negative emotions and the third ones – the share of respect to those who have a courage to put it on. In any case, wearing a T-shirt with a shocking print, you can be sure to get your portion of adrenaline and a lot of people`s attention.

The third one is “Be white and fluffy!” A cool print on a T-shirt is not only for shocking people around you. Although, shock is a useful emotion in many situations, but T-shirts with amusing prints cause a variety of emotions. It is a fact that T-shirts with cool prints can gather a lot of people around its owner. Only a couple of hours in a such T-shirt increases your chances to attract attention to your person and leave a positive impression about yourself. In other words, it’s a real opportunity for you to become a heart of the company in several minutes.

The fourth one is “One T-shirt is good but one hundred is better!” T- shirts with suitable prints can help a group of like-minded friends, a sport team or common employees of any company become much brighter, notable and ,what is more important, closely-knit. Cleverly matched prints lighten mood and strengthen the spirit of any collective. It is very difficult to oppose the intellectual team in T-shirts with a slogan “Let`s break them all!” on Mathematical Olympiad, for example.

The fifth one is “Let`s run business!” You make a big mistake if you think that the only function of cool T-shirts is to entertain. The use of prints can be an effective advertisement and not a bad source of money. Promoters in T-shirts with special symbols or slogans attract clients` attention to goods or some service much better than any information board. T-shirts as gifts for clients during some action is an advertisement “worn” by the clients themselves. What can be better?!

The sixth one is “Solve any problems!” This way is suitable for everybody who has a sense of humor and look for an extraordinary way out. A T-shirt with a phone number or your ICQ is a proven way to make new friends. Probably, it is difficult to dare to talk to unfamiliar man in the street but you have got a real chance to have a knock at your ICQ. A cool print on your T-shirt is also a reliable way to ask for forgiveness! And if your mom cooks only vegetarian food, just put on a T-shirt with a slogan “Meat wanted!” and maybe you will get a chance for having dinner of full value.

In addition, a T-shirt is a much more universal and personal gift than a book. Therefore, if you forget about a friend's birthday, hurry up to buy him/her a T-shirt. Men's nature will be pleased with prints, such as: «NOT Hugo, BUT Boss». Instead of a cake, you can give a T-shirt to your girlfriend too. And be 100% sure, she will put it on immediately, because no one girl won`t be able to oppose the slogans, such as «Happy Birthday» or «Kiss me». If a "spoken" genre is not yours, then give preference to T-shirts with the author's prints or with real stones of Swarovski - they differ from those ones which are sold in the nearest market!

What use of T-shirt wouldn’t be invented, it has the right to life. After all, funny prints give a wonderful feeling of freedom from “stamps”. It is hard to say what idea got into the head of the person who made ​​the first funny print on the T-shirt. And the truth is that he/she gave a life to a new trend in fashion. But there is no doubt that a modern world would be much more boring and monotonous without such T-shirts!

A practical part.

Playing football, going to the cafe and movie with friends, or even attending social events, our attention is always attracted by bright T-shirts with funny slogans in English, which have became an attribute of our everyday life.

But what is the reason of such popularity of T-shirts with English speaking prints among teens: our fellows and friends?

To answer this question and find out the preferences and reasons why youngsters choose this type of clothes, I interviewed my mates and pupils of my school. I made up a blank which contained questions about the reasons why they bought this thing, if they knew the meaning of words on their clothes and if they ever tried to translate them.

Working on this project, I studied and systematize different English speaking prints on T-shirts and defined their main topics, such as love, brands, credo, a call, and etc. The results of my research I presented as a table.

A print



Know the meaning or not


Love, feelings


Love is…

Любовь – это …




Don’t touch me

Не прикасайся ко мне



She’s mine

Она моя




Peace, Love, Rock

Мир, Любовь, Рок




Keep calm and carry on

Сохраняйте спокойствие и продолжайте



I just want to love you

Я хочу просто любить тебя



Don’t worry (be) bee happy

Не переживай, будь счастлив



I love NY

Я люблю Нью-Йорк



Be happy

Будь счастлив










Authentic dept

Подлинный отдел



Don’t worry, be heavy

Не переживай, будь сильным








Sport forever

Спорт навсегда




No steroid

Нет стероидам



Amusing and funny prints


Eat, Sleep, Read

Есть, Спать, Читать




Bad girl

Плохая девчонка




Handsome fluffy

Привлекательный пушистик



Back to school

Назад в школу




I had a hard day

У меня был тяжелый день



Devil inside

Дьявол внутри



Let it bee

(Let it be – игра слов)

Пусть это пчела (Пусть это будет)




Black humor

Черный юмор



Angry, Happy, Sad, Alert

Злой, Счастливый, Грустный, Настороженный




Use your brain

Использую свой мозг


Countries, cities


















Rio De Janeiro


Рио де Жанейро






















Не «хьюго», но бос





Гучи гучи га га га



Dirty ones


What’s the fuck?

Какого черта?




Smile, if you want (me)

Улыбнись, если хочешь (меня)



Check out my tits

Проверь мою грудь



Fuck work

Забей на работу



A set of words, mistakes, abbreviation


Dinner is u

Ужин – это ты









I can has prom date?

Речевая ошибка



Don’t call me infantile you stinky bum poo poo head

Не называй меня инфантильным, ты вонючий ….



I’m a man – to sleep, I want it all.

Речевая ошибка


Having analyzed gotten data and learned opinions of my respondents, I have come to the conclusion that:

  • most respondents have a T-shirt with English prints in their wardrobe and not the only one;

  • the majority of them prefer bright T-shirts with funny and provocative prints;

  • a lot of teens choose these prints not putting any sense in them. They wear such T-shirts, because it is a gift or an easy way to stand out from the grey and boring crowd.

  • but youngsters, who are interested in English, choose T-shirts with prints, which can be understood by only some “close” people who do know English very well.

Only 49 pupils from 75 respondents know the translation of the prints on their T-shirts. They also admit that they pay attention to a print buying clothes because they care about its meaning. Other 26 pupils find it difficult to translate their prints, because of some lacks of knowledge in English. After these prints on their T-shirt had been translated for them, they admitted that they had never thought about their meaning before. But now, they are interested and will translate everything what is written on their clothes.

Lots of teens note that problems with a translation don’t stop them from buying things which they like. Moreover, they don’t pay attention to the meaning of the prints, positioning them as stylish elements, a tribute to fashion or unordinary “dress code”, they haven’t decoded yet.

During my research, I found the prints with grammatical and spelling mistakes. And what is important, the owners of those prints didn’t notice them. Besides, there are a lot of prints which contain a set of letters only. These prints have no sense.

So, I can consider that the majority of pupils don’t care about slogans (words and phrases) on their clothes, although they know or guess about their meaning, which can contain an offensive and even dirty sense. The main thing affects their choice is a try to stand out, be original and not look like the rest ones.

Based on the teens’ answers and their attitude to the contents of English speaking prints my friends and I created our own design of T-shirts prints to demonstrate what is interesting and close to us.

During my research work, using computer programs, my friends and I created our own design of T-shirt’ prints to show what is interesting and close to us.

Here are some of them:

The print “A couch potato” demonstrates a life credo of its owner. It becomes clear who is who.

If you put a T-shirt with a slogan “Keep calm and…”, you become a part of “the main stream” and a heart of any company.


Of course, it is a personal choice what to wear. For some people a T-shirt with English speaking prints is a symbolic thing, and only knowing person can understand the meaning of them. For others, it is a stylish or fashionable element. It is like an unordinary “dress code”, they haven’t decoded yet.

However, sometimes most people, who prefer prints on their T-shirts, have no idea about what nonsense they demonstrate wearing such clothes. But it is so rude! Nowadays, we face English everywhere, for example, on goods, shop signboards, electronics, clothes, in the Internet, and etc. English is learnt at schools, universities and visiting special courses. But what is the easiest and fastest way to learn English? Prints in English can become one of the interesting ways, which can help people enlarge their vocabulary very fast, cheap and effective.

No doubt, the majority of teens don’t care about the meaning of T-shirt pints. Sometimes, they can contain a set of offensive and even dirty words or phrases. But more often, these phrases are fool of sense and humor. And it’s great! There are a lot of school rules prohibited to wear too shot jerseys and have a too deep neckline. Modern students, who just want to be in trend, suffer from them a lot. And it is unfair! That’s why T-shirts with cool prints give a really good chance for youngsters to show their individuality, express themselves, maybe protest against social norms or just attract some attention. It is like an opportunity to look more frankly without being necked.

However, don’t forget that we are responsible for information we use. In some sense, we become solidary with it: people start associating it with you and take you like the whole one. Remember a famous proverb “Never judge a book by its cover!”


  1. Арнольд И.В. Основы научных исследований в лингвистике. – М., 1991.-140 с. – (Учебное пособие)

  2. Иванова И.А. Этимология английских слов. 2000 г.

  3. Кунин А.В. Курс фразеологии современного английского языка. – М.: Высшая школа, 1986.- 336 с. – (Учебник для институтов и факультетов ин.яз.)

  4. Осторожно, hot dog! Современный активный English./М. Голденков -2-е изд., испр. и доп. – М.: ЧеРо, 1999. -272 с.

Electronic sources:

  1. http://odeja.mhost.ru/photo/photo/65/smile.html

  2. http://www.dni.ru/style/2008/11/5/151623.html - Александр Васильев - всемирно известный историк моды - Модные провокации в одежде

  3. «Надписи на одежде». Сайт «Дни.ru»

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Предмет: Английский язык

Категория: Прочее

Целевая аудитория: 10 класс.
Урок соответствует ФГОС

English speaking prints on the clothes of modern youngsters

Автор: Богданова Лилия Фанилевна

Дата: 12.04.2021

Номер свидетельства: 578003

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