The origin and history of slang in the american language

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The origin and history of slang in the american language

Indexicality[ edit ] Slang is usually associated with a particular group and plays a role in constructing our identities.

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While slang outlines social space, attitudes about slang partly construct group identity and identify individuals as members of groups. Therefore, using the slang of a particular group will associate an individual with that group.

Using Silverstein's notion of different orders of indexicalityit can be said that a slang term can be a second-order index to this particular group.

Employing a slang term, however, can also give an individual the qualities associated with the term's group of origin, whether or not the individual is actually trying to identify as a member of the group.

This allocation of qualities based on abstract group association is known as third-order indexicality.

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As outlined by Elisa Mattiello in her book, [11] a slang term can take on various levels of identification. Giving the examples of the terms "foxy" and "shagadelic", Mattiello explains that neither term makes sense given a standard interpretation of English: Nevertheless, Matiello concludes that those agents who identify themselves as "young men" have "genuinely coined" these terms and choose to use them over "canonical" terms —like beautiful or sexy—because of the indexicalized social identifications the former convey.

First and second order indexicality[ edit ] In terms of first and second order indexicality, the usage of speaker-oriented terms by male adolescents indicated their membership to their age group, to reinforce connection to their peer group, and to exclude outsiders.

The origin and history of slang in the american language

This appearance relies heavily on the hearer's third-order understanding of the term's associated social nuances and presupposed use-cases. Slang terms are often known only within a clique or ingroup.

For example, Leet "Leetspeak" or "" was originally popular only among certain Internet subcultures, such as software crackers and online video gamers. During the s, and into the early 21st century, however, Leet became increasingly more commonplace on the Internet, and it has spread outside Internet-based communication and into spoken languages.

Social media and Internet slang[ edit ] Slang is often taken from social media as a sign of social awareness and shared knowledge of popular culture. This particular branch of slang has become more prevalent since the early s as a result of the rise in popularity of social networking services, including FacebookTwitterand Instagram.

This term is much older than Facebook, but has only recently entered the popular lexicon. These are especially associated with services such as Twitter, which now has a character limit for each message and therefore requires a briefer, more condensed manner of communication.

However, other linguists believe that language is not static but ever-changing and that slang terms are valid words within a language's lexicon. While prescriptive linguists study and analyze the so-called "correct" ways to speak, according to a language's grammar and syntactical words, descriptive linguists tend to study language to further understand the subconscious rules of how individuals speak, which makes slang important in understanding such rules.

Noam Chomsky, a founder of anthropological linguistic thought, challenged structural and prescriptive linguistics and began to study sounds and morphemes functionally, as well as their changes within a language over time.Access to the complete content on Oxford Reference requires a subscription or purchase.

Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a .

The notion that language is a corporeal performance is specifically resonant in the discussion of slang and the specific uses of which vary by location, culture, and experience.

Discussion surrounding the use of slang originated in the 19th century, with R.W. McAlphine stating his particula. Slang is language (words, phrases, and usages) of an informal register that members of special groups like teenagers, musicians, or criminals favor (over a standard language) in order to establish group identity, exclude outsiders, or both.


Thanks to 16th century writers’ negative use of the word “lucre” for money, filthy rich derived from the slang term for money at the time, “the filthy”. The History Behind Your Favorite Slang. Story from Pop Culture. The Black History Behind Your Favorite Slang.

Mountain Men – Überleben in der Wildnis Boston shows a cot—caught mergerwhile Providence keeps the same two vowels sharply distinct.

Sesali Bowen. Black Slang Words Popular Terms African American Origin. Curiously enough, the American language, usually so fertile in words to express shades of meaning, has no respectable synonym for chicken. In English there is flapper, in French there is ingénue, and in German there is backfisch.

Usually either the English or the French word is borrowed.

The Origins Of Black American English, Ebonics And History | Chancellorfiles