Slang – nonstandard vocabulary composed of words or senses characterized chiefly by intensions of utmost informality and normally by a currency non limited to a peculiar part. It is composed typically of mintages or randomly changed words, clipped or shortened signifiers, extravagant, forced, or bantering figures of address, or verbal freshnesss.
Slang consists of the words and looks that have escaped from the buzzword, slang and slang ( and to a lesser extent from dialectal, nonstandard, and taboo address ) of specific subgroups of society so that they are known and used by an appreciable per centum of the general population, even though the words and looks frequently retain some associations with the subgroups that originally used and popularized them. Therefore, slang is a in-between land for words and looks that have become excessively popular to be any longer considered as portion of the more restricted classs, but that are non yet ( and may ne’er go ) acceptable or popular plenty to be considered informal or standard. ( Compare the slang “ Hooker ” and the standard “ cocotte. ” )
Under the footings of such a definition, “ buzzword ” comprises the restricted, non-technical words and looks of any peculiar group, as an occupational, age, cultural, avocation, or special-interest group. ( Cool, uptight, make your thing were youth buzzword of the late sixtiess before they became slang. ) “ Jargon ” is defined as the restricted, proficient, or shoptalk words and looks of any peculiar group, as an occupational, trade, scientific, artistic, condemnable, or other group. ( Finals used by pressmans and by pupils, Fannie May by money work forces, premature baby by accoucheurs were jargon before they became slang. ) “ Argot ” is simply the combined buzzword and slang of stealers, felons, or any other underworld group. ( Hit used by armed robbers ; scam by corporate assurance work forces. )
Slang fills a necessary niche in all linguistic communications, busying a in-between land between the criterion and informal words accepted by the general populace and the particular words and looks known merely to relatively little societal subgroups. It can function as a span or a barrier, either assisting both old and new words that have been used as “ insiders ‘ “ footings by a specific group of people to come in the linguistic communication of the general populace or, on the other manus, forestalling them from making so. Thus, for many words, slang is a proving land that eventually proves them to be by and large utile, appealing, and acceptable plenty to go standard or informal. For many other words, slang is a proving land that shows them to be excessively restricted in usage, non every bit appealing as standard equivalent word, or unneeded, frivolous, faddy, or unacceptable for criterion or informal address. For still a 3rd group of words and looks, slang becomes non a concluding testing land that either accepts or rejects them for general usage but becomes a huge oblivion, a lasting retention land, an country of address that a word ne’er leaves. Therefore, during assorted times in history, American slang has provided cowpuncher, snowstorm, O.K. , racketeer, phone, gas, and film for criterion or informal address. It has tried and eventually rejected conbobberation ( perturbation ) , krib ( room or flat ) , lucifer ( lucifer ) , tomato ( miss ) , and fab ( fabulous ) from criterion or informal address. It has held other words such as castanetss ( die ) , used since the fourteenth century, and beat it
( travel off ) , used since the sixteenth century, in a lasting appreciation, neither go throughing them on to standard or informal address nor rejecting them from popular, long-run usage.
Slang words can non be distinguished from other words by sound or significance. Indeed, all slang words were one time cant, slang, argot, idiom, nonstandard, or tabu. For illustration, the American slang to make out ( to snog and caress ) was originally student buzzword ; crew cut ( an aircraft bearer ) was originally navy slang ; and Ananas comosus ( a bomb or manus grenade ) was originally condemnable slang. Such words did non, of class, change their sound or significance when they became slang. Many slang words, such as snowstorm, rabble, film, phone, gas, and others, have become informal or standard and, of class, did non alter in sound or significance when they did so. In fact, most slang words are homonyms of standard words, spelled and pronounced merely like their criterion opposite numbers, as for illustration ( American slang ) , chou ( money ) , cool ( relaxed ) , and pot ( marihuana ) . Of class, the words chou, cool, and pot sound likewise in their ordinary criterion usage and in their slang usage. Each word sounds merely as appealing or unsympathetic, dull or colorful in its criterion as in its slang usage. Besides, the significances of chou and money, cool and relaxed, pot and marihuana are the same, so it can non be said that the intensions of slang words are any more colorful or racy than the significances of standard words.
All linguistic communications, states, and periods of history have slang. This is true because they all have had words with changing grades of societal credence and popularity.
All sections of society usage some slang, including the most educated, cultivated talkers and authors. In fact, this is portion of the definition of slang. For illustration, George Washington used lobsterback ( British soldier ) ; Winston Churchill used liquor ( spirits ) ; and Lyndon B. Johnson used cool it ( quiet down, close up ) .
The same lingual procedures are used to make and popularise slang as are used to make and popularise all other words. That is, all words are created and popularized in the same general ways ; they are labeled slang merely harmonizing to their current societal credence, long after creative activity and popularisation.
Slang is non the linguistic communication of the underworld, nor does most of it needfully come from the underworld. The chief beginnings of slang alteration from period to period. Therefore, in one period of American slang, backwoodsmans, cowpunchers, huntsmans, and trappers may hold been the chief beginning ; during some parts of the 1920s and ’30s the address of baseball participants and felons may hold been the chief beginning ; at other times, the vocabulary of wind instrumentalists, soldiers, or college pupils may hold been the chief beginning.
To to the full understand slang, one must retrieve that a word ‘s usage, popularity, and acceptableness can alter. Wordss can alter in societal degree, traveling in any way. Thus, some standard words of William Shakespeare ‘s twenty-four hours are found merely in certain contemporary British idioms or in the idiom of the southern United States. Wordss that are taboo in one epoch ( e.g. , tummy, thigh ) can go accepted, standard words in a ulterior epoch. Language is dynamic, and at any given clip 100s, and possibly 1000s, of words and looks are in the procedure of altering from one degree to another, of going more acceptable or less acceptable, of going more popular or less popular.