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

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2
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2answers
135 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
134 views

“Rather !” as a reply: old-fashioned? Colloquial? Unusual?

Is "Rather" as a reply (BrE), with heavy stress on the second syllable, old-fashioned ? Colloquial ? Unusual ? e.g. "Did you enjoy yourself?" "Rather!" Can "pretty much so!" be its AmE ...
2
votes
1answer
272 views

Present Perfect, American English and “since”

I'm wondering: I was always taught at school that when using "since", you always have to use Present Perfect (BrE), e.g. Since when have you played chess? But is Since when did you play ...
2
votes
3answers
4k views

“Named for” vs. “named after”

As a Brit, I'm used to the phrase named after being used to say how something got its name. For example, in Wikipedia's List of eponymous roads in London, we read that Addison Road is named after the ...
2
votes
0answers
62 views

Reported Speech: preference for using that after say/tell

A student of mine has stated (based on her experience watching films and TV shows) that, when using Reported Speech, Americans will more often use 'he said that X' or 'he told us that X' whereas ...
2
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0answers
38 views

Tuck someone under one's wing [closed]

To quote the sentence from Richard Templar's book The Rules of Life: "My grandfarther had taken early retirement owing to an industrial accident and my grandmother worked in a large department store ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

Is “a few street away” a grammatically acceptable idiomatic expression in some dialect of UK English?

I am an American and I am reading a book titled Bloodmage by a British author named Stephen Aryan. He uses expressions I was previously unfamiliar with, such as "sat" instead of "sitting" (i.e., "sat ...
2
votes
1answer
51 views

laden vs. loaded [closed]

I was justed asked whether it's a british idiom to say something, for example a car is 'fully laden' as in American English 'loaded' would be used. Does anyone here know about this issue? Thanks &...
2
votes
1answer
69 views

Is it formal or informal to use y/o as an abbreviation of “years old”? [closed]

This is my first question on this site. I am not a native speaker. My question is, is it formal or informal to use y/o as an abbreviation of "years old" in British English?
2
votes
2answers
40 views

"Proper Cheerio”: Proper?

A call to BrE speakers: A television outlet in NE US is advertising a gala fundraising event coinciding with the finale of the Downton Abbey television series in the States. Sunday, March 6, 2016 ...
2
votes
0answers
36 views

Meaningless “Do” And the supposed relationship between English and the Celtic languages [duplicate]

The verb "do" often serves a meaningless purpose in questions. John McWhorter argues in his book "Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue" that this is a direct influence of the Celtic languages. In all of my ...
2
votes
1answer
68 views

Manuals of Style and Typography for British and American English [closed]

I would like to know which manuals of style and typography are the most common ones for British and American English. I am interested in the basic manuals and the manuals for technical scientists (...
2
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0answers
39 views

May you pass me - Will you pass me [duplicate]

My Grandchildren say "May you pass the salt" etc. They say their teachers say this is ok. To me it sounds very clumsy and I had never heard it used except by them. They have grown in Wiltshire while ...
2
votes
3answers
517 views

There's a good fellow [Phrase]

I would like to learn more about the meaning of the phrase: There's a good fellow. All that I know is that it is used for praising or encouraging a child or an animal. Is it right?
2
votes
0answers
60 views

What expressions/words are still used in Indian English that are no longer in British English? [duplicate]

I was traveling through India recently and noticed that many expressions that people used that I saw were somewhat older expressions, now disused in Standard English. Examples of these were: ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

When referring to computer coding, would the correct verb spelling (in British English) be “to program” or “to programme”?

I already know that there are different spellings in British and US English for "programme". Usually, I refer to a computer program with the US spelling as all programming is done in US English, so it ...
2
votes
3answers
315 views

Résumé as summary vs document describing work experience

Because "résumé" or "resume" as a noun is a false cognate with the French equivalent, I tend to avoid using "résumé" to mean "summary", and only reserve it to mean "that document people bring to ...
2
votes
3answers
269 views

how to handle EN US/UK differences [closed]

If you are from Great Britain, or other English speaking country (except US), or even most of European countries where you learn british-english and are working for an American company would you use,...
2
votes
0answers
794 views

Whats' wrong with the following sentence? [closed]

One thing that despise me is when people cannot look me in eye. I believe that the statement is grammatically wrong since we are using passive voice in the sentence so it should be 'despises' ...
2
votes
1answer
75 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 Hamilton'...
2
votes
4answers
9k views

Born(e) (out?) of the desire

I'd be most grateful to anyone who could tell me which of the following is right xyz was born out of the desire to... xyz was born of the desire to... xyz was borne out of the desire to... xyz was ...
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2answers
16k views

Independance or Independence?

What other words are like "independence" in British English where you replace the 'a' with an 'e'?
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3answers
1k views

What is the vocative expression we can use to attract the attention of someone whose name or surname we don't know?

I was reading one of my old English Language books when I came across this: "Madame, Señora, Signora, etc, are foreign vocative expressions and they have no equivalent, in either ...
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3answers
413 views

Is British English Outdated in Technical Writing?

I learnt English as my second language right from my school level and for the British colonial history of my country, my education was mostly in British English. In fact, during my school years, ...
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3answers
3k views

Meaning of “at least Dick Turpin wore a mask”

I tried to sell my stuff and one of the guys asked me if I could bargain on the item and I said no. He replied with the message, At least Dick Turpin wore a mask. What does that mean?
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3answers
8k views

Synonyms / slang words in American English to express “I am very excited for something”? [closed]

In British English we can say "I am keen to do something with you". Also: "Would you like to go to a concert?" A: "I'm keen for that!". What are some equivalents in American English? Is it "I want to ...
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2answers
5k views

What does 'Not to order' mean?

I came across this line in one of Nina Bawden's works: I have only once written a book, not to order, exactly, but to please a particular audience; a girl of seven who was, as she put it, 'a ...
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4answers
5k views

“How be you” or “How are you”?

I have never heard the phrase "How be you?" until yesterday, and started arguing that this was incorrect and that the correct phrase is "How are you?". My friend's reply was "This is how it's taught ...
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3answers
382 views

Is there a word meaning “pertaining to diary writing”?

Is there a word meaning "pertaining to diary writing"? For example something like diaretical (obviously not a real word) or similar? Example usage: The text was written in a ["diaretical"] manner....
1
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2answers
485 views

The use of “for” and “of”

Are for and of interchangeable in these circumstances? Is the meaning affected at all? He was the Minister for Education. He was the Minister of Education. The Institute of Medical ...
1
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3answers
6k views

What does “make it cross” mean?

I believe it's a British phrase. I found it in that website, as: Fiat's Panda can offer an affordable route into 4x4 ownership. You just have to make it Cross. If you happen to know more ...
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4answers
1k views

Apartment building - flat building?

Does anyone in the UK say flat building? I live in the US, mind, so I have no clue. It sounds a bit funny saying that. Do they say apartment building instead, maybe? Or is there another word for a ...
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2answers
2k views

Latin abbreviation to use in English to replace “as such” [closed]

I was wondering if I can use "et al." in order to say "as such" after a list of elements in a sentence given as example. If not: What can be the correct Latin abbreviation to use to replace "as ...
1
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1answer
2k views

What kind of rain is “sprinkles”?

It appears that MSN Weather has chosen an amusing adjective (from my British point of view) for the weather today: I'm assuming the precipitation (sadly) won't contain any hundreds-and-thousands. ...
1
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4answers
317 views

What does this mean: “Avoid oral calcium, dairy products, shark cartilage & exercise during the medication.”

I found this behind a medicine. At first thought, the sentence looks like it suggests avoiding exercise during the medication. However, I remember reading somewhere that in US English, when there is a ...
1
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2answers
180 views

Centre of competence

I have seen this expression several times (Google search gives 67M answers), but it seems mostly used by French or Swiss institutions, while Wikipedia mentions centre of excellence or competency ...
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2answers
88 views

Heel of Italy in Wikipedia? [closed]

Who can describe it for me? what does mean Heel and relation to italy? the region situated on the "heel" of Italy.
1
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4answers
591 views

“I usually knock off at 6”

"I usually knock off at 6", i heard an english gentleman say that. Does it sound odd only to me? In fact, what I heard was "I usually masturbate at 6" Did some research: found a book (i'm guessing ...
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2answers
1k views

what does the sentence “You wouldn't know a hospital corner if it bit you on the arse” mean?

The conversation goes something like this: Woman: I'll change the bed sheets. Man: No, I'll do it! Woman: I can make a bed! Man : You wouldn't know a hospital corner if it bit you ...
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5answers
3k views

Losing bottles and bottling out

ODO's definition for bottle includes the following: 2 [mass noun] British informal the courage or confidence needed to do something difficult or dangerous: I lost my bottle completely and ran ...
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1answer
914 views

“What am I meant to have”

I heard the following on 'The Office' in episode Downsize (#1.1): David Brent: I'm going to have to let you go first. Dawn: What? Why? David Brent: Why? Stealing. Thieving. Dawn: ...
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3answers
13k views

Pronunciation of “i” in the words like “direct”, “organization”, etc

I'm a nonnative speaker of English and I've always been unsure about the pronunciation of "i" inside words like direct, organization, etc. I was thinking that it's a matter of choice between American ...
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2answers
5k views

“Neither . . . nor” vs. “nor . . . neither”

In my native language we have a neither-nor-like structure which can be used either as: I neither like thing A and nor thing B. or as: I nor like thing A and neither thing B. Is it ...
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1answer
7k views

Speaking of insults: “sod off!” meaning and origin

I've thought it had to do with the love that dare not speak its name, to put it ever so coyly, but what does this phrase mean and connote? And what's the approximate American equivalent?
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2answers
3k views

How would you use rationale in a sentence?

How is rationale used in a sentence? Can it be used in place of logic?
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3answers
623 views

got ready vs is ready

A friend of mine corrected my sentence but I couldn't understand it. Just hoping someone can explain it properly for a non English speaker. My sentence is: "Finally your passport GOT ready for ...
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3answers
428 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 ...
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2answers
118 views

How to better phrase “I'm Alec who enquired about…” [closed]

I'm writing an email to an angel investor I met recently. The context is: Hi John, Pleasure to briefly meet you at the ... event last Thursday. I'm Alec who enquired about the best way of ...
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3answers
1k views

Is “my place” correct and common in British English?

I was recently told that "my place", such as in "let's go to my place" is not commonly used in British English? Is that the case and what would you say instead?
1
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1answer
121 views

Which does ‘rising’ here mean, to stand up or to get angry?

Harry was sitting up on a bed in the hospital wing at school, surrounded by his visitors. Fudge, one of them, started to insult Harry. Did Mrs. Weasley want to prevent him from getting angry or from ...