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Patois

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  • Patois is a word that was first used in the mid-1600s, and is a loan word or borrowed word. A loan word or borrowed word is one that is taken from another language and added to the English language without any modification. We will examine the definition of the word patois, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

    Patois is a dialect or language that is common in a certain region and is considered substandard, in relation to the official language of that region. Patois may also be used to mean informal language used by a certain social group. The word patois is borrowed from the French, who used the term to mean regional dialects. The term expanded to include pidgin and creole languages, especially ones spoken in the Caribbean islands. Jamaican Patois is a particularly well-known example of a patois language, it is a blending of French, English, West African and Central African languages. A patois language forms when people who speak many different languages are thrown together with a need to communicate. Many new words and phrases can grow out of this type of situation. Jamaican Patois is familiar to many the world over because of Reggae music and the growth of Jamaican expatriate communities in North American and Central American countries.

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    Examples

    The dancehall influence is more obvious in “One Dance” as Drake, who came to prominence as a rapper, sings in a Jamaican patois and also incorporates Afrobeat, with an appearance by Nigerian pop singer WizKid. (The Peninsula)

    The Lucians enthralled with their dances and, despite befuddling the hapless English-only speakers in the crowd with patois, entertained by showing off their strain of French Creole lifestyle. (Barbados Today)

    I listened and re-listened to this tongue-dancing shaman swinging who rapped in a syncopated hep cat patois a kaleidoscopic commentary on life, religion, philosophy and art. (The Battleboro Reformer)

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