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

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0
votes
3answers
187 views

In search for universal formal greetings [closed]

I am dealing with a system which is supposed to autoreply to certain emails. It cannot start with 'Dear (forename)' as it cannot parse a forename from email address or original email. It also cannot ...
-1
votes
1answer
103 views

Why is English used internationally? [closed]

Why is English so globally prevalent, including its pervasiveness on the web? Is this because Britishers ruled the world decades ago, thereby disseminating English to those respective regions?
7
votes
2answers
478 views

Can your use of Latin-derived words indicate your social class?

It is certainly true that educational level and social position usually walk together in most societies. Not considering that, however, and based only on how often one uses Graeco-Latin versus ...
-1
votes
3answers
226 views

Although correct, is “the above” to be avoided?

Although the phrase the above is not exactly incorrect, should it be avoided? For example, imagine a letter with a heading "Re: Order for 79 purple cardboard slugs". Should a paragraph in the letter ...
-1
votes
1answer
1k views

Got started or started

I am a learner of the English language. I have written two sentences, please give your two minutes and let me know, which one is correct? In the following sentences an action was started by my dog, ...
10
votes
6answers
17k views

What is the difference between “to oblige” and “to obligate”?

What's the difference between oblige and obligate? Speculating, is the latter an Americanism of the British former? Or is there any distinction about what/who has caused someone to be oblig(at)ed to ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

How do “you” pronounce eczema?

/ˈɛɡzɪmə/, /ˈɛksɪmə/, /ˈɛksmə/ As I no longer live in the UK I don't usually hear how eczema is pronounced, so I've always pronounced it as ig-zee-muh but recently my English boyfriend told me that ...
10
votes
8answers
6k views

Using “them” instead of “those”

Background: Nowadays, I see this usage a lot. I don't know if it was this common in the past. For example: "one of them people" When I did a research about it, some people say it comes from a ...
10
votes
2answers
397 views

Is “kip” Chinese in origin?

While looking up the history of kip, 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 wishes to take a short sleep or a ...
1
vote
3answers
122 views

Is it ok nowadays to say numbers instead of digits, while expressing a sum?

( example: 2345 - these four numbers make the sum..) or must I say digits?
1
vote
2answers
1k 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
2answers
92 views

“on” or “at” when talking about flight dates

I originally had text on a web site that stated: Showing flight results for flights from LON to NYC leaving at 01/06/2015 and returning at 08/06/2015 One of the testers has said that this ...
7
votes
3answers
2k 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. ...
7
votes
1answer
9k views

“Exercise” but not “exercize”

Many words are spelled with -ise in British English and -ize in American English: realise/realize sanitise/sanitize scrutinise/scrutinize But exercise can only be spelled with -ise, never with ...
2
votes
2answers
409 views

Is “offloading a passenger” idiomatic?

Merriam-Webster and Oxford seem to suggest that we can offload things, not people, yet "offloading a passenger" is quite prevalent in Philippine English. Is it a phrase that somebody from the inner ...
2
votes
1answer
86 views

Is there a contraction known as the're?

Recently, one of my relatives started studying the English Language and she came to discuss that the contraction of there are can also be written as the're because that's they way she learnt it at ...
2
votes
3answers
172 views

Does name + “boss” mean something?

One of my colleagues in Britain keeps addressing me as "Armen boss" in mails and skype. Like, Hi, Armen boss. Can you please verify...? I am in no conceivable way his boss and our relationship ...
3
votes
1answer
108 views

How does 'rude' mean 'hearty'?

ODO: rude {adjective} = 4. {attributive} {chiefly British} Vigorous or hearty OED: Etymology: < Anglo-Norman rud, Anglo-Norman and Old French, Middle French rude, Old French (Lyons, rare) ...
2
votes
3answers
116 views

Can I say : “He was made broke”?

He doesn't have any money. He was made broke in 1999. Is it grammatically correct to use this structure?
1
vote
1answer
140 views

Which Mammoth came first: the animal or the description? [closed]

I thought to describe something in my writing as Mammoth, and that got me thinking: was the word originally used to describe the animal Mammoth, and adapted to describe anything that is colossally ...
0
votes
1answer
95 views

Slang word for transferring money from one card to another

Ok, so there is an Online Money Transfer Service. It allows for quick money transfer from one card to another. The advertisement of this service describes how it is convenient for parents to transfer ...
-4
votes
2answers
946 views

“If I didn't have” vs. “if I had not had” for a hypothetical

I wrote: it would never have been possible if i didn't have interest in the least bit but a friend of mine told it is wrong and should be: it would never have been possible if i had not ...
2
votes
1answer
398 views

Set the table, or lay the table?

I have read that set is American and that lay is British. But I do not think it is nearly as simple as that. I grew up in rural England in the late 1940s/50s, and we always set the table. In fact ...
1
vote
1answer
226 views

Grammatically correct answer to incorrect question [closed]

I'm just curious what is correct to say in this situation. Let's have a person A which can speak English but not very well (like me). Person A is going to ask me whether I work in company X. But he ...
1
vote
3answers
15k views

Should I use “arrived” or “reached”

Sometimes when I come back from my brother's house he asks me to let him know when I am at home. Now, in that situation which one of the following is correct : I've reached home now. OR I've ...
-2
votes
1answer
309 views

“Cant fight no more”, is this grammatically correct? [duplicate]

"Cant fight no more", is this grammatically correct? If not, what is the correct way of saying this?
5
votes
2answers
5k views

Why are promiscuous women known as “slappers”?

Women who aren't interested in much more than sex are referred to as "slappers" in British English. British informal, derogatory a promiscuous or vulgar woman. Why is this? I can't find any ...
0
votes
0answers
30 views

is this correct; using lighted rather than lit? [duplicate]

Please help me clarify if this usage of the word "lighted" is correct in the following statement. "I have lighted the candle"
5
votes
1answer
9k views

Is “weightage” an English word?

Is weightage an English word? We use it a lot in India, but I couldn't find it in my Oxford Dictionary.
2
votes
1answer
72 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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
93 views

Chose best passive/active voice… 1. They greet me cheerfully every morning. a. Every morning I was greeted cheerfully. b. I am greeted cheerfull [closed]

In the questions below the sentences have been given in active/passive voice. From the given alternatives, choose the one which best expresses the given sentence in passive/active voice... 1. They ...
7
votes
4answers
7k views

French Letters and condoms

Repartee (inexact quote) from a TV show: Person A: Now, we're going to be getting some letters from French people. Person B: It could be worse. You might be getting French letters. (laughter) ...
2
votes
2answers
68 views

What meaning would you ascribe to “to spy a parable”?

What meaning would you ascribe to: "to spy a parable"? Here is the context: "It is tempting to ponder these two NASA stories, and to spy a parable about much that is wrong with the America of 2014." ...
5
votes
5answers
195 views

“ain’t got the brains God gave a squirrel” - a (few) simpler alternative(s)

ain’t got the brains God gave a squirrel or ain’t got the sense God gave geese. I have taken a liking to this phrase, however, to my colleagues, most of who are from Latin America and SE-Asia, ...
3
votes
2answers
115 views

In which countries would “tags” be understood to mean “License plates and stickers that show the registration is currently valid”?

On our sister site a user recently used the term "tags" in relation to taxis in China. I thought it might man some kind of official authorization to operate a taxi. But upon clarification I was told ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

Where does the pejorative meaning of “shower” come from?

shower British informal a group of people perceived as incompetent or worthless I think this term is becoming obsolete. It's certainly not something I've heard in the street recently. The ...
11
votes
5answers
5k views

Do Americans use the world 'turtle' as a generic word to mean 'tortoise'?

Obviously there are two different animals — a tortoise and a turtle. But I have been told by a colleague that in the US the word turtle is used to describe both. I find this odd as for example the ...
1
vote
2answers
208 views

How come the Latin word “Vulgaris” acquired such negative meaning in English?

Today, while reading Dan Brown's latest novel Inferno, I came to know that vulgar is actually derived from the Latin word vulgaris, literally meaning "of/pertaining to common people". I really don't ...
0
votes
0answers
50 views

Period with Colon?

Which of these is correct (The word manager is abbreviated to Mgr): Your Line Mgr: OR Your Line Mgr.:
1
vote
1answer
188 views

Is the perfect aspect used differently in Indian English compared to AmEng and BrEng? [closed]

Some people in India speak English but there's differences. But to what extent does it differ in perfect tenses like present, past, future, etc. perfect? I choose to compare it with British English ...
4
votes
2answers
295 views

What Kind of Connotations are Associated with the word 'Bruv'?

I encountered the slang word 'bruv' for the first time not long ago while playing Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. The word is used quite a lot by a genius scientist character named Gladstone Katoa, but ...
28
votes
5answers
18k views

Capitalisation of nouns in English in the 17th and 18th centuries

It seems to have been common practice in the 17th and 18th centuries in Britain to capitalise the first letters of nouns in English, e.g. At which Time he prov'd himself the Noah's Dove, that ...
18
votes
13answers
14k views

American vs. British English: meaning of “One hundred and fifty”

I've noticed that Americans do not say "and" when speaking numbers: for example, 150 would be pronounced "one hundred fifty". I and most other British-English speakers would pronounce it "one hundred ...
-1
votes
1answer
53 views

If it was or if it were or if it is [duplicate]

My friend wrote a status like this Working on read-only environment makes you couldn't do anything. You can only get notice and warning. We are required to obey and submit to the circumstances ...
3
votes
3answers
457 views

Does “moonlighting” have a negative or neutral connotation?

We all agree that "moonlighting" denotes having a second job. However, Merriam-Webster and Oxford Advanced Learner's don't define it in exactly the same way. For example, Merriam-Webster attaches a ...
1
vote
4answers
4k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
115 views

what does “withhold no sacrifice” mean? [closed]

Reading Churchill's speech, I don't think I understand the following "withhold no sacrifice, grudge no toil, seek no sordid gain", what does this statement mean?
8
votes
9answers
4k views

What is “plaice” in the US? Would love a good fish and chips

When we went to the market, at the fisherman's counter we asked for plaice with which we would make fish and chips. Now here in the States when we ask for plaice, they don't understand what we mean. ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

“22 Acacia Avenue” British idiom

What is the meaning of this British idiom? I was watching BBC's Top Gear and the presenters were cracking jokes about people who live in the 22 of the avenues. And that the people who live there like ...
1
vote
3answers
9k views

Is the phrase “getting on” commonly used in British English? What register would its use be in?

I've collected a new phrase from my watching of British television, getting on, as in "How's he getting on?" From various contexts, I think I've gotten the meaning down to "how's he doing?" Anyway, ...