This article examines the development of underworld slang as an integral subsystem within the languages of contemporary Ukraine. Since linguistic phenomena are considered within a broad political, social and cultural context, the data for the research was taken from very different in its nature sources, such as urban colloquial and mass-media language on the one hand, and the prison language on the other.
The field research was focused on the following questions: What changes have transpired in slang since independence of Ukraine? What if anything will these changes tell us about contemporary Ukraine? Theprisoners’ attitude towards the usage of the slang was also examined.