Slang Journals

The Slang Journal Collection is a compilation of words, sayings, and abbreviations collected by English 2271 students during the autumn 2011, autumn 2012, autumn 2013, and spring 2015 semesters. There are currently 1840 entries. The master list is an Excel file that includes the following information, each in separate columns:

  • word
  • preceeding utterance
  • utterance containing word
  • following utterance
  • spoken/written
  • speaker age
  • speaker gender
  • speaker race/ethnicity
  • addressee age
  • addressee gender
  • addressee race/ethnicity
  • domain
  • taboo
  • situational context
  • meaning
  • semester and year of collection

The alphabetical catalogue enables researchers to seek out specific terms, compare applications of a word or saying, or simply familiarize oneself with popular terminology used on and around the Ohio State University campus, as documented by students.

During the summer of 2014, Kaitlyn Berle (MA student at Western Kentucky University) compiled and edited the Slang Journals. Working to compile the Slang Journal assignments into a single, accessible collection initially entailed reviewing the materials and assessing the collection’s terms of access. Since the project involved compiling the data from two separate undergraduate classes, the formatting and approach to the assignment varied by class and by student, and Kaitlyn's task was to decide on an accessible format for all entries. Although the assignments were similar for the two English 2271 courses, she decided that the Excel format used by several students was best for compiling the slang entries. A great deal of her work pertained to copying the data from Word files into the final Excel format, and making minor formatting revisions. Although she did not edit the compiled collection significantly, she did bold the key term used in each slang utterance, added quotation marks around all utterances, and provided minor grammatical edits to the contexts provided by the 48 students, in an effort to make the completed Slang Journal collection more cohesive and accessible. The students’ inclusion of the utterances preceding and following the slang word or phrase and contextual details makes the final alphabetized compilation an informative and unique resource. The Slang Journal collection provides comprehensive access and insight to words and sayings observed on campus and in students’ daily lives.

Since Kaitlyn's original work, CFS staff have integrated additional slang journal donations into the existing master list. Only digital submissions are accepted.

Email Director of the Folklore Archives, Cassie Patterson at for a PDF copy of consolidated slang journals.

Instructions for Submitting Digital Slang Journals

  • Fill out Archival Database Information sheet (this pdf is interactive)
  • Fill out Archival Release/Collector Consent form (this pdf is interactive)
  • Add slang terms to Excel file template (see file below)
    • Fill out all categories of information. Refer to Doman and Taboo Keywords list for those columns. Speak to your professor if your slang term does not fit into the current keywords to determine if a new keyword should be added to the list.
    • Save your Database and Consent forms as .pdfs and save them as
      • Last Name_First Name_Professor Last Name_SemesterYear_Archival Database (Example: Buckeye, Brutus_Modan_SP15_Archival Database.pdf)
      • Last Name_First Name_Professor Last Name_SemesterYear_Consent. (Example: Buckeye, Brutus_Modan_SP15_Consent.pdf)
  • Put your scanned Archival Database Information sheet, Archival Release/Collector Consent Form, and slang journal in a digital folder. Save the folder file as Last Name, First Name_Professor Last Name_SemesterYear. (Example: Buckeye, Brutus_Modan_SP15)
  • Turn folder in to your professor

Slang Journals_Sample Journal.xlsx

Best practices for slang journal contributors:

  • Do not use scare quotes ("") around your slang words, as it affects the alphabetizing process
  • Do not merge cells, as it affects the alphabetizing process