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

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0
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2answers
845 views

Which are the most common Latin words/phrases used in spoken English? [closed]

Please, specify American/British Engilsh! I think these below are very common but I have no idea if they are commonly used in spoken English. ad hoc per se a priori de facto ergo et cetera vice ...
1
vote
3answers
691 views

Can you begin a sentence with an emotion?

Is it incorrect to begin a sentence with an emotion? For example: "Afraid and alone, he no longer wished to continue on." I'm translating some work from a foreign language into English, but I ...
4
votes
2answers
196 views

Is “raises question marks over” a correct and common phrase?

Is a sentence like Dynamic method invocation raises question marks over the way existing instances should be handled. correct in a technical paper (computer science)? (I think it is in the ...
0
votes
1answer
94 views

Can a dash be used in this instance?

I would like to confirm the use of a dash in this sentence: My name is Mat, I am a Bristol based designer in the UK - I forge digital art, illustrations & websites Is this the proper use ...
1
vote
3answers
413 views

How to write a date range (e.g., 6 May to 8 June) in a way that is concise and unambiguous?

In general, I try to write dates as one of: 2014-01-03 3 Jan 2013 3 January 2013 avoiding slashes altogether so as to avoid any ambiguity with American date formats. That said, I've never found a ...
1
vote
3answers
129 views

I need a word encompassing the meaning of free from something

Suppose I have a work to accomplish today, but I am not in the mood to finish it. I need the word to comprehend all these ideas. The sentence to be put in would be like "Request to free me from the ...
1
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3answers
1k views

Pronunciation of “banal” in British English?

How is "banal" properly pronounced in British English? I know three ways to pronunciate banal but I don't know how to write them here.
0
votes
3answers
412 views

Use of as good and as well

Are these two sentences correct? This is as good as ... This works as well as ... Edit: This one is as good as the other one. This one works as well as the other one.
0
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2answers
320 views

Grammatical error in following sentence

I am an IT Professional with over 12 years experience in Website Development, IT Management, IT Support and project management. I have the following strap line on my resume A dynamic, creatively ...
2
votes
2answers
542 views

Are commas considered superfluous in legal documents?

I'm in the process of purchasing a house and reading through the contract, I can't find a single instance of the comma. (As if legalese wasn't hard enough to read already!) This includes the ...
0
votes
1answer
262 views

How can I explain a word used in a previous sentence?

I am defining a "thing" with an adjective. Example: X is a small y. Then I want to give a clean and simple explanation for the adjective small --because it can mean several things and I want to ...
17
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5answers
2k views

Etymology of “nick” in, in the nick of time?

We have the nick meaning prison, as in "he served time in the nick", then we have the verb to nick, meaning to steal; but if the police catch you red-handed, then "you've been nicked". And if you led ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

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

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
339 views

To whom does “British” refer?

I've seen from sources claim that the word "British" can be used to refer to different things. Some say Great Britian, some the UK, and some even the UK including her overseas territories. Which of ...
3
votes
1answer
90 views

An abundance of knees

Terry Pratchett is particularly fond of knees. More than once, he has used an expression describing an abundance of knees, or an excess of knees, or suddenly growign extra knees, to describe his ...
1
vote
1answer
96 views

Meaning of “Would you value the ethics of consequence over means?” [closed]

I've been reading a book for a while and I've stumbled on the following sentence, which I didn't quite understand: Would you value the ethics of consequence over means? The context is the ...
0
votes
1answer
151 views

Different ways of saying Aluminium [closed]

this is a very short question but me and a couple of friends have been discussing this for a little. Does anyone know why Americans and British people especially insists on saying "Aloominum" and ...
2
votes
4answers
14k views

What should be the proper reply for thanks?

I like a girl which is in same division as I am. Recently she was suffering from malaria and when I came to know this I sent a "Get well soon!" message. We have hardly exchanged any words in labs and ...
-1
votes
1answer
694 views

Is there a rule for how to pronounce words such as “dance”, “prance”, “castle”?

Is there a grammatical rule for the pronunciation of words such as dance, castle and prance? I believe the British English pronunciation is "ah", while in American English it is a short "a" sound.
1
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3answers
69 views

How would you group the terms “Single” and “Pair”?

I am working on a website at the moment and I am trying to perfect the User Experience. The products on the store are either sold on their own, or as pairs. What I want is a word or phrase to put in ...
0
votes
2answers
674 views

Latin abbreviation to use in English to replace “as such” [closed]

I was wondering if I can use "et al." in order to say "as such" after a list of elements in a sentence given as example. If not: What can be the correct Latin abbreviation to use to replace "as ...
1
vote
3answers
715 views

What does “no longer cease to exist” means?

I understand what "cease to exist" means, but "something" no longer cease to exist doesn't make sense to me. English is not my first language(obviosly).
3
votes
2answers
165 views

“Now that x, y,” vs. “Now x, y” (“Now” in dependent clauses): British vs. American English

I have noticed that British English speakers tend not to use that after now in certain dependent clauses where American English speakers will almost certainly use it. BE version of two examples: ...
2
votes
1answer
281 views

How do you eat your eggs?

When I was in America I was offered eggs for breakfast as either 'up', 'down', 'easy' or 'dropped'. None of them are in use in Britain, where we have our eggs, fried, scrambled, boiled, or poached. ...
1
vote
2answers
856 views

Difference between “about” and “Around”

What is the difference between "about" and "around" in following example ? I'll see you around 6 O'clock. I'll see you about 6 O'clock. Now, I usually the first one, but I heard the second one on ...
0
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3answers
1k views

What's the difference between “lad” and “mate” in British English? [closed]

Can "lad" only be used to address a male, while "mate" both male and female?
4
votes
1answer
6k views

Plural for “photo”?

What's the proper plural for "photo" - "photos", "photoes", or it is generally desired to rephrase the whole thing and stick with "photographs", "images", "shots", "pictures", etc? As for usage ...
1
vote
1answer
173 views

em-dash and comma, which comes first

I am confused about the preferred way to combine an em-dash insertion with a comma occurring in the outer sentence. Until now, I had preferred to write: The erosion responsible for residuals is ...
4
votes
3answers
975 views

Where did the phrase “Give it some wellie” originate?

I've heard this a few times, and I would presume that it comes from Wellingtons, with the meaning of put some boot to it. Is there an origin for this phrase?
4
votes
3answers
582 views

What is the origin of gully and googly in cricket?

The OED supplies no clue to the origin of either gully or googly. It does not in fact mention etymology of the cricket sense of gully, which has led me to infer that it is from the ordinary meaning of ...
4
votes
2answers
748 views

What is the origin of 'cash'?

What is the etymology of 'cash'? According to the OED when it is used in 'cash-box' it descends from the French 'casse', and presumably Italian 'cassa'. However the word meaning 'loose change' is from ...
8
votes
1answer
326 views

How did Persian words arrive in English?

Some Indian words which have entered modern English, such as 'bazaar' and 'cummerbund', are of Persian origin. So it seems they have completed a journey from Persia to Western India to present-day ...
20
votes
5answers
1k views

What Indian words appear in cricket's vocabulary?

One of the things I find surprising is that India seems to have had little influence on the vocabulary of cricket. Notwithstanding India being arguably the world's greatest cricketing nation, I can't ...
6
votes
1answer
837 views

What is the origin of Bishy Barney Bee?

The attached picture is of a delightful little creature which throughout the UK is known as a Ladybird (not sure what you call them in America) EXCEPT in Norfolk, where it is known as a 'Bishy Barney ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Usage of “last evening”

I have heard my friend say yesterday evening or yesterday night. I tell her it's last evening or last night. While she may be correct in that it is the night of yesterday, why is it then called last ...
2
votes
1answer
112 views

Lady Chatterley's Lover: “as rotten as high game”

I came across the following sentence in Chapter 15 of Lady Chatterlay's Lover, when the keeper talks about the English middle class: ... full of conceit of themselves, frightened even if their ...
3
votes
1answer
130 views

Hyphenation of the word “interferometer” in British English

How is the word "interferometer" correctly split at the end of a line in British English, i.e. what is the correct syllabification? I found two contradicting syllabifications: "in·ter·fer·om·e·ter" ...
1
vote
3answers
574 views

Use of “manifest” as an active verb

Recently I completed an English creative writing exam in which I used the phrase files and papers manifest, as if by some unholy magic at the tray on his desk. My teacher stated that my use of ...
3
votes
1answer
301 views

A vague definition in a dictionary, “shag:a sexual partner of a specified ability”. Is there any better or plainer explanation?

I'm not a native English-reader, I'm Chinese. So mostly I get meanings of words by consulting dictionaries. I read this in a dictionary about the word shag: a sexual partner of a specified ...
-1
votes
1answer
2k views

What does 'tickety boo' mean? [duplicate]

We had an engineer at our house the other day to check an appliance and he used the term 'tickety boo' at least three times. Clearly being British I am aware of the expression, and I also think I know ...
2
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
790 views

What is the origin & meaning of “It used to drive me spare”? [duplicate]

While watching the eponymous documentary on Stephen Hawking, his wife described her husband's behaviour when he was deep in thought. She said he could be surrounded by children and not even notice ...
-1
votes
3answers
111 views

Which department work is being carried out for

I am a non-English-speaking software developer who faces difficulties with the English language. I built a form for users submitting work for my department. The users should write down their name and ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

Is “stationery” the name of the store that sells pens, pencils, paper, school things, etc.?

In Brazil we call this store by the generic name of papelaria, something like "paper store". What is the correct name for this? Is "Stationery" the name in any country that speaks English? I read ...
0
votes
2answers
88 views

Origin of 'Son of a Gun' [duplicate]

According to the OED a 'son of a gun' was a child born to a woman who accompanied her husband on a Royal Navy gunship. However I distinctly remember hearing on a BBC Radio 4 history programme that the ...
2
votes
2answers
211 views

Orthography of definite-article contractions in the Yorkshire dialect

In the Yorkshire accent the definite article is shortened to just t. E.g. 'I went on the bus' becomes something that sounds like 'I went ont bus'. How does one punctuate this? Is it 'I went on t'bus', ...
0
votes
1answer
481 views

word meaning 'the day before'

I am looking for a word meaning 'the day before' that fits within the following sentence: 'day before the day the conference started' Alternatively a neater way of saying the same thing would be ...
5
votes
2answers
801 views

Can the word 'loo' mean bathroom (with bath and shower and all) [closed]

English is not my first language, so I may be completely wrong, but I always thought that 'loo' meant 'toilet', the thing itself as well as the small room with just a toilet and maybe a small sink, ...
2
votes
1answer
136 views

What is a “dear grandma, love egg” moment? [closed]

Robert Peston recently wrote on his BBC blog: But it would mean that the perceived quality of all the trillions of dollars of bonds it has sold would deteriorate (here is one of my "dear grandma, ...
3
votes
4answers
669 views

Why do the British refer to things as 'posh'

Why do the British refer to something very smart, or people who are very well-off as being 'posh'?