- 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.
Origin of patois
Examples from the Web for patois
Historical Examples of patois
Never a moment did that sublime spirit speak in their patois.Essays, First Series
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Walter Scott,” said he, “has run to death the method of patois dialogue.Lavengro
He only spoke in the patois, which Frank understood very well.The Silver Lining
There is no mistaking it; it is peculiar to Pont du Sable, and note, too, her patois!A Village of Vagabonds
F. Berkeley Smith
Among Anglo-American hunters, it is called the panther—in their patois, “painter.”The Hunters' Feast
- an unwritten regional dialect of a language, esp of French, usually considered substandard
- the jargon of particular group
Word Origin for patois
"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.