American Slang

We have shown in this paper that the definition of slang cannot be a "one-sentence" definition. In addition, we pointed out that the definition of slang involves taking into account not only global sociological and psychological factors; we also need to recognize as fully as possible the various aspects of the communicative situation in which slang occurs.

Moreover, we have shown that American slang appears to be the most influential variety of English slang in general. American slang has some unique features, including its productivity, imaginativeness, action-orientedness, male-centeredness, and its embeddedness in American culture. These features are not unique to American slang in the sense that other varieties of slang do not have them, but in the sense that American slang is characterized by them to a higher degree than others. In the same way, cultural embeddedness is characteristic of slang in general, but understanding American slang presupposes familiarity with a unique American culture. In other words, American slang is inseparable from its cultural context. We would additionally argue that slang is one of its chief constituents of American culture. The question arises: To what extent can this idea be generalized to the slang of other languages?

We compared American slang with British slang, and our results come from this particular comparison. One of the tasks for the future should be to contrast American slang with the slang of languages other than English. The contrastive study of slang (at least in a serious form) has not even begun. This is unfortunate because its potential results may shed new light not only on American slang but also on what we know about different cultures and societies around the world. This issue definitely deserves future investigation.