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Slang and New Language

The New Language Archive at King's collects slang, jargon, buzzwords and other linguistic novelties and exoticisms. 

You can contribute your examples, or your comments, questions and criticisms to Tony Thorne, who will gratefully acknowledge you - in print, if the word or phrase you send is published.

New language

If you are fascinated by the ideas encoded in neologisms, and by new 'language behaviours', you may find the following (lighter, opinionated) new language articles and links interesting. 

New language articles

Table of new language articles
 London Language (Word, 239KB)
 Some Recent Buzzwords (Word, 22.8KB)
 The 100 Words That Make Them English (Word, 42KB)
 Necessary Buzzwords (Word, 41KB)
 Bizwords of 2008 (Word, 38KB) 
 New Language References (PDF, 53KB)
 Jargon (PDF, 42KB)
 Gay (Word, 45KB) 
 Opinion Piece (Word, 27KB)
 Buzzword Quiz (Word, 34KB)
 Keywords (Word, 34KB)
 Baby You Can Drive My Mazda (Word, 28KB)
 Pingu's Lingo, or How to Get By in Penguinese (Word, 30KB)


New language links

Collectors of new language and connoisseurs of language change have kindly given permission for the following links.

Tony's latest article on the language of advertising.

An interesting article on jargon to which Tony Thorne contributed. 

Michael Quinion edits the excellent World Wide Words website which tracks new and interesting usages and debates meanings and origins.

John Walston is author of the Buzzword Dictionary and is responsible for the long-established BuzzWhack website.

New, unusual, quirky and difficult words are collected and explained by Wordnik By kind permission of John McGrath.

This year's take on jargon and its controversies.




If you are intrigued by the history and different uses of slang, you may find the following articles and links interesting.

Slang articles

Some articles on slang and new and unorthodox language.

Table of slang articles
 Why we all love meringue (Word, 17.4KB)
 Rhyming Slang (Word, 34KB)
 Schoolkids (Word, 25.2KB)
 Student slang (Word, 51KB)
 Slang references (Word, 33KB)
 Trunky wants a bun (PDF, 229KB)
 Slang archive (Word, 40KB)
 The latest youth slang (Word, 62KB)
 Francis Grose (Word, 54KB)
 Classifying campus slang (Word, 66KB)
 Talking the talk (Word, 36KB)
 Campus speak (Word, 30KB)
 Slang, style-shifting and sociability (Word, 42KB)
 Student slang as she spoke (Word, 30KB)
 Slang and the dictionary (Word, 44KB)
What's so bad about bad language? (Word, 30KB)
 Vulgar tongue (Word, 38KB

Slang links

The most up-to-date and comprehensive open-source collection of contemporary slang is Aaron Peckham’s Urban Dictionary.

Liam Quin has edited and placed on-line two seminal historical slang sources (see this site’s appreciation of Francis Grose).

You can find a database of thieves’ slang among Stephen Hart’s 18th century resources.

B.E’s ‘Canting Crew’ dictionary.

Slanguistics or just lemon meringue? A talk by Tony Thorne.

Tony Thorne on Youth Slang in 2016.


More resources

The Word on the Street - the Spitfire guide to street slang (issuu document)

Know your granny slang from your Jafaican? (Podcast)

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