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

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3
votes
2answers
319 views

“Quite” American vs British English

In looking at the answers for this question, Using "quite" with a noun, it occurred to me that "quite," although having a dictionary definition, might be used differently by AmE and BrE ...
1
vote
2answers
79 views

Douglas Adams and his foibles. This one is for the Brits, I think

There are a few versions of the Hitchhiker's Guide series, with slight differences here and there. (I'll read anything, by the way, and I do find certain passages from the series absolutely ...
0
votes
3answers
231 views

“Authorization” vs “Authorisation” - I'm in some real dilemma [closed]

I'm writing a professional business-related project summary, whereby half of the clientele is in the U.S while the other half of the same business is in the U.K. - and I don't want to disappoint ...
4
votes
2answers
126 views

'to blind someone with science' — Not known or rare in the US?

This definition states (my emphasis) blind with science (British & Australian) if you blind someone with science, you confuse them by using technical language that they are not likely to ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

How to express someone's height in metric

If someone is 169cm tall, what is the most common way of saying their height in metres and centimetres in American/Australian/British English? I'm not interested in converting metres (meters) and ...
2
votes
1answer
143 views

Difference in usage of “all right”, “ok”, “very well”

When I agree with doing something annoying or what I originally didn't want to do is there a difference between starting the reply with: "all right", "ok", "very well" or others? Does "very well" ...
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 ...
1
vote
0answers
71 views

“He could do X for England”. Are there similar expressions in other parts of the English-speaking world to this derogatory sentence?

In Reginald Hill's Dalziel and Pascoe novels, I've read the phrase: "He could [do x] for England. It is always derogatory. It is a lovely phrase! Because I can't put my finger on a quote from these ...
2
votes
1answer
63 views

Manuals of Style and Typography for British and American English [closed]

I would like to know which manuals of style and typography are the most common ones for British and American English. I am interested in the basic manuals and the manuals for technical scientists ...
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
1k views

Is the expression “one's cup of tea” used in American English?

OK, the Free Dictionary defines this as one's cup of tea: Something that is in accord with one's liking or taste. For example, Quiz shows are just my cup of tea, or Baseball is not her cup of tea. ...
1
vote
2answers
126 views

What does “betraying the fact” mean?

I'm reading a BBC article on ketamine abuse. In the article it says: The doors at the Baiyun drug rehabilitation clinic are always locked, betraying the fact that the patients inside aren't ...
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 ...
0
votes
2answers
524 views

The exact meaning of “Enquiries Over $xxx,xxx”

I often see "Enquiries Over $xxx,xxx" in real estate ads, e.g. "Enquiries Over $500,000". Does the "over" literally mean offers should be above the figure (or don't bother approaching the seller), ...
3
votes
1answer
271 views

Why the does 'tu' get pronounced 'tyu' in British English?

Despite being a native Brit, I've always found it an oddity that words like "tutor", "tube", "tumour", and "duty" are pronounced as "tyutor", "tyube", "tyumour", and "duty" in British English. For me, ...
1
vote
2answers
100 views

Equivalent AmEnglish expression of BrEnglish slang term “cheeky”

I play an online game with a group of people, one of whom is UK-based. He was going out of town for several days, so he told us to "feel free to do a cheeky quest" without him. What does the word ...
1
vote
1answer
141 views

Hospital versus *the* hospital [duplicate]

One oddity in the difference between UK and American usage is that Americans say "I went to the hospital" but British people say "I went to hospital". Is there an explanation for this grammatical ...
6
votes
1answer
204 views

Why in Britain do we stop for a 'coffee', but a 'cup of tea'?

In polite company in Britain one asks ones guest if they have time for a coffee - usually if it is morning. But if it is afternoon one would ask them if they would like a cup of tea. Now this is not ...
3
votes
1answer
299 views

How the British pronounce “want”?

I'm not a native English speaker, so I am learning the pronunciation of words mostly from using Google. The way I found how to pronounce the word "want" was more or less like how I (british-way) say ...
1
vote
1answer
54 views

“Metrics” definition and usage

Does the term "metric" (or plural "metrics") apply only to the metric system, or can it be used to define something that does not apply the metric system?
-1
votes
1answer
165 views

what does it mean by 'you are onto a winner'? [closed]

Somebody explains a situation and told me that in that situation 'you are onto a winner'. what does it mean by 'you are onto a winner'?
0
votes
3answers
55 views

Synonym of keel? [closed]

What would be the synonym of keel from all three given below.I don't find any of these words related to keel..so plz tell which one is it's synonym from ascend, morose and stumble?
1
vote
1answer
90 views

Changing usage of past-perfect constructions in American and British usage

I notice a great many American speakers using the construction had loved as a preterite, that is, a simple past tense. I also hear the simple past tense used in instances in which I was taught to use ...
3
votes
1answer
112 views

What do you call this profession in English

During any cattle market (afaik) there is a guy who makes note of who bought or sold what animals at what prices and who makes sure everybody sticks to the rules. The German word for this is ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

In what country did the term “railroaded” originate?

The term "railroaded" in the sense of having something forced through, either unjustly or without proper regard for those affected, clearly has it's origins in analogy to the way early railroads were ...
0
votes
1answer
673 views

Educationist vs Educationalist [closed]

Can both the words be interchangeably? A little confused about the shades of meaning. Or is there no difference??
3
votes
1answer
62 views

Colloquial for House of Commons

In the United Kingdom, what is colloquial for House of Commons? Would you say a member addressed the House, addressed Commons, or would you also say he or she addressed the House of Commons?
0
votes
1answer
896 views

Is “little does he know” correct?

This expression is usually used in past tense ("little did he know") but can it also be used in present tense?
0
votes
1answer
52 views

Present participle - seeing [closed]

I red somewhere that "see" doesn't form present participle. Is it true? For exemple in sentence: I'm seeing my doctor today. We use -ing form. Can we call it present participle in sentence or ...
2
votes
1answer
126 views

In British English, when speaking of, or to medical doctors, when does Mr denote a higher rank than Dr? [duplicate]

My knowledge of the nuances of British English come from reading authors such as P.D.James, but I have the impression that Dr. Smith is a less eminent medical doctor than Mr. Smith. Was this so, and ...
42
votes
16answers
7k views

Is “act like a mensch” too localized for ELU readers (U.S. and/or British English)?

This question was motivated by an interesting comment that was made at http://academia.stackexchange.com/posts/comments/123681?noredirect=1 Part of Answer: I don't think that particular research ...
-2
votes
2answers
127 views

“unreflected”, is it correct?

It seems for me that "unreflected" is not an English word. What is a good alternative for it that means "not reflected"? I need to use it in this context: "We use ... that compensates the unreflected ...
3
votes
2answers
255 views

What does it mean by “to begin my life with the beginning of my life” as in David Copperfield?

Quote from the opening of David Copperfield by Charles Dickens: Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Was “tickle (someone's) fancy” originally a double entendre?

Recently, I asked users to provide modern-day equivalents of idioms and expressions that contained the words fancy and tickle. The question is titled Whatever tickles their fancy in the US? I was ...
-1
votes
1answer
142 views

Use of 'z' versus 's' [duplicate]

I've been brought up believing that most of the words that have suffix with '-ize' or '-ized' is the American English form and the British English forms use (most of the time) '-ise' or '-ised' as the ...
2
votes
2answers
491 views

Whatever tickles their fancy in the US?

The delightful-sounding tickle your fancy is, I think, one of those rare idioms where the word order can be reversed and its meaning changes; the request: fancy a tickle? said with a raised eyebrow ...
6
votes
2answers
353 views

British English spelling: “gripped” or “gript”?

Hello what is the correct British English spelling of the word 'gripped' or 'gript'? According to Dictionary.com: gript verb 1. a past participle and simple past tense of grip. verb ...
-1
votes
1answer
403 views

Is 'gotten' a proper/legitimate word? [duplicate]

According to what I was taught as school, the past tense of 'get' is 'got' and 'gotten' is "an American corruption and, therefore, is not a proper word". Example: "Should auld acquaintance be ...
0
votes
1answer
131 views

Words play - does it have a special name in English? How to do the same with 'security' word for example?

By looking at this picture: Or at the title of this album: You can see that the authors used there something which I call a word game. My question is, does doing so has an official name? How can ...
-1
votes
1answer
68 views

Determiners in English sentence vs. plurals, singulars and zero determiners. Is it ok to say? [duplicate]

Do I need any determiners in the sentence below in general statement? Strong winds destroy homes. Is it ok to say in English in specific situation? The strong wind destroyed the homes in North ...
2
votes
2answers
103 views

Pronunciation of word “considered”

I have learned in school that letter 'r' is not sounded in the word 'considered', here's an example. But I have been watching the 'How I met your mother' series, and Ted have pronounced that with ...
1
vote
1answer
62 views

“Enjoin” vs “Adjure”

"Enjoin" means to direct someone with emphasis and authority. "Adjure" means to command in a serious manner. Are the two words used in different contexts?
1
vote
1answer
59 views

Telling the time - Minute 01 to 09 [duplicate]

What would be the most frequent/common way of telling the time when the minute is between 01 and 09? Is there any difference between BE and AmE? 5:03 -> 1) five oh three 2) five three 3) three ...
0
votes
2answers
193 views

What kind of question-tag is this: “I was in the bath, wasn't I?” Is it polite? rude?

Context: (BrE) - a friend is complaining... a- "I phoned you three times this morning but you never answered." b- "I was in the bath, wasn't I? Why the question-tag, if the listener had no idea ...
0
votes
2answers
42 views

Do noun phrases comprise prepositions too?

Do noun phrases comprise prepositions too? For example: The apple in the fridge is mine. Here the noun phrase is "The apple in the fridge" or just "The apple"?
1
vote
4answers
575 views

“I usually knock off at 6”

"I usually knock off at 6", i heard an english gentleman say that. Does it sound odd only to me? In fact, what I heard was "I usually masturbate at 6" Did some research: found a book (i'm guessing ...
1
vote
2answers
102 views

Combining two sentences for title

I want to combine the following sentence: Relationship between son and mother, and relationship between daughter and mother Into one sentence for title of an article: Relationship between son, ...
1
vote
1answer
439 views

How can I use the phrase, “do right by”?

1) How can I use the phrase, "do right by"? 2) And what does it mean exactly when we say that? 3) Can I say, I hope they do right by me? Or I hope he/she does right by me?
5
votes
2answers
204 views

If someone says “They insisted that he left”, is there any ambiguity in BrE or in AmE?

Do they mean something like "please go! You must leave!" or could it be "We assure you that he left"?
1
vote
2answers
45 views

“is much a news in the moment”?

I'm trying to understand what is said in this video between 00:27 and 00:35... I can understand the beginning, "With religion, community relations and tolerance", but... And then? I'm listening this ...