Slang

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Slang is the non-standard use of words in a language and sometimes creation of new words or importation of words from another language. Slang terms are often particular to a certain subculture, such as drug users, skaters, or musicians. Sometimes confused with jargon, the collection of vocabulary specific to a certain profession.

Slang is often used to discuss semi-taboo subjects, such as


Historical examples of slang are the "thieves' cant" used by beggars and the underworld generally in previous centuries: a number of "canting" dictionaries were published.

A famous example is Cockney rhyming slang in which, in the simplest case, word and phrases are replaced by a word or phrase that rhymes with it. Often the rhyming replacement is abbreviated further, making the expressions even more obscure.

Backwards or Back slang is a form of slang where words are reversed. English backwards slang tends to reverse words letter by letter while French backwards slang tends to reverse words by syllables.

Polari was an interesting mixture of Italian and Cockney back slang (i.e. common words pronounced as if spelled backwards e.g. 'ecaf' for face, which became 'eek' in Polari) . Polari was used in London fish markets and the gay subculture in Britain in the 1950s and 1960s, becoming more widely known from its use by two camp characters, Jules and Sandy, in Round the Horne, a popular radio show.

Verlan is a French slang, that uses backwards words, similar in its methods to the cockney back slang. Louchebem is French butcher's slang, similar to Pig latin.

There is a huge amount of hacker (computer programmer) slang; see Jargon File.

Examples of slang: (Note: this is not intended to be a comprehensive list, nor as an encouragement to turn Wikipedia into a slang dictionary.)

/Knocking her dead one on the nose each and every double trey


See also: Wikipedia policy/Foul Language,

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