According to the range of usage, slang is divided into two types: general slang and special slang. General slang is the language which is popular for most people. It is used to break up the standard language and to vary the level of discourse more fomal. For example, the British use the word “quid” for their currency instead of pound. On the contrary, special slang is distinctive for some social and professional groups such as teenager, university, public school, Air Force. Therefore, it may show the user’s own identity and may deliver information about the speaker’s background to the listener.
Whereas the majority of slang words and phrases are used throughout all of Britain, others are restrained to smaller regions. The first type of minor slang group is Cockney Rhyming Slang which originates in the East End of London. It is replaced by a rhyming word, typically the second word of a two-word phrase. For example, the stairs become “apples and pears”. The second word is then often dropped entirely so it becomes: “I am going up the apples” (instead of “I am going upstairs”).
The second type is Polari (from Italian Parlare) means “to talk”. This type was used prevalently in Britain in the 1950s and 1960s by actors in the circus or fair, the criminals, the prostitutes and latterly by the gay subculture. For example, the word “ AC” or “DC” means “ a couple”, “ajax” means “nearby” (from adjacent), or “blue” is the another word of “homosexual”.
Internet slang is another category of slang that Internet users make popular. The acronyms, keyboard symbols, and contracted words are often used as methods of abbreviation in Internet slang. For example, the word “LOL” which is the abbreviation of “Laugh Out Loud” is often used by Internet users to express their feeling.
The forth type of minor slang group is slang of the army and police which includes a series of terminologies in the armed forces. For example, the word “Blighty” means Great Britain (It had ever been used in the 1800s in India as an English visitor). In addition, there are more than one hundred words for “police” in different thesauri. Some names are taken from the coloring of police clothes such as blue boy, blue jeans, man-in-the-blue.
The last one is money slang. A lot of English money slang originate in various London communities, which for different reasons, they are used in their own circles. They usually appear in wholesale markets, the ports among street traders, criminals, taxi drivers, and the immigrant. For example, the word “commodore” is “fifteen pounds”.
Its origin is almost certainly in London, and this word reflects the wit of Londoners: fifteen pounds equal three times five pounds (3×5=15). In Cockney rhyming slang, five pounds is “a lady” (from Lady Godiva) so fifteen pounds equal “Three Times a Lady” which was a song of the group The Commodores, so they use a commodore instead of fifteen pounds.
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