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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

3
votes
3answers
466 views

Not fully pronounced oʊ (ō) sound in some words

Words like so, no, vocabulary, and don’t all contain the long o sound inside them. But I regularly hear native English speakers pronouncing the [oʊ] sound in these words (and some others containing ...
3
votes
1answer
312 views

Why the does 'tu' get pronounced 'tyu' in British English?

Despite being a native Brit, I've always found it an oddity that words like "tutor", "tube", "tumour", and "duty" are pronounced as "tyutor", "tyube", "tyumour", and "duty" in British English. For me, ...
0
votes
0answers
45 views

Is the 'au' phoneme on the decline?

I live in the midwest, grew up in Chicago. Here, altho there is usually a clear distinction between au like in 'auditorium' and o like in 'on', the 2 are often used interchangeably in ordinary ...
44
votes
16answers
7k views

Is “act like a mensch” too localized for ELU readers (U.S. and/or British English)?

This question was motivated by an interesting comment that was made at http://academia.stackexchange.com/posts/comments/123681?noredirect=1 Part of Answer: I don't think that particular research ...
2
votes
3answers
412 views

Why can't I pronounce the ŋ sound? (native English speaker)

I was wondering why it is that I'm unable to pronounce this sound. Apparently, the reason why I pronounce the words "seen" and "sing" the exact same way (as well as "long" and "lawn", "dean" and "ding,...
5
votes
3answers
613 views

Colors = Crayons?

I always considered the word "colors" as synonymous with the word "crayons," e.g. "the teacher asked her students to take out their colors" would mean "the teacher asked her students to take out their ...
2
votes
1answer
60 views

Lost Out of Sky - Local Usage (India) or Typo

I was reading a news story about a jet crash in the UK from a site hosted in India, and I believe the author may also be from there. In it, I saw the sentence: The jet which appeared to have lost ...
0
votes
2answers
253 views

Using “done” instead of “did”

How does it work the use of the past participle done instead of the past tense did? Where is this form used? Only in southern U.S.? How often?
4
votes
3answers
2k views

How to use the word “finna” correctly?

I've heard both "I'm finna go to the store" and "He finna go to the store." Do we prefer with "is, am, are", or without? Is it a regional / dialectic difference, or are they interchangeable?
2
votes
2answers
200 views

Is this meaning of “scurrilous” only known/understood to speakers of American English?

A few weeks ago I stumbled across the word "scurrilous", meaning "given to the use of coarse or vulgar language". I shared this word with two other people, but they had taken it to mean "scandalous". ...
-1
votes
2answers
422 views

What is the UK-English Equivalent for “band-aid?” [closed]

What is the UK-English equivalent for "band-aid?" That is, the bandage one puts over cuts and the like?
4
votes
3answers
264 views

What word(s) do children of English native speakers use for “kid”/“child”/etc

I'm looking for (a) word(s) that is/are perceived to be child's language by adults, not words used by adults to describe children. What would be fine though are words used by adults when they are ...
2
votes
1answer
100 views

How to pronounce “digne” and “na”?

I looked up unproduced in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED)¹ and it gave an example quotation from the 1965 edition of John Ireland's 1490 compendium The Meroure of Wyssdome ("The Mirror of Wisdom"):...
4
votes
2answers
309 views

Word/term meaning “conversion from one dialect to another”?

Is there a word in linguistics that means conversion from one dialect to another dialect? In most sources in which I've looked¹, the word "translation" only means conversion of one language to ...
0
votes
1answer
73 views

I’m looking for a word or phrase which clearly describes this: a number of dialects of the same language are spoken across a geographical area

and, although slightly different from one another, as one crosses them all, from the westernmost to the easternmost of them (or vice-versa) , one will observe that they differ from one region to the ...
3
votes
1answer
126 views

Does anyone still use “skyrocket” in the original sense?

In US English, I can't recall having heard this word used to describe a reaction-drive pyrotechnic or vehicle in many years. Almost invariably, the word as used describes a rapid or exponential ...
1
vote
1answer
103 views

Is tapping common in English?

From Bruce Hayes' Introductory Phonology, I am presented with the following phonological rule called tapping: /t/ -> [ɾ] / [+vowel] ___ [+vowel -stress] That is, /t/ has an allophonic realization as ...
5
votes
3answers
231 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
3answers
1k 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
1answer
145 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
7k views

What does “wil(d)in'” mean?

In Rihanna's song "FourFiveSeconds", this line is sung in the chorus: Now I'm four, five seconds from wilin'... I searched on Google for the definition of "wilin'" and got this: wildin' (...
9
votes
3answers
630 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 US....
0
votes
0answers
33 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
513 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
86 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
47 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.
4
votes
5answers
417 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
167 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
259 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
608 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
433 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
102 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
325 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
2answers
375 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. It’...
5
votes
4answers
342 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, ...
3
votes
1answer
188 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
331 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), ...
9
votes
3answers
2k 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
115 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
72 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 comma +...
0
votes
1answer
103 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
681 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
90 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
189 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
751 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
181 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.
3
votes
1answer
188 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
239 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
283 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 ...