Definition of argot
: an often more or less secret vocabulary and idiom peculiar to a particular group <shoved into a taxi by a porter whose argot I couldn't understand — Allen Tate>
Examples of argot in a sentence
groups communicating in their own secret argots
<used the argot of figure skaters>
Did You Know?
We borrowed argot from French in the mid-1800s, although our language already had several words covering its meaning. There was jargon, which harks back to Anglo-French by way of Middle English (where it meant "twittering of birds"); it had been used for specialized (and often obscure or pretentious) vocabulary since the 1600s. There was also lingo, which had been around for almost a hundred years, and which is connected to the Latin word lingua ("language"). English novelist and lawyer Henry Fielding used it of "court gibberish" - what we tend to call legalese. In fact, the suffixal ending -ese is a newer means of indicating arcane vocabulary. One of its very first applications at the turn of the 20th century was for "American 'golfese.'"
Origin and Etymology of argot
First Known Use: 1842
ARGOT Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of argot for English Language Learners
: the language used by a particular type or group of people
Seen and Heard
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