locution

Your southern-born friend's habit of saying "y'all" when she's talking to her family could be described as locution — it's a word she habitually uses in particular situations.

A person's style of speech — certain words or phrases she tends to use — is her locution, especially if it's specific to a particular place or group of people, like teenagers or French Canadians. You can also use the noun locution when you're talking about the way a person pronounces words. If someone tends to "beat around the bush," or tell a story in a roundabout way, you can call that circumlocution.

Definitions of locution
  1. noun
    a word or phrase that particular people use in particular situations
    synonyms: expression, saying
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 31 types...
    hide 31 types...
    Beatitude
    one of the eight sayings of Jesus at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount; in Latin each saying begins with `beatus' (blessed)
    logion
    a saying of Jesus that is regarded as authentic although it is not recorded in the Gospels
    calque, calque formation, loan translation
    an expression introduced into one language by translating it from another language
    advice and consent
    a legal expression in the United States Constitution that allows the Senate to constrain the President's powers of appointment and treaty-making
    ambiguity
    an expression whose meaning cannot be determined from its context
    euphemism
    an inoffensive or indirect expression that is substituted for one that is considered offensive or too harsh
    dysphemism
    an offensive or disparaging expression that is substituted for an inoffensive one
    shucks
    an expression of disappointment or irritation
    tongue twister
    an expression that is difficult to articulate clearly
    anatomical, anatomical reference
    an expression that relates to anatomy
    southernism
    a locution or pronunciation peculiar to the southern United States
    catchword, motto, shibboleth, slogan
    a favorite saying of a sect or political group
    axiom, maxim
    a saying that is widely accepted on its own merits
    epigram, quip
    a witty saying
    adage, byword, proverb, saw
    a condensed but memorable saying embodying some important fact of experience that is taken as true by many people
    idiom, idiomatic expression, phrasal idiom, phrase, set phrase
    an expression whose meanings cannot be inferred from the meanings of the words that make it up
    agrapha
    sayings of Jesus not recorded in the canonical Gospels
    sumpsimus
    a correct expression that takes the place of a popular but incorrect expression
    bus, heap, jalopy
    a car that is old and unreliable
    loophole
    an ambiguity (especially one in the text of a law or contract) that makes it possible to evade a difficulty or obligation
    amphibology, amphiboly
    an ambiguous grammatical construction; e.g., `they are flying planes' can mean either that someone is flying planes or that something is flying planes
    parisology
    the use of ambiguous words
    double entendre
    an ambiguity with one interpretation that is indelicate
    catch phrase, catchphrase
    a phrase that has become a catchword
    mantra
    a commonly repeated word or phrase
    battle cry, cry, rallying cry, war cry, watchword
    a slogan used to rally support for a cause
    aphorism, apophthegm, apothegm
    a short pithy instructive saying
    gnome
    a short pithy saying expressing a general truth
    moralism
    a moral maxim
    ruralism, rusticism
    a rural idiom or expression
    old man
    an informal term for your father
    type of:
    language, oral communication, speech, speech communication, spoken communication, spoken language, voice communication
    (language) communication by word of mouth
Word Family