This tag is for questions related to English as spoken in the isles of Britain and sometimes Ireland.

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2
votes
4answers
145 views

'Spick and span' /British phrase for a flawless person?

I was wondering if there exists a British expression to denote a flawless/good/spotless person. I'm thinking of using it in a context similar to 'he's no saint', which if I'm not wrong, is American. I ...
7
votes
5answers
365 views

Word for “invisible god-like voice”

I am Asian and in Asian mythology like epics like Mahabharatha, when some person is going to do something bad then a voice from nowhere comes from background, after a thunder or something, to stop him ...
7
votes
2answers
6k views

Understand Rudyard Kipling's poem If

I came across Rudyard Kipling's poem If, quoted below: If you can keep your head when all about you Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, ...
5
votes
2answers
92 views

Balance paid prior to arrival to hotel

I am looking for adjective (if exists) for paying for hotel stay prior to arrival or if possible word that would describe paying upon checking-out ? If there is no such word, then is there any neat ...
14
votes
4answers
4k views

What's the difference between “rent” and “hire” in British and American English?

The tip I used to teach was the verb, hire, should be used for things which are transportable hence, you hire a car, sports equipment, a boat, a bike etc. Rent, on the other hand, is primarily used ...
1
vote
0answers
23 views

Can I use the phrase “Can I get x please” and have it considered 'proper' english? [duplicate]

I seem to say it quite a lot without really realising it. I know of course, it should probably be something along the lines of "May I have" - But is "Can I get" really that wrong? Thanks
2
votes
2answers
261 views

What is the origin of the idiom “tearing hair out”?

What is the origin of the idiom "tearing hair out" or "pulling my hair out"?
9
votes
6answers
2k views

Confused by the British having “dinner” in the afternoon” and “tea” in the evening

I’m having problems with meal names in the UK. I’ve just learnt that dinner can refer to the afternoon meal, and that tea can refer to an early evening meal. Is this specific to a certain area in the ...
9
votes
2answers
688 views

Tomorrow will be Muggy, followed by Tuggy, Wuggy and Thuggy

I read an article, here is the original words: Lennon even created his own comic strip, which he called "The Daily Howl". This contained drawings, frequently of crippled people, and satirical ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

A British pronunciation issue

Most dictionaries list the pronunciation of issue as /ˈɪʃuː/ (ĭsho͞o) in American English and /ˈɪs.juː/ (ĭsyo͞o) possibly alongside /ˈɪʃjuː/ (ĭshyo͞o) and /ˈɪʃuː/ in British English. One informal ...
1
vote
2answers
100 views

How to better phrase “I'm Alec who enquired about…” [closed]

I'm writing an email to an angel investor I met recently. The context is: Hi John, Pleasure to briefly meet you at the ... event last Thursday. I'm Alec who enquired about the best way of ...
1
vote
1answer
229 views

What is the proper use of “right the way along”?

I've heard the idiom "right the way along" used many times in British literature and video, however, I'm slightly unclear as to what it means. It seems, at first glance, to be a British variant on ...
1
vote
1answer
134 views

Who translated “He's a muddled fool, full of lucid intervals.” [closed]

I have revised herein my question of Aug 18 and update my research based on the most helpful suggestions of Peter Schor and tchrist of Aug 18, 2013. I'm not a Cervantista and don't speak Spanish. ...
3
votes
4answers
713 views

What is the exact word for the person who calls the speakers in an event using a mic?

What is a person who speaks on the mic that which person is going to come next to speak called?
-2
votes
3answers
394 views

What is the difference between rotate and revolve? [closed]

What is the difference between rotation and revolution? I don't find any difference between the two words from the meanings I read about them. Both words have the same meaning: moving in a circle ...
0
votes
1answer
176 views

“Nice to talk to” or “Nice to talk too”

One of my friends has corrected someone on their grammar on a social media site. And they think they should say "Nice to talk too". I think it is "Nice to talk to", because "too" is an adverb meaning ...
2
votes
4answers
218 views

Difference between 2 questions [closed]

I am filling in this form and on page two there are 2 questions (Q11 and Q12) that seem the same to me but probably are not. Q10: Your date of leaving UK Q11: Are you resident in the UK for the ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Pronunciation of “scone”

The argument about the pronunciation of scone:- skoʊn, skɒn noun 1. a small, light, biscuitlike quick bread made of oatmeal, wheat flour, barley meal, or the like. reappeared in the pub ...
3
votes
1answer
88 views

Should a serial comma be used when mimicking Victorian-era British text?

I am editing a manuscript that mimics the style of late 19th-century British writing. To what extent were serial commas used during this time period?
1
vote
2answers
256 views

When referring to computer coding, would the correct verb spelling (in British English) be “to program” or “to programme”?

I already know that there are different spellings in British and US English for "programme". Usually, I refer to a computer program with the US spelling as all programming is done in US English, so it ...
-4
votes
1answer
2k views

which is correct? you no need to worry or you need not to worry [closed]

Can someone plz tell me which is the right one and naturally a better one? You no need to worry about it You need not to worry about it Thanks
0
votes
2answers
1k views

Negation in English

In English there are at least two ways to express negation, for example: — I don't have money — I have no money or — No objects were found — Objects were not found or — No restrictions are applied — ...
0
votes
2answers
2k views

The difference between Cool and Cold [closed]

I am not a native speaker of the English language but have been living in United Kingdom for last couple of years. Once I was with my friend who was an Irish and I said "Its cold outside" and he ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Second name or Surname in British English

I have recently been told by a Londoner that "second name" is the most common way of referring to one's surname. She explained that it arose from the fact that most people just use their first and ...
6
votes
8answers
7k views

“have” vs.“have got” in American and British English

I have looked through several questions and answers on EL&U, and often there is an indication that American English prefers "have" while British English prefers "have got". In addition, there are ...
3
votes
2answers
164 views

revise/revision (British)

In American English revision is used in the sense of redaction, but in British English it’s used in the sense of studying for exams. So what do British English speakers say when they want to talk ...
16
votes
7answers
2k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
95 views

“Has pushed” vs. “pushed”

I am reading many academic papers at the moment and am becoming more aware of the use of has, have, had in front of a verb, where it seems redundant. For example the following sentence: The ...
0
votes
4answers
420 views

Adjective to describe very abusive language or nature [closed]

I would like to know appropriate adjective(s) to describe a person's abusive language or nature used describe swearing at somebody. Edit: I want a more British and formal English. Something that can ...
0
votes
1answer
327 views

What happens when baker's, butcher's, etc. are in the plural?

If the singular it is: The baker's and the butcher's are closed on Sundays. Which one is the plural? Bakers and butchers are closed on Sundays. Bakers' and butchers' are closed on ...
1
vote
3answers
215 views

Résumé as summary vs document describing work experience

Because "résumé" or "resume" as a noun is a false cognate with the French equivalent, I tend to avoid using "résumé" to mean "summary", and only reserve it to mean "that document people bring to ...
-3
votes
2answers
574 views

Are there are more vowels in the American English than in British? [closed]

car, father, jarring ■ man, lad, mast A British guy would pronounce the vowel "a" equally in all these words. But an American would give one sound for the first three words, and the other ...
6
votes
2answers
161 views

What is the origin of using the word “our” preceding a first name when speaking directly to the person so named

In the BBC's Keeping Up Appearences, and Lark Rise to Candleford, "our Rose" and "our Laura" are used in both the third person and second person. The usage seems understandable as a third person ...
0
votes
1answer
389 views

Is it offensive to refer to someone as a bird? [closed]

Is it offensive to refer to someone as a bird? Is it similar to calling someone a chick in the US? What's the difference?
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Why does “go spare” mean “get angry”?

I don't know whether the phrase "go spare" is used in the US, but it is very common in the UK. e.g. You're an hour late. Mum's going spare upstairs! I would like to know where the phrase comes ...
7
votes
2answers
152 views

What does the enterprise to “feed the duck on Epsom Downs” mean?

There is the following sentence in the ending part of Jeffery Archer’s “The Forth Estate,” which I waded to after months. In the showdown of the media owner Dick Armstrong and Sir Paul Maitland, ...
0
votes
3answers
62 views

Is this correct for an email campaign subject? [duplicate]

Just wondering whether the following sentence is grammatically correct — I was always taught that you shouldn't have two ands within the same sentence. We are not able to come up with a better ...
1
vote
1answer
123 views

Adjective relating to Great Britain and Ireland

Is there an adjective meaning “from or pertaining to the British Isles” (or if you prefer “from Great Britain, Ireland or surrounding islands”, or “from the Atlantic Archipelago”, or whatever floats ...
1
vote
2answers
415 views

Banking meaning of “held”

While filling in a UK form I just encountered the following question: How many credit cards held? This was followed by a free-form text field. So they are either asking ‘how many credit cards ...
6
votes
1answer
473 views

Why can a bird be pulled but never caught?

In the UK there is a popular idiomatic saying: To pull a bird. "Bird" is a well known Brit expression for a young woman. In the USA, I think "chick" is more popular. The above expression means ...
3
votes
1answer
407 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
157 views

Meaning of the verb 'snort' in a sharp dialog

I could not figure out the meaning of the verb 'snort' implied in Sir Elton John's reply to Lily Allen during some award ceremony, after her disrespectful comment on his age. He said: I could ...
0
votes
3answers
10k views

What is the usual form of “Please do the needful”? [duplicate]

I was browsing the internet, and found that "Please do the needful" is not an appropriate sentence to use or write. According to this link, this sentence used to get used in South Asia. What would be ...
2
votes
2answers
114 views

Using “and” with numbers [duplicate]

I'm a computer programmer and I'm working about this problem. I must say that I'm not very familiar with British English and I'd like to know when the word and is used in the numbers. The perfect ...
1
vote
0answers
94 views

When could we use perfect tense? [closed]

Could you recommend me any grammar taskbook like Murphy with a lot of tasks and explanation of perfect tense? I haven't quite understood the meaning of the perfect tense and all cases when it should ...
6
votes
5answers
594 views

What could be the equivalent term in British or Australian English to the American English word “hillbilly”?

In Wikipedia, “hillbilly” is defined as: … a term referring to certain people who dwell in rural, mountainous areas of the United States, primarily Appalachia but also the Ozarks. Owing to its ...
2
votes
1answer
339 views

“Perhaps” or “Maybe”?

As a non-native speaker of English, I was once told in London by a learned British man that I should not use 'maybe' for 'perhaps' in the UK, as by doing so, I'd be following an American usage (so ...
1
vote
1answer
208 views

Are both ‘Hit a raw nerve’ and ‘Tip sb. the wink” predominantly British English idioms?

I was drawn to both of idioms,‘hit a raw nerve’ and ‘tip sb. the wink” being quoted as British skewed English idioms in the following scenes describing verbal exchanges between Captain Richard ...
3
votes
2answers
254 views

A summer house, a cottage or a cabin?

When I want to refer to a (rural) vacation home, what would be the most appropriate term in BrE? I know in American English cabin and camp are used for those, but what would correspond to those in ...
2
votes
1answer
284 views

How to form a gerund from “practise”?

I (think) I know the difference between practise (verb) and practice (non-verb). However, I am not sure which form I should use in cases like the following ones: I love practising the guitar. ...