Etymology
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argot (n.)

1860, from French argot (17c.) "the jargon of Paris rogues and thieves" (for purposes of disguise and concealment), earlier "the company of beggars," from French argot, "group of beggars," a word of unknown origin.

Gamillscheg suggests a connection to Old French argoter "to cut off the stubs left in pruning," with a connecting sense of "to get a grip on." The best English equivalent is perhaps cant. The German equivalent is Rotwelsch, literally "Red Welsh," but the first element of that might be connected with Middle High German rot "beggar." Compare pedlar's French (1520s) "language of thieves and vagabonds."

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backdrop (n.)

1883 in theatrical argot, "painted cloth hung at the back of a stage as part of the scenery," from back (adj.) + drop (n.).

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follow-up (n.)
1905, originally in the argot of sales and business, from verbal phrase follow up "pursue closely, act on energetically" (1794); see follow (v.) + up (adv.).
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ergot (n.)
fungal disease of rye and other grasses, 1680s, from French ergot "ergot," also "a spur, the extremity of a dead branch," from Old French argot "cock's spur" (12c.), which is of unknown origin. The blight so called from the shape the fungus forms on the diseased grain. Related: Ergotic. An alkaloid from the fungus, ergotamine (1921) is used to treat migraines.
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shill (n.)
"one who acts as a decoy for a gambler, auctioneer, etc.," 1916, probably originally circus or carnival argot, probably a shortened form of shillaber (1913) with the same meaning, origin unknown. The verb is attested from 1914. Related: Shilled; shilling.
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happening (n.)
mid-15c., "chance, luck," verbal noun from happen (v.); meaning "an occurrence" is 1550s. Sense of "spontaneous event or display" is from 1959 in the argot of artists. Happenings "events" was noted by Fowler as a vogue word from c. 1905.
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grotty (n.)
slang shortening of grotesque, it had a brief vogue 1964 as part of the argot popularized by The Beatles in "A Hard Day's Night." It unconsciously echoes Middle English groti "muddy, slimy," from Old English grotig "earthy," from grot "particle."
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quid (n.2)

"a sovereign, one pound sterling," 1680s, British slang, possibly from quid "that which is, essence," (c. 1600, see quiddity), as used in quid pro quo (q.v.), or directly from Latin quid "what, something, anything." Compare French quibus, noted in Barrêre's dictionary of French argot (1889) as a word for "money, cash," said to be short for quibus fiunt omnia (see quibble (n.)).

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gig (n.2)

"job," originally in the argot of jazz musicians, attested from 1915 but said to have been in use c. 1905; of uncertain origin. As a verb, by 1939. Among the earlier meanings of gig was "combination of numbers in betting games" (1847). Gig-economy is attested from 2009. Related: Gigged; gigging.

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shenanigan (n.)
1855, of uncertain origin. Earliest records of it are in San Francisco and Sacramento, California, U.S. Suggestions include Spanish chanada, a shortened form of charranada "trick, deceit;" or, less likely, German Schenigelei, peddler's argot for "work, craft," or the related German slang verb schinäglen. Another guess centers on Irish sionnach "fox."
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