Tagged Questions

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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

4
votes
1answer
326 views

Origin of “old bag”?

What is the origin of the term old bag as a derogatory term for an older lady? In the UK it is exclusively used to describe females. There appears to be nothing intrinsically feminine about bags. ...
0
votes
3answers
150 views

The other end of an “offer” [closed]

In replying to this email, sender: I believe you were interested in applying for a Moffat Scholarship Award (etc. etc.) my response: Thanks for your email and I appreciate the offer. But I'm ...
0
votes
2answers
93 views

What's the British equivalent of American “Formica” for faux wood?

In America, the word "Formica" refers to the laminate wood surface of a certain era. (Correct me if I'm wrong on this, as I'm not an American.) This word has a certain retro feel to it. So it would ...
0
votes
0answers
39 views

Plural/singular form for a company in American English? [duplicate]

Somewhere on the internet a guy claims that in American English it's proper to use the singular form for conjugating the predicate of group terms such as company, band, team etc. In British English, ...
0
votes
2answers
73 views

Is the use of a period within quotes, in a sentence, accepted?

In the article by Anthoney McCartney on Yahoo! News (http://news.yahoo.com/man-arrested-red-carpet-says-never-hit-pitt-172635914.html): Don't get offended at me. Don't get mad at me. And just to ...
7
votes
10answers
585 views

Alternative to “a bunch”?

About two years ago I watched some old Monty Python interviews. In one of them, Graham Chapman, a Brit, makes fun of Terry Gilliam (the only American) for his lack of vocabulary. He specifically cited ...
0
votes
1answer
49 views

Is there a single word for people/ consultants who partner with our health? [closed]

We made a card for hospitals which introduces the doctors to its patients. We named the card Meet Your Healers, but we need a new word to replace Healers now.
2
votes
1answer
109 views

What is the origin of “journal” to mean a mechanical shaft?

What is the origin of "journal" to mean a mechanical shaft? A more common modern use is in "journal bearing" which refers to the sliding surface between a rotating shaft and a hole it passes through ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

What does the term 'grocer' mean in this song? (British usage)

In the song "Waiting for Margret to Go," which is about the death of Margaret Thatcher, the artist says "Grocers and Methodists lay her down low". What is the artist referring to by "grocer"? Is it ...
2
votes
3answers
129 views

Conditional sentences - which is correct?

If I had bought insurance for the trip, I would have got a refund after I got sick and had to cancel. OR If I had bought insurance for the trip, I would have got a refund after I had got sick and ...
0
votes
2answers
3k views

What would be your reply if someone asks you, “How do you do?” [duplicate]

What would be your reply, if someone asks you How do you do?
0
votes
3answers
156 views

Difference in meaning between “booking is amended” and “booking has been amended” [duplicate]

What is the difference in meaning between "booking is amended" and "booking has been amended"?
2
votes
1answer
28 views

“for X to debate Y” or “for X to debate with Y”

I posted the following on Facebook earlier today: For a moment, I thought that Newsnight had arranged for Zizek to debate Farage. only for a friend to reply "debate with, surely?". Is this ...
5
votes
3answers
224 views

What word describes a university class in both the UK and the US?

In the US words like class, subject, course are used to describe a university class, while in the UK, words like subject and course are used to describe the name of the whole university degree. ...
1
vote
1answer
38 views

Those who were or those who are? [closed]

I'm confused whether to use were or are on this... I detest liars, especially those who were/are making it up as a go-to-excuse. Thanks
10
votes
2answers
274 views

Is “kip” Chinese in origin?

While looking up the history of kip for a previous question of mine, I realized that the information about its origins is rather scant. The noun and verb to kip in BrEng is often said when a person ...
32
votes
4answers
3k views

“Maths” for “Mathematics”; where does the S come from?

So in US English we shorten mathematics to math, and in the UK they say maths. Where does the 'S' come from in the UK version? For some reason I had it in my head that this was just because it's ...
0
votes
2answers
112 views

Exact word when we throw a rope in english

What's the exact word for throwing a fish hook or a rope whose one end we are holding. Any help is appreciated.
1
vote
0answers
24 views

“Traveller” vs. “traveler” [duplicate]

There was a time when traveller's cheques were emitted and sold by the banks in England and by Thomas Cook. However the cheques emitted by American banks/American Express were named traveler's cheque, ...
1
vote
2answers
168 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
3answers
654 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
49 views

Kipling's “If” explanation

I don't understand what Kipling means by "Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”". Could you please explain it to me?
0
votes
1answer
61 views

What's the better way to reply to the email [closed]

Is this the official email to log on to the website.? how should I reply to this what text can I add to YES which would be appropriate Thanks
1
vote
2answers
170 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
votes
1answer
57 views

Uses of “to scathe”

Would “We took down the foreyard and commenced to scathe it” make sense to a sailor?
4
votes
2answers
193 views

Brackets Vs Parenthesis

I came across this question on Meta Stackoverflow, where a discussion was going on in the comments about the terms brackets and parenthesis and the right usage of them. It seems there is a different ...
4
votes
1answer
75 views

Must cookies contain chocolate in BrE?

In British English, my friend informed me that my use of the word cookie was incorrect in referring to a baked item having no chocolate bits in it. Instead the appropriate term would have to be ...
6
votes
2answers
856 views

“shyer” or “shier”

My Longman dictionary states that the comparative of 'shy' is 'shyer'. However, at least two online dictionaries also give the form 'shier' as being acceptable: The Free Dictionary and ...
3
votes
1answer
108 views

Using quotation marks to describe technical terms

Consider: DNS has a similar feature, but instead of “Work,” “Home,” and “Fax,” it has special record types that indicate which IP address you want from the server. I'm British, but am ...
0
votes
1answer
149 views

Pluralisation of sports teams in British and American English [duplicate]

Why do British and American English differ in this respect: British Southampton are eyeing up a ready-made replacement for Luke Shaw American Southampton is eyeing up a ready-made ...
2
votes
5answers
608 views

How does “spanner” come to mean “a wrench”?

"Wrenching" refers to an injury in which some muscle is forcibly twisted. A wrench is a tool that applies a twisting force to something, so that seems consistent. "To span" means to bridge a gap. ...
4
votes
4answers
1k views

“Equal” versus “Equals” [duplicate]

I've seen variants of this question, but nothing explicitly like the one below: Three feet equals/equal a yard. Which is correct? Is there a definitive explanation? Please indicate BrE vs AmE ...
5
votes
1answer
601 views

How should I parse the name of the UK? [closed]

I've grown up in the UK and always considered that it is a United Kingdom of four countries: the three countries on the island of Great Britain and the country/province1 of Northern Ireland. ...
1
vote
1answer
89 views

To have a game in hand

I have come across the expression game in hand in an article on England Premier League, as follows: Third-place City has a game in hand but the surprise result against Sunderland, coupled with ...
13
votes
7answers
763 views

Which is longer: snooze, nap, kip, 40 winks or siesta?

How long is a snooze? My boyfriend will invariable take an afternoon snooze which might last anything up to two hours. A nap on the other hand, can be short, quick or even long, and sometimes they are ...
1
vote
1answer
71 views

What is the thought process to solving anagrams à la Countdown

I'm not sure if this best belongs on this Stack Exchange site, or some psychological one, but here goes. I'm wondering what the thought process behind solving anagrams is, as in, pulling words out of ...
1
vote
2answers
178 views

usage of the verb to bridge in “Bridging someone to something”

My friend suggested a tag line for our project: "Bridging you to your dream higher education online" and I have doubts that "bridging you to smth." is a proper word usage. I've never heard this ...
9
votes
9answers
2k views

A word for old-fashioned, dirty bar/place (spit-and-sawdust)

Is there a (common) single word for an old-fashioned, non-modern, simple, dirty, untidy bar/place ? A noun would be preferable. Details: There is an informal British term: spit-and-sawdust ...
0
votes
2answers
191 views

using has to or have to [closed]

I have example of two sentences here He has to write a report.' with he, she,it we will be using has. but why we are using have here instead of has with "She" She doesn't have to wear a uniform ...
2
votes
3answers
296 views

correct idiom for if you were me

I am looking for an idiom that can be used for this like "if you were me you would have done the same thing " OR something like empathy , think from my sight, is there any idiom for such scenerio? I ...
0
votes
2answers
166 views

Is the English-speaking Internet community moving towards Americanized spelling?

Some of my spelling checking software failed to recognize the American spelling of the words "organize" and "realize" when a British English dictionary is being used. Curious, I looked up the British ...
2
votes
2answers
112 views

Usage of *what* for *that* or *than* in BrE

Occasionally, when watching British television or movies, I've come across a construct that isn't used in AmE. Using what as a replacement for that or than as a determiner or comparison. Here is an ...
1
vote
2answers
746 views

Single vs double quotation marks for nickname?

I am trying to conform to the British practice (specifically Oxford Style Guide) and I am a little confused which to use to mark a nickname: Andrew 'Andy' Johnson Andrew "Andy" Johnson I know ...
1
vote
1answer
127 views

British slang: larl

I've seen this word a couple of times in twitter and I've not gotten a clear definition. A friend of mine wrote a mock British text that went like this "al av ya mum ya larl cunt" so that might give ...
3
votes
2answers
113 views

Is the English language used by the European institutions the British one?

I find here an article on the use of English within EU institutions. It says: "our publications need to be comprehensible for their target audience, which is largely British and Irish, and should ...
0
votes
1answer
120 views

Simple past or present perfect when describing a series of recent actions

I, as an American, would opt for the simple past rather than the present perfect in the following sentence: Today she has gone to a class, and after that she has been shopping. Is this sentence ...
1
vote
1answer
85 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
92 views

Is British English the one used in European academia?

English is used all over Europe in (more or less) academic papers and books that are not necessarily related to reviews and publishing houses based in UK or US, and that are not necessarily intended ...
10
votes
6answers
659 views

Why is the English devil “old”?

Looking up the etymology of the Devil's nickname, Old Nick, I came across this article in OUPblog written by Anatoly Liberman For some reason, devils, at least in English, are often called old: ...
1
vote
3answers
1k 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 ...