Difference Between Slang & Accent

The key difference between slang and accent is that slang is a type of language, while accent is a mark that is used to show the stress on a syllable. There are many slangs and accents around the world. Slang is an informal type of language which is unique to particular groups in society. People use slang to maintain their identity within society. Accents meanwhile develop when a child learns to pronounce words and speak. But accents can change later according to various factors like the locality and education.

Key Takeaways

  • Slang is an informal language used by specific groups to maintain their identity, while accent is a way of pronouncing words and phrases.
  • Accents can change based on factors such as location and education, and are sometimes associated with social status or prestige.
  • Both slang and accents can lead to discrimination or judgment based on the way people speak.

What is Slang?

Slang is a type of language that includes words, phrases, and terms that are considered as an unofficial or casual way of speech. It is also a language that is exclusive to members of particular in-groups who prefer it more than the standard language, mainly to maintain the group identity. Therefore, the same language cannot be applied to each and every group of people or place. Slang is more common in speech than writing.
In 1756, the word slang meant ‘low’ or ‘disreputable’ people. However, by the early nineteenth century, it was not associated with low or disreputable people anymore. It was used in situations where standard educated speech was not spoken. There is no clear definition to describe slang. Yet, it has been discovered that it is a constantly changing linguistic element in every subculture around the world. Moreover, slange changes from one generation to another. Sometimes this language is considered abusive since it is typically recognized as playful, vivid and metaphorical than ordinary language.

Examples of Slang:
British Slang:
– Chap – Male or friend
– Chips-  French fries
– Nicked – Stolen
– Cheers – Thank you

American Slang:
– Dude – Guy
– My bad – My mistake
– Creeper – A weird person
– Hitched – Have married

Teenage Slang:
– Sick – Good
– Bae – Lover
– Cool – Awesome
– Awks – Embarrassing

What is Accent?

An accent is a way of pronouncing a language, its words and phrases. Most of the time, this depends on the individuals’ country, region, ethnicity, social class, or first language influence.  Hence, different people pronounce words differently, and it’s unique. By observing people’s way of pronunciation, they can be identified by other people based on their locality, religion or social status. Accent usually refers to the differences in pronunciation, and it is considered as a subset of ‘dialect’. It can also be recognized as putting stress on various vowels and consonants.  It varies in the quality of the pronunciation, voice, stress and differentiation of vowels and consonants.

Accents develop when children learn to pronounce the words and speak. Furthermore, when people move to different parts of the world, their way of speaking the language and their accents change. Sometimes, some accents are considered prestigious in different parts of the world. For instance,

– In the United Kingdom, Received Pronunciation is connected with the traditional upper-class people or the elite society.
– Caipira influenced speech in Brazil is connected with rural society and the lack of formal education of people.

Examples of Various Accents:

– The pronunciation of the word ‘root’: Some pronounce it as root, while some pronounce it as raut.
– American and British accents: When compared with the British, the Americans put a greater emphasis on the /r/. The British pronounce it weaker than the Americans.
– Famous English accents: Wales English Accent, Scottish English Accent, Liverpool English Accent, Cockney Accent, Irish English Accent

Based on the accents, sometimes there are situations where people get discriminated against in society.

– There is a possibility for people who do not speak the standard language or those who speak a language of an ethnic minority group to get lower ranks in jobs.
– In universities/ educational institutes by other students or lecturers
– In housing by landlords

What is the Difference Between Slang and Accent?

Slang is a type of language that includes words, phrases and terms that are recognized as an unofficial or casual way of speech, whereas accent is a way of pronouncing a language. Therefore, the key difference between slang and accent is that slang is a kind of language and accent is a mark that is used to show the stress on a syllable.

Summary – Slang vs Accent

Slang is a type of language that is constantly changing. It consists of words and phrases that are recognized as casual or informal. It is not identified as standard educated speech. Slangs are exclusive to particular groups of people in society. An accent is a method of pronouncing a language that depends on an individual’s country, social status, religion and locality. It can also be identified as putting stress on various vowels and consonants. When people move around the world, their accents tend to differ. Thus, this is the summary of the difference between slang and accent.

Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related Articles