That’s the story with a lot of street-speak and jargon. Slang words don’t mind that they are not a part of Webster’s or Roget’s. It is just a matter of time before they get hauled up from the streets and into the pages of a regular dictionary. But for every word that becomes a part of the dictionary, there are many more that stay behind.
There are some we know and say each day. Then there are some which leave us befuddled. For vernacular language is also about generations. Each age has its own. Today, even the online world of chat and Twitter has its own unique set of jargons. Maybe you will ask someone the meaning directly. Maybe you will just nod in presumed understanding. Maybe you will take the help of the web.
In the last case at least, let these ten slang dictionary websites help you to look up slangs and jargons that are the order of the day.
“˜Defenestrate’ is a word Microsoft won’t include in its dictionary. I found out these days it means to uninstall software from a Microsoft operating system, usually in frustration. Actually, it’s a proper English word; Urban Dictionary just gave it a funny turn. Well, that’s what it does – in an accurate though humorous way. But it also takes a practical look at the words that gets bandied about in mainstream media and the streets. Urban Dictionary is a user generated online word resource.
Wiktionary, just like its mother publication Wikipedia, is a completely user contributed and user editable online dictionary. It is also multilingual. It also has other tools like a thesaurus, a rhyme guide, phrase books, language stats and across-the-board appendices. It is running over 2 million entries right now. So expect to find usage notes and translations of all kinds here.
Check out the in-depth look Steven took when pitched the The Wikipedia Dictionary (Wiktionary) vs. Urban Dictionary.
The journey from jargon to a recognized word may be a long one. This online resource gives jargon a place to stay until they enter the slang dictionary. The site lists lesser known or under-documented words from the periphery of English, with a focus on slang, jargon, and new words.
I thought that “˜rainmaker’ referred to the Red Indian who could appease the rain gods. In corporate jargon though, it’s the guy who makes the company a lot of money. Unsuck It is a searchable database of words spoken around water coolers, cubicles, and boardrooms.
If iPod oblivion doesn’t get you, qwerty tummy will. Scratching your head? Look them up here on this website which records words and phrases which we have just started kicking around. Word Spy describes its job as “˜lexpionage’ – the sleuthing of new words and phrases.
You can subscribe to their newsletter and get an American, English or urban word of the day in your inbox. The site has tabs which cover new words, random words, alphabetical word lists, and a Thesaurus. Interactivity is encouraged with vote tools which measure vulgarity and usage. The SlangMap is an interesting feature as it lets you see where in the world the word gets used the most.
If someone calls you a “˜sod’ in London, you just might mistake it for abuse, which it is not. British English is the original Queen’s tongue and it ain’t always so prim “˜n proper. This resource is an “˜A-to-Zed’ English-to-American Dictionary with audio pronunciations. After all, it’s all in the accent. You can browse by letter or category.
The music is enjoyable but sometimes the language is hard to interpret especially when it delivered in that staccato style. So, the Rap Dictionary is a useful resource to look up slangs and words from this genre. The Wiki has a dictionary filled with rap lingo. You can also browse it according to nouns, verbs, adjectives, interjections, gangs or geography.
This small website is a compilation of slang words, acronyms and abbreviations (5,428 strong) as used on websites, ICQ chat rooms, blogs, SMS, and Internet forums. Contribute your own online lingo via the Suggestions page.
Quite simply, a Twitter dictionary for finding Twitter related words. We are speaking in 140 characters or less, but still chalking up new words and abbreviations.
Twittords is another resource for understanding how Twedi Masters tweet.
Thankfully, the web has a tremendous list of slang dictionary resources for brushing up your vocabulary or your language. I have probably missed out on a few here. So, let us know about them so we can understand each other better when all of us don’t speak plain English.
Image Credit: Shutterstock