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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

2
votes
3answers
106 views

Referring to someone's country of ancestry in an informal way?

What is a good way to refer to a person's country of ancestry? Im going pretty much everywhere in Europe this year and in Australia we have so many Australians of European ancestry. For example a ...
6
votes
2answers
15k views

What does it mean when someone says “noted” to you?

I was talking to my friend about something I find disgusting and she replied, "Noted." I replied, "Noted what?" and she said, "All dat." I am a little confused about what she was trying to say? Is ...
34
votes
4answers
14k views

When did “More tea vicar?” start to be used after farting? Where did it come from?

In England when someone farts they might say "More tea vicar?" When did this start, and how did it come about? It feels unusual enough to have a definite creation - some comedian perhaps? Web ...
1
vote
2answers
2k views

Ma'am: Is it as in “ham” solely for the Queen, whilst it remains spoken “ma”+“um” (less any glotal stop) for all others?

It's become conventional wisdom that, when addressing the Queen after introduction, one must be sure to address her as "ma'am" as if it were to rhyme with "ham". Only "ma'am" and "ham" don't rhyme. ...
5
votes
5answers
380 views

Is “crash into a bend” BrE and must there be a structure at the bend in order to use the phrase?

Includes 10 uses, showing it is far from a one-off phrase. Numbers 4 & 5 (bicycle) and 7, 8, 9, 10 ("everyday usage") are the uses I am most interested in. Question 1 If a vehicle ...
7
votes
4answers
272 views

We might have to do some “fiddling”

I like the word fiddle, and I quite like the musical instrument too. If you're fiddling with a device, it means you're trying to repair it. It might be tricky because of all the tiny bits and pieces ...
0
votes
3answers
132 views

`Good/correct English' for a 'pay back the effort' [closed]

I'm looking for a term/expression/word that is less plumb then Introducing the following concept is difficult but will pay back in the end.
1
vote
1answer
94 views

What is the correct pronunciation? [closed]

Today, I talked with my friend. And we both have different opinion to each other. The subject is Does British English (native) speaker pronunce the R letter at end of the word. You only think the ...
-1
votes
2answers
165 views

Why should one study English in India? [closed]

I'm a teacher teaching English in a village school.I need a concrete reason to continue to do so.I am looking for opinions,facts,references & even specific expertise.
3
votes
1answer
783 views

“In the cards”, “on the cards” origin(s)

In another question in EL&U "Positives changes on the cards" — meaning? , it came up that at least one of us AmE speakers had always heard this idiom as "in the cards" and never as "on ...
25
votes
17answers
3k views

A question asked in order to expose ignorance

I am looking for a particular word that describes: a question that is asked in order to expose ignorance/lack of knowledge. As with a rhetorical question, the questioner knows the answer, but ...
0
votes
1answer
111 views

“Who has” or “Who have” when referring to a collection of people in a department [duplicate]

I have spoken with Education Unit who has requested a contract. I have spoken with Education Unit who have requested a contract. Which of the above is most acceptable in British English?
0
votes
3answers
412 views

In search for universal formal greetings [closed]

I am dealing with a system which is supposed to autoreply to certain emails. It cannot start with 'Dear (forename)' as it cannot parse a forename from email address or original email. It also cannot ...
-1
votes
1answer
188 views

Why is English used internationally? [closed]

Why is English so globally prevalent, including its pervasiveness on the web? Is this because Britishers ruled the world decades ago, thereby disseminating English to those respective regions?
7
votes
3answers
4k views

How do “you” pronounce eczema?

/ˈɛɡzɪmə/, /ˈɛksɪmə/, /ˈɛksmə/ As I no longer live in the UK I don't usually hear how eczema is pronounced, so I've always pronounced it as ig-zee-muh but recently my English boyfriend told me that ...
2
votes
3answers
171 views

Is it ok nowadays to say numbers instead of digits, while expressing a sum?

( example: 2345 - these four numbers make the sum..) or must I say digits?
2
votes
2answers
336 views

“on” or “at” when talking about flight dates

I originally had text on a web site that stated: Showing flight results for flights from LON to NYC leaving at 01/06/2015 and returning at 08/06/2015 One of the testers has said that this ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Is “offloading a passenger” idiomatic?

Merriam-Webster and Oxford seem to suggest that we can offload things, not people, yet "offloading a passenger" is quite prevalent in Philippine English. Is it a phrase that somebody from the inner ...
2
votes
1answer
125 views

Is there a contraction known as the're?

Recently, one of my relatives started studying the English Language and she came to discuss that the contraction of there are can also be written as the're because that's they way she learnt it at ...
3
votes
1answer
436 views

How does 'rude' mean 'hearty'?

ODO: rude {adjective} = 4. {attributive} {chiefly British} Vigorous or hearty OED: Etymology: < Anglo-Norman rud, Anglo-Norman and Old French, Middle French rude, Old French (Lyons, rare) ...
2
votes
4answers
161 views

Can I say : “He was made broke”?

He doesn't have any money. He was made broke in 1999. Is it grammatically correct to use this structure?
1
vote
1answer
310 views

Which Mammoth came first: the animal or the description? [closed]

I thought to describe something in my writing as Mammoth, and that got me thinking: was the word originally used to describe the animal Mammoth, and adapted to describe anything that is colossally ...
1
vote
1answer
235 views

Slang word for transferring money from one card to another

Ok, so there is an Online Money Transfer Service. It allows for quick money transfer from one card to another. The advertisement of this service describes how it is convenient for parents to transfer ...
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Set the table, or lay the table?

I have read that set is American and that lay is British. But I do not think it is nearly as simple as that. I grew up in rural England in the late 1940s/50s, and we always set the table. In fact ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

is this correct; using lighted rather than lit? [duplicate]

Please help me clarify if this usage of the word "lighted" is correct in the following statement. "I have lighted the candle"
-2
votes
1answer
299 views

Chose best passive/active voice… 1. They greet me cheerfully every morning. a. Every morning I was greeted cheerfully. b. I am greeted cheerfull [closed]

In the questions below the sentences have been given in active/passive voice. From the given alternatives, choose the one which best expresses the given sentence in passive/active voice... 1. They ...
5
votes
5answers
319 views

“ain’t got the brains God gave a squirrel” - a (few) simpler alternative(s)

ain’t got the brains God gave a squirrel or ain’t got the sense God gave geese. I have taken a liking to this phrase, however, to my colleagues, most of who are from Latin America and SE-Asia, ...
3
votes
2answers
238 views

In which countries would “tags” be understood to mean “License plates and stickers that show the registration is currently valid”?

On our sister site a user recently used the term "tags" in relation to taxis in China. I thought it might man some kind of official authorization to operate a taxi. But upon clarification I was told ...
2
votes
2answers
447 views

How come the Latin word “Vulgaris” acquired such negative meaning in English?

Today, while reading Dan Brown's latest novel Inferno, I came to know that vulgar is actually derived from the Latin word vulgaris, literally meaning "of/pertaining to common people". I really don't ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What Kind of Connotations are Associated with the word 'Bruv'?

I encountered the slang word 'bruv' for the first time not long ago while playing Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. The word is used quite a lot by a genius scientist character named Gladstone Katoa, but ...
-1
votes
1answer
101 views

If it was or if it were or if it is [duplicate]

My friend wrote a status like this Working on read-only environment makes you couldn't do anything. You can only get notice and warning. We are required to obey and submit to the circumstances ...
2
votes
4answers
325 views

Does name + “boss” mean something?

One of my colleagues in Britain keeps addressing me as "Armen boss" in mails and skype. Like, Hi, Armen boss. Can you please verify...? I am in no conceivable way his boss and our relationship ...
0
votes
1answer
98 views

“negotiate” with /s/

OED lists two ways of pronouncing negotiate: Brit. /nᵻˈɡəʊʃɪeɪt/ , /nᵻˈɡəʊsɪeɪt/ Which British dialects use /s/ rather than /ʃ/ and in what contexts does this difference appear?
37
votes
14answers
20k views

Friendly way of saying “I love you”

In Spanish, Te amo (I love you) has more romantic feeling than saying Te quiero. The last one is used as a friendly way of saying I love you, but without romantic purposes. However, if translated to ...
0
votes
1answer
225 views

what does “withhold no sacrifice” mean? [closed]

Reading Churchill's speech, I don't think I understand the following "withhold no sacrifice, grudge no toil, seek no sordid gain", what does this statement mean?
0
votes
2answers
887 views

What's the difference between respected and respectable? [closed]

He is highly [respected/respectable] owing to his good manners and gratefulness. I know the difference but I can't decide which one to choose, either he is respected (the passive form)or he is ...
1
vote
0answers
26 views

Hurray vs Hooray? [duplicate]

I've seen two different spellings of this word - which is correct: hurray, or hooray? As in: You haven't got any outstanding alerts to action — hurray! I'm interested specifically in ...
0
votes
1answer
240 views

Should 'in-principle' be hyphenated?

Is it correct to say, 'your loan has been approved in principle' or 'your loan has been approved in-principle'.
3
votes
1answer
102 views

What's the difference between “slap-up meal” and “gourmet meal”?

The following quote comes from a collocation book for ESL purposes. I can see it's trying to teach us about the usage of different expressions to describe different kinds of meals. "Whether you want ...
2
votes
3answers
555 views

“Homosexual” or “Gay and Lesbian”? [closed]

I have faced a problem with my writing which I could really do with some clarification on. My question applies to both British and American English (which is fairly standard on the internet). ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Why does the word “garage” have so many different pronunciations?

Whenever I'm teaching private students and we are faced with the word garage, I hesitate a little. Italians have borrowed the term garage, which they pronounce /gaˈraʒ/, to stand for the ...
0
votes
0answers
49 views

Incorrect or just different grammar? [duplicate]

A friend of mine has noticed something I say differently to move people. Most would contract the sentence "we have not done" into "we haven't done". I turn it into "we've not done". This seems to be ...
13
votes
6answers
3k views

What do the British mean by “bolshie”?

In this week's edition of The Economist there is a review of Edith Pearlman's latest book of short stories. In it, the reviewer says the volume is characterised by prose that is bolshie yet ...
12
votes
5answers
597 views

Was the BrEng term “coloured” derogatory in the 1970s?

SAM Look... I owe it to myself to say this to you, okay? Leave Tony Crane. Just go far away from him. He's gonna ask you to marry him and he's gonna make you a business partner. EVE Is ...
0
votes
2answers
81 views

“Accessory” vs “included” as adjective (BE)

I'm wondering about the use of the word accessory as an adjective. Would it be preferable in BE to say something like "This DJ controller comes with accessory headphones"? I feel that "This DJ ...
3
votes
1answer
135 views

“Financier” in British and American English

I am teaching English to a group of university students whose major is Finance, and whose native language is not English. I have no background in economics in general or finance in particular. I am ...
0
votes
1answer
203 views

Is “would you be keen to consider___?” too cheesy to use?

On a formal / professional email, is the following question acceptable, or is it too much politeness it looks unprofessional? The intention is to ask someone, who is not a subordinate, to do ...
14
votes
2answers
1k views

What do “orange” and “spindle-shanked beaux” mean in this quote?

While looking up the word "bye" I found this 18th century quotation. Our present race of spindle-shanked beaux had rather close with an orange wench at the playhouse, than engage in a bye battle ...
-1
votes
2answers
274 views

I want to learn English for 3 months [closed]

I'm Egyptian and I want to learn English for 3 months. What advice do you have for me? I'm free for 3 months. What is the solution? Thank you.
2
votes
1answer
118 views

Diminished “R” Phoneme in NE AmE & BrE

Q: New Englanders habitually mute or diminish the R phoneme (?) in many words, (park, car, Harvard, etc.). What is the name of this characteristic of their speech? So many of the patterns of New ...