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

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12
votes
4answers
2k views

Bringing your sick to Jesus [on hold]

Does this Bible verse sound as weird to American ears as it does to my British ears? The photo is taken from the 1984 translation of the (US) NIV. It looks as though the UK edition of the 1984 NIV ...
16
votes
5answers
36k 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

What is a “longstop”? (British, I think)

I've come across this word applied to God in a book by Julian Barnes but I don't understand it. And perhaps God doesn't mind being addressed only in emergency. It may seem to bystanders that ...
2
votes
2answers
1k 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/ ...
6
votes
2answers
287 views

What is the entomology of “ligger”?

This answer on a prior question points out that ligger is defined by UrbanDictionary as: Ligger An individual who attends parties, openings, social gatherings and events with the sole ...
1
vote
0answers
24 views

Is it good to leave things out on the pitch?

Started re-watching The West Wing recently, and came across the phrase "leave it all out on the field": Everyone's walking around here like we're finished. We have 365 more days… For both of us, ...
10
votes
0answers
132 views

How does the pronunciation of 'the' vary in British English?

In the months leading up to the UK Referendum, I've heard the phrase "the E.U." thousands of times, and I've noticed that nearly all media-speakers pronounce it as /ðəʔiːjuː/. My memory, and my old ...
3
votes
1answer
59 views

Origin of the phrase “go west” (to die)

I was curious, what is the origin of the phrase "to go west" or "to pass into the west" (as in the sense of to die)?
7
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
78 views

-— this for a game of soldiers

There is an idiom that seems to be distinctly British: "---- this for a game of soldiers" where the dashes are replaced with various swear words. For example: "Sod this for a game of soldiers." It ...
0
votes
0answers
48 views

British English and “hospital” [duplicate]

I have noticed that British people often say things like "He was in hospital", omitting the word the before "hospital", which I would find to be more natural. Am I right in noticing that British ...
1
vote
1answer
51 views

How important is the word “Please” when asking for something? [closed]

How important is this word 'please' when asking someone you don't know for something? If you have already said "excuse me" is it still necessary? Is it more important than 'Thank you'? I have heard ...
2
votes
2answers
75 views

Is “reoccurring” a word and is there any semantic difference with “recurring”?

The internet seems divided on this one. Although, e.g., the Merriam-Webster dictionary does not list the word "reoccurring", dictionary.com does list it as a variant of "occur", and the Oxford ...
0
votes
2answers
67 views

What too-most means in “It was, too-most of his friends” [closed]

In a book(The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by: Douglas Adams) I am reading the following is said about a person: "The thing that used to worry him most was the fact that people always ...
0
votes
1answer
41 views

Different-colored or different colored? UK vs US English

Can I write "differently colored" instead? What expression most British or Americans would rather use? "socks, different in color" "socks of different colors" "a different color of each sock"
7
votes
2answers
4k views

Meaning and origin of British/Australian slang word 'tut'

About twenty years ago I overheard a girl from the north of England laughingly advise a friend to get ready for a night out by telling her to 'slap some tut on your face'. She clearly meant 'put on ...
4
votes
2answers
76 views

What is the meaning of this long line in this sentense?

I am reading "Pride and Prejudice" by Jane Austen and encountered a strange dash in this sentence: "The officers of the ---- shire were in general [...]" ---- is a long line and not four single dashes....
2
votes
1answer
61 views

What is the origin of the phrase “guts for garters”?

Where does the phrase "guts for garters" come from? Example: I'd better stop mucking around on the Internet or my boss'll have my guts for garters. Someone having your guts for garters means ...
2
votes
1answer
78 views

Is “a few street away” a grammatically acceptable idiomatic expression in some dialect of UK English?

I am an American and I am reading a book titled Bloodmage by a British author named Stephen Aryan. He uses expressions I was previously unfamiliar with, such as "sat" instead of "sitting" (i.e., "sat ...
6
votes
5answers
20k views

Meanings of word “nick” in British English

Word nick seems to be used to describe many things. According to the dictionary, the main meanings are: a small notch, groove, chip, or the like, cut into or existing in something. a hollow place ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Etymology of “nutmeg”?

What's the etymology of the British informal usage of the word "nutmeg" as a verb to mean "kicking a ball through a player's legs", usually used in football? It doesn't seem to bear any relation to ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views
19
votes
2answers
2k views

Don't grass me up!

"Grass", in British English, can be used as a verb or a noun to describe a police informer or the actions of said informer. Oxford gives: noun: British informal, A police informer. verb: ...
1
vote
1answer
37 views

Adverb of Frequency for “Sprint” [closed]

Re: Agile Software Development - Is there an accepted adverb to describe an activity that happens once per Sprint? Following the pattern daily, weekly, fortnightly etc, the obvious answer would seem ...
1
vote
1answer
70 views

A word to describe taking pleasure in the way a word sounds

What is a word that describes one's satisfaction in the phonetics of a word? Like visual appeal of a pictures, but the audible appeal of a word.
8
votes
3answers
574 views

What's the AmE and BrE for “tartaruga”

In Italian the the term "tartaruga" (turtle) is used also to refer to well defined abdominal muscles on the notion that they look like a turtle shell: Is there a slang/colloquial term or short ...
0
votes
0answers
24 views

How to name on sort project by

I have a list of art and design project I do, some is for client (pay) , some is not (without pay): not start from client invite (like redesign a product exist, concept, or art ... ), or client not ...
28
votes
4answers
1k views

What are the nuances of the British expression “gone” used with time, as in “gone 8” or “gone midnight”?

An expression I have run across in British novels is "gone [hour]" like this: "It was gone midnight, and the house was quiet." The Midnight Witch by Paula Brackston "It's only just gone eight ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Does the English language have an official Academy? [duplicate]

For some languages, there are academies that decide topics such as grammar and spelling of things, for example, for the Spanish language, there are 22 academies in 22 different countries, all making ...
2
votes
0answers
62 views

Reported Speech: preference for using that after say/tell

A student of mine has stated (based on her experience watching films and TV shows) that, when using Reported Speech, Americans will more often use 'he said that X' or 'he told us that X' whereas ...
25
votes
2answers
10k views

When do you use “learnt” and when “learned”?

Is learnt UK English and learned US? Is it that simple? I’m used to using learnt, but my US spellchecker says it is wrong.
3
votes
3answers
247 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
41 views

how to name on duration rules

I have a list of tasks, each happening between a start time and an end time. I want to sort all tasks into 3 categories: Upcoming ? Current happening ? pass ? already end ? What are the ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Difference between “Shut the door will you please” and “May we have the door shut please?”

To whom do you think a speaker might use the following requests to have the door shut? Shut the door will you please. May we have the door shut please?
-1
votes
0answers
23 views

“You do it” Stressing on the first person

There is an expression in my language which stresses on the person you are talking to. You would expect it in any informal conversation like this Person1: Wash the car, Jack. Jack: You do ...
7
votes
0answers
242 views

British Mass Nouns versus American Count Nouns

British English often employs mass nouns where American English would only employ count nouns. Count nouns are nouns which take pluralization and numerical quantifiers like 'many'. Mass nouns can't be ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

Cipher vs Cypher - British English vs American English [duplicate]

As an English author but long time resident of America, I recently wrote a historical spy thriller that delved deeply into coded messages. I often caught myself writing cipher and cypher. Although I ...
1
vote
3answers
44 views

Is using Answerer is correct? [closed]

If there is a position in a company that answers questions related to for example physics, what is the best word that describes this position? "Answerer of Questions related to Physics" ?
13
votes
6answers
2k views

Are “betwixt”, “trebble”, etc., acceptable in American English?

I grew up speaking British English. The words I learnt were occasionally marked off in papers, despite their being English words. Are words like betwixt, trebble, learnt acceptable in papers for ...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

Word to describe someone that has posted “proof”

Pretend locks cannot be picked. What would be a word to describe someone that has spent a long time writing an article full of absolute nonsense which they think is correct, believing for some reason ...
2
votes
0answers
39 views

Tuck someone under one's wing [closed]

To quote the sentence from Richard Templar's book The Rules of Life: "My grandfarther had taken early retirement owing to an industrial accident and my grandmother worked in a large department store ...
1
vote
1answer
697 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?
0
votes
0answers
33 views

Changing Spelling in Titles Based on AmE and BrE

For companies or corporations that have names that differ whether you are using AmE or BrE, should you change the title? For example, if I was referencing the the CDC, the Centers for Disease Control ...
1
vote
1answer
791 views

British slang: larl

I've seen this word a couple of times in twitter and I've not gotten a clear definition. A friend of mine wrote a mock British text that went like this "al av ya mum ya larl cunt" so that might give ...
1
vote
1answer
65 views

What does the word “penty” mean? [closed]

And the word pent ? Are they very used in the british/american english ? Thank you for your help :)
1
vote
2answers
16k views

Independance or Independence?

What other words are like "independence" in British English where you replace the 'a' with an 'e'?
1
vote
2answers
181 views

Centre of competence

I have seen this expression several times (Google search gives 67M answers), but it seems mostly used by French or Swiss institutions, while Wikipedia mentions centre of excellence or competency ...
1
vote
1answer
46 views

“Wherever or Whenever”

Apologies for the title which sounds like the Shakira classic, but would you say "Thank you for providing help whenever possible" or "wherever possible"
2
votes
3answers
131 views

Femicide vs feminicide

While using the term femicide I realised that the is another term, probably a synonym, feminicide. From the following Wikipedia extract, the two terms appear to be synonyms: Femicide or ...