Examples of Colloquialism And Their Traits

Colloquialism Examples And Their Distinct Characteristics

It is the use of informal language or local slang in the literature, termed colloquialism. The use of colloquialism would help the author easily sneak into the mind of the audience since it is the common language of society. By using colloquialism examples, the author could easily communicate ideas to the normal audience. In English literature, many writers imply the tool of colloquialism intentionally since it provides a realistic touch to the presented work. The use of idioms and aphorism could be classified under the use of colloquialisms.

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It is from the Latin root word colloquium that the word colloquialism was derived. It simply signifies the concept of speaking together. The common population uses the colloquialism in their day-to-day life. The use of colloquialism could be widely seen in the literature, which implies characterizations and first-person narration.

Basic characteristics of colloquialism

Colloquialism examples

Defined regionally

The use of colloquialisms is widely dependable on the vernacular used by the regional population. Based on different geographical locations and groups of people, the use of colloquialisms keeps on changing.

Language within a language

Colloquialism is actually a sub-language in itself which is derived from a widely used language. Normally dialects are explicitly used by a specific group. It is the specific use of some vocabulary and distinct accents in a language that leads to the formation of colloquialisms.

The major example of it could be observed in the variation of English languages used in both the USA and the UK. There is a significant variation in the accent of English used in the UK and countries like India. Colloquialism is so diverse that you can observe hundreds of variations of English dialects in the USA itself. The type of English used in small cities like Louisiana is far different from that of the language used in the city of New York. Geographical attributes could not be solely considered the determinant of colloquialism since it is also unique for a certain section of people. The traditional English used by white-shirt Londoners is very different from the harsh variant of English used by the cockney group.

How do colloquialism function in a language?


Parting words

Colloquialism has opened up another scope for literature and writers in particular societies. It is a known fact for the student of literature that the use of colloquialism helps to convey strong emotions easily. It gives a particular texture to the character used in the literature. The audience highly accepts the literature with appropriate use of colloquialism since it conveys that the authors have a good appreciation regarding the society they are writing about.

Colloquialism examples

Gives life to the drafted piece of literature

When people use a particular language for a long period of time, various dialects and colloquialism generate in society. Each dialect thus becomes an inseparable identity of the society. The use of colloquialisms would help the author to relate the character with the audience in a much more realistic manner. The use of French and Belgian colloquialisms could be frequently traced in the detective novels of Agatha Christie.

Different meanings for the same word

In different dialects, the same word sometimes conveys a different meaning. These words are often very common, but they express different and exclusive meanings in the dialects. Whereas the word pants represent underwear in Britain, the same word represents trousers in the English language used in America. In the same manner, the word coke refers to Coca-Cola in the American community, whereas in Britain, it represents any sort of soft drink.

Unique words which are only present in a particular dialect

In many forms of dialects, you could trace some unique word that could not be traced in other languages. The concept of any object, place, or person is denoted using the term jawn by the people of Philadelphia. Such a word is not commonly used by English speakers all over the world.

Let us take the examples of idioms. Whereas the phrase, it’s raining cat and dogs, represents heavy rain all over the world, the people of Louisiana use the phrase it’s raining monkeys to convey the same idea.

How to distinguish colloquialism from Jargon and Slang?

Many people often confuse the concept of colloquialism with jargon and slang.

Such words majorly belong to a specific subject or academic discipline, which is very hard for an unrelated person to understand. Jargon are specifically used by officials working in a specific industry or scholars from a particular discipline. The words like gallery resemble very different meanings in the academic field. It signifies the set of literature or books that still must be proofreading before publication.

Similarly, Knife pleat is a jargon that is widely used in the fashion industry that connotes the narrow folds created on the wardrobe. Another jargon used in the culinary industry is Mise en place which means that the dish is under preparation.

Slang is the exact opposite of jargon, and they are very informal in nature. Slang could only be traced in a small group of people who follow a specific subculture. The expression of a wide range of strong emotions could be displayed by the use of slang. Unlike colloquialism, which is geographically defined, slang are defined culturally. The use of words like togs for swimsuits and barbie for a barbeque in Australia are some valid examples of slang in the English language. Let us take the instance of the Hollywood movie Mean Girls. The character of Gretchen often uses the word fetch to display a cool outlook on the character.

Though we have described the distinguishing factors between Slang and Jargon from colloquialism, there are some significant similarities among them. Many scholars even argue that Jargons and slang are even variants of colloquialism.

Colloquialism examples

Everyday colloquialism examples

  1. Buzz off – Go away
  2. Bamboozle – To cheat
  3. Be blue – To sulk
  4. Go nuts – Get very angry
  5. Y’all – You all
  6. Wanna – Want to
  7. Gonna – Going to
  8. Knock yourself out – Helping yourself
  9. Earning a packet – Earning a lot of money

Australian colloquialism examples

  1. Woop Woop – An isolated town
  2. Arvo – Afternoon
  3. Swag – A bag used for sleeping
  4. Bludger – A very lazy person
  5. Rapt – Being truly pleased
  6. Cobber – a good friend
  7. Mongrel – an irritating person
  8. Deadset – A statement that is absolutely true
  9. Furphy – Rumors or Gossips
  10. Flat out – Very busy situation

British colloquialism examples

  1. Whinge – To sulk and continuously complain
  2. Ace – A remark for excellence
  3. Tosh – A false statement
  4. Anorak – A person who is very expert in a tough subject
  5. Swot – A geek
  6. Blimey – the factor of surprise
  7. Strop – to repent
  8. Bloke – A layman
  9. Smarmy – A deceitful person
  10. Boot – Trunk of a vehicle
  11. Skive – to bunk school or workplace
  12. Brolly – an umbrella
  13. Posh – A very luxurious or fancy thing
  14. Cheeky – A very bold person (that generally cause intimidation to others)
  15. Poppycock – A very ridiculous and untrue statement
  16. Cheers – Thank You
  17. Pea Souper – A very foggy day
  18. Chinwag – A very friendly conversation
  19. Lurgy – Being sick with symptoms of flu or cold
  20. Chockablock – A completely saturated or filled condition
  21. Knackered – A very fatigued condition
  22. Chuffed – very excited about anything.
  23. Gutted – Very disappointed at something
  24. Codswallop – An untrue statement
  25. Gobsmacked – absolutely surprised
  26. Dodgy – insecure state
  27. Dog’s dinner – A very untidy and chaotic situation

Canadian colloquialism examples

  1. Toque – A cap used in a cold climate
  2. Chirping – mocking or insulting someone
  3. Skid – Child who belongs from a very poor family
  4. Click – One kilometre
  5. Serviette – A napkin
  6. Eh – the symbol of agreement
  7. Kerfuffle – Difference in opinion
  8. Gon show – A situation which is no longer under control
  9. Keener – attention seeker

American colloquialism examples

  1. Trash – to devastate someone or something
  2. Ballpark – A statement that is very close to reality
  3. Score – Accomplishing the goals or needs
  4. Bomb – get failed in a test.
  5. Ride shotgun – Travelling on the front passenger seat of the vehicle
  6. Cattywampus – dishonest approach
  7. Raincheck – A guarantee to commission the tasks which are postponed
  8. Flake – a person who always keeps his target at overdue.
  9. Podunk – A hamlet
  10. Lemon – A deal that turns out to be a risky one in the future.

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