Difference Between Jargon and Slang

Main Difference

The main difference between Jargon and Slang is that Jargon is a type of language used in a particular activity, whereas Slang is a language related to some expressions that are no standard.

Jargon vs. Slang

Jargon is a professional vocabulary that only jobholders use. Slang is a funny language that people use socially. Jargon words are particular words that are used in a specific profession. Slang words are not specific; they are used as funny words. Jargon words are uncountable scientific terms. Slang words are non- specific social life words.

Slangs are evolving over time and always come with a new getup or version. Jargon can be of a police department, gaming, or gardening. Many slang words evaporate, and new words take their place. Jargon is a specific terminology only comprehended by certain people.

Comparison Chart

JargonSlang
It refers to specific words belonging to a particular activity or profession.A combination of languages used in informal activities or situations.
Written Context
It can be used in writing as well as in a verbal context.It is only used in spoken language.
Formality Level
It is not casual and can be used in a specialized context.It is casual and can’t be used in a specialized context.
Example
Code Eight- Term used in Police department meaning Officer needs help immediately.Chick- A young and pretty girl.

What is Jargon?

Jargon is a special type of language which we use in a specific framework. It is not understandable outside of that particular framework. Jargons are some special kind of words that belonged to a special kind of activity, work or profession. It is a vocabulary which can be of science, technology, trade, art, etc.

People who are not dealing with that profession or activity are unable to understand these terminologies. These unique words are understandable by certain people or groups of people who are sharing the same interests or having the same professional background.

Sometimes, jargon is a form of showing off that causes confusion and worse problems. Consider a doctor dealing with a patient and rambling on medical jargon, which the patient cannot understand. In short, Jargon is an ordinary vocabulary people cannot use and understand.

Examples

  • Police Jargon: FTP – The failure of an individual to pay fine.
  • Engineering Jargon: CADD – Computer-aided drafting and design.
  • Business Jargon: Sweat equity – to get a stake in the business instead of money.
  • Internet Jargon: FAQ – Frequently asked questions.

What is Slang?

Slang is an everyday variability of the language used in highly informal situations. People who share similar social backgrounds and age groups use the Slang. It is a kind of local language that close friends or people of the same social circle use. The main feature of slang is that slang words are not permanent in a language.

It means they are not staying forever in a language. These are variable and are not in the printed, inscribed form in a document or a book. These may get mixed with some old words to make a new slang word.

However, there are some words introduced in language as slang words, but now they have evolved into standard words. E.G., taxi, bogus, and hoax, etc. A slang word can come into being in two ways; either a new word can be coined, or an old word can be given a new word.

Examples

  • Outdated slang: Wallflower – Describes a shy person. E.g. You’ll have more fun at the dance if you aren’t such a wallflower.
  • Evolving slang: Busted – means Ugly. E.g. No, I won’t go out with your little sister. She’s busted.
  • Modern Slang: Epic – highly enjoyable. E.g. His latest novel was epic.

Key Differences

  1. Jargon words are specific terminologies of some particular professions, whereas Slang words are social words used in social life.
  2. Jargon words have solid meaning in the English dictionary; on the other hand, Slang words are local words that may or may not have a specific meaning in the English dictionary.
  3. Jargon’s words do not change over time; conversely, Slang words evolve with time.
  4. Jargon words are understood globally on the flip side; Slang words are understood locally.
  5. Jargon words stay in the language forever on the flip side; Slang words do not stay in the language for a long time as they are varied.

Conclusion

Jargon and Slang are two special types of language which have some similarities. But they also have a lot of differences between them as one is a formal language and the other is informal.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson

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