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patois

[pat-wah, pah-twah; French pa-twa] /ˈpæt wɑ, ˈpɑ twɑ; French paˈtwa/
noun, plural patois
[pat-wahz, pah-twahz; French pa-twa] /ˈpæt wɑz, ˈpɑ twɑz; French paˈtwa/ (Show IPA)
1.
a regional form of a language, especially of French, differing from the standard, literary form of the language.
2.
a rural or provincial form of speech.
3.
jargon; cant; argot.
Origin
1635-1645
1635-45; < French: literally clumsy speech; akin to Old French patoier to handle clumsily, derivative of pate paw
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for patois
  • Such patois often develops among students, soldiers and other groups to foster a sense of belonging.
  • The patois is so thick that it is easy to miss some of the dialogue.
  • As for the rest, it's mainly life-style patois from interchangeable characters.
British Dictionary definitions for patois

patois

/ˈpætwɑː; French patwa/
noun (pl) patois (ˈpætwɑːz; French) (patwa)
1.
an unwritten regional dialect of a language, esp of French, usually considered substandard
2.
the jargon of particular group
Word Origin
C17: from Old French: rustic speech, perhaps from patoier to handle awkwardly, from patte paw
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for patois
n.

"a provincial dialect," 1640s, from French patois "native or local speech" (13c.), of uncertain origin, probably from Old French patoier "handle clumsily, to paw," from pate "a paw," from Vulgar Latin *patta (see patten), from notion of clumsy manner of speaking. Cf. French pataud "properly, a young dog with big paws, then an awkwardly built fellow" [Brachet]. Especially in reference to Jamaican English from 1934.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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