dialect


dialect
dialect n 1 Dialect, vernacular, patois, lingo, jargon, cant, argot, slang denote a form of language or a style of speech which varies from that accepted as the literary standard.
Dialect (see also LANGUAGE 1) is applied ordinarily to a form of a language that is confined to a locality or to a group, that differs from the standard form of the same language in peculiarities of vocabulary, pronunciation, usage, and morphology, and that persists for generations or even centuries. It may represent an independent development from the same origin as the standard form (as the Sussex dialect) or a survival (as the dialect of the Kentucky mountaineers). It is sometimes applied to any form of language differing from the standard
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a Babylonish dialect which learned pedants much affect— Butler d. 1680

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Vernacular (usually the vernacular) has several applications, though it always denotes the form of language spoken by the people in contrast with that employed by learned or literary men. In the Middle Ages when the language of the church, of the universities, and of learned writings was Latin, the vernacular was the native language of the people whatever it might be in the locality in question
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translate the Bible into the vernacular

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the first Christian missionaries from Rome did not teach their converts to pray and give praise in the vernacularQuillerCouch

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When a contrast with the literary language rather than with Latin is implied, the vernacular is an underogatory designation for the spoken language, the language that represents the speech of the people as a whole, that is colloquial but not inherently vulgar, and that is marked chiefly by the spontaneous choice of familiar, often native as opposed to exotic words and phrases
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Pope ... is absolute master of the raciest, most familiar, most cogent and telling elements of the vernacularLowes

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Vernacular often implies a contrast with scientific nomenclature
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tax- onomic and vernacular names for flowers

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Patois is often used as if it were the equivalent of dialect. It tends, however, to be restricted especially in North America to designating a form of speech used by the uneducated people in a bilingual section or country; the word often specifically refers to the hybrid language (of mingled English and Canadian French) spoken in some parts of Canada.
Lingo is a term of comtempt applied to any language that is not easily or readily understood. It is applicable to a strange foreign language, a dialect, or a patois or to the peculiar speech of a class, cult, or group
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I have often warned you not to talk the court gibberish to me. I tell you, I don't understand the lingoFielding

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Jargon, which may be applied to an unintelligible or meaningless speech (as in a foreign tongue or a patois), is used chiefly in reference to the technical or esoteric language of a subject, a class, a profession, or a cult and usually expresses the point of view of one unfamiliar with it and confused or baffled by it
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cockets, and dockets, and drawbacks, and other jargon words of the customhouse— Swift

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Whitman . . . has a somewhat vulgar inclination for technical talk and the jargon of philosophy— Stevenson

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Cant, related to chant, seems to have been applied first to the whining speech of beggars. It has been applied more or less specifically to several different forms of language (as the secret language of gypsies and thieves, the technical language of a trade or profession, and the peculiar phraseology of a religious sect or of its preachers). From the last of these applications a new sense has been developed (see HYPOCRISY). When referring to the peculiar language of a subject or profession cant usually suggests the hackneyed use of set words or phrases, often in a specialized sense, and, unlike jargon, does not usually imply unintelligibility; thus, the language of sportswriters is a cant rather than a jargon ; the scientific nomenclature used by physicians in official reports may be called medical jargon rather than cant by those who do not understand it; a person who repeatedly calls an investigation a "probe," a large book a "tome," a preacher a "parson," or his wife "my better half" may be said to be given to cant.
Argot is applicable chiefly to the cant of the underworld; it is now sometimes used of any form of peculiar language adopted by a clique, a set, or other closely knit group.
Slang does not as often denote a form of language or a type of speech as it does a class of recently coined words or phrases or the type of word which belongs to that class
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in the slang of college students a drudge is a "grind"

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the characteristic differences between American slang and British slang

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Slang implies comparatively recent invention, the appeal of the words or phrases to popular fancy because of their aptness, picturesqueness, grotesqueness, or humor- ousness, and usually an ephemeral character.
2 *language, tongue, speech, idiom

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

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  • dialect — DIALÉCT, dialecte, s.n. 1. Ramificaţie teritorială a unei limbi, cuprinzând adesea mai multe graiuri. 2. (impr.) Grai. 3. (impr.) Limbă. [pr.: di a ] – Din fr. dialecte, lat. dialectus. Trimis de romac, 03.03.2004. Sursa: DEX 98  DIALÉCT s. ( …   Dicționar Român

  • dialect — is the language form of a region, and varies from the standard language in matters of vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation. Some dialects are also related to social class and ethnic origin. The dialects of the United Kingdom are recorded in… …   Modern English usage

  • dialect — [dī′ə lekt΄] n. [L dialectus < Gr dialektos, discourse, discussion, dialect < dialegesthai, to discourse, talk < dia, between (see DIA ) + legein, to choose, talk (see LOGIC)] 1. the sum total of local characteristics of speech 2. Rare… …   English World dictionary

  • Dialect — Di a*lect, n. [F. dialecte, L. dialectus, fr. Gr. ?, fr. ? to converse, discourse. See {Dialogue}.] 1. Means or mode of expressing thoughts; language; tongue; form of speech. [1913 Webster] This book is writ in such a dialect As may the minds of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • dialect —    Dialect identifies groups within a language. Some people’s speech displays features differentiating it from that used by members of other groups, although those belonging to either group can communicate with each other without excessive… …   Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture

  • dialect — dialect; in·ter·dialect; trans·dialect; …   English syllables

  • dialect — (n.) 1570s, form of speech of a region or group, from M.Fr. dialecte, from L. dialectus local language, way of speaking, conversation, from Gk. dialektos talk, conversation, speech; also the language of a country, dialect, from dialegesthai… …   Etymology dictionary

  • dialect — index language, phraseology, speech Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • dialect — [n] local speech accent, argot, cant, idiom, jargon, language, lingo, localism, patois, patter, pronunciation, provincialism, regionalism, slang, terminology, tongue, vernacular, vocabulary; concept 276 …   New thesaurus

  • dialect — ► NOUN ▪ a form of a language which is peculiar to a specific region or social group. DERIVATIVES dialectal adjective. ORIGIN originally in the sense «dialectic»: from Greek dialektos discourse, way of speaking …   English terms dictionary


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