Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


And as Monny remarked, in neat American slang, we were "right up against it."

She knitted her brows over this fresh specimen of American slang.

Ordinary London slang is full of witty things said by nobody in particular.

In short, to use a slang expression, I distinctly got away with it.

Tim was picking up all the city boys' false pride as well as their slang.

But I never knew what the slang meant until I came out here.

And, with this slang reflection, he sauntered into the inn to wait for his horses.

Among all these wanderers there is a current slang of the roads, as in England.

Slang has its value for it has taken place of much profanity.

Slang and profanity, and logic and thought don't mix well together.


1756, "special vocabulary of tramps or thieves," later "jargon of a particular profession" (1801), of uncertain origin, the usual guess being that it is from a Scandinavian source, cf. Norwegian slengenamn "nickname," slengja kjeften "to abuse with words," literally "to sling the jaw," related to Old Norse slyngva "to sling." But OED, while admitting "some approximation in sense," discounts this connection based on "date and early associations." Liberman also denies it, as well as any connection with French langue (or language or lingo). Rather, he derives it elaborately from an old slang word meaning "narrow piece of land," itself of obscure origin. Century Dictionary says "there is no evidence to establish a Gipsy origin." Sense of "very informal language characterized by vividness and novelty" first recorded 1818.

A word that ought to have survived is slangwhanger (1807, American English) "noisy or abusive talker or writer."


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.