Word of the Week: Colloquialism

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  1. a word or phrase that is not formal or literary, typically one used in ordinary or familiar conversation


Tree RootsRoot: From the Latin word colloquium.  In Latin this means “speaking together”.

3 Types of Colloquialisms:

Type Example Illustration
Words “soda”, “pop”, “soft drink”, “coke” Image of Soda cans
Phrases “blind as a bat” Image of a blind bat
Aphorisms “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” Cartoon of man leading horse to water

Did you know:

A colloquialism is not the same thing as slang or jargon. Slang is used only by specific social groups.  Jargon is language tied to a specific activity, profession or group.  Colloquialisms, however,  are informal words that can be understood by most native speakers of a language.

Be careful..

Colloquialisms used appropriately can make you appear more socially intelligent and approachable.  Still, use caution, especially in written and formal communication since overuse of colloquial phrases can make you appear ignorant.

This week, your word is Colloquialism.  Try to count how many colloquialisms you can catch people using this week.

 Go forth, friends. Words are powerful. Use them well.


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