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

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5
votes
0answers
40 views

Using 'tedious' to mean 'annoying'

Some of my British friends use the word 'tedious' to mean 'annoying.' A recent example: The museums in Oslo aren't open on Mondays. That's a bit tedious. I'm a native American English speaker ...
2
votes
2answers
57 views

Is 'surface street' specific to southern California?

In Los Angeles, California, the US, the phrase surface street is in common use. It refers to an ordinary city street, as opposed to a controlled-access freeway. Presumably the word surface comes ...
1
vote
0answers
50 views

American versus British collective nouns with plural verbs

"The group are all here." The British seem more inclined to use a plural verb ("are") in sentences like this than Americans are. At some time in the past it struck me that there are some singular ...
0
votes
0answers
35 views

Is there a correct pronunciation for me?

Fairly recently I got a new job which involves a lot of customer interaction. Up to this point I hadn't really thought about the way I pronounce certain words, then all of a sudden I found myself ...
4
votes
2answers
360 views

What does “wildin'” mean?

In Rihanna's song "FourFiveSeconds", this line is sung in the chorus: 'Now I'm four, five seconds from wildin'...' I searched on Google for the definition of "wildin'" and got this: wildin' ...
9
votes
3answers
320 views

How do I identify a British idiom from an American one?

I live outside the US and the UK. I just started reading a book titled "Speak English like an American". The book teaches numerous idioms but I don't know if these idioms are usable outside the the ...
0
votes
0answers
32 views

Pittsburgh English - dropping the “to be” before a verb [duplicate]

This is a region dialect issue, while discussing local idiosyncrasies the question came up is the following sentence grammatically correct with or without the "to be" "The clothes on the line need to ...
3
votes
3answers
113 views

What AmE dialect has “et” as the past tense of “eat”?

In several books and TV shows, there have been characters who say "et" instead of "ate" (As in, "I et dinner yesterday at 6:00"). I looked it up on Wiktionary, which defines it but doesn't say where ...
0
votes
0answers
60 views

Is “more easy” correct is some dialects?

French here, learnt British English at school, now the Internet blurred my knowledge so I tend to mix British and American writing... :-) (was about to write I learned English...) I often see (and ...
0
votes
1answer
30 views

How did different accents originate in English? [closed]

I want to know the New Zealand and Australian dialects in English. Please tell me what you know.
3
votes
5answers
186 views

Is “He should be consequenced” an error?

I've been watching The Sopranos recently; a very useful vehicle for picking up American pronunciation and mob slang. In series one, episode seven, Tony Soprano and his wife Carmela are in the school ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

What dialect or accent is Woishington?

My mother uses the pronunciation woish or worsh for wash, feesh for fish, and deleecious for delicious. What accent or dialect is this considered? She has lived her entire life in central Illinois. ...
3
votes
2answers
101 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
117 views

Can “I would please prefer” be grammatical?

I got into a friendly argument with another user over whether a construction like I would please prefer to talk tomorrow. can be grammatical. To my eye, that just seems plain wrong. I would ...
2
votes
2answers
160 views

How there are so many dialects of English in England?

I was just wondering how there are so many variations of dialects in England, which isn't really a very large country, they have Brummie, Yorkie, Cockney, the one in Liverpool, I don't know what's the ...
0
votes
1answer
68 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?
6
votes
6answers
219 views

Shift to “must” for negation of “have to”?

According to englishpage.com, if have to or must expresses certainty, the negative form uses must not. Example: That has to be Jerry. They said he was tall with bright red hair. => That must not ...
0
votes
1answer
128 views

“Batchy” indicating a bad taste?

My grandmother uses the term batchy to refer to food and drink with tastes that young palates won’t appreciate. For example: “Nana, can I try some coffee?” “No, dear. You don’t want that. ...
4
votes
1answer
175 views

Which dialects of English consider “would” to be a polite form of “will”?

My recent trip to India exposed me to many sentences using "would" as a polite substitute for "will", as in Please make sure to leave on time. The last bus would depart at 8PM. Thanks for ...
6
votes
3answers
1k views

Eve-teasing… are such words used only in the country of origin

I was reading a newspaper published in Indonesia and while quoting sexual harassment , the term 'eve-teasing" was repeatedly used. E.g. The Bontang police arrested two residents for eve-teasing, ...
2
votes
1answer
91 views

The word “mine”: Anyone else use a velar nasal /maiŋ/ for “belongs to me” meaning, but still /main/ for “explosive”/“coal mine”?

I think I naturally distinguish these words: mine (ie "belongs to me") /maiŋ/ mine (ie "explosive" or "coal mine") /main/ I vaguely remember noticing this years ago, but I was only just reminded of ...
2
votes
1answer
123 views

Meaning and derivation of “so-and-so would know from X”

A couple of times I've seen a phrase much like "that's horrible coding — and I would know from horrible coding!" This seems extremely peculiar to me (if only because of how ungrammatical it is), ...
7
votes
3answers
560 views

“Be like” usage

Of late, I have been noticing a lot of casual memes floating around, particularly on Facebook, that involve this phrase. Typical constructs could be like the following examples: B*&^%$# be ...
0
votes
0answers
66 views

Regional pronunciation of “houndstooth” as “houndsooth”

I have always pronounced "houndstooth" as ˈhau̇n(d)z-ˌtüth , the exact same way I would pronounce the phrase "hound's tooth". Recently, I was told that the pronunciation should be "hound sooth", ...
1
vote
1answer
65 views

“Knows an awful lot about the Dark Arts, Snape”

He teaches Potions, but he doesn't want to—everyone knows he's after Quirrell's job. Knows an awful lot about the Dark Arts, Snape. From time to time I stumble upon this type of speech with ...
0
votes
1answer
74 views

“P-U-L-L” vs. “P-U-double L”

I have heard some people spell double letters individually, e.g. "B-B", "C-C", or "D-D". But I have also heard others use the word double instead. Is there any dialectical preference? Is there any ...
2
votes
1answer
256 views

Where in the U.S. do people change the stress of umbrella, adult and TV to the first syllable?

Is it just a small percentage of the population in that region who stress the first syllable, or is it widespread? In other words, if I visit such region will I find almost everyone talking like that ...
4
votes
1answer
86 views

“Those box” - part of a studied dialect or merely an idiolect?

My wife, who is from northern New Jersey, USA, and who has a cold, was looking for a box of Kleenex/facial tissues this morning; she said to herself, "I need those box of tissues." This was not simply ...
2
votes
1answer
86 views

What do 'en.' and 'more'n' mean in this passage?

The passage, from The Invisible Man by H.G.Wells, is following: "'Tas sperits," said Mrs. Hall. "I know 'tas sperits. I've read in papers of en. Tables and chairs leaping and dancing..." "Take a drop ...
2
votes
1answer
259 views

“Is himself in?” What does it mean?

Context - A stranger knocks on your door and asks "Is himself in?" himself, a reflexive pronoun, here seems to be used for a nominative pronoun.
1
vote
1answer
81 views

Source of Maine's “Ayuh”?

What's the etymology of this Maine synonym for "yes"? I've always wondered. OTOH, "finest kind" is pretty obvious.
2
votes
1answer
91 views

When did Lancastrians stop saying *by gum*?

I distinctly remember from my youth in the 1950s, the folk of Manchester and surrounds who came on holiday to Norfolk, and their expressions of bye jove and by gum - polite forms of by God. But in ...
2
votes
2answers
165 views

Pronunciation of “compact” across English dialects, when used as different parts of speech

Googling suggests that compact has the stress on the last syllable when used as an adjective and on the first syllable when used as a noun. Is this common for all English dialects or are there ...
2
votes
4answers
204 views

Phoneme glottalization in English dialects other than /t/?

I've done a bit of reading on t-glottalization, so I'm familiar with how it is used and its prevalence in English dialects. Are other phonemes or sounds similarly commonplace or widely used in ...
4
votes
1answer
210 views

Grocery Store Aisle

When speaking the phrase grocery store aisle, I leave the s in aisle silent. Are there any regional variations of English in which the s is not silent?
2
votes
3answers
192 views

“Can I help you, love?” Love as a form of address: is it used regionally to talk to strangers?

I've been reading a chapter about the vocabulary of the Yorkshire dialect in the UK. Among other interesting curiosities ("child" plural "childer", "lad and lass" for "son an daughter") I've come ...
3
votes
1answer
673 views

Are there any mutually unintelligible English dialects?

Are there any mutually unintelligible English dialects? So far I've only been able to learn is that English is highly intelligible among its different dialects, but no actual statement that all ...
2
votes
2answers
400 views

What was Princeton 6 in Jamaican English?

I got an Old Raggae album and started listening to "Bam Bam" by Sister Nancy (youtube) After listening several times, I could start making out the English words (lyrics): A me seh one thing Nancy ...
2
votes
2answers
143 views

Is the acronym “PET” only used in some countries?

A sign above a recycling bin, written in Korean, saying "PET・캔" (the last character seems to be the Korean word for "Can") was not recognised by some people in this blog post as referring to the ...
0
votes
2answers
94 views

Is it proper to refer to a clothes dryer as a drying machine?

A clothes washing machine is commonly referred to as either a "washer" or a "washing machine" but I have only ever heard of a clothes dryer being referred to as a "dryer". Is it a regional thing? Is ...
7
votes
2answers
182 views

Is it mere slang to use the verb 'stick' in place of 'versus', as in 'Us three 'stick' you four'?

When I was a child (well over a half-century ago) in Norfolk, we would, when playing football talk of 'Team A stick Team B. When arranging sides informally we would say 'Us three stick the rest of ...
6
votes
2answers
267 views

Where do people pronounce “ank” as /eŋk/ vs. /æŋk/?

Let's use "bank" as an example. Some Americans pronounce it /bæŋk/, using the vowel of TRAP. Others pronounce it /beŋk/, using the vowel of FACE. Where are these two pronunciations found?
1
vote
1answer
77 views

Nonstandard spellings for dialects

Are there standard ways of indicating dialect, as "I 'aven't," I asked 'is name," and especially "It couldn't 'a' 'appened." Can "have" be indicated with just "a"?
2
votes
2answers
239 views

In what dialects is “I don't like it too” grammatical?

Consider: Too — (adv.) also, as well, in addition. We don’t usually use too in negative clauses; we use either instead: I don’t like that kind of stuff. I don’t like it either. That said, ...
0
votes
1answer
114 views

Is the construction “maker of all universe” grammatical in any English dialect?

The song "Great Are You Lord" by the worship musician Sinach includes the following lines: Holy, Holy God Almighty It’s a privilege to worship you Maker of all universe It’s an honour just ...
1
vote
4answers
949 views

How many syllables does “Science” have?

The pronunciation of the word science seems to vary based on which part of the world you're in. I have heard it pronounced "sai-ens" and "saains" (think "signs"). I have check the dictionary, but ...
3
votes
0answers
133 views

If I believe that AAVE is a legitimate dialect of English, am I a linguistic prescriptivist or a descriptivist? [closed]

Or maybe there is a third categorization I should use, such as "linguistic inclusivist"? I believe that hypercorrections like "This is a secret between you and I" and "Whom is he?" are incorrect ...
1
vote
2answers
739 views

“Dish of the day“ vs “today's special”

Many restaurants offer a menu which doesn't change from day to day, and in addition offer one choice which varies from day to day, perhaps depending on which ingredients are available. This choice can ...
4
votes
4answers
876 views

Good thinking, that man!

I've come across this one in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. One character often used shouted "Good thinking, that man!" as a praise. Is this a real English regionalism?
5
votes
1answer
240 views

Do gentiles use “appetizing” as a noun?

Growing up in Nebraska, I only knew the word "appetizing" as a adjective. Not until I converted to Judaism and married a nice Jewish girl from Flushing, Queens, did I learn that "appetizing" is a ...