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British slang is English language slang used and originating in Great Britain and also used to dirty british slag limited extent in Anglophone countries such as IrelandSouth AfricaAustraliaCanadaand New Zealandespecially by British expatriates. It is also used in the United States to a limited extent. Slang is informal language sometimes peculiar to a particular social class or group and its use in Britain dates back to before the 15th century.
The language of slang, in common with the English language, is changing all the time; new words and phrases are being added and some are used so frequently by so many, they almost become mainstream. While some slang words and phrases are used throughout Britain e. London slang has many varieties, the best known of which is rhyming slang.
English-speaking nations of the former British Empire may also use this slang, but also incorporate their own slang words to reflect their different cultures. Not only is the slang used by British expats, but some of these terms are incorporated into other countries' everyday slang, such as in Australia, Canada and Ireland. British slang has been the subject of many books, including a seven volume dictionary published in Lexicographer Eric Partridge published several works about British slang, most notably Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional Englishrevised and edited by Paul Beale.
Slang is the use of informal words and expressions that are not considered standard in the speaker's dialect or language. Slang is often to be found in areas of the lexicon that refer to things considered taboo see euphemism. It is often used to identify with one's peers and, although it may be common among young people, it is used by people of all ages and social groups. Collins English Dictionary 3rd edition defines slang as "Vocabulary, dirty british slag etc that is not appropriate to the standard form of a language or to formal contexts, may be restricted as to social status or distribution, and is characteristically more metaphorical and transitory than standard language".
The Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar defines it as "Words, phrases, and uses that are regarded as informal and are often restricted to special contexts or are peculiar to specific profession, classes etc". Jonathon Greenin his book The Cassell Dictionary of Slangdefines slang as "A counter language, the language of the rebel, the outlaw, the despised and the marginal".
The dating of slang words and phrases is difficult due to the nature of slang. Slang, more than any other language, remains spoken and resists being recorded on paper or for that matter any other medium. By the time slang has been written down, it has been in use some time and has, in some cases, become almost mainstream. The first recorded uses of slang in Britain occurred in the 16th century in the plays of Thomas DekkerThomas Middleton and William Shakespeare. The Caveat contained stories of vagabond life, a description of their society and techniques, a taxonomy of rogues, and a short canting dictionary which was later reproduced in other works.
Gent was published, which additionally included some 'civilian' [ clarification needed ] slang terms. It remained the predominant work of its kind for much of the 18th century, until the arrival in of The Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue by Captain Francis Grosewhich ran to more than five expanded editions. Henley; the latter being published in seven volumes. It was later abridged to a single volume and released in as A Dictionary of Slang and Colloquial English.
There are a of different varieties of British slang, arguably the best known of which is Rhyming slang. Chiefly associated with cockney speech spoken in the East End of Londonwords are replaced with a phrase which rhymes. For example: plates of meat for "feet", or twist and twirl for "girl". Often only the first word is used, so plates and twist by themselves become the colloquialisms for "feet" and "girl". Thieves' cant or Rogues' cant was a secret language a cant or cryptolect which was formerly used by thieves, beggars and hustlers of various kinds in Great Britain and to a dirty british slag extent in other English-speaking countries.
It is commonly believed that cant was developed from Romany but the Winchester Confessionsa pamphlet published inclearly distinguishes between Gypsy and Cant words. Some slang was developed because of a need for secrecy, such as prison slangbelieved [ by whom?
Homosexuality was a crime until and Polari has a history going back dirty british slag least a hundred years. For example: Cupid stunt and Betty Swallocks. Slang is also used to create an identity or sense of belonging and a of occupations have their own slang; most notably the armed forces, referred to as Forces or Service slang; and the construction industry. Hunt and A. Pringle was published in The introduction acknowledges that slang is an ever-changing language with new slang terms emerging all the time. It also recognises that some service slang has made its way into civilian use.
English-language slang used in the UK. An Introduction to English Slang. ISBN Much Ado about English. Nicholas Brealey Publishing. The Cambridge History of the English Language. Cambridge University Press. Oxford University Press. American English: An Introduction. Broadview Press. Romani studies5. Archived from the original PDF on 4 October Dirty british slag 12 September Fantabulosa: a dictionary of Polari and gay slang.
Continuum International Publishing Group. Retrieved 6 July Mind your language Media". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 April Retrieved 27 February Archived from the original on 9 June Retrieved 15 April Retrieved 27 March World Wide Words. Retrieved 24 August The Tab. Leeds Beckett University. Retrieved 8 August Collins English Dictionary. Or a Snitch by Any Other Name". Retrieved 14 November Cambridge Dictionary. Dictionary of the Scots Language. Collins Dictionary. Scottish Language Dictionaries.
Retrieved 11 May Off the Ball. BBC Radio Scotland. Of an informer, evidence, etc. Archived from the original on 15 August Chambers English Dictionary. Dialects and accents of Modern English by continent. Glasgow Highlands. Abercraf Cardiff Gower Port Talbot. Dublin South-West Ulster. Bermuda Falkland Islands. : British slang English-language slang British English. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Help Learn to edit Community portal Recent changes file.
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