Share this entry

Share this page

patois

Line breaks: pat¦ois
Pronunciation: /ˈpatwɑː
 
/

Definition of patois in English:

noun (plural same /-wɑːz/)

1The dialect of a particular region, especially one with low status in relation to the standard language of the country: the nurse talked to me in a patois that even Italians would have had difficulty in understanding
More example sentences
  • Thus, a Frenchman who spoke Breton and French would not be considered bilingual because Breton is of low status and considered a patois rather than a language.
  • Today I wanted to talk about Bajan as a dialect or language or patois or whatever you wish to call it.
  • Corsican was designated as a patois, a provincial dialect.
Synonyms
vernacular, dialect, local parlance, local speech/talk/usage/idiom/slang/tongue, local variety, regional language, non-standard language/variety, jargon, argot, patter, cant, -speak
informal (local) lingo
1.1The jargon or informal speech used by a particular social group: the raunchy patois of inner-city kids
More example sentences
  • We have 1984 today; even if not in the form described by Orwell; since newspeak is replaced by the patois of the gang leaders and international body smugglers.
  • How do you develop a realistic-sounding slang patois?
  • At the other extreme, it is favoured by inner-city teens who appear to communicate entirely in an impenetrable mix of street slang and patois.

Origin

mid 17th century: French, literally 'rough speech', perhaps from Old French patoier 'treat roughly', from patte 'paw'.

Definition of patois in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day ingratiate
Pronunciation: inˈɡrāSHēˌāt
verb
bring oneself into favor with someone through flattery…