Jargon is a type of language that is used in a particular context and may not be well understood outside that context. The context is usually a particular occupation (that is, a certain trade, profession, or academic field), but any in group can have jargon. The main trait that distinguishes jargon from the rest of a language is special vocabulary—including some words specific to it, and often different senses or meanings of words, that out groups would tend to take in another sense—therefore misunderstanding that communication attempt. Jargon is thus "the technical terminology or characteristic idiom of a special activity or group". Most jargon is technical terminology, involving terms of art or industry terms, with particular meaning within a specific industry. A main driving force in the creation of technical jargon is precision and efficiency of communication when a discussion must easily range from general themes to specific, finely differentiated details without circumlocution. A side-effect of this is a higher threshold for comprehensibility, which is usually accepted as a trade-off but is sometimes even used as a means of social exclusion (reinforcing ingroup-outgroup barriers) or social aspiration (when intended as a way of showing off).
The philosopher Étienne Bonnot de Condillac observed in 1782 that "every science requires a special language because every science has its own ideas". As a rationalist member of the Enlightenment, he continued: "It seems that one ought to begin by composing this language, but people begin by speaking and writing, and the language remains to be composed."
The French word is believed to have been derived from the Latin word gaggire, meaning "to chatter", which was used to describe speech that the listener did not understand. Middle English also has the verb jargounen meaning "to chatter", which comes from the French word. The word may also come from Old Frenchjargon meaning "chatter of birds".