Cant Jargon

   Some people believe that the word cant is eponymous for Andrew Cant (1590-1663), a Presbyterian minister in Aberdeen, Scotland. The Reverend's speech was hard to understand because of the dialect he used, The Spectator observed in 1711 that he talked "in the pulpit in such a dialect that it's said he was understood by none but his own congregation, and not by all of them."
   Cant was a staunch supporter of the Royalist cause. Once when he spoke before a group of officers dedicated to Cromwell, the officers advanced with swords drawn, whereupon the intrepid minister opened his breast and said, "Here is the man who uttered those sentiments," urging them to strike him if they dared. Though he seemed to be a zealous leader of the Scottish Covenanters, supporting the reformation of religion, he was known as a bigot and a hypocrite. Cant and his brother believed in persecuting religious opponents ferociously while praying at the same time.
   The name has stuck for all ravings of this kind in the name of religion. The term has also come to be applied to the whining speech of beggars, who were known as the canting crew. Cant has also become equated with jargon, which today means the special vocabulary shared by members of a trade or profession.

Dictionary of eponyms. . 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • cant, jargon —  Both apply to words or expressions used by particular groups. Cant has derogatory overtones and applies to the private vocabulary and colloquialisms of professions, social groups, and sects. Jargon is a slightly more impartial word and usually… …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • jargon — 1. history of the term. The OED gives several meanings for jargon, all except one mostly derogatory in connotation. The prevailing current senses of the word are (1) ‘words or expressions used by a particular group or profession’, and (2)… …   Modern English usage

  • cant — cant1 [kant] n. [< L cantus: see CHANT] 1. whining, singsong speech, esp. as used by beggars 2. the secret slang of beggars, thieves, etc.; argot 3. the special words and phrases used by those in a certain sect, occupation, etc.; jargon 4.… …   English World dictionary

  • Cant — Cant, n. [Prob. from OF. cant, F. chant, singing, in allusion to the singing or whining tine of voice used by beggars, fr. L. cantus. See {Chant}.] 1. An affected, singsong mode of speaking. [1913 Webster] 2. The idioms and peculiarities of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Jargon — Jar gon, n. [F. jargon, OF. also gargon, perh. akin to E. garrulous, or gargle.] 1. Confused, unintelligible language; gibberish. A barbarous jargon. Macaulay. All jargon of the schools. Prior. [1913 Webster] 2. Hence: an artificial idiom or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Cant — Cant, v. i. 1. To speak in a whining voice, or an affected, singsong tone. [1913 Webster] 2. To make whining pretensions to goodness; to talk with an affectation of religion, philanthropy, etc.; to practice hypocrisy; as, a canting fanatic. [1913 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • cant — [n1] hypocritical statement affected piety, deceit, dishonesty, humbug, hypocrisy, hypocriticalness, insincerity, lip service*, pecksniffery, pharisaicalness, pious platitudes, pomposity, pretense, pretentiousness, sanctimoniousness, sanctimony,… …   New thesaurus

  • cant — now usually means ‘insincere pious or moral talk’: • shameful surrender to the prevalent cant and humbug of the age Daily Telegraph, 1992. Its older (18c–19c) and often derogatory meaning, ‘the secret language or jargon used by certain classes or …   Modern English usage

  • jargon — I (technical language) noun argot, cant, code, coined words, language of a particular profession, legalese, neologism, neology, private language, professional language, professional vocabulary, specialized language, specialized terminology,… …   Law dictionary

  • Cant — (engl.), Rotwelsch, Jargon; dann soviel wie scheinheiliges Wesen, Heuchelei. Vgl. Baumann, Londinismen. Slang und C. (Berl. 1887) …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

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