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ENGLISH: Slang Words and Phrases
Characteristics of Slang
is constantly changing: slang words change more quickly than
"regular" vocabulary but they change in the same ways.
slang replaces old slang.
we have a new area of meaning people come up with new slang. New
computer slang like blog, or the term crack used for cocaine, are a
couple of examples.
are lots of slang words for taboo subjects. There are a great number of
terms for race, gender, drugs, sex, going to the bathroom, and alcohol
slang is associated with a particular time period.
who spend a lot of time together often wear similar clothes, have
similar hair styles, and using similar language. Knowing and using slang
words that come from your community mark you a member, but using slang
words for a group you are not a part of might bring ridicule.
much of slang is local, there are many regional and national slang
is not jargon! Jargon is the language of a profession or a hobby.
is not "bad grammar." When we talk about slang, we are talking
about words and phrases, not sentence structure. This means that
non-Standard varieties of English, Appalachian English or African
American Vernacular English (AAVE) are not slang - but like all other
varieties of English, speakers of these dialects use slang when socially