Language is part of the larger culture of a community. The function of language allows us to communicate ideas/feelings with others and use it as a way to identify ourselves within a cultural group. We often use specific words or phrases to express ourselves in different situations.
Have you ever heard someone speak a phrase or sentence that means something entirely different? This is what I refer to as inventive language - creative words/phrases that have become part of our mainstream culture.
1. A leopard cannot change its spots - the notion that you cannot change your true nature.
2. Crocodile tears - fake tears.
3. Cut to the chase - get to the point.
4. Get your feet wet - first experience with something.
5. You let the cat out of the bag - reveal a big secret, often unintentionally.
6. Play it by ear - handle a situation without guidelines.
7. Long-term Relationships - defining a deeper committment between two people.
- Boyfriend/Girlfriend - a more intimate friendship.
- Lover - too explicit.
- Companion/Partner - speaks same-sex.
- Husband/Wife - traditional/normal.
8. General Market - addressing anyone who is English-speaking.
9. Multicultural - representing many different cultures. People who fall into this criteria:
- Someone who's not white.
- Family belongs to one of these cultural groups: African-American, Hispanic, South Asian, or Asian.
- Identify themselves as a GLBT
- First language isn't English.
10. Cross-cultural - branching from the word "multicultural." A term used to explain the integration of two or more cultures; cultural diversity.
Do you know of any other words or unusual idioms that can be included in this list?