What is the difference between the words vernacular and colloquial? Is vernacular closer to jargon?

A quick search reveals that colloquial refers to informal spoken language while vernacular refers to some sort of native language of a place. Is that the only difference?

  • Quote from 'Help': "Try a dictionary" - "Be sure to mention the research you've done and what you're still hoping to learn!" What searching have you done? What does that suggest? And why does it not answer your question>? – TrevorD Jun 26 '13 at 12:31
  • See this previous question. If that doesn't answer your question, please be more specific. – TrevorD Jun 26 '13 at 12:33
  • I am hoping to learn if we could use these words interchangeably? The words are pretty similar. – Vishal Gupta Jun 26 '13 at 12:34
  • I got it now. Thanks. When I searched the site about the question, that question did not come up. – Vishal Gupta Jun 26 '13 at 12:35

The Vernacular refers to the native language of a person/persons, and has established norms. A colloquialism refers to an informal way of speaking. Technically, a colloquialism exists within a vernacular (because everyone has a mother language and that language will have colloquialisms). Another difference is that "vernacular" refers to a language, while "colloquialism" refers mainly to individual words.

A colloquialism is a type of informal word used for fast speech: gonna instead of going to, wanna instead of want to, kid instead of child (in an instance where the speakers know they are not referring to young goats instead), coke instead of coca-cola, etc.

| improve this answer | |

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.