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  • 1: of or relating to conversation : conversational
  • 2a : used in or characteristic of familiar and informal conversation; also : unacceptably informal
b : using conversational style


A colloquialism is a word or phrase that is employed in conversational or informal language but not in formal speech or academic writing. Dictionaries often display colloquial words and phrases with the abbreviation colloq. as an identifier. Colloquialisms are sometimes referred to collectively as "colloquial language"

Informal colloquialisms include words (such as y'all, gonna, and wanna), phrases (such as old as the hills, raining cats and dogs, and dead as a doornail), and aphorisms (such as There's more than one way to skin a cat).

Words that have a formal meaning can also have a colloquial meaning. "Kid" can mean "young goat" in formal usage and "child" in colloquial usage.[1]


Colloquialisms for the plural of "you."

West coast: "You guys"
Texas: "Ya'll"
Mississippi: "You'uns"
East Coast: "You's"