A colloquialism is a word, phrase or other form used in informal language. Dictionaries often display colloquial words and phrases with the abbreviation colloq. as an identifier. Colloquial language or informal language is a variety of language commonly employed in conversation or other communication in informal situations. The word colloquial by its etymology originally referred to speech as distinguished from writing, but colloquial register is fundamentally about the degree of informality or casualness rather than the medium, and some usage commentators thus prefer the term casualism.
Some colloquial speech contains a great deal of slang, but some contains no slang at all. Slang is permitted in colloquial language, but it is not a necessary element. Other examples of colloquial usage in English include contractions or profanity.
In the philosophy of language the term "colloquial language" refers to ordinary natural language, as distinct from specialized forms used in logic or other areas of philosophy. In the field of logical atomism, meaning is evaluated in a different way than with more formal propositions.
A colloquial name or familiar name is a name or term commonly used to identify a person or thing in informal language, in place of another usually more formal or technical name.
Distinction from other styles
Colloquialisms are distinct from slang or jargon. Slang refers to words used only by specific social groups, such as teenagers or soldiers. Colloquial language may include slang, but mostly forms such as contractions or other informal words known to most native speakers of the language.
Jargon is terminology that is especially defined in relationship to a specific activity, profession or group. The term refers to the language used by people who work in a particular area or who have a common interest. Much like slang, it is a kind of shorthand used to express ideas that are frequently discussed between members of a group, though it can also be developed deliberately using chosen terms. While a standard term may be given a more precise or unique usage amongst practitioners of relevant disciplines, it is often reported that jargon is a barrier to communication for those people unfamiliar with the respective field.
- colloquialism. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Retrieved September 10, 2008, from Dictionary.com
- colloquial. (n.d.) Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1). Retrieved September 10, 2008, from Dictionary.com
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|Look up colloquialism or colloquial in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- Colloquial Spanish Dictionary of Colloquial Spanish.
- Urban Thesaurus An Urban Thesaurus
- Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Ludwig Wittgenstein