Catch Me If You Can! – Slang as a Social Phenomenon and the Issue of Capturing It in Dictionaries


  • Tamara Fabjančič Pionirski dom - Center za kulturo mladih



slang, social networks, relexicalization, dictionary treatment, labelling


The article discusses slang language from two perspectives. The author first looks at how slang functions in society, that is, at its very important role of either including or excluding an individual from their closest social environment. As an example of the role that slang plays in various social networks, the author discusses the social networks of adolescents. Besides the more sociologically oriented aspects of slang language, the article also pays attention to a linguistic phenomenon frequently occurring in slang, that is, relexicalization of lexical items. And since slang language, despite what its creators and users might wish, cannot be entirely cut off from the rest of language, the article places slang into the wider scope of language. Further on, the article deals with how slang and offensive expressions are dealt with in dictionaries, be they monolingual or bilingual. Finally, a short discussion of the dictionary treatment of a sample selection from slang and offensive expressions follows, based on a previous longer analysis of lexical items of this type carried out by the author.


Download data is not yet available.



28. 05. 2010

How to Cite

Fabjančič, T. (2010). Catch Me If You Can! – Slang as a Social Phenomenon and the Issue of Capturing It in Dictionaries. ELOPE: English Language Overseas Perspectives and Enquiries, 7(2), 27-44.