Words that are not a part of standard vocabulary or language and are used informally are called slang. These words are mostly used in speech rather than in writing.
Slang can be divided into four different types; country slang, urban slang, gay slang and common slang. Country slang is used by those who are in the rural parts of a country, while urban slang is spoken by those from the city or by African-Americans. Gay slang is used by gays, bisexual, homosexuals or transsexuals. Common slang is used by almost everybody.
Every culture and every region has its own slang. Some of these include American slang, Costa Rican slang, Spanish slang and South African slang. English regions such as Wales, Ireland and Scotland also have their own slang.
They all sat wondering how they were going to attack the enemy with the water balloon. One of the little boys finally suggested, “I can run up on him from behind that tree, jump right on him and Bob’s your uncle, mission achieved.”
The slang term used in this sentence is “Bob’s your uncle”, which means “there you have it”. This phrase is mostly used by British citizens.
“Last night was flop. I was supposed to go to a party with my friends, but they flopped on me. They are all such floppers.”
Here the slang term being used is “flop” which means a planned event does not happen. A flopper is someone who cancels the plan at the last minute.
“I’m so upset about my birthday party pictures. My brother is making faces behind me in every picture, what a photo bomb!”
In the sentence above, “photo bomb” is the slang term. This is when a person or an object is accidentally or intentionally in a photo and as a result, ruins it.
“I got a job promotion even though I don’t go to work half the time. I’m so sick.”
Here the slang term used is “sick”, which literally means ill. However, in slang it refers to something being awesome or cool. This type of slang terminology is mostly used by teenagers.
“I can’t believe she went and told my father about everything just to get me in trouble, what a hater.”
The slang term used here is “hater”, which refers to someone who is jealous or angry towards another person because of their success.
“The students caught cheating on the test were given the third-degree by the principal.”
The slang used in the sentence above is “third-degree” which means “to be interrogated by”.
“I can’t believe my life has passed so quickly, now that I am in the hospital I guess I will just kick the bucket here.”
Slang being used here is “kick the bucket”, which means to die. Some people believe that this term is derived from when people were hung they used to stand on a bucket with a rope tied around their neck and the bucket used to be kicked from under their feet and they were left there to die.
“The kids were ready to bite my arm off just because I promised to take them to the candy store.”
The slang phrase being used here is “to bite my arm off” which means to get overexcited.
Functions of Slang
Slang allows a person to become creative in the use of language. Some people use slang in order to communicate with each other informally. Similarly, people using slang are able to identify other members of their subculture easily.
There is a special Slang Dictionary which contains such words and their meanings. When a new word is created in the slang language and a majority of people start using it, then it is added into the language. If it does not gain enough popularity, it is forgotten.
One of the reasons slang is around is that people believe that by using slang they will be able to set themselves apart from others and be unique. However, others believe that this is an improper way of speaking or writing and strongly criticize its use. Children who use slang while speaking end up using it while writing in school, which is discouraged in the academic world