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Slang, Colloquial Language and Jargon  

Last Updated: Sep 6, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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UF Argot

BT Colloquial language

RT Cant

      Words, Obscene

      SA subdivision Slang under individual languages and subjects, e.g. English language—Slang; Medicine—Slang

NT Back slang

      Jargon (Terminology)

      Rhyming slang



Slang, Colloquial Language and Jargon


Scope Note

Slang is a language peculiar to a particular group. It is an informal nonstandard vocabulary composed typically of coinages, arbitrarily changed words, and extravagant, forced, or facetious figures of speech (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary). 
Colloquial language refers to the choice of vocabulary and grammar that people use to speak to each other on an informal basis, usually between people who are more familial or in situations that do not require elevated language. It is differentiated from language used in more formal settings such as at the workplace. Colloquialisms are particular identifiable expressions that are used in informal speech. Many linguists further differentiate between colloquialisms and slang (
Jargon is a confused unintelligible language. It is a strange, outlandish, or barbarous language or dialect; a hybrid language or dialect simplified in vocabulary and grammar and used for communication between peoples of different speech; the technical terminology or characteristic idiom of a special activity or group; obscure and often pretentious language marked by circumlocutions and long words (Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary).



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