This tag is for questions related to English as spoken in Great Britain, and sometimes Ireland.

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

1
vote
2answers
33 views

Is the phrase “Hello, my dear fellow” considered weird nowadays?

I was wondering if the "Hello, my dear fellow" salutation is considered weird nowadays. A friend of mine (one British chap) once said it sounded "gay" =) I'd like to ask native speakers' opinion. ...
2
votes
1answer
30 views

News lacks plural but what about TIDINGS?

News is used only in the singular (being one of the uncountable nouns). There is an old-fashioned word meaning pretty much the same - tidings, so my question is: Is this expression used only in ...
-1
votes
0answers
21 views

Are there any good books on informal to formal comparisons of the English language?

I am doing my final year project in computer science. I will develop a software which will transliterate a selected text. So I am unable to find any good book on "informal to formal English". This ...
0
votes
0answers
16 views

How should I capitalize “Keep On Running/Keep On Moving” and “Walk On Down”? [duplicate]

These are the song titles by Spencer Davis Group/Deep Purple and Aerosmith accordingly, I know that if a preposition is a part of a phrasal verb it is capitalized, but everywhere I look, I see "Keep ...
3
votes
2answers
179 views

Define “plate” from Sweeney Todd musical

The opening song of the Sweeney Todd musical contains the following passage about his wife: There was another man who saw that she was beautiful... A pious vulture of the law who, with a ...
-1
votes
1answer
30 views

Use of “although” without a contrasting statement [on hold]

In IAS 37 Clause 37 states: Although a constructive obligation is not created solely by a management decision, an obligation may result from other earlier events together with such a decision. ...
2
votes
1answer
107 views

Are there any famous English poems that every British-raised or American-raised person knows? [closed]

In the Chinese language, there is a poem named Quiet Night Thoughts(Jing Ye Si) by Li Bai, which is known by everyone that is native to China (from little kids to very old people, even if they are ...
2
votes
1answer
24 views

“Having Too Much Feather in His Brain”--H.H. Asquith's Remark About Gen. Sir Ian Hamilton

Prior to Sir Ian Hamilton's appointment by Kitchener as Commander-in-Chief Dardanelles Campaign, P.M. H. H. Asquith said Hamilton 'has too much feather in his brain'. I think it's related to ...
2
votes
2answers
49 views

1902 use of phrase “giving a tiger” in the context of paying homage to the King's coronation

In Mrs Aeneas Gunn's autobiographical 'The Little Black Princess : A True Tale of Life in the Never-Never Land, 1905, she writes about previously celebrating the coronation of Edward VII in the bush. ...
0
votes
4answers
43 views

A word to describe a person who is in top/winning bracket of a competitive game

I am looking for a word that would describe a player who is, for example, in a TOP 10 chart and is eligible for a prize. That means that if he would suddenly lose his/her position and get ranked 11 or ...
0
votes
4answers
79 views

What's the oral address of “fellow student”?

I have known "fellow student" is a formal address and we used this in somewhere formally. But in oral situation, how to introduce a senior student to my friends when we face to face? If I say "this is ...
6
votes
5answers
677 views

How toffee-nosed is “toffee-nosed”?

Not being a speaker of British English, I was much amused on discovering the new adjective toffee-nosed. The American Heritage dictionary doesn't list it at all, but I found a definition in Collins: ...
0
votes
0answers
17 views

'parameterized' or 'parametrized' [duplicate]

In the following sentence: To avoid the attacks, most frameworks and DB systems provide mechanism for parameterized queries. My browser wants to correct the highlighted word to parametrized, but ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

Is it pejorative to use “old girl” to refer to a woman?

Does it encompass any specific age group? (young, middle-aged, elderly, all of them) I heard it in an old film and read it once in sentences like: "Come on, old girl, cheer up." "Who is ...
2
votes
1answer
68 views

How do Brits pronounce [ee] in “queen” differently to [i] in “pita”?

This explanation of Welsh pronunciation says Welsh u is pronounced like i in pita, whereas Welsh i is pronounced like ee in Queen. What's the difference?
-1
votes
1answer
26 views

Third-party or third party? [duplicate]

Does British English use a dash in between third-party, or is that for American English?
3
votes
3answers
196 views

What type of punishment was “Then thou shalt drink !”?

In The Proverbs, Epigrams, and Miscellanies of John Heywood (1562) among the many historical English proverbs which I recognized, one particular epigram stood out. Entitled “Of Catching a Fly” It ...
6
votes
2answers
395 views

Odd British pluperfect subjunctive construction?

I read this sentence in the Guardian today, and I couldn't figure out if it was an error or a regionalism. (I did, however, figure out that I don't know my grammar too well!) [the mid-18th ...
0
votes
1answer
35 views

What is the different between who and whom [duplicate]

When I have been learning english I can not understand different between who and whom?
1
vote
1answer
41 views

speech balloon vs speech bubble usage and meaning

I am from the UK, and am not familiar with the term "speech balloon". I have always used and heard "speech bubble" instead. Are the 2 meanings the same? Is there some kind of difference in ...
3
votes
2answers
76 views

Geographical Usage of “Mate”

I was wondering where the term, "mate," is most popular? When I think of the term, "mate," I think of Australia and England, but I was wondering if anyone else has some input on this. Mate here is ...
2
votes
2answers
93 views

“Muso” and “Journo” Usage and Origin

I have been watching a lot of British TV recently and I hear the word "journos" for journalists and "musos" for musicians, but I don't ever hear these words in the US. From my understanding they don't ...
12
votes
5answers
2k views

“to bath” vs “to bathe”

Recently, I came across the verb to bathe written as bath in two Italian textbooks. The first time I saw it, I dismissed it as a typographical error and told my private student that the verb was ...
2
votes
2answers
147 views

Is “targetted” a standard British English spelling?

Wiktionary says that the difference between "targetting" and "targeting" is that the first one is a British spelling and the second one is American. Meanwhile, Oxford Dictionaries says that ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

Time period in a date period [closed]

I want to mention the date and time I collected my questionnaires in an academic report. Let's say they are distributed: Time period: 1:00PM - 4:00PM Date period: 1 October 2014 - 3 October ...
2
votes
1answer
164 views

Declension is a noun. What is the verb? [closed]

Based on Wikipedia article, in linguistics, declension is the inflection of nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and articles to indicate number (at least singular and plural), case (nominative or subjective, ...
17
votes
3answers
588 views

The origins and usages of “waffle”

Scottish dogs used to waff American voters waffled in 2000 British politicians “waffle on” for hours And Swedish children eat them on March 25th Waffle nowadays has basically three meanings: ...
1
vote
0answers
61 views

What slang connotations can “bill” have in British English? [closed]

I'm from the south of England, studying in the north, and my syntax lecturer is American. She was writing an example sentence that used the name "John", and a few people started giggling; she cottons ...
4
votes
6answers
306 views

What's the English for the Italian 'materico'?

Speaking about contemporary art, I often use the adjective 'materico' to describe the quality of a painting realized with thick layers of colour. It is not simply a question of thickness. In the art ...
0
votes
1answer
39 views

I thorougly enjoy _____ [closed]

Does thoroughly fit well in this sentence? Is it appropriate to use it in a formal sentence?
1
vote
6answers
107 views

Is “evidence” as a verb an Americanism?

We need to evidence the agreement with these forms. Is this usage predominantly American?
0
votes
2answers
156 views

What is the word used to describe a forced choice

I am looking for a word to describe a certain situation where you must choose one option or the other, as in it's either me or her. For example: If you stay friends with her we can't be in a ...
2
votes
2answers
123 views

“Theater” vs. “Theatre” in American English

Why is it that "theater" and "theatre" do not follow the traditional rules of British and American spelling? British spellings like "metre" and "centre" are consistently switched to "meter" and ...
0
votes
1answer
64 views

1920's terms for parents/children

What would young children (aged around 5-ish) have called their parents circa 1920's England? Were there specific terms of endearment, or would it just be "mother" and "father"? I'm particularly ...
0
votes
1answer
70 views

Will that be fine?

Quite a few times now, a waiter or shop assistant has asked me: Will that be fine? I've noticed that I've only ever heard Indian English speakers use this turn of phrase. To my (British) ear, ...
0
votes
1answer
48 views

Is there a more proper way to denote the question-and-answer literature, as title of academic work? [closed]

In a context of an academic publication addressing readers favoring British English, what would be the better way to denote the "Questions and Answers" genre? I am looking for a more specialised way ...
0
votes
1answer
57 views

Interested in him learning French - with accusative 'him' [duplicate]

Good morning everyone! Is it correct to say " I' m interested in him learning French in the future"?
4
votes
4answers
138 views

Why is taking a side street called a “rat run”?

I stumbled upon this expression for the first time while doing some research for an answer, and I have to admit I love it! An explanation of rat running/ a rat run is as follows "Rat running/ A ...
0
votes
3answers
184 views

What is “Broken Britain”?

It's not a flattering term for Great Britain but due to its catchy alliteration it has not run out of steam among newspaper editors. Wikipedia says Broken Britain is a term which has been used ...
0
votes
0answers
12 views

Purpose of Subjunctive Past [duplicate]

What is exactly a subjunctive past? When do we use it? Could anyone please give some examples of the occasions we use the Subjunctive Past?
2
votes
3answers
199 views

How to explain “Cool” to a Briton

I was recently having a conversation with a friend from England. During the conversation I described someone as being cool, but he seemed confused by the term and asked me what I meant. I couldn't ...
-1
votes
1answer
339 views

(UK-US English) If “mom = mother” then why “mum” isn't “muther”? [closed]

So, I've noticed something weird. People who speak US English say Mom. Mom represents the word "mother". People who speak UK English say Mum. Mum also represents the word "mother". Why isn't it ...
1
vote
1answer
68 views

Why are doctors addressed as Mr. in the UK?

In the US most physicians, surgeons and dentists are addressed as "doctor". Very few other professionals receive the same title. In the UK, however, surgeons and dentists seem to prefer to be ...
2
votes
3answers
78 views

“Can I help you, love?” Love as a form of address: is it used regionally to talk to strangers?

I've been reading a chapter about the vocabulary of the Yorkshire dialect in the UK. Among other interesting curiosities ("child" plural "childer", "lad and lass" for "son an daughter") I've come ...
0
votes
4answers
124 views

Did I show you my graduation photo or have I shown you my graduation photo?

So I was on my way home from school, and I overheard two people talking about something. The one asked the other: ''Did I show you my graduation photo?'', I asked my self whether it shouldn't be ...
3
votes
3answers
115 views

Congestion/queue signs on British roads

On British roads (especially dual carriageways or motorways), signs indicating heavy traffic are a regular occurrence. The most common ones are: Congestion caution Congestion ahead Congestion after ...
3
votes
1answer
89 views

Can you have a strong milky coffee?

At work today a debate got rather heated between myself and a colleague, so I've turned to stack overflow. He says that if you have a lot coffee and a lot of milk its a strong milky coffee. My ...
0
votes
1answer
47 views

practice vs practise sentence question [closed]

Do both these sentences work? (British form) she needs more English practice. she needs more English practise.
3
votes
3answers
145 views

What is the origin of “have a gander”? (When meaning “look”.)

The phrase "have a gander" meaning "have a look" is common in the UK. (Also can be "have a goosey gander" or just "have a goosey".) What is the origin/meaning of this phrase? I always assumed that it ...
0
votes
0answers
50 views

Using hyphens in numbers (British English)

I heard that there is some recent rule which says that you shouldn't hyphenate numbers such as "twenty-two". Is this true?