American Slang: What is it?
Slang has evolved over the years into not only common and widely used expressions, but highly specific terminology as well. The backstories behind these terms vary significantly, but at the core of it all, they are expressions of a deeper meaning.
The ‘Boundary Break’ Chord
Since birth, a child would take a fragment of language known in the American dialect and try to find words related to what they hear and understand about that world around them. The result would be a hybridized and, eventually, perfected word.
The English language was created by those that had a desire to learn and speak an entire language, from the phonetic alphabet to the vocabulary and words that the children would throw around in place of words. The result is an amazing amount of words within a language that no one could possibly understand in order to contribute to the identity of the individual in it.
It took some 150 years to create English language to be what it is today, and during those times, particular words would evolve from less often used words, to the broadest usage possible.
While Slang is not perfect, it has in many ways formed the language itself. While sometimes shaped by the ideas of philosophers, inventors and others, the use of this term is most often intended for its wild and joyous expression.
While using certain terms in a playful and often not yet using fashion is acceptable, using these words in a threatening manner or outside of what is socially acceptable can lead to slander. Often times, this can even be found when a derogatory term is used.
The first use of a derogatory term (in a positive context) is for example, ‘Southwestern Slang’ which was first used by Louis Prang of Missouri in 1906 to describe the somewhat derogatory and difficult slang for southern people. This term is regarded today as Southwestern Slang.
The word ‘Slang’ was historically used in English, but not as broadly as other English words. The word is called a minor terminus meaning it is a word with a significance that goes beyond what others, like ‘Word’ or ‘Passive’, are used for. This term was also used in expression in frontier cultures where slang didn’t always mean “bad” or vulgar, but sometimes humorous or charming.