In linguistics, colloquialism is vernacular language including everyday language, everyday speech, common parlance, informal language, colloquial language, general parlance, and common expressions. It is the most used linguistic variety of a language, the language normally used in conversation and other informal communication.

A specific instance of such language is called a colloquialism. The most common term used in dictionaries to label such an expression is colloquial.


General parlance is distinct from formal speech or formal writing.[1] It is the variety of language that speakers typically use when they are relaxed and not especially self-conscious.[2] An expression is labeled colloq. for "colloquial" in dictionaries when a different expression is more common in formal speech, but this does not mean that the colloquial expression is inappropriate in formal speech or writing or that it is necessarily slang. Many people[who?] misunderstand this very common dictionary label due to the widespread misconception that colloquial means "location" or a word being "regional". This is not the case; the word root for colloquial is related to locution, not location.[citation needed]

Some colloquial speech contains a great deal of slang, but some contains no slang at all. Slang is permitted in colloquial language, but it is not a necessary element.[2] Other examples of colloquial usage in English include contractions or profanity.[2]

In the philosophy of language, "colloquial language" is ordinary natural language, as distinct from specialized forms used in logic or other areas of philosophy.[3] In the field of logical atomism, meaning is evaluated in a different way than with more formal propositions.

A colloquial name or familiar name is a name or term commonly used to identify a person or thing in informal language, in place of another usually more formal or technical name.[4]

Other Languages
العربية: عامية
čeština: Kolokvializmus
føroyskt: Talumál
Frysk: Sprektaal
galego: Vulgarismo
한국어: 구어
Bahasa Indonesia: Bahasa gaul
македонски: Колоквијализам
Bahasa Melayu: Bahasa basahan
Nederlands: Spreektaal
日本語: 口語
polski: Kolokwializm
Simple English: Colloquialism
српски / srpski: Говорни израз
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Kolokvijalizam
suomi: Puhekieli
svenska: Vardagsspråk
Türkçe: Avamca
粵語: 俗語