This tag is for questions related to mutually intelligible variations within a language.

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42 views

Pronunciation of “Attribute”

My question: Is it common to use the same pronunciation of the word "attribute" for both the verb and noun? If so, how does this vary geographically? Explanation: I'm from Michigan and have always ...
7
votes
1answer
152 views

Strange pronunciation of “door”

I have just heard Australian-English actor Rob Inglis repeatedly pronounce the word "door" so that it rhymes with "poor". In what dialect is that pronunciation found? Is it Australian? Edit - ...
3
votes
1answer
37 views

Origin of “even you” without connotations of surprise/insult/praise? (Indian English)

I live in southern India, and I've noticed that in a Indian English, the word "even" can be used without indicating surprise, as it does elsewhere. Some examples: Even you should be able to ...
5
votes
1answer
76 views

How did the term “crayfish” become “crawdad”?

I am given to understand that "crawdad" and "crayfish" refer to the same creature (or group of creatures resembling small lobsters that live in freshwater), and that the difference is dialectical. ...
2
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2answers
99 views

Is the term “krapfens” popular/well-known in English? [closed]

The word krapfens means "donuts": in Italy it is quite common to see it in German as well as in English; I guess that's because Italian borrows many original expressions from foreign languages. It ...
4
votes
1answer
67 views

Is “the same” widely used in any native-speaking population of English speakers?

I often see "the same" used regularly in discourse from and among South Asian speakers of English, particularly among speakers of IndE, as in I visited the tiger preserve in Ranthambore, and I ...
0
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0answers
46 views

In which regions of the UK do children “knock on” for their friends?

As someone who has lived most of his life south of a line drawn from The Severn to The Wash - the great linguistic and cultural divide in England - I was not familiar with the expression knocking on. ...
4
votes
1answer
90 views

Kiwi (New Zealand) Pronunciation of “Moscow”

So I was watching some Flight of the Conchords just a moment ago (classic), and they're from New Zealand. In one of their songs, they said "Moscow". I'd assumed that Kiwis would say it "Mos-co" (like "...
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0answers
66 views

Is day-ta more common in the South or the North of the US?

So I've read that dah-ta is more common in the US than in other places, but is day-ta or dah-ta more common to hear in the South? I haven't been able to find that out for sure.
1
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1answer
26 views

Word for when a writer uses alternate spelling and grammar to immitate a dialect

What is the word for when a writer spells words of a character's dialogue differently for a character in order to express an accent or dialect? I think it starts with a 'd'.
-1
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2answers
54 views

Term for “Hereditary by Nurture” [closed]

In the nature vs. nurture debate, there's a category oft forgotten: hereditary by nurture. This is a strict subset of nurture - the extreme case of it - where, from the time of birth, the environment ...
3
votes
1answer
80 views

Are some accents/dialects incorrect [closed]

I may not be incorrect in my knowledge about speech, but Dialects or accents that drop sounds from words, syllables from words, or just completely change the sound from words are they correct? I see ...
0
votes
1answer
135 views

Is “take a bath” or “bathe” used to mean “take a shower” in some English dialects?

By analogy with Portuguese tomar banho [de chuveiro/ducha], which along with tomar uma ducha/chuveirada (Br.)/duche (Port.) means, take a shower, are there any parts of the English speaking world in ...
2
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0answers
49 views

Use of “what” vs “that”? [duplicate]

There is a song titled "Better Not Wake the Baby" by a band called The Decemberists. One of the lines in the song is as follows: Drown yourself in crocodile tears, Curse the god what made ...
0
votes
2answers
194 views

What are the South African words for crisps and French Fries?

Consider Exhibit A. Consider Exhibit B. In England, A is referred to as 'Chips' and B is referred to as 'Crisps'. In the United States A is referred to as 'French Fries' and B is referred to ...
5
votes
4answers
588 views

“exhibition” vs. “exposition” vs. “exhibit” in AmEng

What's the difference between those words with regard to a public showing, as of goods or works of art? Can these be used interchangeably? Both "exhibit" and "exposition" are marked as Americanisms ...
1
vote
2answers
83 views

The usage of Porch vs. Patio [duplicate]

I'm a student originally from the West Coast but currently studying in New England. I came across an interesting question concerning dialectology and the use of Patio vs. Porch. I have observed other ...
12
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1answer
204 views

What accents pronounce “quarter” as “korter”? Which other words can drop /w/ before /ɔr/ like this?

Many people drop the "w" from words like "dwarf," changing the pronunciation from /dwɔrf/ to /dɔrf/. This has led to the re-spelling "dorf" being used in some informal contexts, e.g. "Dorf Fort." My ...
1
vote
0answers
15 views

“been a watching”, “been a playing” - why? [duplicate]

I first encountered adding an "a" before a verb in songs in phrases such as "I've been a-playing". At first I thought that songwriters add it when they need one more syllable to make a verse sound ...
35
votes
4answers
2k views

Why do I pronounce “horrible” so harrhibly?

With Friends Like These A few months ago, a couple good friends brought up a topic they know I disdain, and kept prodding me for my opinion on it. They wouldn't let up, until finally I proclaimed "[...
3
votes
1answer
51 views

Is there any dialect of English that uses “positive ever” to mean “once”?

One of the most interesting things for me is to learn that some construction that seems completely ungrammatical to me is completely okay for speakers of some other dialect of English. For example, ...
4
votes
1answer
88 views

What is Mother Gothel's Accent?

What is the accent of Mother Gothel in the movie Tangled? In an interview with the voice actor (see here), she has a pretty neutral American accent (GenAm + father-bother + caught/cot, from what I ...
2
votes
3answers
162 views

You'll have had your tea

Okay, so I've become aware of the phrase "you'll have had your tea", which is something of a cliché of a Scottish dialect. I'm not actually sure if it's currently in common usage or not. But I have ...
1
vote
2answers
80 views

“flat,” “stone,” “dead,” “dirt,” “plumb,” and “right” as indicators of directness, completeness, or general intensity [closed]

What's the difference between those words? Can they be used just about interchangeably as adverbs indicating completeness or totality? Please, compare: Looking back over my years of wildlife work,...
3
votes
1answer
62 views

“Poor as Job's cat”

In which part(s) of the U.S. can one still hear the colorful simile, (as) poor as Job's cat? poor as Job - Poverty-stricken, indigent, destitute. The allusion is to the extreme poverty which ...
4
votes
1answer
100 views

Usage of the verb “squinch” in AmEng

Collins American English Dictionary says: squinch (skwɪntʃ) (US) transitive verb to squint (the eyes); squinched up her eyes in disgust. M-W 2. a. to pucker ...
0
votes
1answer
100 views

In what varieties of English can “does not qualify” mean “disqualifies”? [closed]

Are there any (nonstandard?) varieties (dialects/registers/styles) of English where "does not X" can mean "does the opposite of X", either in general, or specifically for the transitive verb qualify, ...
3
votes
1answer
59 views

Is “agone” still a current dialectal expression?

Agone is defined in dictionaries as an archaic form of "gone" (TFD) but according to Etymonline the term is still used as a dialectal variant: Ago: ago (adj.) early 14c., shortened form ...
2
votes
2answers
90 views

Proper usage of “does” in “Where does it come from?”

When inquiring after the immediate origin of a thing (i.e., where I purchased this gallon of milk), my wife will frequently say, "Where does it come from?". This always sounds odd to me—I'd say "Where ...
13
votes
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 ...
3
votes
1answer
103 views

“available (availability)” vs. “valid (validity)” for “having sufficient power or efficacy” in AmEng vernacular

Per Random House Webster's College Dictionary, Ed. 1991, available suitable or ready for use; of use or service; at hand: I used whatever tools were available. readily obtainable; ...
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5answers
371 views

Ambiguous meaning of NAmEng sense of “skill” in Harrap's English-French Dictionary

Harrap's New Shorter English-French/French-English Dictionary, Ed. 1982, states, skill n 1. habileté f, adresse f, dextérité f; technical skill, habileté, aptitude f, technique; ...
1
vote
4answers
133 views

“crash” vs. “wreck” for [road/air] accident in AmEng

What's the difference between those terms in relation to a road or air accident? crash verb (Aeronautics) to cause (an aircraft) to hit land or water violently resulting in severe damage ...
5
votes
2answers
282 views

“The government 'is' always changing 'their' mind” in AmEng

Why would using the construct "is/their" instead of "is/its" in the following examples likely be frowned upon by some native speakers and marked as incorrect on tests? The class is working on its ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

…if somebody would've just did it

(This would never have happened) "...if somebody would've just did it." (Just heard on 'Undercover Boss' (US TV)) I know this is 'wrong'. And I realise that it is 'colloquial' (belonging to common ...
8
votes
3answers
676 views

“jam,” “jelly,” and “jello” in AmEng vernacular

What exactly is the fruit preserve called "jam" in the U.S.? Is it what is referred to in France as "confiture"? If so, then what would be the French for, what is called "jelly" in the U.S. ("jam" ...
2
votes
2answers
127 views

“woodsy” vs. “woody” for “covered with trees/wooded” in NAmEng

What's the difference between those terms? Context would be a quaint little village nestled into a hillside covered with trees, sort of like this one. WOODY: 4. Abounding in trees; wooded. (...
3
votes
5answers
244 views

Collective “linens” vs. “linen” in AmEng vernacular

What's the difference in using the uncountable noun linen either in the plural or in the singular to refer to articles or garments, such as sheets, tablecloths, or underwear? How did originally ...
5
votes
2answers
266 views

“black ice” vs. “glare ice” vs. “glaze” in NAmEng

What's the difference between those varieties of ice forming on paved surfaces during the cold season? black ice sometimes called clear ice: a thin, nearly invisible coating of ice that forms on ...
3
votes
1answer
106 views

“slick” vs. “slippery” for a road, sidewalk, etc. in NAmEng vernacular

What's the difference between these terms? slippery : tending or liable to cause slipping or sliding, as ice, oil, or a wet surface: a slippery road. Random House Kennerman Webster's College ...
6
votes
4answers
392 views

Do Old English dialects correspond well with modern English ones?

I came across this article the other day. At the bottom there's a family tree of English dialects, both extant and extinct ones. It makes it out that southern English dialects came from Wessax English,...
3
votes
1answer
104 views

The rain/snow/storm “let up”

What does "let up" denote in "the rain/storm has let up so we can go out/drive back home"? With a context lacking clarity, should it be understood as, "the [hard] rain/storm has lessened up to a ...
0
votes
1answer
53 views

Is there a dictionary with phonemic transcription for different dialects? [duplicate]

Sometimes I am not sure how a Northerner says "Winter is coming". I searched on the Internet but nothing showed up. I wonder if you know there is a dictionary (online or offline) that simply contains ...
0
votes
3answers
94 views

Incorrect grammar vs dialect (when/whenever)

My good friend is from Pittsburgh and frequently uses the word whenever to mean the word when. I am aware this is a regional dialect and really wish to respect that, but it is causing numerous ...
7
votes
3answers
900 views

I haven't seen her “for”/“in” two days

What's the difference between using either for or in in the following examples? Bill hasn't taken a vacation for/in two years. Jack hasn't been to school for/in four days. I hadn't seen ...
2
votes
2answers
109 views

Why is the past tense of text, as used by some people, pronounced “text-ted” and not just “tested”?

Why is the past tense of text, as used by some people, pronounced text-Ted and not just tested? One wouldn't say risk-ked for risked, or ask-ked for asked?
1
vote
1answer
171 views

Is posh English an accent/dialect or a style/manner of talking?

When mentioning posh English, everybody thinks about the way royal people talk. Is it a specific dialect/accent or the style of talking of posh people? For example, one characteristic of posh English ...
2
votes
1answer
334 views

Is the expression 'of an evening', 'of a morning', 'of a Saturday', good English or dialect?

People will say: He usually comes round here about 8 o'clock of an evening, or 10 o'clock of a morning, or of a Saturday afternoon. Is this standard English? I tend to associate it with Londoners.
6
votes
1answer
198 views

Does anywhere else add an 'L' to words ending in a vowel sound?

When I was six I moved from Manchester (northwestern England) to Bath (southwestern England). I was baffled to hear my school mates describe the 'aerials' they lived in. Fast forward many years ...
1
vote
4answers
191 views

Why are American and British English almost identical? [closed]

This might seem to be a dumb question; however, I think it's rather strange that the two dialects are so similar considering the huge geographical distance between Great Britain and America. In the ...