Aug 8, 2012
Familiar-Colloquial Style and Slang
Familiar-Colloquial Style and Slang Besides the standard, literary-colloquial speech, there is also a non¬standard (or substandard) style of speech, mostly represented by a special vocabulary. Such is the familiar-colloquial style (a 'lower' variant of colloquial style) used in very free, friendly, informal situations of communication (between close friends, members of one family, etc.). Here we find emotionally coloured words, low-colloquial vocabulary and slang words. This style admits also of the use of rude and vulgar vocabulary, including expletives/obscene words/four-letter words/swearwords . See some examples of familiar-colloquial/low-colloquial words (also called 'slang'): Rot/trash/stuff ( = smth. bad); the cat's pyjamas (=just the right/suitable thing); bread-basket (= stomach); grass/pot (=* marijuana, narcotic drugs); tipsy/under the influence (affluence)/ under the table/has had a drop (=drunk); cute/great! (Am) (=very good); wet blanket (^uninteresting person); hot stuff! (smth. extremely good); You're damn right! (= quite right); Where are those darned/damned socks? What the hell do you want? The term slang is used in a very broad and vague sense. Besides denoting low-colloquial (familiar-colloquial) words, it is also used to denote special social jargons/cants, i.e. words typically used by particular social groups to show that the speaker belongs to this group, as different from other people. Originally jargons were used to preserve secrecy within the social group, to make speech incomprehensible to others — such is the thieves' jargon/cant. There is also teenagers' slang/jargon, school slang, army slang, prison slang, etc. See examples of American army slang: to take felt (= to retire from the army, literally — put on a felt hat); fly boy (=pilot); coffin (= unreliable aeroplane); Molotov cocktail (= bottles with explosive materials); But often words from a particular jargon spread outside its social group and become general slang. See examples of general British slang: crackers (= crazy), the year dot (= long ago), drip (= uninteresting person without a character), get the hump ( = get angry), mac (~ Scotsman), mug (=fool), nipper (= young child), ratted (= drunk), snout (= tobacco). Some examples of general American slang: buddy (= fellow), buck (= dollar), cabbage ( = money), John (= lavatory), jerk ( = stupid person) Juice (= wine); joker (= man); glued (= arrested); give smb. wings (= teach to use drugs); stag party (= мальчиш¬ник); top dog ( = boss); like a million dollars (-very good); to nip (=steal), smash (= a drink). There is also professional slang/jargon, i.e. words which are used by people in their professional activity: tin-fish ( = submarine); block-buster (= a bomb- in military use, or a very successfitlfilm — in show business); piper (= a specialist decorating к. cakes with cream and using a pipe); see also some professional slang words for a 'blow' in boxing: an outer (= a knock-out blow), a right-hander (=one made with the right hand); an uppercut; a clinch (position of boxing very close, with body pressed to body).