patois

[ pat-wah, pah-twah; French pa-twa ]
/ ˈpæt wɑ, ˈpɑ twɑ; French paˈtwa /

noun, plural pat·ois [pat-wahz, pah-twahz; French pa-twa] /ˈpæt wɑz, ˈpɑ twɑz; French paˈtwa/.

a regional form of a language, especially of French, differing from the standard, literary form of the language.
a rural or provincial form of speech.
jargon; cant; argot.

Nearby words

  1. patmore, coventry kersey dighton,
  2. patmos,
  3. patna,
  4. patna rice,
  5. pato,
  6. paton,
  7. paton, alan,
  8. patootie,
  9. patos,
  10. patos, lagoa dos

Origin of patois

1635–45; < French: literally clumsy speech; akin to Old French patoier to handle clumsily, derivative of pate paw

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for patois


British Dictionary definitions for patois

patois

/ (ˈpætwɑː, French patwa) /

noun plural patois (ˈpætwɑːz, French patwa)

an unwritten regional dialect of a language, esp of French, usually considered substandard
the jargon of particular group

Word Origin for patois

C17: from Old French: rustic speech, perhaps from patoier to handle awkwardly, from patte paw

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for patois

patois

n.

"a provincial dialect," 1640s, from French patois "native or local speech" (13c.), of uncertain origin, probably from Old French patoier "handle clumsily, to paw," from pate "a paw," from Vulgar Latin *patta (see patten), from notion of clumsy manner of speaking. Cf. French pataud "properly, a young dog with big paws, then an awkwardly built fellow" [Brachet]. Especially in reference to Jamaican English from 1934.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper