Definition of vulgarism in US English:



  • 1A word or expression that is considered inelegant, especially one that makes explicit and offensive reference to sex or bodily functions.

    • ‘In the history of genre-study or formalism, the Essay deserves a mention, particularly for its inclusiveness: prose, dialect, vulgarisms, and the low are all in.’
    • ‘Despite this, the police did absolutely nothing (the American vulgarism, Sweet Fanny Adam, is the expression which comes to mind) and stood by watching the fun.’
    • ‘It's a neat theatrical trick that sees us introduced to the intentionally harsh vulgarisms of sexual parlance.’
    • ‘Therefore all the tricks of rhetoric were used: rhymes, puns, vulgarisms and homilies.’
    • ‘The manuscript was intended to point out and correct vulgarisms that had entered the Latin language.’
    • ‘The language that he described as American was full of regional variation, new words borrowed from immigrant groups, figurative usage from such institutions as railroading and baseball, jaunty slang, and raucous vulgarisms.’
    • ‘He was an editor who hated screen violence, and vulgarisms - ‘squeamish’, she called him - and there were constant battles over her copy.’
    • ‘But Michelle can only think of vulgarisms: she stands for a generation that, like Shakespeare's Caliban, has yet to be taught a civilized language.’
    • ‘Orators are not improvising without adequate preparation; they are ‘winging it’ (this American vulgarism surely never arose till the 1990s?)’
    • ‘Oddly, in British English it is not these days a vulgarism, or at least only a very mild one.’
    • ‘Elizabethan and even 18th century authors, who represent vulgarisms so frequently, do not seem to use omissions and misplacings of h's as a characteristic of low class speech.’
    • ‘It's just spoken English, not just vulgarisms but slang and stuff like that.’
    • ‘They were, I thought, vulgarisms: just fashion and status accoutrements.’
    wording, diction, phrasing, phraseology, style, vocabulary, terminology, expressions, turns of phrase, parlance, manner of speaking, manner of writing, way of talking, form of expression, mode of expression, usages, locutions, idiolect, choice of words, rhetoric, oratory
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    1. 1.1archaic An instance of rude or offensive behavior.