expressions known to 4(?) people

esssse   Tuesday, November 30, 2004, 11:57 GMT
Sometimes a very small group of people uses a particular word in a new sense. For example, my friends and I use the word "flatmate" when we talk about a parent. Of course, nobody else knows what we mean. We do because we all have similar connotations, we remember the same events etc.
Idiolect refers to one person's language.
Sociolect is about some bigger group of people.
Idioglossia is twins' language, or secret language.
So what's the label for something like that?
D   Tuesday, November 30, 2004, 12:10 GMT
Try "slang":
Definition ( 1: language peculiar to a particular
group: as a : ARGOT b : JARGON 2
Jim   Wednesday, December 01, 2004, 00:33 GMT
It's definitely not slang. The word you're after is "ecolect".
esssse   Wednesday, December 01, 2004, 07:32 GMT
Thanks for your replies.
It can't be ecolect as I don't live with my friends in one house.
But I like the word anyway :)
I associate 'slang' with a bigger group of people- but it may be only my connotation.
And we don't try to prevent others from understanding us, these expressions are not secret, so I'm not sure about argot. Oh, and dictionaries say that argot is mainly (but not only... but still mainly) about criminals.
Brennus   Wednesday, December 01, 2004, 07:45 GMT


I think that what you and your friends are saying would be called "talking in code" in the vernacular and "flatmate" is one of your "code words".
esssse   Wednesday, December 01, 2004, 13:22 GMT
'Talking in code'- that's probably what we do :)
If there isn't any '-lect term' for a small group of people, I must think up my own word.
Tiffany   Wednesday, December 01, 2004, 18:30 GMT
I've always called it an "inside joke" - I know it seems to refer to something funny, but whenever someone says something I don't understand (you know what I mean) I comment that it must be an "inside joke" - as in known only between few people that share a common bond.
Easterner   Thursday, December 02, 2004, 09:45 GMT
An appropriate coined term could be "philolect" - language used between friends ("philos" is "friend" in Greek). I think it is common enough to be recognised by sociolinguistics. ;-)
esssse   Thursday, December 02, 2004, 10:09 GMT
Aaaaaah! This new '-lect' was to be MINE! Now I have to come up with something better!!!!
IFT   Saturday, December 04, 2004, 04:52 GMT
Bwahaha, I do the same thing with my friends.

So far we have recorded 121 of our words into a little "dictionary." We use many more than that, but...Bleh.

Yeah, we're pretty much all insane.

And I like the sound of "ecolect" and "philolect"...