Intimate Register

When we communicate with others, we often change how we talk depending on the situation, or the people we are talking to. For example, you would probably talk to your friends differently than if you were to talk to a teacher. We can change the way we speak by changing our register. So, what is a register? 

Intimate Register Intimate Register

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Table of contents

    Register refers to the different ways we use language depending on the situation and who we talk to. Register often refers to how formal or informal our language is. For example, we would use more formal language in serious or professional settings (such as in school or at work), but we would use more informal language when we have a chat with our close friends.

    There are six different types of register. These are:

    1. Frozen

    2. Formal

    3. Consultative

    4. Neutral

    5. Informal/Casual

    6. Intimate

    Today, we will focus on the intimate register.

    Let's start by looking at the meaning of intimate:

    Intimate Register Definition

    As an adjective, the word 'intimate' can mean the following things:

    1. close and familiar.

    2. personal and private.

    Intimate links to the meaning of 'intimate register.' Let's take a look at what this means:

    An intimate register means that the type of language used in a conversation is casual and personal. An intimate register is usually used in private situations between close friends, family, and partners. For example, you could use the intimate register in a conversation with your best friend.

    The intimate register is the most informal type of register, so it should not be used in professional or public situations (such as in school or at work). For example, you would not use an intimate register with a teacher or a stranger.

    When people use the intimate register, they do not tend to use formal language. This means that they do not need to use correct grammar, long sentences, or complex words. Sometimes, intimate language consists of unfinished sentences or made-up words!

    The most important thing about the intimate register is that the language can be understood by the people you are close with. It does not need to make sense to anyone else who is not a part of the conversation.

    Intimate Language Register

    The intimate register can be used between different groups of people. These types of intimacy are as follows:

    • Between family (parents, grandparents, siblings, etc.).

    • Between friends.

    • Between partners/couples.

    Intimate Register, two black ladies, StudySmarterBest friends may use the intimate register when talking to one another.

    Intimate synonym

    Intimate can mean a few different things. But, when we talk about an intimate register, we are referring to casual language that is used between people who are very close. So, what other words have similar meanings to the word 'intimate'?

    Below are some synonyms. Keep these words in mind if you use an intimate register. They will help you to understand what type of language to use:

    • close

    • personal

    • familiar

    • friendly

    • relaxed

    • casual

    • private

    Intimate Register Examples

    Intimate language can be used in different situations, for a variety of reasons. This includes:

    • private conversations

    • inside jokes

    • telling secrets

    • greetings

    • terms of endearment/pet names

    • flirting

    • non-verbal language

    Let's take a look at each of these in more detail!

    Private conversations

    Intimate language can be used if you want to have a private conversation with someone. The language used in a private conversation is usually friendly and casual because you are familiar with each other. You will be able to talk about things that are personal to you.

    For example, a couple could be talking to each other about their plans for the future together. This is a private conversation between two people who love each other, so this is an example of an intimate register.

    Inside jokes

    An inside joke is a type of joke that is only understood by a certain group of people. This means that it will only make sense to the people who understand the humour and the context of the joke. Inside jokes can often be sarcastic or self-deprecating (making fun of yourself in a non-serious way).

    An inside joke could simply be retelling an event or experience that happened between friends. Or, it could be a phrase certain phrase that they now use a lot. If they told it to someone who did not experience the event, they would not understand it. For example:

    Friendship group - She had a blue hat, hahaha

    Stranger - What?

    Friendship group - It's an inside joke!

    Have you and a friend ever done or said something that only you find funny?

    Telling secrets

    Telling secrets is an example of an intimate register because it is a private situation between two or more people who trust each other. If someone tells you a secret, they put their faith in you and have confidence in you to keep it. If you are able to keep someone's secret, it is a good way to show that you both trust each other and can stick to a promise.

    'I have something important to tell you. Don't tell anyone, promise?'

    'I promise, your secret is safe with me.'

    Greetings

    When you greet someone you know well, you don't have to be too formal or overly polite. You don't have to use correct grammar or complicated words. Instead, you can be casual and friendly. Some intimate greetings can simply be a single word! Examples of intimate greetings are:

    • Hey guys!

    • Yo!

    • What's up? / Wassup?

    • How's you?

    • You alright?

    Terms of endearment/pet name

    Terms of endearment are names used to refer to people you are close with. These are also referred to as pet names. They are used to show affection between people. Some examples of terms of endearment are:

    • Baby

    • Honey

    • Sweetheart/sweetie

    • Darling

    • Dear

    • Love

    These are some friendly, loving examples. But, some people may not always want to use these. They may use funny or rude pet names instead! This shows that they are comfortable around one another, and do not find them offensive because they should not be taken seriously.

    Flirting

    Flirting is language that is used between people who are in a relationship, or people who want to get into a relationship. It is often used to compliment or tease someone in a playful way. Some flirting can be quite cheesy, such as pick-up lines. Have you heard of any of the following pick-up lines?

    • Did it hurt when you fell from heaven?
    • Do you have a map? I keep getting lost in your eyes.
    • Do you believe in love at first sight, or should I walk past again?
    • I'm no photographer, but I can picture us together.
    • If I could rearrange the alphabet, I'd put 'U' and 'I' together.

    Non-verbal language

    The intimate register can also include non-verbal language. This is any language that is not spoken. For example, facial expressions, body language, and gestures. Sometimes, people who are very close can understand what each other is feeling without having to speak! For example, they could look at each other in a certain way or gesture to one another.

    Intimate Image of thumbs up StudySmarterAn example of non-verbal language is a thumbs up.

    Intimate In A Sentence

    Some examples of sentences that include the word 'intimate' are as follows:

    Intimate in a sentence

    'They had an intimate conversation at the quiet restaurant.'

    'We only had a small party because we wanted it to feel intimate.'

    'When the lights were turned off, the room had an intimate mood.'

    'The couple were being intimate with one another.'

    'I don't want to share intimate details about my personal life.'

    'We have an intimate relationship, so we can talk about anything.'

    Intimate - Key Takeaways

    • An intimate register means that the type of language used in a conversation is casual and personal.
    • An intimate register is usually used in private situations between close friends, family, and partners.
    • The intimate register is one of the most informal types of register, so it should not be used in professional or public situations.
    • When people use the intimate register, they do not use formal language. This means that they do not need to use correct grammar, long sentences, or complex words.
    • The intimate register is used in different situations for different reasons. For example: private conversations, inside jokes, telling secrets, greetings, terms of endearment/pet names, flirting, and non-verbal language.
    Frequently Asked Questions about Intimate Register

    What does intimate language mean?

    Intimate language means casual/informal language used between close friends, family and partners in a private situation.

    What is an example of intimate language?

    An example of intimate language is inside jokes. This is a type of joke that is only understood by a certain group of people.

    How do you use intimate in a sentence?

    An example sentence that includes the word intimate is:


    'They had an intimate conversation at the quiet restaurant.'

    What is an intimate greeting?

    An intimate greeting is a phrase said between close family and friends when they meet one another. It is informal and friendly.

    What are the types of language registers?

    There are six types of language registers. These are:


    1. Frozen

    2. Formal 

    3. Consultative

    4. Neutral

    5. Informal/Casual

    6. Intimate

    Test your knowledge with multiple choice flashcards

    The intimate register is the most formal type of register.True or false?

    The intimate register is usually used in _______ situations.

    The intimate register is not used with ________.

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