dialect


dialect
dialect
is the language form of a region, and varies from the standard language in matters of vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation. Some dialects are also related to social class and ethnic origin. The dialects of the United Kingdom are recorded in Joseph Wright's magnificent but now dated English Dialect Dictionary (1896–1905) and in A Survey of English Dialects (1962–8) edited by Harold Orton and others. There is also a Linguistic Atlas of England (1978), edited by Orton and others, and numerous monographs and glossaries published by local dialect societies. Although words and uses that are grammatical within a dialect do not normally enter the standard language, there are some common words and phrases that had their origins in dialect, as is shown in the table below. Care should be taken to avoid confusing a dialect with a variety: Scottish English, for example, is a variety and not a dialect.
Some common words and idioms of dialect or local origin
word / date / original meaning or source
beach / 16c / shingle, pebbles
binge / 19c / (as verb) = to soak
bleak / 16c / pale, colourless
cack-handed / 19c / cack = excrement
clever / 16c / nimble-handed, adroit
cosh / 19c / Romany koshter = stick
elevenses / 18c / elevens = morning meal
feisty / 19c / ficety (US) = aggressive
old-fashioned (as in an old-fashioned look) / 20c / knowing, precocious
pal / 17c / Romany = brother
poke (as in a pig in a poke) / ME / bag, sack
tab / ME / short broad strap etc.
wilt / 17c / become limp, droop
Bleak and clever are recorded at an earlier date in meanings that are historically unconnected to the later ones. ME = Middle English

Modern English usage. 2014.

Synonyms:

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  • dialect — DIALÉCT, dialecte, s.n. 1. Ramificaţie teritorială a unei limbi, cuprinzând adesea mai multe graiuri. 2. (impr.) Grai. 3. (impr.) Limbă. [pr.: di a ] – Din fr. dialecte, lat. dialectus. Trimis de romac, 03.03.2004. Sursa: DEX 98  DIALÉCT s. ( …   Dicționar Român

  • dialect — n 1 Dialect, vernacular, patois, lingo, jargon, cant, argot, slang denote a form of language or a style of speech which varies from that accepted as the literary standard. Dialect (see also LANGUAGE 1) is applied ordinarily to a form of a… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • dialect — [dī′ə lekt΄] n. [L dialectus < Gr dialektos, discourse, discussion, dialect < dialegesthai, to discourse, talk < dia, between (see DIA ) + legein, to choose, talk (see LOGIC)] 1. the sum total of local characteristics of speech 2. Rare… …   English World dictionary

  • Dialect — Di a*lect, n. [F. dialecte, L. dialectus, fr. Gr. ?, fr. ? to converse, discourse. See {Dialogue}.] 1. Means or mode of expressing thoughts; language; tongue; form of speech. [1913 Webster] This book is writ in such a dialect As may the minds of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • dialect —    Dialect identifies groups within a language. Some people’s speech displays features differentiating it from that used by members of other groups, although those belonging to either group can communicate with each other without excessive… …   Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture

  • dialect — dialect; in·ter·dialect; trans·dialect; …   English syllables

  • dialect — (n.) 1570s, form of speech of a region or group, from M.Fr. dialecte, from L. dialectus local language, way of speaking, conversation, from Gk. dialektos talk, conversation, speech; also the language of a country, dialect, from dialegesthai… …   Etymology dictionary

  • dialect — index language, phraseology, speech Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • dialect — [n] local speech accent, argot, cant, idiom, jargon, language, lingo, localism, patois, patter, pronunciation, provincialism, regionalism, slang, terminology, tongue, vernacular, vocabulary; concept 276 …   New thesaurus

  • dialect — ► NOUN ▪ a form of a language which is peculiar to a specific region or social group. DERIVATIVES dialectal adjective. ORIGIN originally in the sense «dialectic»: from Greek dialektos discourse, way of speaking …   English terms dictionary


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