Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A regional dialect, especially one without a literary tradition.
  • noun Nonstandard speech.
  • noun The special jargon of a group; cant.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A dialect peculiar to a district or locality, in use especially among the peasantry or uneducated classes; hence, a rustic, provincial, or barbarous form of speech.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun A dialect peculiar to the illiterate classes; a provincial form of speech.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A regional dialect of a language (especially French); usually considered substandard.
  • noun Any of various French or Occitan dialects spoken in France.
  • noun Creole French in the Caribbean (especially in Dominica, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago& Haiti).
  • noun A Jamaican Creole language primarily based on English and African languages but also has influences from Spanish, Portuguese and Hindi.
  • noun Jargon or cant.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a regional dialect of a language (especially French); usually considered substandard
  • noun a characteristic language of a particular group (as among thieves)

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[French, from Old French, incomprehensible or crude speech, local dialect, from patoier, to gesticulate (like one unable to speak), speak crudely, from pate, paw, from Vulgar Latin *patta, probably originally imitative of the sound of one object striking another, such as the footfall of an animal.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

1635, from French patois ("regional dialect or language"). See patois.

Examples

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