Word of the Day

Thursday, March 02, 2000


\AHR-go; -gut\ , noun;
A specialized and often secret vocabulary and idiom peculiar to a particular group.
A secret language or conventional slang peculiar to thieves, tramps, and vagabonds.
In William Aberg's "Siempre," set in an unusual Arizona jail that housed both men and women, a veteran talks a novice through fear of the penitentiary (the pinta, in Mexican argot) to which she is being sent.
-- Bell Gale Chevigny, Doing Time: 25 Years of Prison Writing
The side road was a bit narrow but in good repair. But as happened from time to time, the last few miles to our destination, in this case the park, were unpaved--"unsealed" in Aussie argot.
-- Don Langley, "Life in the Vast Lane", Los Angeles Times, November 14, 1999
In the argot of geology, paleomagnetic specialists are sometimes called paleomagicians.
-- John Mcphee, Annals of the Former World
No one likes jargon, especially other people's jargon, and few bodies of professional lingo are less beloved than the argot of educators.
-- Howard Gardner, The Disciplined Mind: What All Students Should Understand
Argot is from the French.
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