slang

(redirected from slanguage)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.

slang,

vernacular vocabulary not generally acceptable in formal usage. It is notable for its liveliness, humor, emphasis, brevity, novelty, and exaggeration. Most slang is faddish and ephemeral, but some words are retained for long periods and eventually become part of the standard language (e.g., phony, blizzard, movie). On the scale used to indicate a word's status in the language, slang ranks third behind standard and colloquial (or informal) and before cant. Slang often conveys an acerbic, even offensive, no-nonsense attitude and lends itself to poking fun at pretentiousness. Frequently grotesque and fantastic, it is usually spoken with intent to produce a startling or original effect. It is especially well developed in the speaking vocabularies of cultured, sophisticated, linguistically rich languages. The first dictionary of English slang is said to be Thomas Harman's A Caveat or Warening for Commen Cursetors, published in 1567.

Characteristically individual, slang often incorporates elements of the jargons of special-interest groups (e.g., professional, sport, regional, criminal, drug, and sexual subcultures). Slang words often come from foreign languages or are of a regional nature. Slang is very old, and the reasons for its development have been much investigated. The following is a small sample of American slang descriptive of a broad range of subjects: of madness—loony, nuts, psycho; of crime—heist, gat, hit, heat, grifter; of women—babe, chick, squeeze, skirt; of men—dude, hombre, hunk; of drunkenness—sloshed, plastered, stewed, looped, trashed, smashed; of drugs—horse, high, stoned, tripping; of caressing—neck, fool around, make out; of states of mind—uptight, wired, mellow, laid back; the verb to go—scram, split, scoot, tip; miscellaneous phrases—you push his buttons, get it together, chill, she does her number, he does his thing, what's her story, I'm not into that.

Bibliography

See H. L. Mencken, The American Language (3 vol., 1936–48); P. Farb, Word Play (1973); J. Green, The Dictionary of Contemporary Slang (1985) and Green's Dictionary of Slang (3 vol., 2011); R. Chapman, Thesaurus of American Slang (1989); E. Partridge, A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English (1990); J. E. Lighter, ed., Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang (A–G, 1994, H–O, 1997); Bodleian Library, ed., The First English Dictionary of Slang, 1699 (2010); J. Coleman, The Life of Slang (2012).

Slang

 

expressively and emotionally colored vocabulary used in colloquial speech and deviating from the accepted norm of the literary language. The Russian word sleng, which is taken from the English word “slang,” is most often applied to the English language as spoken in England and the USA.

Slang is used chiefly by students, military personnel, and young workers. Because slang undergoes frequent changes, whole generations can be identified by the slang that they use. Slang is easily incorporated into the literary language and can be used in literature as a way of describing characters and establishing a distinct voice for the author. This can be seen in Soviet literature in works by F. I. Panferov, F. V. Gladkov, I. E. Babel’, I. Il’f and E. Petrov, and V. Aksenov and in works by C. Dickens, W. Thackeray, J. Galsworthy, T. Dreiser, J. D. Salinger, and other British and American writers. The word “slang” is a partial synonym for the terms “argot” and “jargon.”

REFERENCES

Gal’perin, I. R. “O termine ‘sleng.’” Voprosy iazykoznaniia, 1956, no. 6. (Bibliography.)
Shveitser, A. D. “Nekotorye aktual’nye problemy sotsiolingvistiki.” Inostrannye iazyki v shkole, 1969, no. 3. (Bibliography.)
Skvortsov, L. I. “Ob otsenkakh iazyka molodezhi.” Voprosy kul’tury rechi, 1964, issue 5. (Bibliography.)

T. V. VENTTSEL

SLANG

(1)
R.A. Sibley. CACM 4(1):75-84 (Jan 1961).

SLANG

(2)
Set LANGuage. Jastrzebowski, ca 1990. C extension with set-theoretic data types and garbage collection. "The SLANG Programming Language Reference Manual, Version 3.3", W. Jastrzebowski <wojtek@loml.math.yale.edu>, 1990.

SLANG

(3)
Structured LANGuage. Michael Kessler, IBM. A language based on structured programming macros for IBM 370 assembly language. "Project RMAG: SLANG (Structured Language) Compiler", R.A. Magnuson, NIH-DCRT-DMB-SSS-UG105, NIH, DHEW, Bethesda, MD 20205 (1980).

SLANG

(4)
"SLANG: A Problem Solving Language for Continuous-Model Simulation and Optimisation", J.M. Thames, Proc 24th ACM Natl Conf 1969.
References in periodicals archive ?
Other terms in Variety's slanguage are more obvious.
Slanguage, the diggers and the making of the ANZAC legend
Based on Brian Selznick's illustrated children's novel, "The Invention of Hugo Cabret," the story couldn't be more different from Scorsese's previous efforts, not least of all because it reps the director s first "deepie," to resurrect a bit of vintage slanguage for 3D pics.
The five talented South Bronx performers of Universes will fuse hip-hop, blues, jazz, boleros and kung-fu fighting in Slanguage, as a kick-off for the event.
The archives consist of 27,000 issues, more than 850,000 stories, 200,000 reviews and countless uses of slanguage and snappy headlines.
CHIP WALTON, PRODUCING ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, CURIOUS THEATRE COMPANY, DENVER: "After witnessing their wonderful Slanguage at the TCG National Conference and learning that they are working on another ensemble-created piece, I'm excited to see what the group Universes comes up with next.
That's why I never liked Variety's euphemistic use of the word "ankled"--no one is ever fired in Variety's slanguage, he's ankled.
As in previous years, performances in a wide variety of theatrical styles capped off each evening--the Flea Theater of New York's elegiac The Guys, by Anne Nelson, one of the first theatrical reactions to 9/11; choreograpber Ann Carlson's solo sound-and movement-scape Blanket; and Slanguage, a dynamic, hip-hop-infused spoken-word piece by a troupe from the Bronx known as Universes.
Worldwide Biggies, deliberately named after a bit of Variety slanguage, has offices in L.
Commercial prospects are generally bright in all media, although thick accents and unfamiliar slanguage employed by the predominantly Brit cast may impede pic's appeal to mainstream U.
The bluescreen digital style of filmmaking is different; it has its own slanguage.
Suares: Socko illustrated guide to showbiz slanguage, from ankle to wicket.