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

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25
votes
8answers
2k views

Does anyone use both “whinge” and “whine?”

The words "whinge" and "whine" have separate (albeit very similar) definitions in the OED, and they have distinct pronunciations. "Whinge" seems completely restricted to BritE; I have never heard it ...
0
votes
0answers
40 views

Using status quo in a sentence

I'm writing a abstract of my research project and thinking of this sentence: Investigation of job advertises and interviews with 18 employers and six employed graduates, forms the status quo of ...
1
vote
1answer
83 views

Can you say “much more people?” [duplicate]

Note this question is not a duplicate of this question because that question does not address the use of "far more". It sounds strange to me but it's probably perfectly fine. "Many more" or "far ...
2
votes
1answer
96 views

Is “ice-jam” used in British English?

Would it be correct to use the term ice-jam, meaning ice formations in the water, in British English?
0
votes
1answer
119 views

Is the idiom “as neat as a pin” an American phrase?

I'm editing a novel set in 1930s England, written by an American author, and have been editing out any Americanisms I come across. I just read a line of dialogue containing the idiom "as neat as a ...
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?
5
votes
1answer
174 views

Origin of fag (meaning a cigarette in British English)

Aside from the offensive meaning, colloquial British English uses the term fag to indicate a cigarette. James has gone outside for a fag In my googling, I thought perhaps this originates from ...
1
vote
1answer
44 views

What is the meaning of ground truth?

I am reading the paper : http://mi-lab.org/files/2014/10/FlexSense_web.pdf . I have problems understanding use of ground truth the following : Main Pipeline Reconstructing the full 3D surface ...
0
votes
1answer
137 views

Earlier in the day meaning? [closed]

Today ,while reading news paper I came across the sentence "she had gone shopping earlier in the day " ....what does it mean ......? My conjecture "yesterday ?
0
votes
1answer
43 views

Out or out of which is it? [duplicate]

Which is correct 1 Get out the house. Or 2 Get out of the house? I've heard that the American English standard is the first one and the British English standard is the second one. Is that true? The ...
1
vote
3answers
44 views

don't have VS haven't

I don't have a west country accent. I haven't a west country accent. So, Which one is correct and why?
4
votes
2answers
135 views

Can you hear the difference between 'Writer' and 'Rider'? Why?

Apologies in advance for the slightly blog-like nature of this question. The Background Some of the comments in relation to this question here: Unvoiced /dʒ/ and /ʒ/ in word final position ... ...
3
votes
1answer
77 views

BrE: pronunciation of “to”

My wife is Guyanese and she tells me that in Guyana they are taught to pronounce "to" as an American would pronounce "toe." Guyana was a British colony (the most recent invaders) and their educational ...
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 ...
4
votes
1answer
98 views

The difference between “pressured” and “pressurised”

I often hear people talk of being pressurised into doing something, but I'm almost certain this is incorrect. A can of deodorant is pressurised, or a tin of beer, since in both cases the release of ...
0
votes
0answers
44 views

Proper pronunciation of the short a

When I hear the "short a" vowel pronounced it doesn't seem as fronted as it should. (I'm talking about the vowel found in words such as bad, lamp, clam, crash, usually transcribed with /æ/ in the IPA, ...
6
votes
3answers
472 views

Is there an American English equivalent for the British “moggie” for a non-purebred cat?

I'm an American (and fond of cats). I'm familiar with the British term "moggie" for a non-purebred cat--basically the equivalent of "mutt" for a dog. I've never heard any American English equivalent ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

Units are proper or common nouns?

Are units like newton, metre etc considered as proper or common noun?
0
votes
0answers
38 views

The 1st time + he went (had gone?)

I wonder why the writer didn´t use the past perfect tense in these sentences. 1) The 1st time he went (had gone?) to the ocean was when he went to the Black Sea. 2) The 1st time a German ship was ...
-1
votes
1answer
112 views

Why do some words exist in British English but not American English? [closed]

Thinking about the word "rubbish" which is widely used in the UK while non-existent in the USA, how do such words surface in Britain but not America? I read somewhere that American English is closer ...
3
votes
1answer
95 views

Linking /r/ and elision

In one of my lectures after learning about several processes of connected speech (namely assimilation, elision and linking) we were faced with a transcription exercise with which I have slight problem ...
0
votes
0answers
39 views

What is a bogan called in the UK? [duplicate]

In Australia, "bogan" is used to describe a person who is uncouth and rather unsophisticated and considered lower class. However, "bogan" is not necessarily offensive - some people pride themselves ...
2
votes
2answers
83 views

In English language acquisition, is it really important to stick to any standard accent?

English, as a global language, has unavoidably a lot of varieties. When we learn English do we really have to stick to one specific variety ? If yes why and which?
0
votes
1answer
117 views

What does it mean “up to much”?

A British guy ask me on fb Up to much? How should I respond to it?
1
vote
2answers
53 views

A concise equivalent of a phrase meaning “to be pulled in turns by two subjects”

I am writng a personal statement for a degree in game development and would like to begin with a decisive and concise statement. I wanted to express something like: before discovering myself in ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

What is the rule for pronouncing the “a”? [duplicate]

While British people mostly seem to speak a hard "a", American people tend to make an "ae" in some cases. Here are some examples of what I mean, grouped by pattern: glass/grass ...
1
vote
1answer
39 views

“I undertake that …” or “I undertake to …”

Suppose I want to give an assurance. Which one is correct? I undertake that I will give you your money as soon as I get home I undertake to give you your money as soon as I get home
1
vote
0answers
28 views

What do we got? [duplicate]

What do we got? In vernacular American speech, I have heard this structure several times. A search in COCA yields 36 results for "what do we got" and 107 results for "what do you got". This is what ...
1
vote
1answer
86 views

Difference between “in” and “of” when used with the complement 'the department'

I used the following two expressions: in: students in the department of: students of the department What is the difference, if any, between them?
1
vote
1answer
84 views

Is there a difference between a match and fixture in football?

Or are they synonyms? My guess is that fixtures are matches that haven't been played yet...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

BrE: monophthong in here, clear, mere, etc

Usually in BrE words like clear, fere, clear, mere, etc are pronounced with a diphthong comprising an open high front vowel followed by something resembling a schwa. However, they are sometimes ...
3
votes
1answer
69 views

Is “all together” a valid alternative to “altogether” in US English? [closed]

I'm British. I am editing a document, and I was going to correct a use of "all together" where the author clearly meant "altogether" (as in "entirely"). But then I realised this might just be a ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

what is the meaning of “co-indexed” in English?

I know that English people use "co-" prefix to show something is "joint" or "jointly Verb" with something else . But I encountered a key sentence in a article and I cannot understand it well: "we ...
3
votes
2answers
229 views

“Quite” American vs British English

In looking at the answers for this question, Using "quite" with a noun, it occurred to me that "quite," although having a dictionary definition, might be used differently by AmE and BrE ...
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 ...
0
votes
3answers
93 views

“Authorization” vs “Authorisation” - I'm in some real dilemma [closed]

I'm writing a professional business-related project summary, whereby half of the clientele is in the U.S while the other half of the same business is in the U.K. - and I don't want to disappoint ...
4
votes
2answers
79 views

'to blind someone with science' — Not known or rare in the US?

This definition states (my emphasis) blind with science (British & Australian) if you blind someone with science, you confuse them by using technical language that they are not likely to ...
6
votes
5answers
726 views

How to express someone's height in metric

If someone is 169cm tall, what is the most common way of saying their height in metres and centimetres in American/Australian/British English? I'm not interested in converting metres (meters) and ...
2
votes
1answer
108 views

Difference in usage of “all right”, “ok”, “very well”

When I agree with doing something annoying or what I originally didn't want to do is there a difference between starting the reply with: "all right", "ok", "very well" or others? Does "very well" ...
0
votes
3answers
615 views

What's an appropriate response to a British person asking “You alright?”

I've heard this phrase from various British people: "You alright" (comes out as a slurred "y'rite") and I'm always a bit confused on how to respond. From context, it seems to have two meanings ...
1
vote
0answers
63 views

“He could do X for England”. Are there similar expressions in other parts of the English-speaking world to this derogatory sentence?

In Reginald Hill's Dalziel and Pascoe novels, I've read the phrase: "He could [do x] for England. It is always derogatory. It is a lovely phrase! Because I can't put my finger on a quote from these ...
2
votes
1answer
52 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 ...
7
votes
9answers
308 views

BrEng expressions to describe a man who is becoming stupid

I'm searching for British English expressions describing a person who starts to be stupid, crazy or foolish. I mean something like the idiom to lose one's head and epithets like: You fool! Are there ...
8
votes
2answers
683 views

Is the expression “one's cup of tea” used in American English?

OK, the Free Dictionary defines this as one's cup of tea: Something that is in accord with one's liking or taste. For example, Quiz shows are just my cup of tea, or Baseball is not her cup of tea. ...
1
vote
2answers
78 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
517 views

The exact meaning of “Enquiries Over $xxx,xxx”

I often see "Enquiries Over $xxx,xxx" in real estate ads, e.g. "Enquiries Over $500,000". Does the "over" literally mean offers should be above the figure (or don't bother approaching the seller), ...
3
votes
1answer
198 views

Why the does 'tu' get pronounced 'tyu' in British English?

Despite being a native Brit, I've always found it an oddity that words like "tutor", "tube", "tumour", and "duty" are pronounced as "tyutor", "tyube", "tyumour", and "duty" in British English. For me, ...
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 ...