This tag is for questions related to the English language as used in the United States of America.

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3
votes
2answers
47 views

What word(s) do children of English native speakers use for “kid”/“child”/etc

I'm looking for (a) word(s) that is/are perceived to be child's language by adults, not words used by adults to describe children. What would be fine though are words used by adults when they are ...
1
vote
2answers
23 views

In what English-speaking communities does “trump” refer to the breaking of wind?

It is clear from this site that the verb to trump has been used extensively across Britain to refer to the breaking of wind. It is especially the case in the North, in Wales and certainly in Norfolk, ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Where does “pizza pie” originate?

The Italianissimo pizza—pronounced /ˈpiʦ:a/—is not always spelled or called pizza around the world: In Bosnia, Belarusian, Macedonia, Serbia it's spelled pica but pronounced /pîtsa/ In ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

What does “wildin'” mean?

In Rihanna's song "FourFiveSeconds", this line is sung in the chorus: 'Now I'm four, five seconds from wildin'...' I searched on Google for the definition of "wildin'" and got this: wildin' ...
1
vote
1answer
32 views

“We are familiar” improvement

I have this,"We are familiar with the sport activities", sentence but to me it's a bit awkward and I need to improve it a little bit. I need to improve "We are familiar" part, and I am kind of stuck ...
0
votes
1answer
21 views

What is the differece between “to receiving” and “to receive”?

I am wondering the differece between "to receiving" and "to receive"? I found in many sentences a simple verb or a "ing" after "to". Though I have explore the following, still I am not clear. If the ...
8
votes
4answers
789 views

Etymology of “Spaghetti and gravy”

In Nero Wolfe "Before I die", the gangster's sidekick asks for spaghetti and gravy. After Wolfe's chef Fritz prepares him spaghetti with the type of gravy used for roast beef, it turns out that the ...
12
votes
7answers
933 views

Will some parents be offended when being asked, “Is it male or female?”

If I ask the parent about a baby's gender, will it be impolite or not appropriate to say, "Is it male or female?" Is there any subtle difference, in terms of politeness, among "Is it a boy or ...
0
votes
2answers
41 views

“That's a mercy!” - Is this some kind of repartee?

I came across the phrase "That's a mercy!" in a textbook dialogue. To put it in context I've reproduced the whole dialogue as below: Bobbie: You look like hell, dad. What's on? Sam: Nothing special. ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Which dictionaries have modern USA english pronunciation? [on hold]

I need a dictionary with the latest USA English pronunciation. Anything else (word definition and etc.) does not matter, I only need modern USA english pronunciation of the words. Which dictionaries ...
2
votes
2answers
23 views

Origin of Soccer

What is called football in most of countries, called soccer in US. However, there are some inconsistent usage of these terms. For example, in Australia, they have Football Federation Australia (FFA) ...
0
votes
1answer
20 views

Meaning of “Green” and “GreenBack” in American english?

I found 2 new words on my American Slang book (Talk the way americans do). 1) Green 2) GreenBack Meaning of these words on my book : Green : money (Referring to the color green seen on U.S. paper ...
0
votes
1answer
28 views

She didn't even had me/has me/have me

I'm trying to translate a sentence out of a book, and the author is talking about the past and I'm not sure which one is correct, the sentence goes like this: She was so alone, I was the only one she ...
1
vote
1answer
83 views

“you” in spoken, quoted dialogue

My partner and I have been having a debate about the proper way of relating dialogue in spoken English. Our problem is as follows: It often happens in conversation that one wishes to relate a ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views
6
votes
3answers
582 views

What does “consound” mean?

Hello and happy holidays. While reading The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, I came across the expression "consound it" in Huck's dialogue parts. "Consound it, Tom Sawyer, you're just old pie, 'longside ...
0
votes
2answers
32 views

verb, verb noun - structure

I would like to know the rule of this kind of structure and what is it called if it has a name. Example : others say that the students will take ethics seriously only if it is taught as a separate, ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

Do “carat” and “karat” have the same origin?

Do carat and karat have the same origin? Is it correct to say that carat derives from the Italian carato, while karat derives from the from Arabic ḳīrāṭ? Is it possible that both words derive from ...
27
votes
7answers
89k views
3
votes
3answers
93 views

Can there be a difference between learned and learnt?

To the best of my knowledge, there is no difference in meaning between learnt and the single-syllable form of learned. This is supported by the answers to When do you use "learnt" and when "learned"? ...
-1
votes
2answers
1k views

Are you sure to delete or are you sure you want to delete

When the user wants to delete smth on the website I am showing a message for him/her to confirm. What is the grammatically correct way to say so Are you sure to delete this item or Are you ...
0
votes
3answers
56 views

Missing words after commas in these sentences? [on hold]

In the following sentence, why did the author use "thinking" after the comma? Is a word omitted after the comma? I waited for two months, thinking that it would be bad time for him. ...
-1
votes
1answer
33 views

Problem in 'talking to a lot of people' [on hold]

I told my friend that "I am talking to a lot of people" and he said this sentence is not correct. Can anyone help me find out what's wrong with the following sentence: "Talking to a lot of people"
-2
votes
1answer
110 views

Is there different word corresponding to “teatime” in American English?

There is a British English term "teatime" or "afternoon tea". I'm wondering how people refer to it in American English.
1
vote
3answers
331 views

What is the meaning of this wisecrack “If you can't beat members of the ”birther“ movement, join 'em.”?

I'm not an English native speaker and have no idea what is the meaning of this sentence: "If you can't beat members of the "birther" movement, join 'em." Could someone give me an explanation?
-1
votes
4answers
2k views

What does “could use a friend” mean?

I heard this word on some TV show and i have been trying to find its meaning(but they weren't of help much). Could someone please tell me ?
-1
votes
0answers
68 views

How come asian americans never developed a american accent with a mixure of asian languages? [closed]

Its funny that Asian Americans(Chinese,Koreans,Japanese,etc)never developed an American accent with a mixture of Asian accent before African Americans had an African American accent.They speak with an ...
28
votes
4answers
6k views

How and when did American spelling supersede British spelling in the US?

Considering that Webster published his first dictionary in 1806, is there a recognised tipping point (year, decade, etc.) that marked the move from traditional British spelling to Webster's American? ...
0
votes
2answers
41 views

what does “casting a long silver of gold” mean?

so, today I was reading this book and I came across this sentence: "At the very end of the passage, a door stood ajar, and a flickering light shone through the gap, casting a long silver of gold ...
0
votes
2answers
40 views

Linking Homorganic Consonants

when native speakers pronounce the phrase "Have a good time" do they tend to drop the "d" in the word "good"? The "t" and "d" are in the same tongue position and the only difference between them is ...
0
votes
2answers
79 views

To gain/acquire/obtain comfort with something abstract - is this idiomatic, or at least acceptable?

I am encountering the expression "to gain comfort", "to acquire comfort", and to "obtain comfort" more and more lately. Example: "This issue was looked at in depth in 2013 and we obtained comfort at ...
0
votes
0answers
47 views

What is British English for American English's “wire transfer”

This question is closely related to this one but is a little bit different. I'm in the U.S., and I'm attending a conference in Germany. The language of the conference is English. The instructions ...
3
votes
6answers
3k views

Difference between floor and storey

I've read once about "x stories" .. Want to know if there is any difference between storey and floors. Or they are just alias for each other used in difference variations of english language ?
0
votes
1answer
45 views

What is the origin of the phrase “has some teeth to it”?

I know the phrase "has some teeth to it" refers to something that cuts and/or takes hold of something. It's used a lot in arguments / discussion of topics where serious / good counterpoints are used, ...
1
vote
2answers
12k views

What does “period” mean at the end of the American phrase?

What does period mean at the end of a sentence? For example: The stronger your core the easier your YRG(yoga) is gonna get period I didn't heard the sentence clearly because of the speaker's ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

Which English to use in Portugal: British or American? [closed]

I'm not sure this is the right place to ask this, but any help is appreciated. I'm Portuguese, but I also use English for my work. For that, I use dictionaries in my computer. My question is: which ...
0
votes
2answers
54 views

Wrong use of words?

My friends who lives in China just sent me this snapshot of a test which she used to practice her English language skill-set. I took a look at it, and something bothers me. I might be completely wrong ...
0
votes
0answers
49 views

Is the word,“Whilst”, not used in US English?

In my spare time i sometimes help out a good friend of mine. He is a professional translator, self-employed so he can pretty much pick his own assignments, which is a good position to be in, but i ...
1
vote
4answers
69 views

What is the point of using Parentheses around only part of a word

I sometimes see parentheses around only part of a word. What does this mean? An example...Someone typed the phrase "mission (im)possible. I am unsure what the significance is of putting parentheses ...
1
vote
1answer
83 views

How do I say “my car is broken” idiomatically? [closed]

Hmm: the version I give has never sounded quite right to me, but as a non-native English speaker, I don't know how native American or English people say this. So I'd be really glad if you could ...
16
votes
4answers
2k views

Why doesn't it go like “him and his wife”?

Please take a look at this excerpt from The Catcher in the Rye: I think I probably woke he and his wife up, because it took them a helluva long time to answer the phone. This phrase confused me. ...
2
votes
1answer
272 views

How is the spelling of a hyphenated word read?

How is the spelling of a hyphenated word usually read out loud? For example, with "Anglo-Saxon", do we say: "It is spelt as ...
-2
votes
4answers
470 views

If Americans go to the toilet in the bathroom, where do they take a bath?

As far as I am aware, in the US it is very common to refer to the room that contains the toilet (device for disposing of human waste) as the bathroom. If this is a separate room from the room that ...
5
votes
5answers
4k views

Do Americans use the term “garburator” or is there a better equivalent?

Is it obsolete to use the term garburator to refer to a garbage disposal unit in a kitchen? If it is, do we have a better term to replace it with? Also, what is the etymology of this word?
0
votes
1answer
201 views

Is there any difference between 'plaid' and 'tartan'?

It seems to me that some Americans will say plaid where we will use tartan. Whilst tartan refers to woollen cloth woven in one of several patterns of coloured checks and intersecting lines; plaid ...
2
votes
6answers
3k views

Is “I'll be John Brown” a common phrase?

The phrase: I'll be John Brown! is an occasionally-used term in North Carolina. Mostly thought to replace taking the Lord's name in vain (GD). Is it used elsewhere? How long has it been ...
0
votes
1answer
245 views

Simple past or present perfect when describing a series of recent actions

I, as an American, would opt for the simple past rather than the present perfect in the following sentence: Today she has gone to a class, and after that she has been shopping. Is this sentence ...
0
votes
2answers
144 views

The elision of alveolar plosives

when the phrase "Can't complain" is pronounced [ˈkænt kəmˈpleɪn] I think that the T is dropped in fast speech because of the alveolar plosives. Right? I read that when T comes before these letters: / ...
3
votes
2answers
105 views

Pronunciation Deleting /t/ Between Consonants [duplicate]

When I pronounce the phrase: "Look, it's the first day. I don't wanna be late." I think that the /t/ in the words "first" and "don't" can be deleted. Am I right? I'm talking about casual speech. ...
1
vote
2answers
124 views

Should I always use the -ised ending for UK english and the -ized for US? [duplicate]

Realized vs realised, randomized vs randomised etc. Is it true that the former is always correct in US and the latter in UK english? Is there a list of english-speaking nations that use the former or ...