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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Vulgarism \Vul"gar*ism\, n. [Cf. F. vulgarisme.]

  1. Grossness; rudeness; vulgarity.

  2. A vulgar phrase or expression.

    A fastidious taste will find offense in the occasional vulgarisms, or what we now call ``slang,'' which not a few of our writers seem to have affected.


n. 1 (context grammar English) A word or term that is considered offensive or vulgar. 2 A spelling, word, or phrase used in common speech that is considered improper or incorrect for formal communication.

  1. n. an offensive or indecent word or phrase [syn: obscenity, dirty word]

  2. the quality of lacking taste and refinement [syn: coarseness, commonness, grossness, vulgarity, raunch]


In the study of language and literary style, a vulgarism is an expression or usage considered non-standard or characteristic of uneducated speech or writing. In colloquial or lexical English, "vulgarism" or "vulgarity" may be synonymous with profanity or obscenity, but a linguistic or literary vulgarism encompasses a broader category of perceived fault not confined to scatological or sexual offensiveness. These faults may include errors of pronunciation, misspellings, word malformations, and malapropisms. "Vulgarity" is generally used in the more restricted sense. In regular and mostly informal conversations, the presence of vulgarity, if any, are mostly for intensifying, exclaiming or scolding. In modern times, vulgarism continues to be frequently used by people. A research paper produced by Oxford University in 2005 shows that the age group of 10-21 years old speak more vulgarity than the rest of the world's population combined. The frequent and prevalent usage of vulgarity as a whole has led to a paradox, in which people use vulgarity so often that it becomes less and less offensive to people, according to New York Times

Usage examples of "vulgarism".

Visions of good and ill breeding, of old vulgarisms and new gentilities were before her.