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slang

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • v slang abuse with coarse language
    • v slang fool or hoax "The immigrant was duped because he trusted everyone","You can't fool me!"
    • v slang use slang or vulgar language
    • n slang a characteristic language of a particular group (as among thieves) "they don't speak our lingo"
    • n slang informal language consisting of words and expressions that are not considered appropriate for formal occasions; often vituperative or vulgar "their speech was full of slang expressions"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In gangster slang, a boxing match that is fixed is called a "barney."
    • Slang imp. of Sling. Slung.
    • n Slang A fetter worn on the leg by a convict.
    • n Slang Any long, narrow piece of land; a promontory.
    • n Slang Low, vulgar, unauthorized language; a popular but unauthorized word, phrase, or mode of expression; also, the jargon of some particular calling or class in society; low popular cant; as, the slang of the theater, of college, of sailors, etc.
    • v. t Slang To address with slang or ribaldry; to insult with vulgar language. "Every gentleman abused by a cabman or slanged by a bargee was bound there and then to take off his coat and challenge him to fisticuffs."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: In the St. Louis, MO area, the word "hoosier" is used as a slang term for what the rest of the country would describe as "white trash," "rednecks," or "hillbillies".
    • n slang An obsolete or archaic preterit of sling.
    • n slang A narrow piece of land. Also slanket.
    • n slang The cant words or jargon used by thieves, peddlers, beggars, and the vagabond classes generally; cant. Slang in the sense of the cant language of thieves appears in print certainly as early as the middle of the last century. It was included by Grose in his “Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue,” published in 1785. But it was many years before it was allowed a place in any vocabulary of our speech that confined itself to the language of good speakers and writers, Its absence from such works would not necessarily imply that it had not been in frequent use. Still, that this never had been the case we have direct evidence. Scott, in his novel of “Redgauntlet,” which appeared in 1824, when using the word, felt the necessity of defining it; and his definition shows not only that it was generally unknown, but that it had not then begun to depart at all from its original sense. In the thirteenth chapter of that work, one of the characters is represented as trying to overhear a conversation, … but … “what did actually reach his ears was disguised so completely by the use of cant words and the thieves' Latin called slang that, even when he caught the words, he found himself as far as ever from the sense of their conversation.” No one who is now accustomed either to speak slang [in def. 2], or to speak of the users of it, would think of connecting it with anything peculiar to the language of thieves. Yet it is clear from this one quotation that the complete change of meaning which the term has undergone has taken place within a good deal less than sixty years. The Nation, Oct. 9, 1890, p. 289.
    • n slang In present use, colloquial words and phrases which have originated in the cant or rude speech of the vagabond or unlettered classes, or, belonging in form to standard speech, have acquired or have had given them restricted, capricious, or extravagantly metaphorical meanings, and are regarded as vulgar or inelegant. Examples of slang are rum for ‘queer,’ gay for ‘dissolute,’ corned, tight, slued, etc., for ‘intoxicated,’ awfully for ‘exceedingly,’ jolly for ‘surprising, uncommon,’ daisy for something or somebody that is charming or admirable, kick the bucket or hop the twig for ‘die.’ etc. This colloquial slang also contains many words derived from thieves' cant, such as pal for ‘partner, companion,’ cove for ‘fellow,’ and ticker for ‘watch.’ There is a slang attached to certain professions, occupations, and classes of society, such as racing slang, college slang, club slang, literary slang, political slang. (See cant.) Slang enters more or less into all colloquial speech and into inferior popular literature, as novels, newspapers, political addresses, and is apt to break out even in more serious writings. Slang as such is not necessarily vulgar or ungrammatical; indeed, it is generally correct in idiomatic form, and though frequently censured on this ground, it often, in fact, owes its doubtful character to other causes. Slang is often used adjectively: as, a slang expression. See the quotations below.
    • n slang Synonyms Slang, Colloquialism, etc. See cant.
    • slang To use slang; employ vulgar or vituperative language.
    • slang To address slang or abuse to; berate or assail with vituperative or abusive language; abuse; scold.
    • n slang Among London costermongers, a counterfeit weight or measure.
    • n slang Among showmen: A performance.
    • n slang A traveling booth or show.
    • n slang A hawker's license: as, to be out on the slang (that is, to travel with a hawker's license).
    • n slang A watch-chain.
    • n slang plural Legirons or fetters worn by convicts. The slangs consist of a chain weighing from seven to eight pounds and about three feet long, attached to ankle-basils riveted on the leg, the slack being suspended from a leather waistband: hence the name.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: "Yakka" means "hard work" in Australian slang.
    • n Slang slang a conventional tongue with many dialects, which are, as a rule, unintelligible to outsiders, such as Gypsy, Canting or Flash, Back-slang, and Shelta or Tinkers' Talk: any kind of colloquial and familiar language serving as a kind of class or professional shibboleth
    • adj Slang pertaining to slang
    • v.i Slang to use slang, and esp. abusive language
    • v.t Slang to scold
    • n Slang slang a narrow strip of land
    • Slang Also Slank′et. Slang, slang, n. (slang) a counterfeit weight or measure: a travelling show, or a performance of the same: a hawker's license: a watch-chain:
    • Slang (pl.) convicts' leg-irons
    • ***

Quotations

  • Anthony Burgess
    Anthony%20Burgess
    “The downtrodden, who are the great creators of slang.”
  • Carl Sandburg
    Carl%20Sandburg
    “The sea speaks a language polite people never repeat. It is a colossal scavenger slang and has no respect.”
  • Gilbert K. Chesterton
    Gilbert%20K.%20Chesterton
    “All slang is metaphor, and all metaphor is poetry.”
  • Carl Sandburg
    Carl%20Sandburg
    “Slang is a language that rolls up its sleeves, spits on its hands and goes to work.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Said to be of Gypsy origin; but probably from Scand., and akin to E. sling,; cf. Norw. sleng, a slinging, an invention, device, slengja, to sling, to cast, slengja kjeften,literally, to sling the jaw) to use abusive language, to use slang, slenjeord, ord, = word) an insulting word, a new word that has no just reason for being

Usage

In literature:

The only fun I can see in slang is its aptness.
"Ted Strong's Motor Car" by Edward C. Taylor
But Tom washes the dishes as a penalty for using slang!
"Boy Scouts in Southern Waters" by G. Harvey Ralphson
I hope mamma isn't listening, for she doesn't like me to use slang, and will not believe me when I say the men teach it to me.
"V. V.'s Eyes" by Henry Sydnor Harrison
It is merely part of the slang of Fleet Street.
"Miscellanies" by Oscar Wilde
Never use loose or slang expressions.
"Burroughs' Encyclopaedia of Astounding Facts and Useful Information, 1889" by Barkham Burroughs
One of them is slang.
"Fifty-Two Story Talks To Boys And Girls" by Howard J. Chidley
In Jonson's comedies London slang and learned scholarship go hand in hand.
"Reviews" by Oscar Wilde
Of course you don't know much slang.
"The Bell in the Fog and Other Stories" by Gertrude Atherton
The fact that slang is apt and forceful makes its use irresistibly tempting.
"Etiquette" by Emily Post
The instances are rare of resemblance between our slang phrases and theirs.
"Lippincott's Magazine Of Popular Literature And Science, April 1875, Vol. XV., No. 88" by Various
In 'the old days' he delighted in chaffing Horace Mayhew, with whom he exchanged 'slang' in French.
"George Du Maurier, the Satirist of the Victorians" by T. Martin Wood
I often wonder who invents the slang.
"The Inner Shrine" by Basil King
Mrs. Kate did not approve of slang.
"The Uphill Climb" by B. M. Bower
Can Jacky help talking prairie slang?
"The Story of the Foss River Ranch" by Ridgwell Cullum
I wish you'd find native slang; we used in my day; but I'll tell you why.
"Father Stafford" by Anthony Hope
Slang also should be avoided.
"The Meadow-Brook Girls Under Canvas" by Janet Aldridge
I leave slang to those who can get by with it and put it over.
"Diet and Health" by Lulu Hunt Peters
Their very slang is poetry.
"At Home And Abroad" by Margaret Fuller Ossoli
It's part of your stock in trade to understand all languages, including slang.
"The Passenger from Calais" by Arthur Griffiths
Athenaeus notices what we call slang or flash songs.
"Curiosities of Literature, Vol. II (of 3)" by Isaac Disraeli
***

In poetry:

He trampit on ower muir an' moss
For thretty miles an' mair, I ween,
Till to the Kirk o' auld Cam'slang
He cam' on Saturday at e'en.
"Gran'Faither At Cam'slang" by Janet Hamilton
At dawnin' o' the morn he rose
On Monday—hame he boud to gang;
And a' his days he ne'er forgat
That Sabbath-day at auld Cam'slang.
"Gran'Faither At Cam'slang" by Janet Hamilton
His Bible had he in his pouch,
O' scones an' cheese a guidly whang;
An' staff in haun', he's aff to see
The godly wark at auld Cam'slang.
"Gran'Faither At Cam'slang" by Janet Hamilton
It said that mony hunner souls,
What time the wark was at Cam'slang,
War turn'd to God, an' a' their days
Had leev'd an' gane as saints shoud gang.
"Gran'Faither At Cam'slang" by Janet Hamilton
"No doubt we deserve it - no mercy we crave -
Go on - you're conferring a boon;
We would rather be slanged by a warrior brave,
Than praised by a wretched poltroon!"
"The Two Majors" by William Schwenck Gilbert
The Moral: The people across the brine
Are exceedingly strong on Auld Lang Syne,
But they're lost in the push when they strike a gang
That is strong on American new line slang!
"How A Fair One No Hope To His Highness Accorded" by Guy Wetmore Carryl

In news:

In an effort not to offend born a few years ago, we were told that slang terms to describe people of various heritages were unacceptable.
Before you tweet, learn the new slang that surrounds microblogging.
You "down" with takin' a quiz to "check out" how well you know your '70s slang, "coolbreeze".
Here, Philip Ward of New York's Death & Co. Makes a potent concoction named after the old British slang for gin.
What Does 'Illin' Mean in Hip-Hop Slang .
Worst possible use for annoying slang term discovered.
Like every city, Buffalo has some of its own slang terms to describe places, things, food, etc.
With the Lon­don Olympics under way, Tues­day morn­ing Brother Dale & Jess will test your knowl­edge of British slang terms.
If you're feeling lost in translation, take our teen slang test, and bone up on all of the latest lingo.
Comedy, humor Tags: slang .
You "down" with takin' a quiz to "check out" how well you know your '70s slang, "coolbreeze".
How important is slang to the development of a language and the society it serves.
The Daily Word in apologies, bionics, slang and wrongful termination.
Waste the rest of your day on this enormous, UK-centric online dictionary of slang .
REVIEWS The Gaslight Anthem, 'American Slang .
***

In science:

Genomics and proteomics – in professional slang summarized as ’omics sciences – have started to put an emphasis on functions.
Quality assessment for short oligonucleotide microarray data
We remark however that this terminology is part of a slang, and it does not correspond to well defined confidence level, as one has to combine several essentially systematic errors.
Helioseismology, solar models and solar neutrinos
Methods Members of the on-line drug community are identified from a crawled set of almost 100,000 users from the social network ‘LiveJournal’ by context sensitive text mining of the users’ blogs using a dictionary of known drugrelated official and ‘slang’ terminology.
Inference of the Russian drug community from one of the largest social networks in the Russian Federation
Every blog entry of every user is associated with a weight indicating to what extent it refers to illicit forms of drug use by overlaying the document word-for-word with a dictionary consisting of known drug-related terminology (both official as well as informal/‘slang’).
Inference of the Russian drug community from one of the largest social networks in the Russian Federation
Informal/‘slang’ expressions can often be interpreted in various ways and cannot be directly related to drug use.
Inference of the Russian drug community from one of the largest social networks in the Russian Federation
To account for this ambiguity, ‘slang’ expressions are assigned a lower weight than official terminology, i.e., 1.
Inference of the Russian drug community from one of the largest social networks in the Russian Federation
The fluctuations that can be seen around the weights 5, 10 and (less distinct) 15 and 20 can be explained by the weights assigned to the words present in the drug-dictionary (5 for official, clearly drug related, terminology and 1 for (ambiguous) ‘slang’ expressions).
Inference of the Russian drug community from one of the largest social networks in the Russian Federation
The weights assigned to the official and informal/‘slang’ terminology in the drug-dictionary were not varied.
Inference of the Russian drug community from one of the largest social networks in the Russian Federation
***