What Is Helch? What Does it Mean?

Helch has been added to older graffiti in London for a couple of years now – you’re sure to have noticed it. You may also be confused about what this means. The Helch phenomenon is not new and has been encroaching on the city since September 2018 and started in West London. The first sign of Helch appeared in Harrow, but has now spread across the city and beyond.

One of the larger Helch graffiti signs was recently removed from the railway viaduct close to Windsor Castle. It was reported that the Queen was upset that the graffiti was spoiling the view from her royal residence. This has not helped with the confusion over what does Helch mean and who is behind it.

What Does Helch Mean?

Despite the growing popularity of the word, there is no consensus on what it means. No-one actually knows what the word means. According to the Urban Dictionary, there are a number of possible definitions such as a reaction to seeing something disgusting that makes someone want to throw up to a cross between a belch and hiccup.

Many people believe that it is a tag or name used by graffiti artists to state that they have been somewhere. According to an anonymous source who states that they know the artist behind Helch, the word is just a name the person pocked. The word is his tag and there is no further significance.

Where Did Helch Start?

The first sighting of Helch was in 2018 on the Chalfont Viaduct between junctions 16 and 17 on the M25. The word was introduced into an iconic piece of graffiti on the bridge. The slogan on the bridge had said to ‘Give peas a chance’, but was changed to ‘Give Helch a Break. This led to many drivers being left upset as the much-loved message was changed.

A petition was started to restore the graffiti to the original. However, Network Rail who owns the bridge refused to help. They said that they cannot condone people putting their lives at risk to vandalize a bridge. There is a theory that the person behind Helch is also the one behind the iconic Give Peas a Chance.

All over London

Since this time, Helch started to spear more initially around the Harrow area. However, it has now spread to cover the whole city going as far as Paddington and South Kensington. The word even made it to Bristol where one bridge over the M4 now tells people that Boris is Helch.

The whole thing is still a mystery, but a warning to the person behind Helch has been issued by Highways England. They have stated that this is seen as an act of vandalism and they will pursue prosecution with the police whenever possible. They have also stated that their priority is safety and they strongly urge people to not engage in any acts of vandalism which are considered dangerous. This includes tagging bridges over busy highways.

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