The adjective demotic, quite often used in linguistic studies absolutely, as a noun, to label particular varieties of language, means generally 'of the people' (from the same root as 'democracy') - δημότης (demotes)‚ 'one of the people' (the demos). It has no political currency at present, though occasionally it appears as a descriptor of a social group, principally in opposition to another group perceived as elite. Its use nowadays is normally reserved for languages, of which three in particular may be of use to users of AWE:
- demotic Greek, the commonly spoken form of the modern Greek language (see also Diglossia);
- demotic (Egyptian), the most cursive form in which the ancient Egyptian language was written (this is precisely a script, or system of writing, rather than a language) (see also Diglossia);
- the demotic is a term used to sneer at colloquial, or local, forms of English. AWE advises its users against this term: say colloquial, informal or slang-y; or specify the local form, such as 'cockney', 'geordie' or 'East Riding'.