argot
n. A specialized vocabulary or set of idioms used by a particular group

After reading the definition of argot (which can be pronounced AR-gut but is technically pronounced ar-GOH), I was sure that it would be related to the word “jargon,” given their similar definitions and similar sounds. Yet it was not to be.

“Argot” comes to us in the mid-19th century from the French argoter (to quarrel), which was itself a derivative of the Latin ergo (therefore). Jargon, in fact, has many more meanings by way of “gibberish” than it does as “specialized language.” Jargon actually comes from the Old French gargun, which is related to words like gargle or gargoyle (gargouille is Old French for “throat”).

§1608 · January 10, 2007 · Tags: ·

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