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In expressions like:

Let's go back to ours and have some food.
There's a party at ours on Friday.
There's a bottle of brandy at yours, isn't there?

'ours' and 'yours' are synonyms for 'our/your home' or 'our/your place'. 'Mine' can also be used in this way.

Is this usage solely BrE or does it occur in other Englishes?

Note: "I (don't) use/understand 'ours' like this and I live in X" answers are welcome, but I'm really looking for hard data such as corpus research, dictionary entries that mention this usage etc.

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2 Answers 2

I didn't know of this usage of ours and yours, so to try and get some data I sifted through lists of hists in two corpora: the British National Corpus and the Corpus of Contemporary American English. I looked for “at ours”, “at yours”, “to ours”, and “to yours”. I went through the hits to check for context in each case. What I see is:

  • There are a few results in the British corpus matching your described usage. All of them come from spoken sources (conversations recorded and transcribed), with no such hit from written sources (magazines, fiction or whatever). I would hazard a guess: maybe these few hits are all from a given geographical area or dialect, though I could not confirm it (could not find any detail on the sources in the BNC search interface).
  • There is no such usage recorded in the American corpus, which would tend to indicate that it's indeed a regional usage.

That conclusion is not definitive, however, given the relatively low number (a dozen) of matching records in the BNC in the first place. (Absence of evidence not being evidence of absence, unless you have great statistics.) However, that's the best I can do.

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Interesting. I'm wondering if expressions like "Let's go to John's (John's place)", (which I here often here in England) would also seem to be exclusively BrE. –  b.roth Jun 2 '11 at 13:48
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Curious. It's really rather common here to hear something like, "come round to ours for dinner tonight." –  Jez Jun 2 '11 at 13:54
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There are two instances of 'back to mine' in the BNC, both as direct speech. This has phrase has a sexual connotation of course, and amusingly one of them is from a Mills & Boon novel. –  z7sg Ѫ Jun 2 '11 at 15:13

There are a number of results in the Corpus of Historical American English (COHA) but most provide context immediately before, e.g.:

"We're always a party, darling, aren't we? You come to mine and I'll come to yours."

Mary McMullen - 'Death by Bequest' (1977)

The query used to generate results was:

  • WORD(S): to ours/yours/mine/theirs
  • COLLOCATES: back/over/come
  • FIELD 3: 4 <- COLLOCATES within 4 word(s) to the left of WORD(S)
  • FIELD 4: 0 <- COLLOCATES within 0 word(s) to the left of WORD(S)

As @F'x notes above, such usage may be predominantly found in speech.

However there may still be scope to find additional written examples from this source given the number of possible combininations vs. the limited extent of the query above.

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Of course, ours with its object implied (“Can you come at our place? — Well, why not coming to ours?”) is often found, in both written and spoken sources. –  F'x Jun 2 '11 at 14:05

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