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

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0
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0answers
45 views

Incorrect or just different grammar? [duplicate]

A friend of mine has noticed something I say differently to move people. Most would contract the sentence "we have not done" into "we haven't done". I turn it into "we've not done". This seems to be ...
10
votes
6answers
2k views

What do the British mean by “bolshie”?

In this week's edition of The Economist there is a review of Edith Pearlman's latest book of short stories. In it, the reviewer says the volume is characterised by prose that is bolshie yet ...
7
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3answers
243 views

Was the BrEng term “coloured” derogatory in the 1970s?

SAM Look... I owe it to myself to say this to you, okay? Leave Tony Crane. Just go far away from him. He's gonna ask you to marry him and he's gonna make you a business partner. EVE Is ...
0
votes
1answer
34 views

'Accessory' vs 'included' as adjective (BE)

I'm wondering about the use of the word 'accessory' as an adjective. Would it be preferable in BE to say something like 'This DJ controller comes with accessory headphones'? I feel that 'This DJ ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

“Financier” in British and American English

I am teaching English to a group of university students whose major is Finance, and whose native language is not English. I have no background in economics in general or finance in particular. I am ...
0
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1answer
48 views

Is “would you be keen to consider___?” too cheesy to use?

On a formal / professional email, is the following question acceptable, or is it too much politeness it looks unprofessional? The intention is to ask someone, who is not a subordinate, to do ...
14
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2answers
977 views

What do “orange” and “spindle-shanked beaux” mean in this quote?

While looking up the word "bye" I found this 18th century quotation. Our present race of spindle-shanked beaux had rather close with an orange wench at the playhouse, than engage in a bye battle ...
-1
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2answers
113 views

I want to learn English for 3 months [closed]

I'm Egyptian and I want to learn English for 3 months. What advice do you have for me? I'm free for 3 months. What is the solution? Thank you.
2
votes
1answer
79 views

Diminished “R” Phoneme in NE AmE & BrE

Q: New Englanders habitually mute or diminish the R phoneme (?) in many words, (park, car, Harvard, etc.). What is the name of this characteristic of their speech? So many of the patterns of New ...
0
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2answers
64 views

“Reduce to” or “reduce by”?

Can I use the verb reduce in the following way? Also can anyone help me verify the whole sentence? The transmission overhead is reduced to more than 95%.
-1
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1answer
39 views

Does “provides the pinnacle of education” make sense?

The phrase seems hardly used so I'm not sure if I can use the "pinnacle" like that. I can't seem to find another way to say what I want. Any clarification is appreciated! :)
-1
votes
1answer
87 views

A dataset of equivalent English phrases?

There is a similarity or even equality between many sentences in English language such as: I happened to come across the scientific definitions while reading. I came across the scientific ...
0
votes
1answer
108 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"?
-4
votes
1answer
41 views

Which is correct (i miss you -or- miss you) Or both can be true In the correct English [closed]

Which is correct (i miss you -or- miss you) Or both can be true In the correct English
0
votes
2answers
79 views

Which words can properly follow “including”?

"He sang everywhere, including in the bath". "He behaved badly in many ways, including cheating in his exams." These don't sound quite right to me. Are they wrong? And, if so, on the basis of what ...
2
votes
1answer
59 views

Is there an AmE/BrE difference whether “by date X” means by the beginning or ending of this date?

A job application in England wants applications to arrive by the 30th. I understand this to mean by the end of the 30th (in London time). The accepted answer to this question appears to indicate the ...
-3
votes
5answers
337 views

What is the Single Word for Burning Alive?

Is there any single word substitute for 'Burning Alive'? We've Behead for 'Cut off the head'. Similar way, What is the Single word equivalent for 'Burning Alive' If any?
0
votes
2answers
120 views

What is meant by “we got a live one” in following context?

Here is the clip from "Finding Nemo" where "live one" was used. http://youtu.be/zycSnw5PP0g?t=2m19s
19
votes
9answers
2k views

A modern equivalent for “at the coalface”

I let you believe that I am one of the nation's top geneticists, when actually I am a moderately successful scientist who is now coasting on past research, doing the odd bit of examining or ...
6
votes
1answer
157 views

How and when did “bash” and “do” come to mean party?

I am on my way to a faculty party at the university. The Head of Sciences is retiring and is throwing a huge bash, all his staff, selected external examiners like me and various scientists from ...
1
vote
1answer
35 views

“Prune from” or “prune of”?

I need to say (in passive voice) that a certain set of objects was cleaned from (pruned of/pruned from?) certain subsets of undesirable objects. I know that prune away [undesired objects] is one of ...
3
votes
0answers
159 views

Distinguishing Australian, English, South African accents [closed]

I have attended courses in English over many years, and as most of my English teachers have an Algerian accent, I have always wondered about the question of accents. I can distinguish an American ...
1
vote
2answers
58 views

Why is the British tv show “the Undatables” not called “the Undatable” without 's'?

There is a tv series on Channel 4 called "The Undatables" which I have just started watching. The title keeps me wondering why it's not just called "the undatable" like the poor or the rich? Last ...
5
votes
4answers
241 views

Is it acceptable to use a single hyphen as a dash (as the BBC does)?

Is it acceptable to use a single hyphen as a dash (as the BBC does)? Example from BBC News: Venezuela - a major oil producer - has been heavily affected by the fall in oil prices on ...
1
vote
3answers
106 views

Idiom for: managing to solve a big problem only to be frustrated by a smaller problem

What would be an idiom for solving a massive problem and then only getting hindered by a small problem? So after solving a hard problem, getting stopped by the easy problem. It would not be: out of ...
1
vote
1answer
119 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." ...
10
votes
1answer
649 views

Is “defensible driving” defensible?

This stems from an answer on the Bicycles StackExchange site: http://bicycles.stackexchange.com/a/28633/1464 I think many people have heard of driving (or riding) "defensively." I understand this to ...
1
vote
3answers
114 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"] ...
10
votes
4answers
678 views

Do brides in church weddings go up the aisle toward the altar or down the aisle toward the altar?

Nigel Rees, The Cassell Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins (1987) has this entry regarding the question "WHY DO WE SAY ... BRIDES GO UP THE AISLE?" Sir Thomas Bazley fired off a letter to The ...
0
votes
2answers
190 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 ...
0
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1answer
91 views

How to pronounce Alois in A Dog of Flanders? [closed]

The e-book I have downloaded from Amazon has Alois, but Wikipedia seems to have Aloise. I do not know which one is correct in the first place. I shall assume Alois is the correct one. A Dog of ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

Another way of saying “accompanied by family members”?

I'm writing a sign-up form for an event. The form has a checkbox, where people can indicate if they are bringing family members. Currently I have the field labeled: Accompanied by family members ...
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2answers
142 views

“Bnag” pun, anagram or play on words?

There is a one-liner by Tim Vine, a British stand-up comedian, that sees him pull out a card with the word... BNAG and exclaim: That's bang out of order! The joke is derived from the idiom ...
0
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2answers
286 views

How do you write the expression of disgust that sounds like “er”?

My daughter said to me this morning (the context is irrelevant): Er, it's all wet! The interjection I have written here as Er was synonymous with Yuck. Its wetness did not cause great happiness. ...
1
vote
5answers
587 views

What word to choose as the opposite of “self-aware”?

What word would describe the quality of not being self-aware? unselfaware unself-aware un-selfaware un-self-aware non-self-aware I am aware that it is allowed to have multiple hyphens in a word. ...
3
votes
4answers
403 views

Word to describe the completion of a planned rail journey

I am a native English speaker with, what I consider to be, an excellent vocabulary but I recently ran into a problem whilst compiling my list of New Year's Resolutions. One item on the list is to ...
0
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1answer
42 views

Nuances when returning physical mail in the UK [closed]

“Return to sender” carries very little meaning to the sender: Who returned it? The postal service, the intended recipient, or some other person? Why was it returned? Was it considered spam, was the ...
4
votes
3answers
493 views

Roundel vs Roundabout [closed]

What, if any, is the difference between the two? My best guess is that a 'roundel' is the traffic island or structure that you drive around, while the 'roundabout' also includes the road you're ...
4
votes
1answer
76 views

Allophones of /ə/

In (non-rhotic) British English there seem to be two major allophones of the phoneme /ə/. The first which can be heard in potato, career or the weak form of from as an [ə]. However, there's also a ...
0
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2answers
50 views

A term for Not Applicable in the context of UI/UX [closed]

I want to give an option to a user to check if an option is not applicable for her. However the two words in "Not Applicable" are too huge for my GUI. Suggestions Would be greatly appreciated :)
0
votes
1answer
72 views

What does plate mean in “we're running you in two plates”?

I find the following line in Tom Stoppard’s play The Invention of Love. Mark Pattison, Rector of Lincoln College, Oxford, is speaking to entering students in the 1860s: . . . if ...
0
votes
1answer
63 views

Difference between 'get at' and 'get on at'

E.g. 'My boss is always getting on at me even if I haven't done anything wrong.' 'Her parents keep getting at her for skipping classes.' I'm wondering whether these phrasal verbs have ...
1
vote
1answer
382 views

What are the origins of using the abbreviation “v.” for “very”?

Looking to figure out where the abbreviation "v." originates from. I know "v." was heavily used in "Bridget Jones Diary," but that movie came out over a decade ago and was British. What are the ...
2
votes
4answers
229 views

A single word meaning 'easy yet powerful'?

I'm looking for a single adjective to describe a piece of software which is very easy to use, but has powerful features for users who have access and knowledge. It's for a succinct marketing ...
5
votes
2answers
268 views

What did “eating 'mad cow'” mean in the 1800's?

In the December 1885 Lippincott's Magazine article COOKHAM DEAN, about an artistic area 40 miles up the Thames from London, Margaret Bertha Wright (an American author) wrote: Probably nine-tenths ...
0
votes
1answer
67 views

Does “hosting a dinner” mean it is paid for?

Does "hosting a dinner" (in the UK) mean it is paid for, or just that it is being organised on behalf of the attendees?
2
votes
1answer
110 views

Using pray instead of please in a sentence - Why? When? [closed]

I hear (mostly from people in the Humanities department) sentences that use pray instead of the word please: "Pray tell me, when will you be back?" Assuming that I haven't made any mistakes in the ...
0
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4answers
54 views

What are the following actions called

If you speak, and another person keeps doing/saying the following at near enough everything you say: Oh here we go again Oh bloody hell Sarcastic laugh Mumbles something to show disapproval but ...
1
vote
2answers
541 views

“Sport” vs “Sports” Origin

I was recently reading this article on the use of "math" vs. "maths" as a collective noun (Americans use the former, Brits the latter). However, the trend seen in "math/maths" is reversed in ...
1
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1answer
54 views

“All the unemployed” vs “every unemployed”

The right to work implies the obligation on the part of the government to give a job to all the unemployed. Can I replace all the unemployed with every unemployed. If yes then OK, but if not then ...