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

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1answer
1k views

Is this a polite way to ask questions? [closed]

I want to send questions to someone, I want to ask you if this way is polite and if there are better ways: I want to ask you questions, your answers would be appreciated I want to ask you ...
7
votes
2answers
5k views

“courgettes” vs. “zucchini” under a historical perspective

In this TimLymington's answer it is said: Interestingly, there is another vegetable with the same identity problem; what the British call courgettes and the Americans zucchini. What is the ...
2
votes
3answers
184 views

What word describes the shape of a whirlwind when seen from above?

What word describes the shape of a whirlwind when seen from above? Swirl Whorl Radial The shape they make when seen from above resembles a radial pattern or even a whorl.
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votes
1answer
223 views

Interpretation of 'have' as stative or dynamic

Please bear with me. It's been a long time since I looked up grammatical concepts. The sentence is: I can quite clearly see the bewildered looks you will be having on your faces on reading this. ...
2
votes
2answers
132 views

Does your name belong to you?

I'm having trouble deciding whether the word 'name' can be used possessively. Currently I'm thinking it's correct to say: Patients' names have been altered to provide anonymity However it just ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

“Normalise” or “normalize” (British English)?

Is normalise perhaps obsolete in British English, and normalize preferred instead? I have done some Googling, it seems British English dictionaries prefer normalize, but I haven't found any ...
4
votes
2answers
347 views

Have American English speakers always used the term “last name” instead of surname?

I am aware that speakers of British English generally use the term "surname" and AmE speakers use "last name." What I want to know is how long it has been this way, i.e. if AmE speakers ever used the ...
-1
votes
3answers
184 views

“Testification” in US English

The usage of Dieter Wisclieceny’s statements and testifications from the Nuremberg Trials as the basis for the interrogation and trial of Eichmann is also accurate. In Microsoft word, the ...
0
votes
1answer
87 views

Who would say “letters of love” as opposed to “love letters”?

From what part of the world would a person refer to love letters as letters of love?
0
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3answers
153 views

Although correct, is “the above” to be avoided?

Although the phrase the above is not exactly incorrect, should it be avoided? For example, imagine a letter with a heading "Re: Order for 79 purple cardboard slugs". Should a paragraph in the letter ...
2
votes
1answer
703 views

difference between American and British /ӕ/ sound

When I presented British /ӕ/ sound to three Korean English-familiar persons online - they are doing answering English-related questions activities [case 1; case 2], and asked what sound it’s like /ӕ/ ...
1
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2answers
807 views

Losing bottles and bottling out

ODO's definition for bottle includes the following: 2 [mass noun] British informal the courage or confidence needed to do something difficult or dangerous: I lost my bottle completely and ran ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

What is a person if they are described as a “wet hen”?

In Terry Pratchett's Discworld books (Witches Abroad in particular), the character Magrat Garlick is often called a "wet hen" by at least one of her witch colleagues. Web searches only yielded the ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Why is the Yorkshire dialect called 'Tyke'?

From Wikipedia: The Yorkshire dialect refers to the varieties of English used in the Northern England historic county of Yorkshire. Those varieties are often referred to as Broad Yorkshire or ...
1
vote
2answers
224 views

Does the word “indefatigable” have positive or negative connotation?

Example usage: Terence, you have indefatigable enthusiasm. The effect it has on people is inspiring. In the sense of exuberance, but you feel positively about it.
2
votes
1answer
3k views

deceit vs deception

There seems to be a boundary between these concepts, but I can't quite work out where it is. Camouflage and mimicry are deceptions; telling untruths is deceitful. In common usage we would say, 'The ...
0
votes
1answer
660 views

What is the meaning of “at its discretion”?

What does "at its discretion" mean in the following sentence? Dual Gadgets undertakes, at its discretion and cost, to repair or replace defective equipment covered by warranty in 3.b., provided ...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

Software to change American punctuation to British [migrated]

My apologies if this is off topic. American and British writing have different punctuation styles. Is there any software that can change American style punctuation to British? I am referring to ...
-1
votes
1answer
145 views

(Presumably) an address without preposition

I'm trying to translate a contract between two parties, and I came across this: Package and delivery Dual Gadgets, Kempston, Beds UK as defined in TERMS 2001. and Delivery Point The ...
-2
votes
1answer
191 views

“Cant fight no more”, is this grammatically correct? [duplicate]

"Cant fight no more", is this grammatically correct? If not, what is the correct way of saying this?
1
vote
1answer
120 views

When it come to bicycle tyres, what does “cheerful”, “sprightlier” mean?

The usage of those words can be found in this review of a certain make of bicycle tyres. Unable to understand what the author is trying to say using those adjectives, since they are usually used to ...
0
votes
2answers
251 views

whiskers vs sideburns usage in UK vs US English?

Is the word whiskers more like UK English and "sideburns" more like US English? I see the term originates from "Ambrose Burnside" who was American so the word "whisker(s)" can be older than the word ...
1
vote
4answers
233 views

In England, do people use “people” or “persons” more?

In England, do people use "people" or "persons" more? And do you use the phrase "Keep it on your person"?
3
votes
3answers
1k views

British term for 'washroom'? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “Washroom”, “restroom”, “bathroom”, “lavatory”, “toilet” or “toilet room” What is the British equivalent of the American 'washroom'? (Besides 'loo', of course, as it is ...
2
votes
4answers
3k views

“Fall term”, “autumn semester”, “autumn term” or “fall semester”?

Please clarify which is UK English, American English, and where and when to use which: Fall term (American English?) Autumn semester (UK English?) Autumn term (wrong?) Fall semester (wrong?)
4
votes
1answer
798 views

What does “to have a little form” mean?

In the article, "Not nein...but TEN reasons why we should love Germany", the following phrase is being used: LET’S face it, Britain and Germany have a little form over the past century. ...
1
vote
6answers
11k views

What do you call a person who always has a pleasant smile on his face?

What do you call a person who always has a pleasant smile on his face. Is there anything better than calling him a "Pleasing personality"?
5
votes
1answer
202 views

Cardinal British Dates - A Kiwi Original?

I had never heard the use of cardinal numbers in dates when speaking until I moved to New Zealand. It seems particularly prevalent in TV and radio advertising, but doesn't seem to follow either ...
6
votes
1answer
314 views

Why is “accidentally” pronounced “accident-ly” instead of “accident-tal-y”?

Why is accidentally pronounced accident-ly and not accident-tal-ly? Incidentally, some other adverbs have this same phenomenon, where some dictionaries show the second-to-last syllable as being ...
3
votes
2answers
208 views

“Go shut the door” or “Go and shut the door”: AmE/BrE difference

The usage you put the verb (in its infinitive form) right after "go" is used in AmE but not in BrE, as I heard. For example, Go shut the door. However, I doubt this is true and want to know the ...
0
votes
5answers
279 views

Word for person who was ignored by everyone while alive, but whose importance was realized after he died

Is there a single word for a person who was ignored by everyone when he was alive, but later people realized his importance after he died? It can also be related to his work, teaching or something ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

French Letters and condoms

Repartee (inexact quote) from a TV show: Person A: Now, we're going to be getting some letters from French people. Person B: It could be worse. You might be getting French letters. (laughter) ...
3
votes
6answers
1k views

Word or phrase to refer to self-employed professionals working from home in the UK?

Other than homeworkers (which is vague), freelancers (which is, to my knowledge, US-specific, and non-exclusive to this), what other words do self-employed people working from home describe ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Why do American and British English use different quotation marks?

American English uses double-quotes, while British English uses single-quotes: "This is a quote." 'This is a quote.' Why do we use different quotation marks? When did this difference ...
3
votes
1answer
201 views

“Tabled”, US vs UK [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the meaning of the expression “We can table this”? Here's an example snippet for some context. Ann had an idea. We tabled her idea. In the UK this means ...
20
votes
4answers
6k views

Why does “corn” mean “maize” in American English?

I keep hearing "corn" as a synonym of "maize". This is widely popularized worldwide by popcorn. However, this is American English! In British English, "corn" can mean any type of "grain", especially ...
2
votes
1answer
818 views

Mixing British English and American English [closed]

I'm a non-native English speaker and as such, I was taught one variety of English In school--in my case, American. However, I've also been extensively in contact with British English, and now I ...
1
vote
1answer
121 views

Why do we say 'Tearing about' [closed]

Why do we say 'tearing about' meaning rushing around in a rather haphazard way. I can't find the expression in any dictionary or thesaurus and am not sure if I am spelling it correctly. Most ...
0
votes
1answer
250 views

Is “be-gruntled” a word? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When does a word become a ‘word’? Someone in work asked about the welfare of my girlfriend, to which I replied "She's fine, a little be-gruntled but fine." People knew ...
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votes
2answers
95 views

Is “subordinated” a good translation of the Italian legal term “subordinato”? [closed]

I've found this translation http://www.wordreference.com/iten/subordinato but I am not sure if English legals use subordinate to define a party that is subordinated to another. Any suggestion? EDIT: ...
3
votes
2answers
123 views

Use of 'That“ rather than ”the"

The weather reports on the BBC frequently use the word "That" when I was expecting either no article or possibly "the". For example 'There will be more of that cold weather.' when no cold weather has ...
1
vote
1answer
619 views

“Drawing room” or “sitting room”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What’s a reception room / parlor / parlour / drawing room? Please consider the following room: The house is a late Victorian townhouse. The room (A) has a size of about ...
0
votes
1answer
4k views

“If I was to” vs. “If I were to” [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: “If I was” or “If I were”. Which is more common, and which is correct? If I was to sum up my computer knowledge in one word, it would be “destitute”. If I were ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Etymology and meaning of the word “snog”

Having looked to urban dictionary, witionary, online etymology, dictionary.com, Wikipedia and wordfreaks.tribe.net, I have found a wide variance in the etymology and definition of the word snog. I ...
0
votes
1answer
826 views

What's the difference between “bloke”, “chap” and “lad”?

Several synonyms are used in the UK: bloke, chap, lad. What's the difference between them?
6
votes
4answers
2k views

“S'il vous plaît” = “If you please”?

In Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot detective stories, Poirot uses the phrase “if you please” a lot. Does this come from the French phrase “s’il vous plaît”?
7
votes
2answers
909 views

Wedding invitations in British English

I'm an American calligrapher living in France, designing a suite of wedding invitations for a Spanish bride living in London! Complicated enough? I can't really go to the bride with questions ...
1
vote
2answers
441 views

Is “my place” correct and common in British English?

I was recently told that "my place", such as in "let's go to my place" is not commonly used in British English? Is that the case and what would you say instead?
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1answer
206 views

Origin of “happen” [closed]

What is the origin of the word happen? If it comes from the word hap, what is the early usage of that word?
6
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3answers
5k views

Should “each” be followed by a singular or plural possessive?

If a possessive noun, which is plural, is preceded by "each", then should it use the singular or plural possessive form? For example, which of the following is correct? spend time in each other's ...