Home 13 Методическая копилка Английский язык. Михайлова М.В. AMERICAN AND RUSSIAN YOUTH SLANG
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29.08.2013 14:37
AMERICAN AND RUSSIAN YOUTH SLANG

                                                                   Михайлова Маргарита Васильевна, 
                                   учитель английского языка МБОУ «СОШ № 47»  г. Чебоксары

I. Introduction
While speaking, reading literature, listening to the texts and dialogues we realize that there are certain words and phrases that have not been learned seriously in compulsory school yet, but are used actively by speakers, especially by young people. They are slang words.
Nowadays slang is more frequently used by native speakers and new words are permanently appearing in the languages. Very often, the translation of the text, containing slang, is difficult for the students of school, that is why we think it is urgent to study this type of language more thoroughly. Moreover, when we use slang in our speech, it becomes less scientific and more distinct, it approaches to the natural teen’s communication style.
The aim of this work is to reveal specific peculiarities of American and Russian youth slang. To achieve it we have studied:
the term ‘slang’ and its classification;
the history of slang in both countries;
youth slang in America and Russia in general;
youth slang in school # 47, Russia and Stepping Stones Learning Academy, Salisbury, Maryland, USA.
The object of investigation is Russian and American slang.
The subject matter of investigation is comparative analysis of American and Russian youth slang.
The novelty is comparison of the slang used by the students of secondary school # 47, Cheboksary, Russia and Stepping Stones Learning Academy, Salisbury, Maryland, USA.
Studying slang we have conducted a survey of  American and  Russian secondary school students to find some specific peculiarities of Russian and American slang, analyzed works by Ginsburg R.S., Arnold I.V., Antrushina G.B., etc. and made use of articles, newspapers, dictionaries, information from our pen friends, the Internet. 
While analyzing the information, we realized that the problem had not been studied thoroughly yet.
II. Slang
Much has been written on the subject of slang that is contradictory and at the same time very interesting. "Slang" is a word that many of us usually associate with poor grammar, but what most of us do not realize is how much slang we use in our own day-to-day speech, we simply consider it a part of our normal accepted language. Furthermore, many do not think much about how the slang they find acceptable is perceived by others, especially those of different social backgrounds.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines slang as "very informal words and expressions that are more common in spoken language, especially used by a particular group of people, for example, children, criminals, soldiers, etc: teen slang…” [1, 1433].
Most slang words are metaphors and jocular, often with a coarse, mocking, cynical colouring. This is one of the common objections against slang: a person using a lot of slang seems to be sneering and jeering at everything under the sun [2, 205].
People use slang to be picturesque, arresting, striking and, above all, different from others, to avoid the tedium of "common" words, to demonstrate one's spiritual independence and daring, to sound "modern" and "up-to-date". 
According to the sphere of usage slang words are classified into general slang and special slang. General slang includes words that are not specific for any social or professional group, whereas special slang is peculiar for some such group: teenager slang, university slang, public school slang, and so on [3, 250]. We would like to consider youth slang.

History of American Slang
The slang formation is connected with the history of the country. In the 1930s the language of jazz-musicians influenced the American youth slang. 
Axe-a jazz musician’s instrument
Ear candy-pleasant music
Sax -saxophone
There were some changes in the language after the World War I, for example:
           Cap – a bullet
           Bust a cap – shoot with a gun 
           Loaded with lead – shot by gun          
In the 1950s and 1960s, the slang of American teenagers was shaped in large part by fast-talking AM radio disk jockeys. In the 1980s, hip-sounding video-jockeys on MTV joined the ranks of slang instructors; their language was also heavily influenced by the African-American street. In recent decades, much of middle class white adolescent slang has been adopted from both African-American speech (often rap or hip-hop). Another source for youth slang is, surprisingly, the slang graveyard of generations past. When teenagers in the mid-1960s jumped onto “groovy” and “boss” as primary adjectives of strong approval, they were simply recycling rejects — from the 1940s in the case of “groovy” and the 1870s in the case of “boss.” When the youth of the seventies embraced “sweet” as their adjective of praise, they unknowingly harkened back to teenage slang of the 1930s. 
The meaning of slang words is changing. At the beginning of the 1960s of the previous century the word money had the following nominal lexical item – wad. In the middle of the 1980s the sounding of the same word took the next form – bread. And nowadays we have beans in the meaning of money. 

History of Russian Slang
There are several stages in the history of Russian slang:
1. 1920-40s. The revolution and the Civil War brought a huge number of slang words which affected people, especially young ones. Vivid example is the extract from the book by N.G. Pomyalovsky:
- Господа, это подло, наконец!
- Что такое?
- Кто взял горбушку?
- С кашей? - отвечали ему насмешливо.
- Стибрили?
- Сбондили?
- Сляпсили?
- Сперли?
- Лафа, брат [4, 56].
2. 1950-1960s. Teddy boys borrowed many foreign words: dude –a boy or a girl in a teddy boys’ company; брод – Broadway – a place for going out in the evening; хилять – go for a walk; лажа –a lie.
3. 1970s. Most people were studying foreign languages. Here is an anecdote of that time:
Старушка просит юнца:
- Молодой человек, помогите перейти на ту сторону улицы.
- Во-первых, не молодой человек, а хайратый, во-вторых, не перейти на ту сторону улицы, а перекинуть кости на тот берег. А в-третьих, попроси свистуна, - указывает на постового.
Старушка подходит к постовому:
- Свистун, помоги перекинуть кости на тот берег.
- Хиппуешь, клюшка?....
4. 1980-90s. Perestroika brought such slang words as: круто, лох, разборки, бабки.
Modern Russian uses numerous “borrowings” from English; America’s influence is very strong here. This influence is the result of the vanished borders and boundaries, including the internal ones. The popular English “borrowings” include: a model, printer, computer, broker, dealer, joker, and even sales manager. Many “borrowings” turned into Russian slang: гёрла (girl), дринк (a drink, beverage), etc. 
Slang is expressive and metaphorical. It is used mainly in the spoken language. Here is one excellent example of Russian slang: “у них крыша съехала”, it means that they have gone crazy. Once this phrase started to “fade” in its vivid “colour,” people came up with new variants: “крыша едет”, “крыша улетела”. 
Youth Slang
We will try to clear up the main difference of the youth slang from other ones:
1. These words serve for the communication of one age category persons.
2. The youth slang is concentrated in the world of young people.
3. Thanks to the knowledge of such “special” language they feel themselves members of the so - called community. 
At the primary stage of youth slang we can find different levels. The circle of the infant slang can be simple. 
In the USA: 
(I don’t know zip about this animal (nothing).
This ball is Humungous!( big).
You tell a bull about this animal (lie).
In Russia:
Крутой чел хавал дога.(A rich boy ate hot dog)
Тебе нравится Яша или Гоша? (Do you like Yandex or Google?)
Youth slang at the middle stage is broader. For example, American school students use the following word expressions: 
1. Dave can sometimes act like an airhead! (a stupid person)
2. I really had a ball in Dave’s class. (a fun time)
3. I’m really beat because I was playing the computer all night. (tired)
Russian school students use:
1. Мне в лом этим заниматься. (I’m too lazy)
2. Он совсем крезанутый. (crazy)
3. Мой компьютер глючит.(an error)
The grown- ups use slang more bravely and strictly. Their slang sounds rude and unpleasant: 
1. The party was fun even though there wasn’t any booze (alcohol).
2. Do you want another brew, Dave? (beer)
3. It is really in now (fashionable)!
Russian adults say for example,
1.Морду подними (a face).
2.  Она очень знойная чика (a girl).

Slang and social development
Slang is a core element of youth culture. The development of slang begins in social circles. But not all slang remains characteristic to the group it began in; some types of slang expand across generations and become accepted standard language because social conditions make them fashionable or people have become used to hearing and using them. The most vital among American slang words are then accepted into literary vocabulary. The examples are: graft, hitch-hiker, sawbones, etc. 
Many Russian words have been accepted into standard language: «шпаргалка», «шумиха», «провалиться», «острить» etc.
The communicative value of these words ensures their stability. But they are rather the exception. The bulk of slang is formed by short lived words. E. Partridge, one of the best known specialists in English slang, gives as an example a series of vogue words designating a man of fashion that superseded one another in English slang. They are: blood (1550-1660), macaroni (1760), buck (1720-1840), swell (1811), dandy (1820-1870), toff (1851) [5, 24].
In Russia our grandparents called money “рупии, тугрики”, our parents "монеты, мани” and the young people use "бабки, баксы”.

Students’ slang of school # 47, Russia and Stepping Stones Learning Academy, Salisbury, Maryland, USA
Our pen friends from Stepping Stones Learning Academy, Salisbury, Maryland, USA and we use a lot of slang words and expressions (see supplement 1).
We have conducted a survey of 15 American and 25 Russian secondary school students from the age of 7-17 to find some specific peculiarities of Russian and American slang. 
1. Many American and Russian slang words and expressions are abbreviated: ‘IKT’, “XЗ’ 
2. Clipping, removing syllables from words is a common means of creating new words like teach (teacher)’bro’(brother); ‘физра’, ‘чел’. 
3. Russian slang has a huge number of English borrowings: рандом (random).
4. Russians have adopted many words from the Internet: юзер (user), флешка (flash drive).
5. Nowadays teens are crazy about computer games: ‘аркада’, ‘домер.’,’контра’.
6. Russian students add Russian endings to English words: ‘хелпануть’, ‘хилить’.
7. The most productive elements in slang are suffixes. Sometimes a foreign suffix may be added (Russian -nik in битник, мобильник; English –able in читабельный).
8. Many slang words are simply made up and used because they sound funny: 'Cray cray' , 'Danan' ;  Всё чих-пых.     
American and Russian Youth Slang Peculiarities
 
Slang is mostly based on metaphor, though. Let's blow (leave) (слиняем) is a metaphor based on the movement of the wind. When something exciting is called the bomb (implying a nuclear bomb) or‘зомбоящик’, slang is relying on hyperbole. 
These words can also be divided into semantic categories.
1. Words describing relations between young people: ’dawg,’ ‘hommie’, ‘sista’,’bro’; ‘няша’, 
2. Words devoted to leisure activities: ‘danan’,’chillen’;’флудить’, ‘гамать’ 
3. Adjectives expressing the attitude of young people to everyday life: 'It’s the bomb' ,  'glitzy',  ‘coolie' ;     ‘круто’.
4. Words connected with computers: ‘virus’, ‘клава’
5.         Words naming people: 'redneck,' 'fire detector'; ‘слоупок’, ‘хач’.
6. Emotional and expressive words' Your 'special ,'' 'Yo'   ‘O, май год! 
7. Words may acquire new meanings (cool, cat); (школьник, дно, рак)           :
Then we asked the students about the sources of slang. The results were the following: 29% learn slang words from their friends. The Internet, the mass media make 31%, hobbies – 15%, many words come from English-21 % and the rest come from criminal jargon.
 
So young people widely use slang in their speech. The youth slang is a password to all members of the referent group. This phenomenon is very interesting from the linguistic point of view, because it is like a laboratory of the language formation.

III. Conclusion
In this research work we tried our best to compare the slang used by the students of secondary school # 47, Cheboksary, Russia and Stepping Stones Learning Academy, Salisbury, Maryland, USA and reveal the peculiarities of American and Russian youth slang. It is an inalienable feature of a youth culture. It is an international phenomenon so there is a certain interrelation and interpenetration of it throughout the world. For example, American and Russian slang differ from each other, but they have some things in common. 
1. Young persons, with the help of slang, feel that they belong to the same social group.
2. Slang promotes development of a language; enriches it by borrowing from other linguistic spheres and languages.
3. Slang words and word combinations become gradually the norm of a language.
4. Slang has clear expressed humor features. Not one a single humorous story could exist without slang.
To sum it up, slang and especially youth slang, brings verities into our speech; makes it more expressive and vivid. But we should keep in mind that slang ought to be used carefully, we should know what, where, when and how to use it. So we hope this work will help students understand the meanings of some slang words and expressions and use them correctly.
Literature

1. A.S. Hornby Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. Oxford University Press, 2005.-1780c.
2.Arnold I.V. The English Word. L, 1986. -295c.
3. Ginsburg R.S., Khidekel S.S., Knyazeva G.Y., Sankin F.F. A Course in “Modern English Lexicology”, 2nd ed. M., 1979.-276c.
4.Помяловский Н.Г. Очерки бурсы. М., 2007. -180c.
5.Partridge, Eric. Beale, Paul. 2ed. A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English. 2002.-1400c.
6Заботкина В.И. Новая лексика в английском языке. М., 1987.-192c.
7.Ступин Л.П. Словари современного английского языка. Л., 1984.-121c.
8.Левикова С.И. Большой словарь молодежного сленга. М., 2003.-923c.
9.Антрушина Г.Б., Афанасьева О.В., Морозова Н.Н. Лексикология английского языка. М., 1999.-288c.                                       
                                                                                     
                                                                                         Supplement 1

Students’ slang of school # 47, Russia and Stepping Stones Learning Academy, Salisbury, Maryland, USA

Slang from Stepping Stones Learning Academy, Salisbury, Maryland, USA. Meaning Slang from school # 47, Russia Meaning
1 'Yo' Hey Мапа’ a map
2 'IKR'           I know right! Клава a keyboard
3 'U'                       you Моник a monitor
4 'Dawg'                 best friend Траллик a trolleybus
5 'Uok'                   Are you ok? Засейвить to save
6 'Hommie'           Close friend Мобильник a mobile phone
7 'Sista' Sister Хавать to eat
8 'How you doin'     How are you doing? Покедова bye
9 'Danan'               Dancing Досвидое good-bye
10 'Bro'                     Brother Как настрой? How are you?
11 'Chillen'               Hanging around В реале in reality
12 'Relaxin'               Relaxing Валим come on
13 'Sucka'               Sucker Всё чих-пых It’s OK.
14 'Perty'                 Pretty Братулька a brother
15 'Your 'special''   You are really wierd Усёк Is it clear?
16 'Sup'                   What is up? Круто cool
17 'Muddin'             Mudding Лимон million
18 'Coolie'               Cool Штука a thousand
19 'It’s the bomb'     It is amazing Чувак a cool dude
20 'Booze'               Beer Очуметь It’s surprising
21 'Listenin'             Listening Пипец end
22 'Shut up'             Be quiet лады ok
23 'Glitzy'                 Glamorous, lots of gems, sparkle, shine Бабло
money
24 'Farrizzle'           For real Мдк(мудак) a fool
25 'Ain't'                   Am not Лол to overeat
26 'Imma'                 I am going to Окай ok
27 'Dees'                 These Фул a fool
28 'Dis'                     This Лимонник a million
29 'Wat'                   What’s Сосить call for help
30 'Fav'                   Favorite Комп компьютер
31 'R'                       Are Лепота beаuty
32 'Hun'                   Honey (about someone) Свинячить
to make a mess
33 'Keel'                 Kill Тачка a car
34 'Dope'               Drugs Фона I phone
35 'Lickin'               Licking кокос cocaine 
36 'Luv'                   Love флудить to talk too much, interrupting others
37 'Dat'                   That Рaк a new person
38 'Trackin'             Tracking Дно
a person who doesn’t do anything in a proper way
39 'LOL'                 Laugh out loud Тунис a rest room
40 'Wubu' ?               What about you? Биндить surf the Internet
41 'U ok'                 You okay Гуглить to use Google
42 ‘How you chillin'  ?   What are you up to? Фан даббер to soundtrack a foreign film
43 'Redneck'         
Name of a person who is very country Кикнуть
to kick
44 'Tater salad'     Potato Salad Фастом fast
45 '4'                       For Нуб noob
46 'Special'           Weirdo Забанить to ban
47 'Muddin'           Ridding ATV's or jacked up trucks through the mud Инвиз
invisible
48 'Teach'             Short for teacher Хелпануть to help
49 'Pop'                 Soda Хавчик meal
50 'Shut up'           Be quite Шпора a crip
51 'Gitter done'     Do it Няша a pleasant person
52 'Luv'                 Love Бабло money
53 'Wat'               What Скинь to send
54 'Mad dog'       Someone who is crazy Лайкнуть to approve
55 'Cray cray'     Crazy Школота a pupil
56 'Info'                 Information Хилить to heal
57 'Hun'               Honey Зырить to stare
58 'Ma'                 Mom В натуре really
59 'Da'                 Dad Валить to run away
60 'Rollers' Roller skates Милл to forgive
61 'Jumpers'     Pajamas ХЗ I want to know
62 'PJs'             Pajamas Задолбать to bore
63 'Crush'         Someone you like Крысить to hide
64 'Wutter'         Water ТП a fool
65 'Burn'           Being told off Задрот a person mad about sth
66 'Knocked up'   Pregnant Спалиться to reveal a secret
67 'Fire detector'       Someone who is loud Бро the best friend
68 'Dog'     man Слоупок
a person who understands everything very slowly
69 'Home boy' brother Зомбоящик a TVset
70 'Ain't no thing like a chicken wing' an event, object or person which is of little importance Мидл in the middle of
71 Kooler. a friend Мыло email
72 'Nmu'               Nothing much, you? Зелёный слоник
an android
73 'How you derin?'       How are you? Лол laughing out loud
74 'How's it hanging?'   How is everything going? Кэп a captain
75 'yous ratchet'     Ugly Рандом random
76 'Wassup'             What is up? Лям a million
77 virus a harmful computer program that can spread from one machine to another Хач
a person from the Caucasus
78 on the blink out of order, not working Школьник 
too naïve
79 play hooky
to skip class, to be absent from class without permission Юзер a person who uses a computer
80 CU seeyou Флешка flash drive
81 let’s blow! hurry up как ветром сдуло very quickly

Обновлено 24.11.2015 13:02