10 characteristics of slang

Slang is a fundamental aspect of language used in specific social groups. It is a type of vocabulary that serves to identify a specific community or membership in a specific profession or social group. It is important to understand slang to be able to communicate effectively with different social groups, as well as to understand the culture and identity of these groups.

Jargon Features

  1. Limited Use: Slang is primarily used within a specific social group or profession.
  2. Own vocabulary: Jargon includes specific words, expressions and phrases that are not usually understood by people outside the group.
  3. Social identity: Jargon helps strengthen the identity of a social group or profession.
  4. Prevents outside understanding: Jargon is often used to prevent outsiders from understanding certain conversations.
  5. Constant changes: Jargon can evolve over time and be influenced by social and cultural changes.

  6. Expression of emotions: Slang can be used to express emotions, create a sense of belonging and strengthen bonds between its speakers.
  7. Facilitates internal communication: Jargon can streamline communication within a social group or profession by using specific terms that all members understand.
  8. Makes inclusion difficult: excessive use of jargon can be exclusive for people outside the group, making inclusion and communication difficult.
  9. Language enrichment: slang provides linguistic and cultural richness to the language, by including terms and expressions from different communities.
  10. Flexibility: Jargon can vary from place to place and even group to group, making it a very dynamic form of language.

What questions usually arise about slang?

Below are some frequently asked questions about slang and their answers:

1. Is slang the same as slang?

No, although both terms refer to a vocabulary specific to a social group, slang is usually more specific to certain professions or criminal groups, while slang can be used by any type of social group.

2. Why is it important to know the slang of a social group?

Knowing the jargon of a social group allows you to understand its culture, identity and facilitates communication with its members.

3. Do all social groups have jargon?

Yes, practically all social groups, whether by age, profession, hobbies, etc., use some type of jargon to communicate internally.

4. How can you learn the slang of a certain group?

The best way to learn the slang of a group is by living with its members and paying attention to how they use the language in their daily lives.

5. Can slang change over time?

Yes, slang is not static and can evolve over time, adapting to the needs and cultural changes of the group that uses it.

6. Why do some groups prefer to use jargon instead of standard language?

Jargon can serve to create a sense of belonging and exclusivity within the group, as well as to maintain some privacy in your conversations.

7. Can jargon be exclusive to people outside the group?

Yes, excessive use of jargon can make it difficult to include and communicate with people outside the group, so it is important to moderate its use in certain contexts.

8. Can slang be considered a form of inclusive language?

While slang can strengthen the identity and cohesion of a group, it can also be exclusive to people outside the group. Therefore, it is important to balance its use with more inclusive language in certain contexts.

Example of a jargon table

Social groupJargon
TeenagersCool, cool, freak out
PoliceTen-fourteen (arrest of a suspect), being in jail (being in jail)
Computer scientistsCrash (unexpected failure of a program), bug (error in a program)


In short, slang is a fundamental aspect of language that reflects the identity and culture of different social groups. Understanding and respecting the jargon of a group is essential for effective communication and for the enrichment of the language as a whole. However, it is important to avoid the exclusive use of slang in certain contexts to foster inclusion and mutual understanding between different social groups.

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ENCICLOPEDIA DE CARACTERÍSTICAS (2023) 10 characteristics of slang, en 10caracteristicas.com. https://10caracteristicas.com/en/10-characteristics-of-slang/ (Consultado el: 29-11-2023)

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