What is Slang?

Even within a single language community, slang tends to vary widely across social, ethnic, economic, and geographic strata. Slang may fall into disuse over time; sometimes, however, it grows more and more common until it becomes the dominant way of saying something, at which time it usually comes to be regarded as mainstream, acceptable language (e.g. the Spanish word caballo), although in the case of taboo words there may be no expression that is considered mainstream or acceptable. Numerous slang terms pass into informal mainstream speech, and sometimes into formal speech, though this may involve a change in meaning or usage.
Slang very often involves the creation of novel meanings for existing words. It is common for such novel meanings to diverge significantly from the standard meaning. Thus, "cool" and "hot" can both mean "very good," "impressive," or "good-looking".
Slang terms are often known only within a clique or ingroup. For example, Leet ("Leetspeak" or "1337") originally was popular only among certain Internet subcultures, such as crackers (malicious "hackers") and online videogamers. During the 1990s, 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.[4] Other types of slang include SMS language used on mobile phones, and "chatspeak," (e.g., "LOL," an acronym meaning "laughing out loud" or "laugh out loud" or ROFL, rolling on the floor laughing), which is widely used in instant messaging on the Internet.


Produced By Jhorul Hoque

Executive Producers Jack Moss And Luc Kightley