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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

1
vote
1answer
2k views

What is the origin of “odds and ends”?

There's already a question (and answer) for "bits and bobs", which I believe is a Britishism, but what is the origin of "odds and ends"? "Odds" I have some reckoning for (as in, "odd items", meaning ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

Use Schedule and Timetable together

The context is a course scheduling and the process in creating one: course scheduling. I have looked up, that schedule is typically used American English and timetable is typically used in British ...
1
vote
2answers
186 views

“Summoning something into life” vs. “summoning something to life”

What is the difference between the following? Summoning ... into life Summoning ... to life If it helps, I want to use the word idea in the place of dots so it's like: Summoning ...
1
vote
2answers
138 views

“..which did what lay in it…” from “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens

Ref: “A tale of two cities” by Charles Dickens. What does “..which did what lay in it…” mean in the following sentence? “As the bank passenger – with an arm drawn through the leathern strap, ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

Usage of 'z' in the word serialized in English?

Is it correct to use 'z' or 's' in the word "seriali z ed" when writing correct English? (I.e. not a variant of English like "American") Or should it be spelled like "seriali s ed" ?
1
vote
3answers
11k views

Is the phrase “getting on” commonly used in British English? What register would its use be in?

I've collected a new phrase from my watching of British television, getting on, as in "How's he getting on?" From various contexts, I think I've gotten the meaning down to "how's he doing?" Anyway, ...
1
vote
2answers
89 views

Equivalent AmEnglish expression of BrEnglish slang term “cheeky”

I play an online game with a group of people, one of whom is UK-based. He was going out of town for several days, so he told us to "feel free to do a cheeky quest" without him. What does the word ...
1
vote
1answer
236 views

Should British r be spoken out in liaison?

For example, the r in "better" is not pronounced in British English. How about the "r" in "a better idea"?
1
vote
1answer
3k views

Difference between “ditch”, “trench” and “gutter” [closed]

I have been trying to understand the difference between the three, is this a usage difference between American English and British English? What is the difference?
1
vote
1answer
270 views

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde unknown ( Biblical?) Reference [closed]

Okay, so I am an avid reader, and have recently undertaken a challenge to read Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, along with Robert Louis Stevenson's other literature. Having recently completed Jekyll & ...
1
vote
3answers
125 views

Cool rush of air uphill

Do you know the word to describe a cool rushing current of uphill air? I think it has something to do with the air coming from a cool place on a warm day.
1
vote
2answers
654 views

Etymology of the words “narky” and “narked”

Anybody have any idea where the word "narky" comes from? I speak British English and I understand the word to mean irritated or bad-tempered. Similarly I've heard the phrase "narked off". ...
1
vote
2answers
749 views

“inquisitive” vs. “inquiring” in AmE and BrE

Do these terms share the same level of laudatoriness/pejorativeness in both BrE and AmE? Or, does one typically have a more positive/negative connotation to it than the other from your side of the ...
1
vote
1answer
817 views

Is American English more archaic or more modern than British English?

I insist that someone do something. (used more in American English, says Michael Swan's Practical English Use , for instance) versus I insist that someone should do somehting. (used more ...
1
vote
3answers
28k views

Should I use “arrived” or “reached”

Sometimes when I come back from my brother's house he asks me to let him know when I am at home. Now, in that situation which one of the following is correct : I've reached home now. OR I've ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Banking meaning of “held”

While filling in a UK form I just encountered the following question: How many credit cards held? This was followed by a free-form text field. So they are either asking ‘how many credit cards ...
1
vote
3answers
42k views

What is the usual form of “Please do the needful”? [duplicate]

I was browsing the internet, and found that "Please do the needful" is not an appropriate sentence to use or write. According to this link, this sentence used to get used in South Asia. What would be ...
1
vote
1answer
138 views

When it come to bicycle tyres, what does “cheerful”, “sprightlier” mean?

The usage of those words can be found in this review of a certain make of bicycle tyres. Unable to understand what the author is trying to say using those adjectives, since they are usually used to ...
1
vote
2answers
559 views

Where can I read old English text with new English explanations [closed]

I like old English like "Coole their heeles", "thee" ,"thy" ,"ye" etc. Where can I find old English text but with explanations and meaning? I would also like to read old text, can you list them ...
1
vote
2answers
401 views

What determines the meaning of ‘rise’ with no adverb or preposition?

From my earlier question, I got “rising” in the following citation means getting up from the bed. 1.(Harry was sitting up on a bed in the hospital wing at school, surrounded by his visitors. Fudge, ...
1
vote
3answers
1k views

“Building site” vs. “construction site”

Is building site the British English equivalent of construction site in American English, and is it used in American English?
1
vote
2answers
69 views

Pronouncing dates in British English

The normal way to pronounce a date such as "22 August" or "22/8" in British English is "the twenty-second of August." My question is, do the pronunciations "twenty-two August" and "twenty-two eight" ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

Military and Peerage Titles

If you are referring to a member of the peerage, I know you would capitalize Lord Matlock or the Earl of Matlock. If I am calling him the Earl and it is directly in reference to him, without the ...
1
vote
1answer
131 views

Screaming for the beagle

In the 1951 film "Scrooge" with Alastair Sim, Mrs. Dilber runs down the stairs screaming and says "You'll force me to scream for the beagle!" What does she mean by that?
1
vote
2answers
76 views

Douglas Adams and his foibles. This one is for the Brits, I think

There are a few versions of the Hitchhiker's Guide series, with slight differences here and there. (I'll read anything, by the way, and I do find certain passages from the series absolutely ...
1
vote
2answers
79 views

What does “betraying the fact” mean?

I'm reading a BBC article on ketamine abuse. In the article it says: The doors at the Baiyun drug rehabilitation clinic are always locked, betraying the fact that the patients inside aren't ...
1
vote
2answers
110 views

A word for the condition of being blasé

Is there a word in English that encapsulates the condition of being blasé, sort of in the same vein as "weariness" encapsulates the condition of being weary? blasé: having or showing a lack of ...
1
vote
2answers
83 views

Combining two sentences for title

I want to combine the following sentence: Relationship between son and mother, and relationship between daughter and mother Into one sentence for title of an article: Relationship between son, ...
1
vote
2answers
753 views

Difference between 'floor' and 'level' [closed]

If my home address is; plot #120, 4th floor, Road #5, Dhanmondi. Can I write my address as: plot #120, level #5, Road #5, Dhanmondi. Note that instead of writing 4th floor, I used Level #5. ...
1
vote
2answers
8k views

When someone leaves at 4pm - should I say “Have a good afternoon” or “evening”? [closed]

Could you please help me? I started work as a receptionist. I have to greet people that come and go. What should I say in this occasion: example: It is 4 pm and the client is leaving. Should I say ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Ma'am: Is it as in “ham” solely for the Queen, whilst it remains spoken “ma”+“um” (less any glotal stop) for all others?

It's become conventional wisdom that, when addressing the Queen after introduction, one must be sure to address her as "ma'am" as if it were to rhyme with "ham". Only "ma'am" and "ham" don't rhyme. ...
1
vote
1answer
623 views

What is the meaning of “He's got his quiver full”?

It was part of a dialogue I read some time ago: A. "His wife is pregnant again." B. "Really? He's got his quiver full, hasn't he?" A. "He has, and I tell you, he should know better." ...
1
vote
1answer
825 views

Why does Northern Ireland pronunciation sound similar to American?

Recently, I started watching a TV show The Fall, which takes place in Northern Ireland. Their intonations and accents are unique, but their pronunciation sounds a lot like North American English to ...
1
vote
1answer
127 views

How is “whinge” pronounced? [closed]

I once noticed somebody spelled "whine" as "whinge" and thought it was an egregious and hilarious typo. But it turns out that "whinge" is an acceptable spelling among writers of the "Queen's" ...
1
vote
2answers
240 views

Please help me explain the grammatical error

I don't think the following sentence is correct: "Your English is terrible regardless of where you derive.", but my elementary school English lessons have worn thin over the years. The closest I can ...
1
vote
1answer
171 views

How should “makeup” be written in BrEng?

By "makeup", I mean cosmetics, as in lipstick, foundation, eyeliner, etc. My assumption is that it should be written as "makeup", but others have suggested "make up" or "make-up". In case there are ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

“Go ahead” vs. “Carry on” in AE usage

Back when I was a student, I can recall my nonnative English teachers -- after discussing a certain word, or phrase, or passage from a text with the class -- saying for me or some other guy to please ...
1
vote
2answers
993 views

Where is the word “cutlery” in common usage

During a trip to the US I realised that many Americans have never heard the word cutlery before ... however some have. Where in the English speaking world (and in particular where in the US) is this ...
1
vote
3answers
84 views

How would you group the terms “Single” and “Pair”?

I am working on a website at the moment and I am trying to perfect the User Experience. The products on the store are either sold on their own, or as pairs. What I want is a word or phrase to put in ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

What does “no longer cease to exist” means?

I understand what "cease to exist" means, but "something" no longer cease to exist doesn't make sense to me. English is not my first language(obviosly).
1
vote
1answer
258 views

Is 'read' still synonymous with 'majored' in BrE? [closed]

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_American_and_British_English#university "She read biology at Cambridge." That doesn't mean 'she read a book or something about biology at Cambridge'?
1
vote
2answers
386 views

Does the word “indefatigable” have positive or negative connotation?

Example usage: Terence, you have indefatigable enthusiasm. The effect it has on people is inspiring. In the sense of exuberance, but you feel positively about it.
1
vote
2answers
119 views

Is “after” in this context solely a local colloquialism?

There are a number of turns of phrase that I have to avoid as an English person speaking to an American audience. Would it be possible for someone to clarify whether this colloquialism is ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

Mixing British and American spellings in writing [closed]

I like color more than colour, but I like favourite more than favorite. For me it is better to write My favourite color is blue. Is it wrong to mix British and American spellings in writing, and ...
1
vote
3answers
980 views

What tests are used in order to determine the number of syllables in a word? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What are the syllabification rules for English? I would like to know what tests are used for determining how many syllables are in a word. Well, there are no tests, then ...
1
vote
2answers
347 views

Grammar: Use of 'that' [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Use of “that” in a sentence Which of the following is correct in British English? 1) There are 100 people going to the party, so I expect it will be a good ...
1
vote
2answers
785 views

Sentence to Indicate Change (That is not a cliché)

I have a sentence that I need to replace; one that is somewhat cliché. What would be a good sentence (Or perhaps a phrase) that could indicate change in a somewhat stale/monotonous environment? ...
1
vote
2answers
273 views

Is this correct English? What should one do when you're supposed to have *two* punctuations at *one* position?

This is the first sentence of which ground-breaking document: "The importance of a Web page is an inherently subjective matter, which depends on the readers interests, knowledge and ...
1
vote
1answer
70 views

Word usage: “manyfold” or “manifold”? [closed]

Is there any US/UK English difference in the spellings "manyfold" and "manifold"?
1
vote
2answers
35 views

Definition of “Veteran” as applied to Motor Vehicles

In a documentary video about Lord Montague and the Montague Motor Museum, the following narration was used: And on this fine April day in 1959, hosts of strange vehicles are converging upon the ...