The use of slang by black youth in Gauteng

  • Magdeline Princess Bembe Department of English Studies, University of South Africa, PO Box 392, Pretoria 0003, South Africa
  • Anne-Marie Beukes Department of Linguistics and Literary Theory, University of Johannesburg, PO Box 594, Auckland Park 2006, South Africa


Youth generally use slang to identify themselves with particular groups in terms of age, gender, region, race, etc. The focus of this paper is to discuss the use of slang, particularly in English, by black youth in Gauteng and their social motivations for using this variety of English. Thepaper will demonstrate, through examples drawn from a study conducted in Gauteng, how the use of slang by black youth is a response to the diversity of voices represented in essentially multilingual Gauteng. Although the focus of this paper is on slang n English, reference will also be made to the influence other non-standard black varieties such as Tsotsitaal and Is'camtho have on the slang of the youth.

Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies 2007, 25(4): 463–472

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1727-9461
print ISSN: 1607-3614