Entertainment / Literature / Creole: A native language combining the traits of multiple languages, i.e., an advanced and fully developed pidgin. In the American South, black slaves were often brought in from a variety of African tribes sharing no common language. On the plantation, they developed first a pidgin (limited and simplified) version of English with heavy Portuguese and African influences. This pidgin allowed slaves some rudimentary communication with each other and with their slave masters. In time, they lost their original African languages and the mixed speech became the native tongue of their children--a creole. Contrast with pidgin.