British slang and its classification
British slang and its classification
SLANG AND ITS CLASSIFICATION
Tasks of the course work
Definition of slang
The origin of slang.
Types of slang.
a) Cockney rhyming slang
of army, police
peculiarities of slang
characteristics of slang
Slang is a
language which takes off its coat,
spits on its
hands - and goes to work.
1.1 Tasks of
the course work
The understanding of the native speakers' language is the international
problem for our people. Our secondary schools teach the students only the bases
of the English language. Our universities do not prepare them to the British
streets, accommodations, pubs where people use their own language, the language
that differs from that of their parents. They use other words- they use slang.
None of the most advanced and flexible ways of teaching English of any country
can catch modern quickly developing English.
Some scholars divide the English language into two different languages:
the Standard English language and slang. This fact proves that slang comes to
be a very numerous part of English. Ignorance of slang causes a great
miscommunication between students and native speakers.
The language of the previous centuries contrasts from the modern
language. The life does not freeze in the same position. It always develops.
And it makes the language develop too. That is why the present work is devoted
to this social phenomenon.
The aim of my course paper is to analyze different approaches to the
definition of slang, to determine the most important groups of the British
slang, to show its lexical, phonetic and morphological peculiarities.
The object of my study is the wealth of English language, ambiguity of
its vocabulary and the most common rules of slang usage in Britain.
The subjects of my research are various points of view on slang, its
history and types and linguistic characteristics common for the British slang.
topic of my investigation I `m perfectly aware of the fact that slang is
unlimited so it is almost impossible to analyze every word of it. I hope to
summarize different points of view on slang and it is my hope that more readers
should discover this interesting layer of the English language. Although the
work could hardly cover all the aspects of the phenomenon the task is as
exciting as challenging.
To achieve the set aim I determine the following tasks:
1. to search the origin of slang;
2. to study the words' transition through English vocabulary;
3. to study the problem of the classification of slang;
4. to understand the aim of the modern usage of slang;
5. to distinguish different kinds of slang;
6. to study the ways of slang word- formation;
7. to analyze phonetic peculiarities of slang;
8. to compare the results of the analysis.
speaker has a concept of slang--knowing at the least that some words and
expressions transgress generally accepted norms of formality or appropriateness
and in some way do not fit the measure of what "good" language is. Despite
such recognition by almost all speakers, scholars with formal training in
linguistic analysis have almost ignored slang--though they acknowledge having
the same intuitions about this type of vocabulary as do all speakers. In truth,
most linguists have given no more thought to slang than have people who claim
no expertise in language. In the English-speaking world in particular, the
description of the form and function of slang has been left largely to
lexicographers rather than to others who study language for a living.
New International Dictionary" gives the following definition of the term slang:
peculiar to a particular group as:
a) the special
and often secret vocabulary used by a class (as thieves, beggars) and usually
felt to be vulgar or inferior: argot;
b) the jargon
used by or associated with a particular trade, profession, or field of
2. A non-standard vocabulary
composed of words and senses characterized primary by connotations of extreme
informality and usually a currency not limited to a particular region and
composed typically of coinages or arbitrarily changed words, clipped or
shortened forms, extravagant, forced or facetious figures of speech, or verbal
novelties usually experiencing quick popularity and relatively rapid decline
Oxford English Dictionary" defines slang as follows:
a) the special
vocabulary used by any set of persons of a low or disreputable character;
language of a low and vulgar type;
b) the cant or
jargon of a certain class or period;
c) language of
a highly colloquial type considered as below the level of standard educated
speech, and consisting either of new words or of current words employed in some
As it is seen
from these quotations slang is represented both as a special vocabulary and as
a special language. This causes confusion. If this is a certain lexical layer,
than why should it be given the rank of language or a dialect of even a patois,
and then it should be characterized not only by its peculiar use of words but
also by phonetic, morphological and syntactical peculiarities.
In general all
linguists agree that slang is nonstandard vocabulary composed of words or
senses characterized primarily by connotations of extreme informality and
usually by a currency not limited to a particular region. It is composed
typically of coinages or arbitrarily changed words, clipped or shortened forms,
extravagant, forced, or facetious figures of speech, or verbal novelties. They
are identified and distinguished by contrasting them to standard literary
vocabulary. They are expressive, mostly ironical words serving to create fresh
names for some things that are frequent topics of discourse.
of the words and expressions that have escaped from the cant, jargon and argot
(and to a lesser extent from dialectal, nonstandard, and taboo speech) of
specific subgroups of society so that they are known and used by an appreciable
percentage of the general population, even though the words and expressions
often retain some associations with the subgroups that originally used and
popularized them. Thus, slang is a middle ground for words and expressions that
have become too popular to be any longer considered as part of the more
restricted categories, but that are not yet (and may never become) acceptable
or popular enough to be considered informal or standard. (Compare the slang
"hooker" and the standard "prostitute.")
Slang fills a
necessary niche in all languages. It can serve as a bridge or a barrier, either
helping both old and new words that have been used as "insiders' "
terms by a specific group of people to enter the language of the general public
or, on the other hand, preventing them from doing so. Thus, for many words,
slang is a testing ground that finally proves them to be generally useful,
appealing, and acceptable enough to become standard or informal. For many other
words, slang is a testing ground that shows them to be too restricted in use,
not as appealing as standard synonyms, or unnecessary, frivolous, faddish, or
unacceptable for standard or informal speech. For still a third group of words
and expressions, slang becomes not a final testing ground that either accepts
or rejects them for general use but becomes a vast limbo, a permanent holding
ground, an area of speech that a word never leaves
cannot be distinguished from other words by sound or meaning. In fact, most
slang words are homonyms of standard words, spelled and pronounced just like
their standard counterparts, as for example slang words for money such as
beans, brass, dibs, dough, chinc, oof, wards; the slang synonyms for word head
are attic, brain-pan, hat peg, nut, upper storey; drunk- boozy, cock-eyed,
high, soaked, tight, and pot (marijuana). Of course, these words are alike in
their ordinary standard use and in their slang use. Each word sounds just as
appealing or unappealing, dull or colorful in its standard as in its slang use.
Also, the meanings of beans and money, head and attic, pot and marijuana are
the same, so it cannot be said that the connotations of slang words are any
more colorful or racy than the meanings of standard words.
countries, and periods of history have slang. This is true because they all
have had words with varying degrees of social acceptance and popularity.
linguistic processes are used to create and popularize slang as are used to
create and popularize all other words. That is, all words are created and
popularized in the same general ways; they are labeled slang only according to
their current social acceptance, long after creation and popularization.
understand slang, one must remember that a word's use, popularity, and
acceptability can change. Words can change in social level, moving in any
direction. Thus, some standard words of William Shakespeare's day are found
only in certain modern-day British dialects. Words that are taboo in one era
(e.g., stomach, thigh) can become accepted, standard words in a later era. Many
prove either useful enough to become accepted as standard or informal words or
too faddish for standard use. Blizzard and okay have become standard, while conbobberation
("disturbance") and tomato ("girl") have been discarded.
Some words and expressions have a lasting place in slang; for instance, beat it
("go away"), first used in the 16th century, has neither become Standard
English nor vanished.
dynamic, and at any given time hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of words and
expressions are in the process of changing from one level to another, of
becoming more acceptable or less acceptable, of becoming more popular or less
is very informal use of words and phrases for more colorful or peculiar style
of expression that is shared by the people in the same social subgroup, for
example, computer slang, sports slang, military slang, musicians’ slang,
students’ slang, underworld slang, etc. Slang is not used by the majority of
native speakers and many people consider it vulgar, though quite a few slang
phrases have already come into standard usage. Slang contains many obscene and
offensive words and phrases. It also has many expressions that are acceptable
in informal communication. Slang is highly idiomatic. It is
flippant, irreverent, indecorous; it may be indecent or obscene. Its colorful
metaphors are generally directed at respectability, and it is this succinct,
sometimes witty, frequently impertinent social criticism that gives slang its characteristic flavor.
Slang, then, includes not just words but words used in a special way in a
certain social context. The origin of the word slang itself is obscure; it
first appeared in print around 1800, applied to the speech of disreputable and
criminal classes in London.
the property of a community of speakers. People rarely speak, or write, with
only themselves as the audience. It should not be surprising then that some
components and forms of language are socially motivated. Slang is one kind of
vocabulary that serves the social nature of language. In an important article
in 1978 Bethany Dumas and Jonathan Lighter make the crucial point that slang
must be identified by its social consequences, by the effects its use has on
the relationship between speaker and audience.
Lighter posit four criteria for identifying a word or phrase as slang .
presence will markedly lower, at least for the moment, the dignity of formal or
serious speech or writing.
2. Its use
implies the user's familiarity either with the referent or with that less
statusful or less responsible class of people who have such special familiarity
and use the term.
3. It is a
tabooed term in ordinary discourse with persons of higher social rank or
4. It is used
in place of the well-known conventional synonym, especially in order (a) to
protect the user from the discomfort caused by the conventional item or (b) to
protect the user from the discomfort or annoyance of further elaboration.
that "when something fits at least two of the criteria, a linguistically
sensitive audience will react to it in a certain way. This reaction, which
cannot be measured, is the ultimate identifying characteristic of true
slang". In other words, Dumas and Lighter's formulation requires that the
type of lexis called slang be recognized for its power to effect union between
speaker and hearer. Whether or not the particulars of their definition are
necessary or sufficient, Dumas and Lighter are right. Slang cannot be defined
independent of its functions and use.
difficulties of defining the term, slang does have some consistent
characteristics. Slang is lexical rather
than phonological or syntactic, though, in English at least, body language and
intonation are often important in signaling that a word or phrase is to be
interpreted as slang. Nor is there a peculiarly slang syntax. Slang expressions
do not follow idiosyncratic word order, and slang words and phrases typically
fit into an appropriate grammatical slot in an established syntactic pattern. Furthermore,
the productive morphological processes responsible for slang are the same ones
responsible for the general vocabulary, i.e., for English, compounding,
affixation, shortening, and functional shift.
II. MAIN PART
much of its power from the fact that it is clandestine, forbidden or generally
disapproved of. So what happens once it is accepted, even in some cases
embraced and promoted by ‘mainstream’ society? Not long ago the Oxford English
Dictionary characterized slang as ‘low and disreputable’; in the late 1970s the
pioneering sociolinguist Michael Halliday used the phrase ‘anti-language’ in
his study of the speech of criminals and marginals. For him, theirs was an
interestingly ‘pathological’ form of language. The first description now sounds
quaintly outmoded, while the second could be applied to street gangs – today’s
posses, massives or sets – and their secret codes. Both, however, involve value
judgments which are essentially social and not linguistic. Attitudes to the use
of language have changed profoundly over the last three decades, and the
perceived boundaries between ‘standard’ and ‘unorthodox’ are becoming
newspapers in the UK such as the Sun, the Star and the Sport regularly use
slang in headlines and articles, while the quality press use slang sparingly –
usually for special effect – but the assumption remains that readers have a
working knowledge of common slang terms.
There has been
surprisingly little criticism of the use of slang (as opposed to the
‘swear-words’ and supposed grammatical errors which constantly irritate British
readers and listeners). The use of slang forms part of what linguists call
code-switching or style-shifting – the mixing of and moving between different
languages, dialects or codes. 
2.1 The origin
Slang was the
main reason for the development of prescriptive language in an attempt to slow
down the rate of change in both spoken and written language. Latin and French
were the only two languages that maintained the use of prescriptive language in
the 14th century. It was not until the early 15th century that scholars began
pushing for a Standard English language.
Middle Ages, certain writers such as Chaucer, William Caxton, and William of
Malmesbury represented the regional differences in pronunciations and dialects.
The different dialects and the different pronunciations represented the first
meaning for the term "slang."
present-day meaning for slang did not begin forming until the 16th or 17th
century. The English Criminal Cant developed in the 16th century. The English
Criminal Cant was a new kind of speech used by criminals and cheats, meaning it
developed mostly in saloons and gambling houses. The English Criminal Cant was
at first believed to be foreign, meaning scholars thought that it had either
originated in Romania or had a relationship to French. The English Criminal
Cant was slow developing. In fact, out of the four million people who spoke
English, only about ten thousand spoke the English Criminal Cant. By the end of
the 16th century this new style of speaking was considered to be a language "without
reason or order". During the 18th century schoolmasters taught pupils to
believe that the English Criminal Cant (which by this time had developed into
slang) was not the correct usage of English and slang was considered to be
people are individuals who desire uniqueness, it stands to reason that slang
has been in existence for as long as language has been in existence.
expression may suddenly become widely used and as quickly die (23-skiddoo). It
may become accepted as standard speech, either in its original slang meaning (bus
from omnibus, taxi, piano, phone, pub mob, dandy) or with an altered, possibly
tamed meaning (jazz, which originally had sexual connotations). Some expressions
have persisted for centuries as slang (booze for alcoholic beverage). In the
20th century, mass media and rapid travel have speeded up both the circulation
and the demise of slang terms. Television and novels have turned criminal cant
into slang (five grand for 5000). Changing social circumstances may stimulate
the spread of slang. Drug-related expressions (such as pot and marijuana) were
virtually a secret jargon in the 1940s; in the 1960s they were adopted by
rebellious youth; and in the 1970s and ’80s they were widely known. But this
must be done by those whose mother tongue is English. They and only they, being
native speakers of the English language, are its masters and lawgivers. It is
for them to place slang in its proper category by specifying its characteristic
formerly labeled as slang have now become legitimate units of the Standard
English. Thus, the word "kid" (=child), which was considered low
slang in the 19th century, is now a legitimate colloquial unit of
the English literary language.
unbelievable but not so long ago the words: of course, to take care, to get up,
lunch were considered to be slang. "Lunch" entered the language after
World War I is not used in some books that prefer "dinner" to "lunch".
2.2 Types of
tend to invent many more synonyms or near-synonyms than might be thought
strictly necessary: for example, criminals may have a dozen different nicknames
(gat, crone, iron, chrome) for their guns, or for informers (canary, grass,
snout, stoolie); drinkers can choose from hundreds of competing descriptions of
a state of intoxication (hammered, hamstered, langered, mullered) 
convenient to group slang words according to their place in the vocabulary
system and more precisely in the semantic system of the vocabulary. If they
denote a new and necessary notion they may prove an enrichment of the
vocabulary and be accepted into Standard English. If on the other hand they
make just another addition to a cluster of synonyms and have nothing but
novelty to back them, they die out very quickly, constituting the most
changeable part of the vocabulary.
of classification suggests subdivision according to the sphere of usage, into
general slang and special slang. General slang includes
words that are not specific for any social or professional group, whereas
special slang is peculiar for some such group: teenager slang, university
slang, public school slang, Air Force slang, football slang, sea slang and so
is language that speakers deliberately use to break with the standard language
and to change the level of discourse in the direction of formality. It signals
the speakers` intention to refuse conventions and their need
to be fresh and startling in their expression, to ease social exchanges and
induce friendliness, to reduce excessive seriousness and avoid clichés,
in brief, to enrich the language. General slang words have a wide circulation
as they are neither group – nor subject – restricted.
Brits refer to their currency as quid, much in the same way American dollars
are "bucks" and Canadian money is called "loonies."
asks to borrow a fag off you, give them a cigarette.
In Britain, a
kiss is called a snog. If someone is knackered, that means they are exhausted.
If someone is referred to as "a minger", that means that they’re
unattractive. If someone tells you to "Bugger off!" well, it is
suggested that you go away.
of "Hi, how are you?" go with the quick and easy British "Alright?"
No answer is expected.
greatness. These include "barry," "ace" and "kewl."
The latter kind of sounds like "cool" but you’ll know the difference
in your heart.
others. Calling someone an "arseface" or a "pilchard" will
be even more the merrier if they have no clue you are insulting them to their
in the emphatic "bloody" a lot. Bloody this, bloody that and bloody
everything. The British are also known to put it in the middle of words for
even more emphasis, such as "absobloodlylutely."
drunks. Slang is always full of euphemisms for "drunk" in any
language. The British versions include "airlocked" and "bevvied
up," as in "full of beverage."
slang is language that speakers use to show their belonging to a group and
establish solidarity or intimacy with the other group members.
It is often used by speakers to create their own identity, including aspects
such as social status and geographical belonging, or even age, education,
occupation, lifestyle, and special interests. It is largely used by people of a
common age and experience to strengthen the bonds within their own peer group,
keeping the older generation at a distance.It is also
used by people sharing the same occupation to increase efficiency in
communication; or by those sharing the same living conditions to hide secret
information from people in authority. It is finally used by people sharing an
attitude or a life style to reinforce their group cohesiveness, keeping
insiders together and outsiders out.
tends to originate in subcultures within a society. Occupational groups (for
example, loggers, police, medical professionals, and computer specialists) are
prominent originators of both jargon and slang; other groups creating slang
include the armed forces, teenagers, racial minorities, citizens-band
radiobroadcasters, sports groups, drug addicts, criminals, and even religious
denominations. Slang expressions often embody attitudes and values of group
members. They may thus contribute to a sense of group identity and may convey
to the listener information about the speaker's background.
slang words and phrases are used throughout all of Britain (e.g. knackered,
meaning "exhausted"), others are restricted to smaller regions.
Rhyming Slang originated in the East End of London.
Rhyming slang is a form of slang in which a word is replaced by a rhyming word, typically the second word of a two-word phrase (so stairs
becomes "apples and pears"). The second word is then often dropped
entirely ("I'm going up the apples"), meaning that the association of
the original word to the rhyming phrase is not obvious to the uninitiated.
Slang phrases are derived from taking an expression which rhymes with a word
and then using that expression instead of the word. For example the word
"look" rhymes with "butcher's hook". In many cases the
rhyming word is omitted - so you won't find too many Londoners having a
"bucher's hook" , but you might find a few having a
rhyming word is not always omitted so Cockney expressions can vary in their
construction, and it is simply a matter of convention which version is used.
this list of example Cockney slang for parts of the body, you'll notice that
some expressions omit the rhyming word but others do not.
Plates of meat
Loaf of bread
North and south
North and south
proliferation of rhyming slang allowed many of its traditional expressions to
pass into common usage. Some substitutions have become relatively widespread in
Britain, for example "scarper", meaning to run away is derived from
"Scapa Flow" meaning "to go". "To have a
butcher's", which means to have a look, from "butcher's hook. For
example "use your loaf" is an everyday phrase for the British, but
not too many people realize it is Cockney Rhyming Slang ("loaf of bread:
head"). There are many more examples of this unwitting use of Cockney
Rhyming Slang. 
has raised awareness of Cockney Rhyming Slang to far greater heights. Classic
TV shows such as "Steptoe and Son", "Minder",
"Porridge" and "Only Fools and Horses" have done much to
spread the slang throughout Britain and to the rest of the world.
Cockney slang that is being developed today tends to only rhyme words with the
names of celebrities or famous people. There are very few new Cockney slang
expressions that do not follow this trend. The only one that has gained much
ground recently that bucks this trend is "Wind and Kite" meaning
style of rhyming has spread through many English-speaking countries, where the
original phrases are supplemented by rhymes created to fit local needs.
Creation of rhyming slang has become a word game for people of
many classes and regions. The term 'Cockney' rhyming slang is generally applied
to these expansions to indicate the rhyming style; though arguably the term
only applies to phrases used in the East End of London. Similar formations do
exist in other parts of the United Kingdom; for example, in the East Midlands, the local
accent has formed "Derby Road", which rhymes with "cold": a
conjunction that would not be possible in any other dialect of the UK.
Polari (or alternatively Parlare,
Parlary, Palare, Palarie, Palari, Parlyaree,from Italian parlare,
"to talk") was a form of cant slang used in Britain by actors,
circus or fairground showmen, criminals, prostitutes etc., and latterly by the gay subculture. It was
revived in the 1950s and 1960s by its use by camp characters Julian and Sandy in
the popular BBC radio shows Beyond our Ken and Round the Horne, but
its origins can be traced back to at least the 19th century (or, according to
at least one source, to the 16th century). There is some debate about how it
originated. There is a longstanding connection with Punch and Judy street
puppet performers who traditionally used Polari to talk with each other.
is a mixture of Romance (Italian or Mediterranean Lingua Franca), Romany, London slang,
backslang, rhyming slang, sailor
slang, and thieves'
cant. Later it expanded to contain words from the Yiddish language of
the Jewish subculture
which settled in the East End of London, the US forces (present in the UK
during World War II) and 1960s drug users. It was a constantly developing form
of language, with a small core lexicon of about 20 words (including bona, ajax,
eek, cod, naff, lattie, nanti, omi, palone, riah, zhoosh (tjuz), TBH, trade,
vada), with over 500 other lesser-known items.
1990 Morrissey titled an
album Bona Drag– Polari for
"nice outfit"– and the title of his "Piccadilly Palare"
single that same year is an alternative spelling of what would be
in 1990, comic book writer Grant Morrison created
the character Danny
the Street (based on Danny La Rue), a
sentient transvestite street for the comic Doom Patrol. Danny
speaks largely in Polari.
1998 film Velvet
Goldmine, which chronicles a fictional retelling of the rise and
fall of glam rock, contains a
60s flashback in which a group of characters converse in Polari, while their
words are humorously subtitled below.
2002, two books on Polari were published, Polari: The Lost Language of Gay Men,
and Fantabulosa: A Dictionary of Polari and Gay Slang (both by Paul Baker).
Also in 2002, hip
hop artist Juha released an album called Polari, with the chorus of
the title song written entirely in the slang.
nearby (from adjacent?)
hot for you/him
aunt nelly fakes
aunt nell danglers
"jewel" in French)
code word for "homosexual"
language, Internet Short-hand, leet, netspeak or chatspeak) is a type of slang that Internet users have
popularized, and in many cases, have coined. Such terms often originate with
the purpose of saving keystrokes.
Many people use the same abbreviations
in texting and instant messaging, and
social networking websites. Acronyms, keyboard symbols and shortened words are often used as methods
of abbreviation in Internet slang.
such cases, new dialects of slang, such as leet or Lolspeak, develop as ingroup memes rather than time savers. In leet speak,
letters may be replaced by characters of similar appearance. For this reason,
leet is often written as l33t or 1337.
has transformed the way we manipulate our systems of signs and the
relationships between producers and consumers of information. Its effect on
slang has two aspects. Firstly, online communication has generated its own
vocabulary of technical terminology, essentially jargon (spam, blogging,
phishing) and informal, abbreviated or humorous terms (addy, noob, barking
moonbat etc.) which qualify as slang. The amount of new
cyberslang is fairly small, but the Internet has also allowed the collecting,
classifying and promoting of slang from other sources in.
technical development – text messaging – has triggered changes in the culture
of communication, especially among young people, and brought with it, like
telegrams, CB-radio or Internet chatrooms, a new form of abbreviated code. It
has excited some academic linguists but it hasn’t, however, contributed
anything meaningful to the evolution of slang. 
Word or phrase
acc, acct or acnt
addy or add
n, an, nd, or &
aight or ight or aite
Are you there?
rut or u der
At the moment
As far as I know
Be right back
Be back later
Be back soon
bcz, bcos, bc, cos, coz, cz or bcoz
Best friend or Boyfriend
bf or b/f
btwn or b/w
By the way
cuzin or cuz
def or deffo
Does it look like I give a shit?
Falling off chair laughing
4eva or 4evr or fo eva
Girlfriend or GoodFriend
gf or g/f
Got to go
g2g or gtg
Have a nice day
hld on or h/o
hw, hwk or hmwk
How are you
I can't remember
I know, right?
I love you
ily, luv u, ilu, luv ya, i wub u or
i <3 u, 143 (I stands for one letter, Love stands for 4 letters, You
stands for 3 letters)
Laugh out loud / lots of love
Laugh out loud (multiple times)
lolliesm lulz or lolz
luv or <3
Love you (see also I love you)
No thank you
no tnk u, nty or no ty
Oh My God
omg or (comically) zomg, romg,
k or kk
parents behind back
pc, pce, pece, or \/
Rocking/Rock (metal hands)
See you/see you later
cya, cu, or cya/cu l8er/l8a/l8r
sry or soz
Scare the shit out of my self/Scare
the shit out of yourself
Talk to you later
ttyl or t2yl
Ta-ta for now
Thinking of you
What the hell
sup or zup
of army, police.
Military slang is an array of colloquial
commonly by military personnel,
including slang which is unique
to or originates with the armed
The Andrew/Grey Funnel Ferries - The Royal Navy, named
for some important bloke or a Saint or something.
Blighty - The UK, the name was
taken from a province in India...
Brag Rags - Medals.
Cant-be-arrsed-itis -suffered mainly by those
- "chin-strap" - tired knackered
Jacket, trousers, and possibly hood, cap, etc., made from DPM material.
Doss-bag - Army Issue Barnes-Wallace, Gonk-bag and Green
Dust - Washing powder.
Gat - rifle (also Bunduk, or Bang-Stick) (mainly
used by "Hats").
green - a
keen soldier, probably should watched suspiciously...from a long way away.
NAAFI - "Navy, Army and Air Force
Institutes". Quasi-civilian non-profit retaining such as tea, pies, cakes
and sandwiches to the troops within garrisons worldwide. Pronounced 'NAFF-ee',
it was created in 1921 to run recreational establishments for the Armed forces
to sell goods to servicemen and their families. It runs clubs, bars, (EFI),
which provides NAAFI facilities in war zones.
Puttees - long strips of flannel
cloth in shades of khaki, rifle green or
black, wrapped tightly at the top of ankle-boots to provide support over rough
ground (now CVHQ RA)
Sangar - possibly derived from the Indian;
usually a low wall with side wings built to give cover from fire in areas where
digging is difficult or impossible.
Pilot - The Padre - he's got his head in the clouds
talking to his boss.
Stripey - Sergeant.
Airways - The Army Air Corps.
Warry (or War-y) - aggressive, militaristic; can be an
Webbing - cotton for belt as worn
by the type of ladies I never get to meet, and several dodgy RM types down
are more than a hundred words for "police" in different glossaries..
And this is by no means a unique case.
Names taken from the coloring of police clothes or the coloring of police cars:
blue boy, blue jeans, man-in-the-blue, salt and pepper, black and white, blue and white;
A female police officer:
girlie bear, honey bear, lady bear, mama bear, sugar bear,smokey beaver;
A city policeman or rural police:
citty kitty, country Joe, country mounty, little bear, local yokel;
boogey man, boy scouts, state bears, whatevers;barnies, bear, bearded bubby, big brother, bull, Dudley, do-right, Peter Rabbit;
An unmarked or hidden police car:
brown-paper bag, night crawler, pink panther, slick top, sneaky snake;
A radar unit:
shotgun, electric teeth, gunrunner, Kojak with a Kodak, smoke screen
A police helicopter:
bear in the air, eye in the sky, spy in the sky, tattle tale
There have found new expressions for an already established concept; such expressions that make them appear to be saying one thing while they are really communicating something very different to insiders.
GBH: Grievous Bodily Harm
TDA: Taking and Driving Away
TWOC: Taken Without Owner's Consent
ASNT: Area Searched No Trace
FATAC: Fatal Road Traffic Accident
MFH: Missing From Home
NAI: Non-Accidental Injury
RTA: Road-Traffic Accident
ARV: Armed Response Vehicle
TFU: Tactical Firearms Unit
SOCO: Scenes Of Crime Officer; a forensic crime scene examiner
VSS: Victim Support Scheme
MISPER: Missing person
POLAC: A collision involving a
WOFF: Write off; a vehicle
or other property deemed a total loss for insurance purposes
WINQ: Warrant inquiry
e) Money slang
the origins of these slang terms are many and various, certainly a lot of
English money slang is rooted in various London communities, which for
different reasons liked to use language only known in their own circles,
notably wholesale markets, street traders, crime and the underworld, the docks,
taxi-cab driving, and the immigrant communities. London has for centuries been
extremely cosmopolitan, both as a travel hub and a place for foreign people to
live and work and start their own businesses. This contributed to the
development of some 'lingua franca' expressions, i.e., mixtures of Italian,
Greek, Arabic, Yiddish (Jewish European/Hebrew dialect), Spanish and English
which developed to enable understanding between people of different
nationalities, rather like a pidgin or hybrid English. Certain lingua franca
blended with 'parlyaree' or 'polari', which is basically underworld slang.
also contributes several slang money words. Backslang reverses the phonetic
(sound of the) word, not the spelling, which can produce some strange
interpretations, and was popular among market traders, butchers and
are the most common and/or interesting British slang money words and
expressions, with meanings, and origins where known. Many are now obsolete;
typically words which relate to pre-decimalisation coins, although some have
re-emerged and continue to do so.
non-slang words are included where their origins are particularly interesting,
as are some interesting slang money expressions which originated in other parts
of the world, and which are now entering the English language.
are some examples of money slang words:
archer = two thousand pounds (£2,000),
late 20th century, from the Jeffrey Archer court case in which he was alleged
to have bribed call-girl Monica Coughlan with this amount.
ayrton senna/ayrton = tenner (ten pounds, £10) -
cockney rhyming slang created in the 1980s or early 90s, from the name of the
peerless Brazilian world champion Formula One racing driver, Ayrton Senna
(1960-94), who won world titles in 1988, 90 and 91, before his tragic death at
San Marino in 1994.
bag/bag of sand = grand = one thousand pounds (£1,000),
seemingly recent cockney rhyming slang, in use from around the mid-1990s in
Greater London; perhaps more widely too.
bar = a pound, from the late 1800s, and earlier a
sovereign, probably from Romany gypsy 'bauro' meaning heavy or big, and also
influenced by allusion to the iron bars use as trading currency used with
Africans, plus a possible reference to the custom of casting of precious metal
bender = sixpence (6d) Another slang term
with origins in the 1800s when the coins were actually solid silver, from the
practice of testing authenticity by biting and bending the coin, which would
being made of near-pure silver have been softer than the fakes.
bees (bees and honey) = money. Cockney rhyming slang from
the late 1800s. Also shortened to beesum
(from bees and, bees 'n', to beesum).
big ben - ten pounds (£10) the sum,
and a ten pound note - cockney rhyming slang.
boodle = money.
bunce = money, usually unexpected gain and extra to an
agreed or predicted payment, typically not realised by the payer.
cabbage = money in banknotes,
carpet = three pounds (£3) or three
hundred pounds (£300), or sometimes thirty pounds (£30). This has
confusing and convoluted origins, from as early as the late 1800s: It seems
originally to have been a slang term for a three month prison sentence, based
on the following: that 'carpet bag' was cockney rhyming slang for a 'drag',
which was generally used to describe a three month sentence; also that in the
prison workshops it supposedly took ninety days to produce a certain regulation-size
piece of carpet; and there is also a belief that prisoners used to be awarded
the luxury of a piece of carpet for their cell after three year's
incarceration. The term has since the early 1900s been used by bookmakers and
horse-racing, where carpet refers to odds of three-to-one, and in car dealing,
where it refers to an amount of £300.
chip = a shilling (1/-) and earlier, mid-late 1800s a
pound or a sovereign. According to Cassells chip meaning a shilling is from
horse-racing and betting. The association with a gambling chip is logical. Chip
and chipping also have more general associations with money and particularly
money-related crime, where the derivations become blurred with other underworld
meanings of chip relating to sex and women (perhaps from the French 'chipie'
meaning a vivacious woman) and narcotics (in which chip refers to diluting or
skimming from a consignment, as in chipping off a small piece - of the drug or
clod = a penny (1d). Clod was also used for other old
copper coins. From cockney rhyming slang clodhopper (= copper).
coal = a penny (1d). Also referred to money generally,
from the late 1600s, when the slang was based simply on a metaphor of coal
being an essential commodity for life. The spelling cole was also used.
cock and hen = ten pounds. The ten pound meaning
of cock and hen is 20th century rhyming slang. Cock and hen - also cockerel and
hen - has carried the rhyming slang meaning for the number ten for longer. Its
transfer to ten pounds logically grew more popular through the inflationary
1900s as the ten pound amount and banknote became more common currency in
people's wages and wallets, and therefore language. Cock and hen also gave
raise to the variations cockeren, cockeren and hen, hen, and the natural rhyming
slang short version, cock - all meaning ten pounds.
commodore = fifteen pounds (£15). The
origin is almost certainly London, and the clever and amusing derivation
reflects the wit of Londoners: Cockney rhyming slang for five pounds is a
'lady', (from Lady Godiva = fiver); fifteen pounds is three-times five pounds
(3x£5=£15); 'Three Times a Lady' is a song recorded by the group
The Commodores; and there you have it: Three Times a Lady = fifteen pounds = a
commodore. (Thanks Simon Ladd, Jun 2007)
cows = a pound, 1930s, from the rhyming slang 'cow's
licker' = nicker (nicker means a pound). The word cows means a single pound
since technically the word is cow's, from cow's licker.
deep sea diver = fiver (£5), heard in use Oxfordshire
late 1990s, this is rhyming slang dating from the 1940s.
dosh = slang for a reasonable amount of spending money,
for instance enough for a 'night-out'. Almost certainly and logically derived
from the slang 'doss-house', meaning a very cheap hostel or room, from
Elizabethan England when 'doss' was a straw bed, from 'dossel' meaning bundle
of straw, in turn from the French 'dossier' meaning bundle.
dough = money. From the cockney rhyming
slang and metaphoric use of 'bread'.
dunop/doonup = pound, backslang from the
mid-1800s, in which the slang is created from a reversal of the word sound,
rather than the spelling, hence the loose correlation to the source word.
flag = five pound note (£5), UK, notably in
Manchester.The word flag has been used since the 1500s as a slang expression
for various types of money, and more recently for certain notes. Originally
(16th-19thC) the slang word flag was used for an English fourpenny groat coin,
derived possibly from Middle Low German word 'Vleger' meaning a coin worth
'more than a Bremer groat' (Cassells).
flim/flimsy = five pounds (£5), early
1900s, so called because of the thin and flimsy paper on which five pound notes
of the time were printed.
folding/folding stuff/folding money/folding green = banknotes, especially to
differentiate or emphasise an amount of money as would be impractical to carry
or pay in coins, typically for a night out or to settle a bill. Folding,
folding stuff and folding money are all popular slang in London.
foont/funt = a pound (£1), from the
mid-1900s, derived from the German word 'pfund' for the UK pound.
french/french loaf = four pounds, most likely from the
second half of the 1900s, cockney rhyming slang for rofe (french loaf = rofe),
which is backslang for four, also meaning four pounds. Easy when you know how..
garden/garden gate = eight pounds (£8), cockney
rhyming slang for eight, naturally extended to eight pounds. In spoken use 'a
garden' is eight pounds. Incidentally garden gate is also rhyming slang for
magistrate, and the plural garden gates is rhyming slang for rates. The word
garden features strongly in London, in famous place names such as Hatton
Garden, the diamond quarter in the central City of London, and Covent Garden,
the site of the old vegetable market in West London, and also the term appears
in sexual euphemisms, such as 'sitting in the garden with the gate unlocked',
which refers to a careless pregnancy.
generalise/generalize = a shilling (1/-), from the mid
1800s, thought to be backslang. Also meant to lend a shilling, apparently used
by the middle classes, presumably to avoid embarrassment. Given that backslang
is based on phonetic word sound not spelling, the conversion of shilling to
generalize is just about understandable, if somewhat tenuous, and in the
absence of other explanation is the only known possible derivation of this odd
gen net/net gen = ten shillings (1/-), backslang
from the 1800s (from 'ten gen').
grand = a thousand pounds (£1,000 or
$1,000) Not pluralised in full form. Shortened to 'G' (usually plural form
also) or less commonly 'G's'. Originated in the USA in the 1920s, logically an
association with the literal meaning - full or large.
greens = money, usually old-style green
coloured pound notes, but actully applying to all money or cash-earnings since
the slang derives from the cockney rhyming slang: 'greengages' (= wages).
peculiarities of slang
slang words introduce new concepts, some of the most effective slang provides
new expressions--fresh, satirical, shocking--for established concepts, often
very respectable ones. Sound is sometimes used as a basis for this type of
slang, as, for example, in various phonetic distortions (e.g., pig Latin
terms). It is also used in rhyming slang, which employs a fortunate combination
of both sound and imagery. Thus, gloves are "turtledoves" (the gloved
hands suggesting a pair of billing doves), a girl is a "twist and
twirl" (the movement suggesting a girl walking), and an insulting
imitation of flatus, produced by blowing air between the tip of the protruded
tongue and the upper lip, is the "raspberry," cut back from
"raspberry tart." Most slang, however, depends upon incongruity of
imagery, conveyed by the lively connotations of a novel term applied to an
established concept. Slang is not all of equal quality, a considerable body of
it reflecting a simple need to find new terms for common ones, such as the
hands, feet, head, and other parts of the body. Food, drink, and sex also
involve extensive slang vocabulary. Strained or synthetically invented slang
lacks verve, as can be seen in the desperate efforts of some sportswriters to
avoid mentioning the word baseball--e.g., a batter does not hit a baseball but
rather "swats the horsehide," "plasters the pill,"
"hefts the old apple over the fence," and so on.
If we try to
characterize rhyming slang in particular, we can find such phonetic features:
This affects the
lexical set mouth vowel. Wells believes that it is widely agreed that the
"mouth" vowel is a "touchstone for distinguishing between
"true Cockney" and popular London" and other more standard
accents. Cockney usage would include monophthongization of the word.
mouth = mauf
rather than mouth
describes the glottal stop as also particularly characteristic of Cockney and
can be manifested in different ways such as "t" glottalling in final
position. A 1970s study of schoolchildren living in the East End found /p,t,k/
"almost invariably glottalized" in final position.
cat = up = sock
It can also
manifest itself as a bare as the realization of word internal intervocalic /t/
Waerloo City = Ciy A drink of water = A drin' a wa'er A little bit of bread
with a bit of butter on it = A li'le bi' of breab wiv a bi' of bu'er on i'.
As would be
expected, a Cockney speaker uses fewer glottal stops for t or d than a
"London" speaker. However, there are some words where the omission of
t has become very accepted.
Gatwick = Gawick
network = Ne
3. Dropped h
at beginning of words (Voiceless glottal fricative)
working-class ("common") accents throughout England,h dropping at the
beginning of certain words is heard often, but it`s certainly heard more in
Cockney, and in accents closer to Cockney. The usage is strongly stigmatized by
teachers and many other standard speakers.
house = `ouse
hammer = `ammer
4. TH fronting
well known characteristic of Cockney is th fronting which involves the
replacement of the dental fricatives, and by labiodentals [f] and [v]
thin = fin
three = free
bath = barf
dinner = dinna
quality of Cockney has been described as typically involving "chest
tone" rather than "head tone" and being equated with "rough
and harsh" sounds versus the velvety smoothness of the Kensington or
Mayfair accents spoken by those in other more upscale areas of London.
English is also characterized by its own special vocabulary and usage in the
form of "cockney rhyming slang". The way it works is that you take a
pair of associated words where the second word rhymes with the word you intend
to say, then use the first word of the associated pair to indicate the word you
originally intended to say. Some rhymes have been in use for years and are very
well recognized, if not used, among speakers of other accents.
and pears" -stairs
of meat" -feet
others, however, that become established with the changing culture.
Cleese" - cheese
Major" - pager
Morphological characteristics of slang
Slang comes to be a very numerous
part of the English language. It is considered to be one of the main
representatives of the nation itself. The birth of new words results from the
order of the modern society. Slang arises due to our propensity for replacing
old denominations by expressive ones. And yet the growing popularity of every
new creation prevents it from remaining fresh and impressive. What was felt as
strikingly witty yesterday becomes dull and stale today, since everybody knows
it and uses it. So how do the slang words come to life? There are several ways
of slang words formation:
figures of speech participate in slang formation.
For example: upperstorey-head
or bad (understatement)
clear as mud
Slang items usually arise by the same
means in which new words enter the general vocabulary.
2. The slang
word can appear thanks to the recycling of the words and parts of words, which
are already in the language.
may take form as metaphors, similes, and other figures of speech (dead as a
doornail).Some slang formation follow the rules of Standard English. F.e.,
slang behaves regularly in the forming of denominal adjectives by –y
suffixation (e.g. cbordy- moody, cbord-a bad mood, gobby-mouthy, slang
gob-mouth) and deverbal adjectives by – able suffixation (shaggable- slang to
shag –to fornicate). It uses the suffix –ette to denote female sex as in
punkette (a female punk). It uses the verbal prefix de- to convey a sense of
removal or deprivation to the base as in de-bag –to remove trousers. 
acquire new meanings (cool, cat). A narrow meaning may become generalized (fink,
originally a strikebreaker, later a betrayer or disappointer) or vice-versa (heap,
a run-down car). Most affixation tend to belong to extragrammatical morphology,
though they exhibit a certain regularity and stability.
Slang has some
productive suffixes which are either novel (eg. -o/oo, -eroo, -ers) or used
differently from Standard English. The slang suffix –o means either ``a stupid
unintelligent person``(dumbo, thicko) or a person with a particular habbit or
characteristic (eg. Saddo, sicko). This suffix seems to be productive in the
making of forms of address (kiddo, yobbo)
of the suffix – er with –o/oo produces –eroo in slang as in smackeroo, meaning
the same as smacker but with a more light – hearted slant.
profilic slang cumulation is –ers as in some pair nouns (cobblers, conkers, knackers),
plural nouns (choppers-teeth, trousers) and uncountable nouns (ackers-money,
uppers- amphetamine). The slang suffix –ers often occurs after abbreviation as
in bathers (bathing costumes), brekkers (breakfast), taters (potatoes).
The suffix –s
lost its inflectional meaning in slang and conveys new meaning to the base:
afters- dessert, flicks- cinema, messages- groceries.
The use of –
ed is also noteworthy in slang. It is added to noun to obtain adjectives:
boxed, brained, hammered, ratted. –er in slang gives unpredictable sense as in
belter- excellent thing or event, bottler-person who easily gives up.
makes one word from two. Initial and final combination have intensifying
function: butt naked- fully naked, butt ugly- completely ugly; earache- a
talkative person, faceache – a miserable looking person, airhead-someone out of
touch with reality, homeboy-a person from the same hometown
unknown in standard English being a peculiarity of slang. Bloody, fucking are
used to provide information about speaker`s attitude (as in abso-bloody-lutely,
or in fan-fuckin`-tastic).
anomalous in slang in case of adjective-noun as in high- pleasantly intoxicated
state, massive- a group of people.
4. In slang, frequently
used words are likely to be abbreviated. For example: OTL-out to lunch-out of
touch with reality. VJ-video jock-an announcer for televised music videos
Words may be
clipped, or abbreviated (mike, microphone), and acronyms may gain currency (VIP,
5. A currently
productive process is the addition of a particle like OUT, OFF or ON to a noun,
adjective or verb, to form a phrasal verb.
For example: blimp
hit on-to make
sexual overtures to
6. Unlike the
general vocabulary of the language, English slang has not borrowed heavily from
foreign languages, although it does borrow from dialects, especially from such
ethnic or special interest groups which make an impact on the dominant culture .
7. Sometimes new
words are just invented. shenanigans-tricks, pranks
So we can see
that slang depart from what is generally regarded as grammatical or predictable
and is likely to pioneer original word-formation processes which pave the way
for further morphological process.
the sentences from Fnglish. 
a) Sarah: hey
why is Jimmy in the background of our prom picture?
Ryan: irk, he
must have photobombed it at the last second.
b) I couldn't
get a word in edgewise. She kept talking to me about her shoes, purse, and how
her best friend just got dumped. I am a word receptacle.
morning Sherwin swings by our area to say hi and pulls a management by driveby.
d) Tiger: "I
have to run to Zales to get a Kobe Special."
house on a finger."
won't answer your calls. He's in airplane mode."
went into airplane mode for three days after Charlie dumped her."
g) Man, when I
get back to work I'll have to start going to the gym again- I've put on some
serious holiday pounds
slang words in the part of `` Roaring Girl`` 
expected long makes the audience look
that each scene should be a book,
all perfection; each one comes
And brings a
play in's head with him: up he sums
What he would
of a roaring girl have writ;
If that he
finds not here, he mews at it.
entreat you think our scene
high, the subject being but mean:
A roaring girl
whose notes till now never were
with laughter our vast theatre;
which I dare promise: tragic passion,
And such grave
stuff, is this day out of fashion.
attention sets wide ope her gates
and with covetous list'ning
To know what
girl this roaring girl should be,
For of that
tribe are many. One is she
That roars at
midnight in deep tavern bowls,
That beats the
watch, and constables controls;
i' th' daytime, swears, stabs, gives braves,
Yet sells her
soul to the lust of fools and slaves.
Both these are
suburb roarers. Then
A civil city
roaring girl, whose pride,
riding, shakes her husband's state,
And leaves him
roaring through an iron grate.
None of these
roaring girls is ours: she flies
more lofty. Thus her character lies;
Yet what need
characters, when to give a guess
Is better than
the person to express?
But would you
know who 'tis? Would you hear her name?
She is call'd
mad Moll; her life, our acts proclaim.
Fitzallard disguised like a sempster with a case for bands, and Neatfoot a serving-man with her,
with a napkin on his shoulder and a trencher in his hand as from table.
young gentleman our young master, Sir Alexander's son, is it into his ears,
sweet damsel emblem of fragility, you desire to have a message transported, or
to be transcendent?
private word or two, sir, nothing else.
shall fructify in that which
you come for: your pleasure shall be satisfied to your full contentation. I
will, fairest tree of generation, watch when our young master is erected, that
is to say, up, and deliver him to this your most white hand.
withal certify him that I have culled out for him, now his belly is
replenished, a daintier bit or modicum than any lay upon his trencher at
dinner. Hath he notion of your name, I beseech your chastity?
sir, of whom he bespake falling bands.
bands: it shall so be given him. If you please to venture your modesty in the
hall amongst a curl-pated company of
rude serving-men, and take such as they can set before you, you shall be most
seriously and ingeniously welcome.
have [dined] indeed
will you vouchsafe to kiss the lip of a cup of rich Orleans in the buttery amongst our waiting-women?
now in truth, sir.
young master shall then have a feeling of your being here; presently it shall
so be given him.
humbly thank you, sir.
1. action (1)
interested in American politics, the action is
2. axe | ax (1)
had to axe Georgio because he
worked too hard
made too many
3. beat it
tells you to "Beat it!", they're telling you to
4. blast (2)
blasted his secretary for
to give him a message
such a good job
5. crap (2)
that the website we showed him was crap. He thinks it's
a pretty good
a really bad
accountant was bent. For a long time he'd been
Glen has to go
to court on Friday. He was busted last week for
growing his own
growing his own
brewing his own
8. can (2)
If you don't
want to do time in the can, make sure you don't
know the law
obey the law
break the law
She met lots of men on the internet
and conned quite a few into
about their lives
A cop's job is
If you want to
find some killer apps, you should go to
the city zoo
If you want to
see some blogs, you should
go walking in a
go to an
If you'd like
to go egosurfing, you'll need
a surf report
flamed in an online forum. Someone said she was
If you want to
meet a lot of geeks, you should go to
a baseball game
a jazz festival
takes a tab of acid, they will probably
be arrested for
see things that
go to sleep
17. alky | alkie | alchy
her husband's an alkie because he
wine with his dinner most nights
beer with his mates some nights
18. blow (2)
says, "Hey, you wanna score some blow?" they're trying to sell you
The guys were
looking for more booze, and Ted yelled "Yes!" when he found a bottle
Glen has to go
to court on Friday. He was busted last week for
growing his own
growing his own
brewing his own
21. ace (1)
Louis is an
ace driver on the Formula One circuit, so he's
good at driving golf balls
skilled at racing fast cars
average Formula One driver
the most awesome thing she did on her holiday was
skydiving for the first time
A young person
who is called a dork is probably
good at sports
good at relating to people
at maths and science
The kids call
Mark a dweeb because he's
but he doesn't say much
When my kids
say something is gnarly, it means they think it's
either of the
the dialogue in Standard English
thought this was supposed to be a big bash!
Bob: Oh, it
will be. Stephanie said it`s gonna be huge. We`re just early, that`s all. So ,
what do ya think of her house?
David: This place`s
really cool. Stephanie`s old man must be loaded. Hey, look! There`s that Donna
chick. Man, can she strut her stuff! Don`t ya think she`s a turn on?
Bob: No way!
Have you lost it? She may have a great bod, but as for her face , we`re talkin`
butt ugly. Get real! Come on, let`s go scarf out on some chow before it`s gone.
David: What is
Bob: Beats me.
Looks like something beige. Just go for it.
Make me heave! Hey, dude… this party`s a drag. I dunno about you, but I’m
makin` a bee line for the door. I `m history!
the British lexicographer, Eric Partridge (1894-1979), people use slang for any
of at least 17 reasons:
sheer high spirits, by the young in heart as well as by the young in years;
'just for the fun of the thing'; in playfulness or waggishness.
exercise either in wit and ingenuity or in humour. (The motive behind this is
usually self-display or snobbishness, emulation or responsiveness, delight in
'different', to be novel.
picturesque (either positively or - as in the wish to avoid insipidity -
To be unmistakably
arresting, even startling.
escape from clichés, or to be brief and concise. (Actuated by impatience
with existing terms.)
enrich the language. (This deliberateness is rare save among the well-educated,
Cockneys forming the most notable exception; it is literary rather than spontaneous.)
lend an air of solidity, concreteness, to the abstract; of earthiness to the
idealistic; of immediacy and appositeness to the remote. (In the cultured the
effort is usually premeditated, while in the uncultured it is almost always
unconscious when it is not rather subconscious.)
lesson the sting of, or on the other hand to give additional point to, a
refusal, a rejection, a recantation;
reduce, perhaps also to disperse, the solemnity, the pomposity, the excessive
seriousness of a conversation (or of a piece of writing);
soften the tragedy, to lighten or to 'prettify' the inevitability of death or
madness, or to mask the ugliness or the pity of profound turpitude (e.g.
treachery, ingratitude); and/or thus to enable the speaker or his auditor or
both to endure, to 'carry on'.
speak or write down to an inferior, or to amuse a superior public; or merely to
be on a colloquial level with either one's audience or one's subject matter.
ease of social intercourse. (Not to be confused or merged with the preceding.)
induce either friendliness or intimacy of a deep or a durable kind.
show that one belongs to a certain school, trade, or profession, artistic or
intellectual set, or social class; in brief, to be 'in the swim' or to
to show or prove that someone is not 'in the swim'.
secret - not understood by those around one. (Children, students, lovers,
members of political secret societies, and criminals in or out of prison,
innocent persons in prison, are the chief exponents.)
So to return
to that question: what becomes of slang? Firstly, the general ‘flattening out’
of a hierarchical society and the relaxation of linguistic prejudices mean that
slang may come to be seen not as something inherently substandard, but as an
option among many available linguistic styles. At the same time there must
always be a set of words and phrases which is beyond the reach of most
speakers, that is always ‘deviant’, ‘transgressive’ and opaque. This slang must
renew itself, not just in implied contrast with ‘standard’ Introduction
language, but with earlier versions of itself. So new slang words will continue
to sprout, to metamorphose, to wither and disappear or else to spread and fertilize
the common ground of language.This process may now be
more visible and familiar, the crossover phenomenon may happen much faster
(given the complicity of the media), and the shock value of the terms
themselves may be lessened (the invention and use of slang does risk becoming
locked into familiarity and cliché, like the tired gestures of rock,
rap, conceptual art and fashion), but it is very unlikely ever to stop.
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