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

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2answers
4k 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, ...
2
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2answers
22 views

"Proper Cheerio”: Proper?

A call to BrE speakers: A television outlet in NE US is advertising a gala fundraising event coinciding with the finale of the Downton Abbey television series in the States. Sunday, March 6, 2016 ...
10
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2answers
1k views

What does “a bit of a tartar” mean?

Recently, a woman I know who lives in England (OK, she's my fiancee, if you want to know), wrote to me and described someone she knows as "a bit of a tartar". Now in context it seemed like a friendly ...
2
votes
3answers
206 views

Is “have/has got” a perfect for BrE, but not AmE?

In BrE the past participle of get is in most cases got, while in AmE it is almost always gotten. Does that imply that in the context of BrE "have/has got" is a genuine perfect construction, whereas ...
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2answers
46 views

One Word : What do you call who chill / relax a lot? [on hold]

I need one word for people who chill / party / relax / play games / travel and just chill most of the time.
12
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2answers
1k views

Is “chaperon” versus “chaperone” a US versus British English thing?

I've noticed that "chaperone" can also be spelt "chaperon", without the "e" at the end. Is this a case of American English simplifying a British English word, or something else? The original French ...
0
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0answers
46 views

I wouldn't vs I'd not

I'm defending my word choice to an editor in a novel I've written. There are two points of view: one is a native Irish speaker, and the other, an American born and raised here. They're both eighteen. ...
1
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1answer
84 views

Is there a British slang word for “company man”?

I remember coming across a word that was British, and seemed to be a more specific reference to what we call a "company man" in the US. But this was a while ago and I forget it.
15
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7answers
7k views

“to bath” vs “to bathe”

Recently, I came across the verb to bathe written as bath in two English coursebooks used by Italian students. The first time I saw it, I dismissed it as a typographical error and told my private ...
-1
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0answers
26 views

Salary Increment, Revise Email to HR [closed]

I am working as Sr. Software Engineer. Yesterday, I got Salary increment. But it is below my expectation compare to my performance. So i want to send mail to HR department that indicates to revise my ...
14
votes
5answers
23k views

What's the difference between “rent” and “hire” in British and American English?

The tip I used to teach was the verb, hire, should be used for things which are transportable hence, you hire a car, sports equipment, a boat, a bike etc. Rent, on the other hand, is primarily used ...
8
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4answers
216 views

“[a/the] equivalent of” vs. “[a/the] equivalent for” vs. “[a/the] equivalent to”

Which of the following constructs sound more idiomatic to you? Is there any British/American equivalent to the French phrase "broyer du noir"? Is there any British/American equivalent for the ...
3
votes
2answers
90 views

must vs have to: British usage and academic rules

I am teaching 'have to' vs 'must' (British English usage) and, according to the book, the difference is as follows: must: it's necessary to do it (because the speaker says so) have to: it's ...
15
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5answers
34k views

Why is 'forty' spelled without a 'u' in Canadian/British English?

I was writing in Word today (with the Canadian English dictionary enabled) and it kept putting a redline under "fourty" which I couldn't understand. A bit of searching says that, even in British and ...
0
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0answers
19 views

Preposition use [closed]

" Two years remain •••••• his tenure." "Discipline was instilled •••••• them at an early age." What should be the appropriate prepositions? For the second one is it 'is'?
54
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8answers
32k views

Is there a reason the British omit the article when they “go to hospital”?

Why do British speakers omit the article in constructions like "go to hospital" or "go on holiday"? Pretty much all American speakers would rephrase those as "go to the hospital" and "go on a ...
0
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0answers
35 views

Why do some people drop “the” when saying “At The Hospital”? [duplicate]

Frequently I hear friends saying "He was in Hospital". Here in Texas, and elsewhere in the US, we typically say "He was in the hospital". Any reason for the discrepancy?
0
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1answer
50 views

'Go to sleep' vs 'Go and sleep'?

I just had a linguistics test (it's called UKLO) that measures you're ability to problem solve and translate languages you know nothing about. For one of my translation answers I wrote 'Don't go and ...
1
vote
1answer
87 views

Difference between “in” and “of” when used with the complement 'the department'

I used the following two expressions: in: students in the department of: students of the department What is the difference, if any, between them?
4
votes
1answer
80 views

“Milk in first and Indian”—what does it mean?

Reading A Murder of Quality by John le Carré, I came across the following remark by Mrs. Hecht, a detestable upper-class Englishwoman (emphasis mine): "Though, of course, the Midlands are ...
1
vote
0answers
57 views

Dinner at mine or yours?

I have noticed in British TV shows the common usage of 'mine' or 'yours' being used to mean 'my place' and 'your place' respectively. I spent a year in Britain in the early 1980s and I don't recall ...
1
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1answer
84 views

Is there a difference between a match and fixture in football?

Or are they synonyms? My guess is that fixtures are matches that haven't been played yet...
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1answer
66 views

Why 'Germanic Languages' and 'Germanic Tribes'?

I've never been a fan of the word 'Germanic' and it's use to cover all Northern European (except the so-called 'Celtic Fringe') Tribes due to it's overtly political connotations. Can anyone tell me ...
4
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4answers
10k views

How do they express the time, in American and British English?

I don't know if this is a good question. But as far as I know, and as I do it, American English also say "after" other than "past" in expressing times. For example, a quarter after six instead of, a ...
0
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1answer
44 views

Present Perfect Simple vs Past Simple [closed]

How much has it cost? My father has paid for it. That's why I don't know its price. vs How much did it cost? My father paid for it. That's why I don't know its price. Which one is more ...
7
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2answers
16k 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 ...
0
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1answer
27 views
9
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3answers
103 views

What is the etymology of the term “form factor”?

I'm a theoretical physicist, and am doing some work on quantities called form factors. To an expert, a form factor says something about scattering particles from fields. This probably originated from ...
3
votes
1answer
50 views

What does it mean to “take the mickey out of” something?

I am a Yank. I have a friend who lives in the UK, in Sussex. She writes: Mike and Rose are pretty good, but they tend to take the mickey out of my inadequacies. Mike and Rose are her ...
0
votes
2answers
58 views

What are other words for a collection of beautiful things?

I am looking for a word or term for a collection of beautiful things. Of either intrinsic value or even along the lines of 'a whole that is made of a sum of valuable parts'. Not necessarily in any ...
6
votes
5answers
733 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
68 views

What are the levels of proficiency in english and the vocubulary subsets at each level [closed]

What are the levels of proficiency in english and the vocubulary subsets at each level. As in how many words should a person know at each level of english proficiency and is there a reference list of ...
0
votes
2answers
40 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"?
25
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8answers
2k views

Does anyone use both “whinge” and “whine?”

The words "whinge" and "whine" have separate (albeit very similar) definitions in the OED, and they have distinct pronunciations. "Whinge" seems completely restricted to BritE; I have never heard it ...
31
votes
8answers
10k views

When talking to American clients, should I say “smoothie” or “milkshake”?

We have a client visit planned to our service center (in India) and I am in-charge of Food and Beverages for our client's entire itinerary. I am writing to my client's Travel coordinator(an American) ...
2
votes
1answer
57 views

Whence the BrE “fine tooth-comb” where AmE uses “fine-tooth comb”?

I'm reading a novel set in present-day England, and it's sprinkled with uses of the construction in the title. This is far from the first time I've encountered this in BrE writing, along with general ...
11
votes
4answers
943 views

Very unusual meaning of “abortion”

The following use of the word "abortion" got my attention. It is from Graham Greene's The End of the Affair, published in 1951. Here is the context: "...Listen. I met a man on the Common today ...
0
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2answers
318 views

To gain/acquire/obtain comfort with something abstract - is this idiomatic, or at least acceptable?

I am encountering the expression "to gain comfort", "to acquire comfort", and to "obtain comfort" more and more lately. Example: "This issue was looked at in depth in 2013 and we obtained comfort at ...
7
votes
4answers
348 views

Omission of 'for' with various quantified time intervals: influence of verb

I came across these two examples, given to illustrate 'a case' where the inclusion of the preposition for is considered optional in the paper "Acquisition of Preposition Deletion by Non-native ...
0
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2answers
49 views

What “appear to be ” means in the given sentence [closed]

Today, while reading a newspaper I came across a sentence that has been baffling me since: The woman, who identified herself as Bhavna and appeared to be in her 20s, .... What does appeared to ...
8
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5answers
6k views

Where did the word “quim” come from?

Both the OED and Etymonline offer no clue as to origin of the slang term quim, meaning minge. The OED’s earliest citations are from the 18th, which isn’t quite as old as Adam, but has certainly been ...
17
votes
3answers
6k views

“I'm on the brew”

A conversation between two Scots: — What do you do for a living? — I'm on the brew. Assuming that I have the phrase right, what exactly does "on the brew" mean here? Based on the context, I ...
4
votes
1answer
8k 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
195 views

News lacks plural but what about TIDINGS?

News is used only in the singular (being one of the uncountable nouns). There is an old-fashioned word meaning pretty much the same - tidings, so my question is: Is this expression used only in ...
-1
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2answers
59 views

How do you pronounce Calvin in British English

How do the British pronounce the 'a' between c and l? Is it like 'callous' or 'call'?
0
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2answers
38 views

Term “should be facing” - English explanation

Could anyone please tell me how the meaning of term "should be facing" is used? I mean if some STICKER should be facing some part of the product. What does this mean? If it should be facing to ...
1
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1answer
70 views

Word usage: “manyfold” or “manifold”? [closed]

Is there any US/UK English difference in the spellings "manyfold" and "manifold"?
5
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2answers
172 views

Why “paediatrics” but “pedagogue” in British English?

There's an account of the British ae/oe and American "e" spellings (as in diarrh(o)ea, f(a)eces, and other fun words) on wikipedia. What I'm wondering is why, even in British English, ...
0
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3answers
48 views

Are there local differences in the definitions of cleaning and tidying?

Do the words cleaning and tidying translate differently in different English speaking countries? Specifically, would vacuuming always be considered part of tidying AND cleaning?