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

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10
votes
2answers
341 views

Is “kip” Chinese in origin?

While looking up the history of kip, I realized that the information about its origins is rather scant. The noun and verb to kip in BrEng is often said when a person wishes to take a short sleep or a ...
1
vote
3answers
73 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?
1
vote
2answers
757 views

“Named for” vs. “named after”

As a Brit, I'm used to the phrase named after being used to say how something got its name. For example, in Wikipedia's List of eponymous roads in London, we read that Addison Road is named after the ...
2
votes
2answers
44 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
22 views

How long it takes to learn English? [on hold]

Im from UK If I'm learning English is ok not to use my native lang punjabi. I only speak Punjabi. I'm taking English classes next year with my course. And it's for 1 year. How can my english ...
0
votes
0answers
50 views

How to ask a girl out [on hold]

I make silly mistakes and people are like omg u don't know that. In angree way but not too angry. I found my type she likes Art but things in I love it too but I don't know much about Art. I don't ...
4
votes
3answers
4k views

Why did this Brit say “took a punt”?

Recently listening to a podcast, I heard someone (of unknown British origin) use 'take a punt' in the sense of 'take a chance.' Perhaps this is due to punting in American English referring to American ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Origin of “old bag”?

What is the origin of the term old bag as a derogatory term for an older lady? In the UK it is exclusively used to describe females. There appears to be nothing intrinsically feminine about bags. ...
7
votes
1answer
8k views

“Exercise” but not “exercize”

Many words are spelled with -ise in British English and -ize in American English: realise/realize sanitise/sanitize scrutinise/scrutinize But exercise can only be spelled with -ise, never with ...
-1
votes
0answers
67 views

Is it rude to call a Lord, sir?

Just a random thought I had... if you were speaking to, e.g. Lord Sugar, and he asked you something, to which you responded: Yes sir Would that be impolite? Usually it would be polite to call ...
2
votes
2answers
159 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
69 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 ...
2
votes
3answers
126 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
66 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
3answers
95 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
97 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
37 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 ...
-4
votes
2answers
930 views

“If I didn't have” vs. “if I had not had” for a hypothetical

I wrote: it would never have been possible if i didn't have interest in the least bit but a friend of mine told it is wrong and should be: it would never have been possible if i had not ...
2
votes
1answer
63 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
92 views

Grammatically correct answer to incorrect question [closed]

I'm just curious what is correct to say in this situation. Let's have a person A which can speak English but not very well (like me). Person A is going to ask me whether I work in company X. But he ...
1
vote
3answers
10k views

Should I use “arrived” or “reached”

Sometimes when I come back from my brother's house he asks me to let him know when I am at home. Now, in that situation which one of the following is correct : I've reached home now. OR I've ...
-2
votes
1answer
257 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?
0
votes
1answer
28 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

Why are promiscuous women known as “slappers”?

Women who aren't interested in much more than sex are referred to as "slappers" in British English. British informal, derogatory a promiscuous or vulgar woman. Why is this? I can't find any ...
0
votes
0answers
29 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"
5
votes
1answer
8k views

Is “weightage” an English word?

Is weightage an English word? We use it a lot in India, but I couldn't find it in my Oxford Dictionary.
2
votes
1answer
47 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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
31 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
5k 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) ...
2
votes
2answers
62 views

What meaning would you ascribe to “to spy a parable”?

What meaning would you ascribe to: "to spy a parable"? Here is the context: "It is tempting to ponder these two NASA stories, and to spy a parable about much that is wrong with the America of 2014." ...
4
votes
5answers
136 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
74 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

Where does the pejorative meaning of “shower” come from?

shower British informal a group of people perceived as incompetent or worthless I think this term is becoming obsolete. It's certainly not something I've heard in the street recently. The ...
10
votes
5answers
4k views

Do Americans use the world 'turtle' as a generic word to mean 'tortoise'?

Obviously there are two different animals — a tortoise and a turtle. But I have been told by a colleague that in the US the word turtle is used to describe both. I find this odd as for example the ...
0
votes
1answer
68 views

a dataset of equivalent english phrases?

there is a similarity or even equality between many sentences in English language such as: I happened to come across the scientific definitions while reading. I came across the scientific ...
1
vote
2answers
343 views

“Sport” vs “Sports” Origin

I was recently reading this article on the use of "math" vs. "maths" as a collective noun (Americans use the former, Brits the latter). However, the trend seen in "math/maths" is reversed in ...
16
votes
3answers
6k views

Why is “can I get” replacing “could I have”?

I noticed the other day when serving the public that when asking for something, people were saying "Can I get an xyz, please". The previous time I had such a job it was "Could I have an xyz", or "May ...
9
votes
14answers
3k views

What's the word for someone who always likes being different?

...particularly with respect to the use of technology, taste in music, movies etc. I have seen my share of people like this who like to go "alternative" just to set themselves apart and I would like ...
1
vote
2answers
135 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
40 views

Period with Colon?

Which of these is correct (The word manager is abbreviated to Mgr): Your Line Mgr: OR Your Line Mgr.:
1
vote
1answer
126 views

Is the perfect aspect used differently in Indian English compared to AmEng and BrEng? [closed]

Some people in India speak English but there's differences. But to what extent does it differ in perfect tenses like present, past, future, etc. perfect? I choose to compare it with British English ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

Shalln't vs. Shan't in British English

I am a British English speaker and often use "shall" and "shall not". When I contract "shall not", I pronounce it [ʃɑlnt] -- that is, the "l" sound remains. My question, therefore, is how do I spell ...
4
votes
2answers
127 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 ...
24
votes
5answers
16k views

Capitalisation of nouns in English in the 17th and 18th centuries

It seems to have been common practice in the 17th and 18th centuries in Britain to capitalise the first letters of nouns in English, e.g. At which Time he prov'd himself the Noah's Dove, that ...
17
votes
13answers
11k views

American vs. British English: meaning of “One hundred and fifty”

I've noticed that Americans do not say "and" when speaking numbers: for example, 150 would be pronounced "one hundred fifty". I and most other British-English speakers would pronounce it "one hundred ...
-1
votes
1answer
39 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 ...
31
votes
14answers
8k 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
390 views

Does “moonlighting” have a negative or neutral connotation?

We all agree that "moonlighting" denotes having a second job. However, Merriam-Webster and Oxford Advanced Learner's don't define it in exactly the same way. For example, Merriam-Webster attaches a ...
0
votes
1answer
42 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?
1
vote
4answers
3k views

Born(e) (out?) of the desire

I'd be most grateful to anyone who could tell me which of the following is right xyz was born out of the desire to... xyz was born of the desire to... xyz was borne out of the desire to... xyz was ...