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

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1
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1answer
152 views

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

Is there any US/UK English difference in the spellings "manyfold" and "manifold"?
0
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3answers
53 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?
15
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2answers
7k views

“Defense” or “defence”

Is the only difference that in USA they write it with s and in UK they write it with c, or is there anything more?
9
votes
6answers
2k views

What is the name of the phoneme produced in an upper-class Briton's pronunciation of the word “Duke”? What's different in the articulation?

When someone with a Received Pronunciation accent pronounces the word duke, as in The Duke of York, he doesn't pronounce it with a "hard" 'd', as one might pronounce the word duh, but a softer type ...
33
votes
8answers
8k views

Why do Americans go 'downtown' whilst people in the UK go 'up town'?

People in London, who live in the suburbs, may tell you they work 'up town', meaning in the City or the West End. In other large cities in Britain, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds etc., I think people ...
5
votes
1answer
83 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
67 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, ...
2
votes
1answer
207 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
140 views

Is the word “whilst” not used in U.S. English?

In my spare time I sometimes help out a good friend of mine. He is a professional translator, self-employed so he can pretty much pick his own assignments, which is a good position to be in, but I ...
1
vote
1answer
90 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
487 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 ...
9
votes
8answers
3k views

Why “horseback riding” and not simply “horse riding”?

As a German horse riding seems to be to the point. Why is it horseback riding in English? Isn't it obvious that you ride on the back of the horse? Is there a difference between British and American ...
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
327 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
15k views

Battery is flat

I was born and raised in some anglophone Asian country where people use the word "flat" to describe a battery when no electrical current can be generated by it. Some would even use the word "flat" to ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Identifying accents of British actors

As an American, a large part of my impoverished experience of British accents comes from ancient BBC comedy imports on PBS. I'd very much like to identify the regional accents the following actors are ...
1
vote
2answers
90 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" ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Use of American-Indian “How” in British English

These are excerpts from Le Carré's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy: Jerry Westerby screwed up his face in perplexity. 'That's what the boy wanted to tell me, you see, George. That's what he was ...
1
vote
1answer
57 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
3k views

Preventative vs. preventive

In this answer about the non-word disabilitated, the word preventative is compared (unfavourably, if my reading of the implication is correct) to preventive. However, I have always used preventative, ...
4
votes
2answers
18k views

“Theater” vs. “Theatre” in American English

Why is it that "theater" and "theatre" do not follow the traditional rules of British and American spelling? British spellings like "metre" and "centre" are consistently switched to "meter" and ...
-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
4answers
20k views

“And to you” or “you too”?

I really like to chat with English folks, so I have wished them Merry Christmas. To my surprise I have noticed the following pattern — the British answered "and to you", but Americans "you too". The ...
3
votes
2answers
159 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.?
3
votes
3answers
110 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
50 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
82 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
122 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
256 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
3answers
2k 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 ...
21
votes
5answers
785 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
130 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 ...
1
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5answers
3k views

Losing bottles and bottling out

ODO's definition for bottle includes the following: 2 [mass noun] British informal the courage or confidence needed to do something difficult or dangerous: I lost my bottle completely and ran ...
7
votes
9answers
358 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
7k views

Participle of “center/centre” in UK English — “centring”? Seriously? [closed]

As an American, I was never shocked to see the word "center" spelled as "centre." It didn't bother me at all. Honestly. But then I saw the participle of it spelled as "centring" as opposed to ...
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
101 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?)
0
votes
0answers
56 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
37 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
votes
2answers
294 views

What is the UK-English Equivalent for “band-aid?” [closed]

What is the UK-English equivalent for "band-aid?" That is, the bandage one puts over cuts and the like?
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. ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Dissecting an English sentence using a pattern

I am trying to make a script that can dissect an English sentence. The problem is, I have no idea how to dissect an English sentence when the words are not familiar. I know what the nouns, verbs, etc ...
6
votes
5answers
18k views

Meanings of word “nick” in British English

Word nick seems to be used to describe many things. According to the dictionary, the main meanings are: a small notch, groove, chip, or the like, cut into or existing in something. a hollow place ...
6
votes
3answers
5k views

British English - “In two hours time”

From users of British English, I have noticed the pattern of adding time after a unit of time, as in: He has class in 30 minutes time. My initial impression as an American is that this is quite ...
0
votes
4answers
87 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 ...
17
votes
7answers
4k views

Why are you a plonker?

The idiom, plonk (something/someone) down means to slap something down; to plop something down to sit or lie down on something in a careless or noisy way to leave someone somewhere to do ...
4
votes
3answers
320 views

What did the master mean by: “Then thou shalt drink!”?

In The Proverbs, Epigrams, and Miscellanies of John Heywood (1562) among the many historical English proverbs which I recognized, one particular epigram stood out. Entitled “Of Catching a Fly” It ...
3
votes
3answers
88 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, ...
136
votes
3answers
5k views

Where were “should”, “shall”, and “must” in the 18th Century?

According to the following Google Ngram, in the U.K. the modals should, shall, and must were virtually missing from English writing during the 18th Century (I've added will for a comparison modal ...