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What is a Colloquialism? Here are some great examples


As a writer, you may want to add a sense of depth and authenticity to your sentence compositions. This could be a bit difficult if your word choices are too mundane. This is where colloquial words come in.

These words are unique to a specific region in the world, and aside from being interesting, they could also be fun and effective in your word play. Before you start using colloquial words, though, you should actually know what they are and what they have to offer you as a writer. This article aims to define colloquialism and its uses.

A colloquialism is the commonly used language in a specific region. These kinds of words are used in daily conversation and are very casual in nature.

Colloquial words are different from slang and jargon. This is because colloquial words are used within a distinct region. On the other hand, slang words are used within a specific demographic, and jargon is used with a distinct occupation.

As stated earlier, colloquial words are usually designated according to the region in which they are being used. Here are some great examples of colloquial words being used all over the world.

United States of America

· Slug (District of Columbia)- A hitchhiker

· Flip (Alabama)- Slingshot

· Pigsticker (Connecticut)- Pointed headed sled

· Sneak ( Delaware)- Sneaker

· Huhu (Hawaii)-Angry

· Belling (Indiana)- Noisy celebration

· Snoopy (Maryland)- Fastidious

· Worrit ( Texas)- Nag

· Slicky slide (West Virginia)- Playground slide

· Pogonip (Nevada)- Thick and cold fog

· Larruping (Oklahoma)- Delicious

· Sewing needle ( Michigan) — Dragonfly


· Flat out- Very busy

· Whinge- To whine

· Loo- Toilet

· Bloody- Profane way of saying very

· Lift- Elevator


· Double double- Coffee with double cream and sugar

· Toque-a beanie or cap

· Click- Canadian word for a kilometer

· Keener- A try hard

· Toonie- A two dollar coin

· Hoser- A stupid person, usually used as an insult

· Kerfuffle- Minor scuffle or conflict


· Mate-Friend

· Ta- Thank you

· Barbie-Barbecue

· Arvo- Afternoon

· Flat out- Extremely busy

· What’s the John Dory?-What’s going on?

· Bail- To cancel one’s plans

· A cold one-beer

General phrases

Aside from a specific place, idiomatic phrases could also be considered colloquial. Here are some great examples that you could use in your own writing.

· Elbow grease- To give more effort

· Kicked the bucket- To die

· Head over heels- To be completely and hopelessly in love with someone

· The daily grind- Monotonous and difficult tasks that are undertaken every day

· Woke up on the wrong side of the bed-To be in a bad mood from the time you wake up

· Take with a grain of salt- To view something with skepticism and mistrust

Now that you know what colloquial words are, it is time to learn how to use them. A key characteristic of colloquial words that you should take into account, is that they are often used in casual conversations. This makes it a great literary device for your character’s dialogue.

Yet another thing you should remember about colloquial words, it is that they are common terms that are bound by the places they are used in. If you are going to use colloquial words in your writing, it is important that you take this into consideration. For example, in America, a majority of people use the term “elevator” for elevators. However, the term “lift” is more commonly used in Britain.

So, if you’re writing about a character visiting the UK and asking a local about certain things, you could have the UK local respond with terms like “lift,” “flat,” and “chips,” to name a few. This will make the conversation sound more interesting and more authentic as well. You could also use general colloquial words to add more complexity to your wordplay. Overall, it always pays to know the colloquial equivalent of a word because it adds depth to your dialogue writing and the narrative of your story.

If you want to be as skilled a writer as possible, it is important that you know what a colloquialism is and how to use it in your content. With this article, you will know the key points of a colloquialism and how to use them in a truly effective manner.

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