Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A regional dialect, especially one without a literary tradition.
  • n. A creole.
  • n. Nonstandard speech.
  • n. The special jargon of a group; cant. See Synonyms at dialect.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A regional dialect of a language (especially French); usually considered substandard.
  • n. Any of various French or Occitan dialects spoken in France.
  • n. Creole French in the Caribbean (especially in Dominica, St. Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago& Haiti).
  • n. A Jamaican Creole language primarily based on English and African languages but also has influences from Spanish, Portuguese and Hindi.
  • n. Jargon or cant.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A dialect peculiar to the illiterate classes; a provincial form of speech.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A dialect peculiar to a district or locality, in use especially among the peasantry or uneducated classes; hence, a rustic, provincial, or barbarous form of speech.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a regional dialect of a language (especially French); usually considered substandard
  • n. a characteristic language of a particular group (as among thieves)

Etymologies

French, from Old French, possibly from pate, paw, from Vulgar Latin *patta, perhaps of imitative origin.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
1635, from French patois ("regional dialect or language"). See patois. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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