Word of the Day

Friday, July 08, 2011

patois

\pat-WAH\ , noun;
1.
A regional version of a language differing from its standard, literary form.
2.
Arural or provincial form of speech.
3.
Any jargon or private form of speech.
Quotes:
The Calypsonian would use patois in ordinary social circumstances, but on stage, doing battle with other singers in the large Calypso tents, would use strictly regulated English.
-- Stephen Wagg, Because I tell a joke or two: comedy, politics, and social difference
Nick took easily to accomplishments, and he handled the clumsy tiller with a certainty and distinction that made the boatmen swear in two languages and a patois.
-- Winston Churchill, The Crossing
Origin:
Patois enters English in the 1600s from the Old French patoier, "to handle clumsily."
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