Jargon – Definition, Meaning & Use In A Sentence

10.05.24 Definitions Time to read: 5min

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The concept of word definitions represents a universal phenomenon in the English language that promotes cohesion and understanding. Across cultures and languages, definitions serve as bridges, facilitating communication and fostering shared meaning. In this article, we will delve into the background of the word “jargon,” exploring its etymology and examine its spelling and usage.

Definition of “jargon”

Jargon refers to specialized language used by a particular group, profession, or field, which may be difficult for outsiders to understand. It consists of specific phrases, terms, and abbreviations that convey complex ideas efficiently among members of the same community but can be confusing or incomprehensible to those outside the group.

Jargon serves as a form of shorthand communication within a specific context, such as medical, legal, technical, or business environments, facilitating precise and concise exchanges among experts. However, it can also create communication barriers when used in broader, more general contexts where participants may not share the same specialized knowledge.

Use of “jargon” in a sentence

When used in the English language, the word “jargon” primarily functions as a noun. This noun refers to a specialized language utilized by a specific profession, group, or field that makes it difficult for others outside that group to comprehend.

Examples

  • The medical report was filled with so much jargon that the patient had to ask the doctor to explain it in simpler terms.
  • During the software development meeting, the programmers used technical jargon that was difficult for the marketing team to understand.
  • The legal document was dense with jargon, making it challenging for those without a law degree to fully grasp its implications.

How to spell “jargon” correctly

The term “jargon” comes from the Old French word “jargon,” meaning “chatter of birds,” which in itself is believed to have been derived from the Latin word “gaggire,” meaning “to chatter.” The French word referred to describing speech that the listener did not understand.

It was later used as “twittering” or “chattering” in late Middle English, which then turned into talking “gibberish.” In the 1980s, the term evolved to more broadly encompass any specialized language or terminology that might be opaque or inaccessible to those outside a specific community, including technical, professional, and even hobbyist groups.

Correct spelling

jargon

 

Wrong spelling

jargun

jargone

Synonyms for “jargon”

If you feel uncertain about the correct spelling of the word “jargon” in sentences, it may be helpful to use synonyms for it. This way, you can develop a thorough understanding of it and use the term correctly.

Simultaneously, you can avoid repetition and redundancy in your academic work. The table below provides alternative words for “jargon” and respective examples of how to use them properly in sentences.

Synonyms Examples
Vernacular The writer captured the region's jargon beautifully, making the dialogue in the novel feel authentic.
The writer captured the region's vernacular beautifully, making the dialogue in the novel feel authentic.
Terminology Medical students must learn complex jargon to communicate effectively with colleagues and patients.
Medical students must learn complex terminology to communicate effectively with colleagues and patients.
Lingo As a newcomer to the sport, she found the players' jargon confusing at first.
As a newcomer to the sport, she found the players' lingo confusing at first.
Specialized language The research paper was dense with jargon that made it challenging for lay readers to understand.
The research paper was dense with specialized language that made it challenging for lay readers to understand.

FAQs

An example of jargon in the field of information technology could be:

  • To optimize the app’s performance, we need to refactor the codebase and ensure the API calls are asynchronous.

 

In this sentence, terms like refactor, codebase, API, and asynchronous are specific to software development and might be unclear to someone outside this field. This illustrates how jargon serves to communicate complex ideas efficiently among professionals but can be confusing to those without the specialized knowledge.

Jargon and slang both refer to types of language usage, but they serve different purposes and contexts.

Jargon is a specialized language used by a particular profession, group, or field. It consists of terms, phrases, abbreviations, and acronyms that are specific to a subject or area of expertise and facilitate precise communication among professionals within that field.

Example

  • Medical jargon includes terms like “myocardial infarction” instead of the more common “heart attack.”

 

Slang, on the other hand, is informal language that is often used in casual conversation. It includes words and expressions that are more colloquial and trendy, and may change frequently with culture and social groups. Slang is not specific to any profession and tends to be understood and used more broadly, often among younger people or in informal settings.

Example

  • Slay queen. Ghosting him, as you should.

 

While both jargon and slang can be challenging for outsiders to understand, jargon is distinguished by its professional or technical context, whereas slang is characterized by its informal and often transient nature.

Jargon can be categorized based on the fields or contexts in which it is used. Here are some types of jargon, distinguished by their respective areas:

1. Medical Jargon: Specialized language used by healthcare professionals, including terms like “hypertension” for high blood pressure or “MI” for myocardial infarction (heart attack).

2. Legal Jargon: Language specific to the legal profession, with terms like “habeas corpus” (a legal action to obtain relief from unlawful detention) or “tort” (a wrongful act leading to legal liability).

3. Business Jargon: Terms used in business contexts, such as “synergy” (the idea that combined efforts create greater outcomes than separate efforts) or “scalability” (the capability of a system to handle a growing amount of work).

4. Technical/IT Jargon: Language specific to the field of information technology, including terms like “API” (Application Programming Interface) or “machine learning” (artificial intelligence that allows software applications to become more accurate at predicting outcomes without being programmed to do so).

5. Military Jargon: Specialized language used by the armed forces, with acronyms and terms like “AWOL” (Absent Without Leave) or “snafu” (Situation Normal, All Fouled Up).

6. Sports Jargon: Terms and phrases specific to particular sports, such as “offside” in soccer (a position that is not allowed) or “knockout” in boxing (defeating an opponent by making them unable to stand up before the referee counts to ten).

7. Internet Slang and Jargon: Language that has emerged with the rise of the internet and digital communication, including acronyms like “LOL” (Laugh Out Loud) and “DM” (Direct Message).

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