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

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9
votes
3answers
122 views

What is the etymology of the term “form factor”?

I'm a theoretical physicist, and am doing some work on quantities called form factors. To an expert, a form factor says something about scattering particles from fields. This probably originated from ...
3
votes
1answer
67 views

What does it mean to “take the mickey out of” something?

I am a Yank. I have a friend who lives in the UK, in Sussex. She writes: Mike and Rose are pretty good, but they tend to take the mickey out of my inadequacies. Mike and Rose are her ...
0
votes
3answers
153 views

What are other words for a collection of beautiful things?

I am looking for a word or term for a collection of beautiful things. Of either intrinsic value or even along the lines of 'a whole that is made of a sum of valuable parts'. Not necessarily in any ...
1
vote
1answer
87 views

What are the levels of proficiency in english and the vocubulary subsets at each level [closed]

What are the levels of proficiency in english and the vocubulary subsets at each level. As in how many words should a person know at each level of english proficiency and is there a reference list of ...
9
votes
4answers
444 views

“[a/the] equivalent of” vs. “[a/the] equivalent for” vs. “[a/the] equivalent to”

Which of the following constructs sound more idiomatic to you? Is there any British/American equivalent to the French phrase "broyer du noir"? Is there any British/American equivalent for the ...
2
votes
1answer
63 views

Whence the BrE “fine tooth-comb” where AmE uses “fine-tooth comb”?

I'm reading a novel set in present-day England, and it's sprinkled with uses of the construction in the title. This is far from the first time I've encountered this in BrE writing, along with general ...
0
votes
2answers
77 views

What “appear to be ” means in the given sentence [closed]

Today, while reading a newspaper I came across a sentence that has been baffling me since: The woman, who identified herself as Bhavna and appeared to be in her 20s, .... What does appeared to ...
31
votes
8answers
10k views

When talking to American clients, should I say “smoothie” or “milkshake”?

We have a client visit planned to our service center (in India) and I am in-charge of Food and Beverages for our client's entire itinerary. I am writing to my client's Travel coordinator(an American) ...
-1
votes
2answers
73 views

How do you pronounce Calvin in British English

How do the British pronounce the 'a' between c and l? Is it like 'callous' or 'call'?
5
votes
2answers
182 views

“Milk in first and Indian”—what does it mean?

Reading A Murder of Quality by John le Carré, I came across the following remark by Mrs. Hecht, a detestable upper-class Englishwoman (emphasis mine): "Though, of course, the Midlands are ...
1
vote
1answer
187 views

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

Is there any US/UK English difference in the spellings "manyfold" and "manifold"?
0
votes
3answers
54 views

Are there local differences in the definitions of cleaning and tidying?

Do the words cleaning and tidying translate differently in different English speaking countries? Specifically, would vacuuming always be considered part of tidying AND cleaning?
5
votes
1answer
93 views

Is “oxbow lake” used by both American and British English for billabongs?

Is the term "oxbow lake" used in both American and British English to describe billabongs? Wiktionary has a definition for oxbow lake, but doesn't describe which varieties of English use it.
2
votes
1answer
250 views

What does “easy-going” mean?

I am a non-native English learner. And when I was looking up the word easy-going in dictionaries, the explanations really confused me. Is the word easy-going positive or negative? Some dictionaries ...
1
vote
1answer
96 views

Is the sentence grammer correct? “During the meeting that … , I had …”? [closed]

"During the meeting that Dr. Edward Smith coordinated last month, I had the chance to meet with you and hear the possible projects ..." English is my second language, and I usually feel that my ...
2
votes
1answer
73 views

“wallet” vs. “[change] purse” in NAmEng and BrEng vernaculars

Is a man's change purse sometimes called wallet by their owner? If so, what would they usually call their actual wallet to distinguish it from their change purse? purse: a small bag, pouch, ...
7
votes
3answers
508 views

“cologne” and “aftershave” for “fragrance for men”

Per Farlex Trivia Dictionary, perfume or parfum is 20–40% oil and the highest concentration; eau de toilette is 10–18% oil, and cologne or eau de cologne is 3–9% oil. Leaving aside the technical ...
5
votes
2answers
357 views

“Jolly good” meaning “extremely good” in British English

Like the intensifier bloody, I assumed that jolly as an adverb and intensifier is not broadly used in the U.S. meaning very or extremely. According to Oxford Online Dictionary, jolly as an adverb ...
1
vote
2answers
92 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
60 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 ...
-4
votes
1answer
38 views

One translating Problem? [closed]

What Does the following sentence mean? the BIU Fetches a new instruction whenever the queue has room for 2 bytes in the 6-byte 8086 queue, and for 1 byte in 4-byte 8088 queue I thinks it means ...
3
votes
2answers
162 views

Specific terms for the tray and the bus-like cart used by vendors in theaters, stadiums, trains, etc

Is there a specific word in English for the bus-like (sense 2; sense 3 on AHD) cart and the tray used by vendors to carry their products through the aisles of trains, theaters, stadiums, etc.?
0
votes
1answer
90 views

Why is “collaborate” not spelled “collabourate” in British English?

Everyone knows that labour in British English is labor in American English. However, a cursory examination of a dictionary shows the words collabourate and collabourator, derived from the mentioned ...
3
votes
3answers
116 views

What are some synonyms for uncriticisable? [closed]

I honestly can't think of a word for this. The Cambridge British English dictionary doesn't have it listed as a word, other dictionaries online sometimes have it but don't list synonyms for it. I've ...
3
votes
3answers
278 views

Title of a widow?

I have to book a flight for my grandma who was married and became a widow. She still has to get a new ID but I want to book the flight asap. How do I write her title? Miss, misses, or?
0
votes
2answers
132 views

How may I write good English? [closed]

I am a senior professional from India. I studied most of my educational career in English medium. For professional reasons and personal fervor I want to write good English. I am looking for expert ...
0
votes
1answer
44 views

Is this a correct English or not? [closed]

This is a word that I want to say to my Hostel's room mate for maintaining a routine "Don't be disturbed each other with/without our friends"
2
votes
2answers
117 views

“Took off” or “taken off”? [closed]

My boss was talking to me. How could I have just taken off? My boss was talking to me. How could I have just took off?" Which one is correct. (or are they both wrong?)
3
votes
0answers
76 views

English and Double Abbreviation Possibilities [duplicate]

I've always wondered (and as a child caused quite a few frowns from my English teachers) working this out.. If we can abbreviate words like: Would and Not to Wouldn't Could and Have to Could've ...
0
votes
0answers
64 views

Unnamed vs Nameless

I've scouted around and found that: Unnamed defined is "not having being given a name" Nameless defined is "not having a name / unknown as to what the name is My main question is what is the term ...
1
vote
2answers
38 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
37 views

Why are both blazing or blazingly appropriate?

This SE QA explains that both blazing and blazingly are valid English words (despite what my spell-checker claims). Can anyone explain why they are both valid, and the difference between the words. ...
1
vote
1answer
94 views

Is there a British slang word for “company man”?

I remember coming across a word that was British, and seemed to be a more specific reference to what we call a "company man" in the US. But this was a while ago and I forget it.
8
votes
2answers
244 views

Why “paediatrics” but “pedagogue” in British English?

There's an account of the British ae/oe and American "e" spellings (as in diarrh(o)ea, f(a)eces, and other fun words) on wikipedia. What I'm wondering is why, even in British English, ...
3
votes
3answers
90 views

How did the term “bolshie” come to be applied to birds?

This question is prompted by a term in http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/73108561/Council-warning-threatened-falcon-species-launch-fists-of-fury-against-walkers Falcons were bolshie birds, ...
1
vote
1answer
33 views

Subject verb agreement in Number? [closed]

In the sentence " The Hospitality of the Villagers is to be learnt by all" Why "is" used as verb. why not "are" ? is subject used in this sentence is plural or singular?
24
votes
9answers
3k 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
49 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
340 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
103 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
584 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
173 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
346 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
46 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
457 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
68 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
49 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
170 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
96 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 ...