Word of the Day Archive
Friday July 8, 2011
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.
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
Patois enters English in the 1600s from the Old French patoier, "to handle clumsily."