Association of British Scrabble Players

Culture > Linguistics > Variants

Now updated for CSW15. New words, if any, and new inflections of existing words, are shown in red.

acrolect a variety of language closest to the prestige form.
adspeak the kind of language used in advertising.
argot an often more or less secret vocabulary and idiom peculiar to a particular group.
argotic relating to ARGOT.
bafflegab official or professional jargon which confuses more than it clarifies.
balderdash nonsense language.
bantu a name given to a large group of African languages.
baragouin any jargon or unintelligible language.
basilect debased dialect.
belgicism a word or expression used by Belgians when speaking French or Dutch.
bidialectal speaking two dialects.
billingsgate coarsely abusive language. [From a fish market in London, notorious for the crude language heard there].
blinglish English mixed with black slang.
bowlingual a device that allegedly translates a dog's barks into human language.
bureaucratese the language of bureaucrats.
calo a Spanish argot used by chicano youths > CALOS.
cant the vocabulary or language peculiar to a particular group or sect, esp. thieves; (verb) to speak this.
centum a hundred; centum languages: a classification group of Indo-European languages, in which an original palatal consonant developed as a guttural. Cf. SATEM.
cockney London dialect esp of the East End.
creole a language formerly a PIDGIN which has developed and become the accepted language of a region, esp in the W. Indies.
creolise creolize to PIDGINIZE.
creolist a person who studies CREOLE languages.
demotic popular, common; of or relating to the form of Modern Greek that is based on everyday speech; (noun) the popular form of a language.
dialect a regional variety of a language.
dialectal relating to a dialect > DIALECTALLY
diglossia the coexistence of a prestige language and a lower language.
diglossic relating to DIGLOSSIA, the coexistence of a prestige language and a lower language.
diplomatese the language of diplomacy.
doublespeak language used to deceive usually through concealment or misrepresentation of truth.
ebonics the slang of African Americans. [From ebony + phonics].
educationese the jargon used esp. by educational theorists.
franglais a mixture of French and English.
gallicism a French turn of expression.
geechee a dialect of rural black people in the southern US.
geekspeak the jargon used by geeks.
gobbledegook gobbledygook unintelligible official jargon; rubbish, nonsense.
governmentese jargon held to be characteristic of government officials.
greenspeak ecological jargon.
idioglossia a secret speech or language, especially invented by children.
idiolect the language usage pattern unique to a person.
jargon a specialised language for a trade etc
jargoneer a person who uses JARGON.
jargonise jargonize to express in JARGON.
jargonish like JARGON.
jargonist one addicted to JARGON; one who uses cant or slang.
jargonistic in the manner of a JARGONIST.
jargony like JARGON.
jive jargon, orig. of Harlem and jazz musicians.
jockney the Scots dialect as influenced by cockney speech patterns.
joual a non-standard, chiefly urban variety of French.
journalese the JARGON of bad journalism.
koine a dialect that spreads to become common language of a region. [GK. koine, common].
langue a language viewed as an abstract system used by a speech-community, in contrast to the actual linguistic behaviour of individuals.
latinity the Latin tongue, style, or idiom, or the use thereof; specifically, purity of Latin style or idiom.
ledden language, dialect, speech.
legalese complicated legal JARGON.
lingo language > LINGOES or LINGOS.
mellowspeak a bland non-assertive form of language associated with New Age philosophy.
mockney an imitation COCKNEY accent; a person who affects this.
motherese a simplified and repetitive type of speech used by adults in speaking to babies.
newspeak deliberately ambiguous and contradictory language used to mislead and manipulate the public. [Coined by George Orwell].
novelese the language of inferior novels.
officialese the characteristic language of official statements.
palabra (Spanish) a word; talk > PALABRAS.
patois a dialect (orig. in France) of the common people in a particular area, differing fundamentally from the literary language; any non-standard local dialect.
pidgeon pidgin a simplified speech used for communication between people with different languages.
pidginize to make into PIDGIN.
polonism a Polish idiom or characteristic.
psychobabble language laden with jargon from psychotherapy or psychiatry used without much concern for accuracy.
putonghua the Chinese language, standard Mandarin.
reo a New Zealand language > REOS.
sabir a French-based pidgin language.
satem a classification group of Indo-European languages, in which an original palatal consonant developed as a sibilant. No —S. Cf. CENTUM.
scamto the argot of urban S. African blacks > SCAMTOS.
seaspeak a restricted variety of English used by sailors etc. for unambiguous communication.
shelta a secret jargon used by vagrants in Britain and Ireland. [Shelru, poss a perversion of OIr béulra language].
shizzle a form of slang popularized by US rap musicians in which the trailing syllables of certain words are replaced by the suffix -izzle.
shoptalk any specialist jargon.
signage the use of sign language.
slang extremely informal or vulgar language; (verb) to use slang.
slangish slangy.
slanguage a slang language.
slangular slangy.
slangy full of slang > SLANGIER, SLANGIEST; SLANGILY.
sociolect a variety of languages used by members of a particular social class or group.
strine English as spoken by Australians.
subdialect a subdivision of a dialect.
taal language, usually by implication Afrikaans.
technobabble technical jargon.
telegraphese language characterized by the terseness and ellipses that are common in telegrams.
tsotsitaal the street slang used by TSOTSIS, South African street hooligans.
verlan a variety of French slang using back-to-front words and Arab words.
vernacular indigenous, native, spoken by the people of the country or of one's own country; (noun) a vernacular language, expression, or mode of expression.
weblish the language of text messages.