Definition of argot in US English:



  • The jargon or slang of a particular group or class.

    ‘teenage argot’
    • ‘She put them side by side and in a few minutes saw that Christie's version was, in the delicate argot of the trade, ‘not right.’’
    • ‘It is the argot of a tribe rather than the idiom of everyman.’
    • ‘Many words in English have obscure origins, particularly those which may be said to have risen in the world from lowly origins in argot, cant or slang.’
    • ‘Its roughly 7 million people call themselves cariocas and have an argot all their own.’
    • ‘The settings for the stories include, as well as intimate domesticity, the more public spheres of advertising and publishing, with their own argots, often whipping up blizzards of acronyms.’
    • ‘Pieper also provides detailed notes on the quaint argot that the vocalists use.’
    • ‘The dialogue is peppered with the argot and dialect of the Kingston streets, and even with the English soundtrack you simply have to use the subtitles if you are to understand everything they are saying.’
    • ‘Cricket, with its googlies, boseys, chinamen, silly legs, byes, sundries - the whole argot - was incomprehensible without deep explanation.’
    • ‘One lovely touch totally misunderstood by almost every critic so far is the family argot based on butcher's slang which the lads use to keep their personal stuff, er, personal.’
    • ‘Happily, Rowan's efforts are as edgy and buzzing with street life as the argot he describes.’
    • ‘Such terms of course were part of the common argot of the colonial world, including Australia, and as Young shows they were used by Malinowski and his female correspondents in their English language letters.’
    • ‘This was not a constructed language, but a secret vocabulary, a cant or argot in the linguist's term, which uses the grammar and syntax of English as well as most of its core vocabulary.’
    • ‘Each clique had their own vernacular, it seemed - their own argot, their own way of saying ‘hello’.’
    • ‘Although he addresses the country directly only on one occasion, the distinctiveness of the argot and the difficulty in understanding the characters' speech continually reminds us of nationalistic differences and tensions.’
    • ‘Working with ghost writer Wensley Clarkson, Merritt tells his story exactly as it happened to him, with only the argot of the East End edited out.’
    • ‘The argot of the turf is a source of constant fascination: the pony that's a sum of money, the rag that's a horse, the tipster who's a conman.’
    • ‘These languages were further divided into village patois (without counting Parisian argot, street slang).’
    • ‘They developed their own argot and rebellious fashion codes.’
    • ‘They have their own argot and sign language, making sure to keep their rituals and customs a closely guarded secret, according 70-year-old Ghafoor.’
    • ‘Richard Delevan, who describes himself as ‘a stray Yank in Ireland’, is settling in nicely, if his ear for the local argot is anything to go by.’
    jargon, slang, idiom, cant, dialect, parlance, patter, speech, vernacular, patois, terminology, language, tongue, -speak
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Mid 19th century (originally denoting the jargon or slang of criminals): from French, of unknown origin.