15 reasons people use slang


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Slang can be defined as informal language, which might include words or meanings which are impolite and which may stay in use for only a short period of time. It is used by particular groups of people who know each other, and is usually spoken rather than written.

1. In sheer high spirits, by the young in heart as well as by the young in years; ‘just for the fun of the thing’; in playfulness or waggishness.
2. As an exercise either in wit and ingenuity or in humour. (The motive behind this is usually self-display or snobbishness, emulation or responsiveness, delight in virtuosity).
3. To be ‘different’, to be novel.
4. To be picturesque (either positively or – as in the wish to avoid insipidity – negatively).
5. To be unmistakably arresting, even startling.
6. To escape from clichés, or to be brief and concise. (Actuated by impatience with existing terms.)
7. To enrich the language. (This deliberateness is rare save among the well-educated, Cockneys forming the most notable exception; it is literary rather than spontaneous.)
8. To lend an air of solidity, concreteness, to the abstract; of earthiness to the idealistic; of immediacy and appositeness to the remote. (In the cultured, the effort is usually premeditated, while in the uncultured it is almost always unconscious when it is not rather subconscious.)
9a. To lesson the sting of, or on the other hand to give additional point to, a refusal, a rejection, a recantation;
b. To reduce, perhaps also to disperse, the solemnity, the pomposity, the excessive seriousness of a conversation (or of a piece of writing);
c. To soften the tragedy, to lighten or to ‘prettify’ the inevitability of death or madness, or to mask the ugliness or the pity of profound turpitude (e.g. treachery, ingratitude); and/or thus to enable the speaker or his auditor or both to endure, to ‘carry on’.
10. To speak or write down to an inferior, or to amuse a superior public; or merely to be on a colloquial level with either one’s audience or one’s subject matter.
11. For ease of social intercourse. (Not to be confused or merged with the preceding.)
12. To induce either friendliness or intimacy of a deep or a durable kind. (Same remark.)
13. To show that one belongs to a certain school, trade, or profession, artistic or intellectual set, or social class; in brief, to be ‘in the swim’ or to establish contact.
14. Hence, to show or prove that someone is not ‘in the swim’.
15. To be secret – not understood by those around one. (Children, students, lovers, members of political secret societies, and criminals in or out of prison, innocent persons in prison, are the chief exponents.)

Here are 20 slang terms. How many would you use?

Anorak
geek, nerd. A term that has been used since the 80′s. An ‘anorak’ is always male, unfashionable and possibly a ‘trainspotter’.

Bad hair day
day in which one cannot get one’s hair to look good; day in which one is in a bad mood and nothing goes right: “Having a bad hair day, are we?”

Chick flick
a movie primarily of interest to females, often due to content love, friendship, emotional scenes

Down Under
Australia, New Zealand and adjacent Pacific Islands (viewed from or as from the Northern Hemisphere)

Earbashing
nagging, non-stop chatter

Fess up
confess, own up

Get out of here
a general exclamation of disbelief

Hit the hay
go to bed to sleep

I kid you not
assertion that one is speaking the truth

Jerk
annoying, stupid person

Knackered
tired, worn out

Loaded
someone with a lot of money. e.g.. “He must be loaded to have afforded that motor”.

Make tracks
to get going somewhere; to depart

Nothing to write home about
not remarkable; unexciting; all right

Off the rails
insane; out of control

Push the envelope
extend beyond the normally accepted bounds; take ideas, art, music, life, etc. to an extreme

Rat on
1. inform (on); betray; 2. go back on a statement

Skint
having no money, poor

Tart up
adorn; make attractive, especially with cheap ornaments and cosmetics (originally British slang (mid-19th C.)

Use one’s loaf
to use one’s head, to think about something.

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