Last Updated 17 Aug 2020

The Use of Slang

Category Slang, Vocabulary
Words 537 (2 pages)
Views 268

The usage of slang can be seen in both daily life and art. In daily life, there are three interpersonal functions of slang words: pursuing selfidentity, expressing emotive feeling and achieving politeness. Firstly, people use slang words to show their self-identity. Obviously, different social groups have their own distinct slang words system that all members tend to favor to establish group identity and exclude outsiders. For example, TEETH (Tried Everything Else, Try Homeopathy) is a slang used among doctors to serve the need to jot things down without letting patients themselves understand their serious condition.

The second function of slang in daily life is to express emotive feeling more conveniently, genuinely and strongly than formal words as it can convey emotions in a concise and powerful way. For instance, people usually use slang “chuffed” instead of formal word “happy” to show the state of delighted satisfaction mixed with pride. Lastly, slang words are exploited to achieve politeness as a way to create euphemisms, especially when people discuss semi taboo subjects.

For example, “laid” can be used in place of “sexual intercourse” to be more polite. Beside three usages in daily life, slangs also can be used in artistic fields. In literature, especially in novels, many authors are likely to use slang as a good way of showing what the characters are like as well as their subculture and personality. In music, slang words can be taken advantage to catch rhythm or to make the words more fluent and express more colorful meaning.

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Slang is an informal language used by a particular group in social situation where they feel comfortable with their friends to make a conversation becomes more intimate, so the outsiders cannot understand the conversation that have another meaning from original word. The Americans and the British slang also have some words that differ from each other. First, there are differences in usage. The largest differences between British and American slang lie in the choice of vocabulary because of differences in usage.

Some words mean different things in the two varieties. For example, the word "DAN" in the British slang, it looks like crude and taboo with meaning “the janitor or attendant at a public toilet for men”. However, “DAN” in the American slang stands for "dumb-ass nigga" that means offensive. Second, vocabulary differences. In spite of being the same meaning, there are also completely different words about writing and appearing. For instance, the word means female breast. While British people call “BAZOOMBAS, BAZOOMAS or BAZUMBAS”, American people call that “LUNGS”.

Last, another difference between British and American slang is popular using. American slang used to slang words in the literary language, while for English slang is unacceptable or contrary. For example, "wicked" versus "cool" are both slang of these nations. In American English, "wicked" means bad and evil, but it is a British slang meaning very cool. Therefore, if people want to find a similar "wicked" word in American English, they can use “cool”. However, "cool" is an American slang like awesome means great or fantastic. It also shows that people are okay with an idea. Be careful the normal meaning of "cool" means a little cold and let's listen to it carefully in context to understand what’s being said.

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