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

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43
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
144 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
271 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
3k 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
151 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
536 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
354 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
452 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
141 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
74 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
63 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
202 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
43 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
580 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
110 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
491 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
213 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
88 views

Is there any authoritative source from where we can find out if a phrase or figure of speech is American English or British English? [closed]

For example the figure of speech " One swallow doesn't make a summer" is British English. Similarly the figure of speech 'All hat and no cattle" is American English. Is there any source from where ...
0
votes
1answer
397 views

Phrases used to replace“ I think” [closed]

Can anybody suggest phrases or sentences I can use instead of "I think" when it comes to giving opinions Thank you.
-1
votes
2answers
337 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?
0
votes
1answer
87 views

What are lexemes and morphemes? [closed]

I am preparing for my TOEFL test and want to increase my vocabulary. Can anybody please tell me what lexemes and morphemes are, and why they are important? I have Googled the terms but I need the ...
2
votes
2answers
110 views

What is the grammar of these two sentence from 'The Economist'?

To arrive at an answer, Mr Harris combs through what remains of our pre-internet lives, separating the things we will carry forward into the connected world from the worthy things we may leave ...
-2
votes
2answers
204 views

Someone who reads too much into things or over analyses things

Is there a single word for someone who reads too much into things? Examples from the freedictionary: This statement means exactly what it says. Don't try to read anything else into it. ...
3
votes
3answers
10k views

In what English-speaking communities does “trump” refer to the breaking of wind?

It is clear from this site that the verb to trump has been used extensively across Britain to refer to the breaking of wind. It is especially the case in the North, in Wales and certainly in Norfolk, ...
4
votes
3answers
257 views

What word(s) do children of English native speakers use for “kid”/“child”/etc

I'm looking for (a) word(s) that is/are perceived to be child's language by adults, not words used by adults to describe children. What would be fine though are words used by adults when they are ...
-2
votes
1answer
85 views

We like a name but dont know how to spell it? [closed]

We like the sound of Mill-eat-a but dont know how to spell it so that shortens to Millie and not milie as in cyrus
4
votes
2answers
784 views

Did the modern British accent originate from a speech impediment? [closed]

I have heard a theory that the modern British pronunciation (as compared, for example, to American pronunciation) started when somebody in the monarchy had a speech impediment (perhaps rhotacism) and, ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

Is it acceptable to make a question by adding “or” at the end?

Example: "It is unacceptable for young ladies to put up their bare feet in public railway carriages, or?" I only ask because the germans do it all the time as in: "Ich habe dir schon einmal darum ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

Are there linguistic markers that indicate to subordinates a desire to be addressed less formally

It's a bit of a shame that Is "pal" too informal when the other person is much older than me? was closed, as it dabbles in a difficult topic for all non-native speakers of English. Although ...
9
votes
4answers
2k views

50s synonym for “snogging”

What would the British term in 1954 have been for "snogging"? "Making out" is American. "All over each other" doesn't seem quite specific enough.
3
votes
3answers
181 views

Can there be a difference between learned and learnt?

To the best of my knowledge, there is no difference in meaning between learnt and the single-syllable form of learned. This is supported by the answers to When do you use "learnt" and when "learned"? ...
1
vote
6answers
148 views

Looking for a word like “eulogy”, but for a person that has not died?

I was thinking of words like the "background" of a person? Their overall qualities summarised into a short form. Eulogy might be a bad example, as it implies praise. A word meaning "a summary of ...
-2
votes
1answer
282 views

Is there different word corresponding to “teatime” in American English?

There is a British English term "teatime" or "afternoon tea". I'm wondering how people refer to it in American English.
0
votes
2answers
56 views

what does “casting a long silver of gold” mean?

so, today I was reading this book and I came across this sentence: "At the very end of the passage, a door stood ajar, and a flickering light shone through the gap, casting a long silver of gold ...
1
vote
1answer
883 views

Is written “Canadian English” closer to “American English” or “British English”?

I'm having some writing done for a website aimed at a Canadian audience. In order to leverage our resources more, I'd like to focus on "American English" or "British English". So, is written ...
0
votes
0answers
189 views

What is British English for American English's “wire transfer”

This question is closely related to this one but is a little bit different. I'm in the U.S., and I'm attending a conference in Germany. The language of the conference is English. The instructions ...
1
vote
1answer
56 views

What's “Blumenthal” as an adjective (UK)

I'm an American reading a series of humorous kitchen-gadget reviews in The Guardian, and the author describes a particular food dehydrator as something that "makes you feel just a little bit ...
-6
votes
1answer
85 views

Find the grammatical error in sentence [closed]

Q1 it is time we should have done something useful. can any body explain that error ?
0
votes
1answer
3k views

Archaic English new words: from a Nigerian [closed]

A Nigerian Governor was being interviewed by a local Television station. He was speaking of the political situation of Rivers state in Nigeria. Nigeria is an English speaking country because it was a ...
0
votes
1answer
139 views

Which English to use in Portugal: British or American? [closed]

I'm not sure this is the right place to ask this, but any help is appreciated. I'm Portuguese, but I also use English for my work. For that, I use dictionaries in my computer. My question is: which ...
2
votes
2answers
142 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
133 views

How, as a parent, do I address a teacher (in the UK)?

In semi/non-official correspondence, how a parent should address a teacher of their children? Dear Miss Lastname, Dear Ms Lastname, Dear Firstname or something else? I know it's more about ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

How do I say “my car is broken” idiomatically? [closed]

Hmm: the version I give has never sounded quite right to me, but as a non-native English speaker, I don't know how native American or English people say this. So I'd be really glad if you could ...
0
votes
2answers
101 views

Right phrase to request for introduction [closed]

I have been hearing some podcasts, in every podcast I hear, the anchor asks the guests Why don't you introduce yourself? And, in some other I heard this phrase Can you kindly introduce about ...
0
votes
4answers
184 views

What is an alternative word for 'over-lit area'?

What is an alternative word to tell about 'over lit area'? I am using it in this example: The light from my lamp has over-lit my table.
1
vote
0answers
150 views

Rhotic accent in London or in the rest of the UK?

Good evening or good afternoon for the American. I read and it is known that most British accents are non-rhotic, but I’m now in London and I have the feeling that the Rs after vowels and before a ...
3
votes
3answers
409 views

Lessing's Quote and its meaning

I am reading Viktor Frankl's "Man's Search for Meaning". On Page 32 the author attributes a quote to Lessing which goes as follows: There are things which must cause you to lose your reason or you ...