AskDefine | Define jargon

Dictionary Definition



1 a characteristic language of a particular group (as among thieves); "they don't speak our lingo" [syn: cant, slang, lingo, argot, patois, vernacular]
2 a colorless (or pale yellow or smoky) variety of zircon [syn: jargoon]
3 specialized technical terminology characteristic of a particular subject

User Contributed Dictionary

see Jargon



Etymology 1

jargon, meaning gibberish.


jargon italbrac uncountable in most senses
  1. technical terminology unique to a particular subject.
  2. language characteristic of a particular group.
  3. speech or language that is incomprehensible or unintelligible; gibberish.
See also

Etymology 2

French, from Italian giargone, from Persian (zar gun), "gold-colored".


  1. a variety of zircon
Alternative spellings



IPA: /'jargon/


  1. jargon



  1. jargon



fr-noun m


  1. gibberish
  2. jargon

Extensive Definition

For the glossary of hacker slang, see Jargon File. For the gemstone, see Jargoon.
Jargon is terminology that relates to a specific activity, profession or group. Much like slang it develops as a kind of shorthand, to quickly express ideas that are frequently discussed between members of a group. In many cases a standard term may be given a more precise or specialized usage among practitioners of a field. In many cases this may cause a barrier to communication as many may not understand.

Uses of jargon

Jargon is used in several fields, among which some are:
  • Sports: One can find Jargon just by watching a sports broadcast, where commentators will often use jargon specific to the game which may hold little or no meaning to those not familiar with the sport. These often refer to formations (i.e. the "nickel" defensive football formation), moves (such as "juking" or "deking"), or penalties (such as "spiking", "icing" or "slashing")
  • Religion: Jargon is widely used to refer to concepts within the belief systems of organized religion.
  • Medicine: Particularly in the operating room or under emergency conditions, particular jargons have developed that allow medical professionals to communicate quickly and effectively where common language would take much longer. In the medical field it largely involves the Latin (or Latinized) terms for common words and phrases and also serves a euphemistic purpose as the term, being unknown to the patient, is less forceful than words the patient would understand.
  • Critical Theory: Each branch of critical theory tends to develop its own highly-formalized terminology, more commonly called a critical vocabulary.
  • Information Technology and the Internet: Computer and programming jargons used by computer scientists, programmers, system architects, enthusiasts and hackers to communicate. (See the Jargon File.) The proper usage of these words is a sometimes considered prerequisite for inclusion in these groups (leetspeak).
  • Nautical Terms, an example of an ancient form of jargon.
  • Politics: Jargon is used by ministers and commentators to refer to political strategies and tactics.

Pitfalls of jargon

In some cases jargon is used as a shibboleth to distinguish those who belong to a group from those who do not. This is sometimes called "guild" or "insider" jargon. Those unfamiliar with a subject can often be tagged by their incorrect use of jargon. The use of jargon by outsiders is considered by insiders to be audacious, since it constitutes a claim to membership of the insider group. Conversely, since outsiders may not see the reference made via jargon, they are all the more sensitive to its more visible elitist social framing. Jargon may be perceived as pedantic, nerdy, and divorced from meaning to outsiders.

External links

jargon in Belarusian: Жаргон
jargon in Belarusian (Tarashkevitsa): Жаргон
jargon in Bulgarian: Жаргон
jargon in Danish: Jargon
jargon in German: Jargon
jargon in Modern Greek (1453-): Τζάργκον
jargon in Spanish: Jerga
jargon in French: Jargon
jargon in Croatian: Žargon
jargon in Indonesian: Jargon
jargon in Georgian: ჟარგონი
jargon in Lithuanian: Žargonas
jargon in Hungarian: Zsargon
jargon in Dutch: Jargon
jargon in Japanese: 隠語
jargon in Norwegian: Jargon
jargon in Polish: Żargon
jargon in Portuguese: Jargão
jargon in Romanian: Jargon
jargon in Russian: Жаргон
jargon in Simple English: Jargon
jargon in Slovenian: Žargon
jargon in Finnish: Jargon
jargon in Swedish: Jargong
jargon in Thai: ภาษาเฉพาะอาชีพ
jargon in Chinese: 行話

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Aesopian language, Babel, Beach-la-mar, Greek, Kitchen Kaffir, Oregon Jargon, Sabir, abracadabra, absurdity, amphigory, argot, auxiliary language, babble, babblement, balderdash, bavardage, bibble-babble, blabber, blather, bombast, bosh, bull, bunk, cackle, cant, chatter, cipher, claptrap, code, colloquialize, crap, creole, creole language, creolized language, cryptogram, dialect, dictionary, double Dutch, double-talk, drivel, drool, fiddle-faddle, fiddledeedee, flapdoodle, flummery, folderol, fudge, fustian, gab, gabble, galimatias, gammon, garbage, garble, gibber, gibberish, gibble-gabble, gift of tongues, glossolalia, gobbledygook, hocus-pocus, hogwash, humbug, idiom, interlanguage, jabber, jabberwocky, jargonize, jumble, koine, language, lexicon, lingo, mumbo jumbo, narrishkeit, niaiserie, noise, nonsense, pack of nonsense, palaver, parlance, patois, patter, phraseology, pidgin, pidgin English, piffle, prate, prattle, rant, rigamarole, rigmarole, rodomontade, rot, rubbish, scatology, scramble, secret language, skimble-skamble, slang, speak, speech, stuff and nonsense, stultiloquence, taboo language, talk, talkee-talkee, trade language, trash, trumpery, twaddle, twattle, twiddle-twaddle, use language, vaporing, vernacular, vocabulary, vulgar language, waffling
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