Argot

Argot (French, Spanish and Catalan for "slang") is a secret language used by various groups—including, but not limited to, thieves and other criminals—to prevent outsiders from understanding their conversations.

Victor Hugo was one of the first to research argot extensively [http://www.mtholyoke.edu/courses/rschwart/hist255/popcorn/convicts2.html] . He describes it in his novel, "Les Misérables", as the language of the dark; at one point, he says, "What is argot; properly speaking? Argot is the language of misery."

Bruce Sterling defines argot as "the deliberately hermetic language of a small knowledge clique... a super-specialized geek cult language that has no traction in the real world." For example: "He philosophized and recited baseball statistics in a Brooklyn argot that was fast-fading."

The earliest known recording of the term "argot" was in 1628, and the word probably derives from the name, "les argotiers", given to a group of thieves at that time. [Guiraud, Pierre. L'Argot. Que sais-je? 700. Paris: PUF, 1958.]

Under the strictest definition, an "argot" is a proper language, with its own grammar and style. Nevertheless, the term is also often used to describe coded systems such as verlan and louchébem, which retain French syntax and only apply transformations to individual words (and often only to a certain subset of words, such as nouns, or semantic content words). [cite journal
last = Valdman
first = Albert
title = La Langue des faubourgs et des banlieues: de l'argot au français populaire
journal = The French Review
volume = 73
issue = 6
pages = 1190
publisher = American Association of Teachers of French
date = 2000-05
url = http://www.jstor.org/stable/399371
accessdate = 2008-04-22
] Such systems are examples of "argots à clef", or "coded argots." [cite journal
last = Valdman
first = Albert
title = La Langue des faubourgs et des banlieues: de l'argot au français populaire
journal = The French Review
volume = 73
issue = 6
pages = 1186
publisher = American Association of Teachers of French
date = 2000-05
url = http://www.jstor.org/stable/399371
accessdate = 2008-04-22
]

Notes

ee also

* Cant
* Language game
* Louchébem
* Verlan


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Argot — Argot …   Deutsch Wörterbuch

  • ARGOT — L’argot est la langue spéciale de la pègre ou plus exactement, à l’origine, celle des gueux ou mendiants professionnels, puis celle des voleurs, tricheurs, escrocs de tout genre. L’argot – on a dit d’abord le jargon – est la langue d’une… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Argot — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Argot es el lenguaje específico utilizado por un grupo de personas que comparten unas características comunes por su categoría social, profesión, procedencia, o aficiones. Los argots se producen continuamente para… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Argot — (franz., spr. argo), die Gaunersprache in Frankreich, der in Italien das furbesco, in Spanien die germania, in Deutschland das Rotwelsch (s. d.) entspricht. Die Pariser gueux (Gauner und Bettler) wurden als cour des miracles (Hof der Wunder)… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • argot — 1. (ar go) s. m. 1°   Langage particulier aux vagabonds, aux mendiants, aux voleurs, et intelligible pour eux seuls. 2°   Par extension, phraséologie particulière, plus ou moins technique, plus ou moins riche, plus ou moins pittoresque, dont se… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • argot — sustantivo masculino 1. Área: linguística Lenguaje especial y característico de un grupo social o profesional: el argot médico, el argot juvenil. Cuando mi vecina habla en argot pasota no me entero de nada. Sinónimo: jerga …   Diccionario Salamanca de la Lengua Española

  • argot — (n.) 1860, from Fr. argot (17c.) the jargon of Paris rogues and thieves, earlier the company of beggars, from M.Fr. argot, group of beggars, origin unknown. Gamillscheg suggests a connection to O.Fr. argoter to cut off the stubs left in pruning,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • argot — ARGOT. s. m. On dit plus communément Ergot. Pointe dure qui vient au derriere du pied de quelques animaux. Les argots d un coq, d un chien. il s est rompu l argot en courant. On dit fig. Se lever sur ses argots, monter sur ses argots, pour dire,… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • argot — (Del fr. argot). 1. m. Jerga, jerigonza. 2. Lenguaje especial entre personas de un mismo oficio o actividad …   Diccionario de la lengua española

  • Argot — Ar got , n. [F. Of unknown origin.] A secret language or conventional slang peculiar to thieves, tramps, and vagabonds; flash. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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