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Definitions. SLANG – An informal non-standard vocabulary composed of coinages, arbitrarily changed words, and extravagant, forced, or facetious figures of speech. JARGON – The specialized speech of professions and trades.

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Definitions

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Definitions

Definitions

  • SLANG – An informal non-standard vocabulary composed of coinages, arbitrarily changed words, and extravagant, forced, or facetious figures of speech.

  • JARGON – The specialized speech of professions and trades.

  • CANT – A type of language whose purpose is to make spoken communication unintelligible to people outside the group.


Cockney rhyming cant

holy friar = liar

chicken perch = church

rob my pal = gal

artful dodger = lodger

God forbids = kids

Oliver Twist = fist

apples & pears = stairs

seppo=septic tank=yank

trouble & strife = wife

jam jar = car

dog & bone = telephone

tea leaves = thieves

Britneys = beers

“ (Irish) = queers

Cockney Rhyming Cant


Why do people use slang

Why Do People Use Slang?

  • Group identification – To distinguish “ins” from “outs.”

  • Reaction to formality and the established way of doing things.

  • Fulfills natural desire for novelty and colorful, interesting speech.


What happens to slang

What Happens to Slang?

  • It dies out.

  • It becomes standard English.

  • It remains in the language as slang.


Slang can die out

19th century – conbobberation, blustiferous, slang whanger

1920’s – razzmatazz, applesauce, scram, 23 skiddoo

1930’s – stiff, palooka, flatfoot

40’s & 50’s – hep cat, dig, bug, square, rat fink, groovy

60’s & 70’s – far out, spacy, flipped out, bad trip

80’s – gag me with a spoon, totally, tubular, groty to the max

Slang can die out


Slang can become standard english

frisky, gambler, conundrum, mob, bored, flout, fretful, club, dwindle, freshman, glib, hubbub, scoundrel, trip, hike, tidy, tantrum, sweater, clumsy, swagger, blizzard, rambunctious

Listed as slang in 1929 Encyclopedia Brittanica:

bootlegger, fake, fizzle, hike, hobo, racketeer, o.k.

cool?

Slang can become Standard English


Slang can remain slang

Slang can remain slang

  • 10th century – dizzy

  • 13th century – booze

  • 14th century – gab, bones (dice), piece

  • 15th century – broad

  • 16th century – kid, rot-gut

  • 17th century – grub, hick, lousy, beat it, guy

  • 18th century – frisk, spunk, hush-money, pig


Slang list from 1993 sun article

Cheesy – tacky

Hitting on – flirting

Hoochie – good looking girl

Hottie – good-looking guy

Dis – to show disrespect

Dope - good

Hoopty - car

Peeps - parents

Phat – good

Props – respect

Ragging on – making fun of

Styling – dressing well

Word up – the truth

Slang List from 1993 Sun Article


Slang list from 2000 article

Banging – wonderful

The bomb – top notch

Boo – girlfriend

Homeboy – friend

Keep it real – be yourself

Represent – to perform up to expectations

My ting – my girl

My shorty – my girl

Wack – goofy, uncool

Word is born – you can say that again

You down? – Are you with us?

Slang list from 2000 article


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