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A colloquialism is an expression not used in formal speech, writing or paralinguism. Colloquialisms can include words (such as "y'all", "gonna" or "grouty"), phrases (such as "ain't nothin'", "dressed for bear" and "dead as a doornail"), or sometimes even an entire aphorism ("There's more than one way to skin a cat"). Dictionaries often display colloquial words and phrases with the abbreviation colloq. Colloquialisms are often used primarily within a limited geographical area.

Words that have a formal meaning may also have a colloquial meaning that, while technically incorrect, is recognizable due to common usage. For example, biweekly is truly defined as "every other week", however, many dictionaries list both "twice a week" and "every other week".

Auxiliary languages are sometimes assumed to be lacking in colloquialisms, but this varies from one language to another. In Interlingua, the same standards of eligibility apply to colloquialisms as to other terms. Thus, any widely international colloquialism may be used in Interlingua. Expressions such as en las manos de... 'in the hands of...', ¿Que pasa? 'What's going on?', and ¿Que diablos? 'What the devil?' 'What the hell?' are common.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Colloquialism" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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