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

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4
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2answers
2k views

Regionalism or just bad English?

I've encountered a particular type of writing occasionally and it being, derp, in writing, it's hard to tell whether there's an accent behind it. The English used seems to me to be simply incorrect, ...
3
votes
3answers
329 views

The case of “y'all”

What cases can "y'all" work in? A prior question asks about the 'proper' usage of "y'all", but it and its answers only address nominative case (all examples are nominative). I think that there are ...
8
votes
3answers
501 views

Morally speaking, 1+1=2

I asked a question over on math.SE and as part of an exchange someone said: Morally the function is csc φ in the limit for the reason you mention. ...a pretty funny thing to say. I asked them ...
3
votes
1answer
724 views

“Perhaps” or “Maybe”?

As a non-native speaker of English, I was once told in London by a learned British man that I should not use 'maybe' for 'perhaps' in the UK, as by doing so, I'd be following an American usage (so ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

Distinguishing /f–t–θ/ in th-fronting and th-stopping dialects

In standard English, the digraph th is a dental fricative [θ, ð]. Several dialects feature th-fronting, where th becomes a labiodental fricative [f, v]; others feature th-stopping, where th becomes a ...
3
votes
3answers
645 views

Elision in the pronunciation of “probably”

A student of mine has pointed out that in casual speech, my tendency is to pronounce the word "probably" as something like prah-lee. I am a native speaker of American English without a specific ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Origin of “cracked the shits”

I heard someone use the expression "he cracked the shits" today which is universally recognised (at least in Australia) to mean "lost his temper". It struck me that it is a strange expression and the ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Palatalization of the initial “s” in words starting with “st-”

Sometimes I hear native speakers pronounce the s at the beginning of a word as [ʃ]. For example, straight as [ʃtreɪt], or struggle as [ʃtrʌɡl]. It sounds like German words. Is it a certain English ...
2
votes
2answers
497 views

How widely used is the word “tush”

In my dialect of American English, the word "tush" or "tushy" is a dimminuitive of "rear end" (e.g., something you'd say about a baby, not as harsh as "butt" and a word you aren't ashamed to say to ...
1
vote
1answer
334 views

Is “gonna have to” an Americanism?

First of all, I have read the answers about "gonna have to" usage, and they are quite clear: I am gonna have to vs I have to and why-prefix-a-request-with-im-going-to-have-to-ask-you The ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

Non-rhotic dialects and intrusive r

I am from New England (northeastern US) and it's my understanding that we have a non-rhotic dialect in this region, which is unusual compared to the rest of the US. It is common to drop the final r ...
7
votes
3answers
808 views

meaning and usage of 'teh'

“I wouldn’ say no teh a bit o’ yer birthday cake, neither.” “He usually gets me ter do important stuff fer him.”                —Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Hagrid’s ...
3
votes
2answers
389 views

Which are the word orders that can be found in English?

Besides SVO, which are the word orders that can be found in English? Are there any that are peculiar to dialects such as Singlish or Indian English? Please provide an example sentence for each order ...
3
votes
1answer
175 views

Origin of using “gets to”

As I was writing an email to someone today, at the end of the message in jest I wrote: Well, I best gets to workin’. After I wrote it I looked at the phrase I best gets to. It came to me as if ...
2
votes
1answer
963 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/ ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is the Yorkshire dialect called 'Tyke'?

From Wikipedia: The Yorkshire dialect refers to the varieties of English used in the Northern England historic county of Yorkshire. Those varieties are often referred to as Broad Yorkshire or ...
10
votes
2answers
10k views

Accents of characters in Downton Abbey

To continue the question started in identifying accents of British actors, there is one popular current cultural artifact with an excess of non-standard British accents, and that is The BBC series ...
5
votes
3answers
494 views

Can you buy things “for cheap”?

The first line of this news story says: Call it space grave robbery for a cause: imagine scavenging defunct communication satellites for their valuable parts and recycling them to build brand new ...
4
votes
2answers
977 views

Differing pronunciations of “divisive”

I've always pronounced it dɪˈvaɪsɪv (rhymes with incisive). Today at his press conference, President Obama pronounced it dɪˈvɪsɪv (rhymes with dismissive). I've heard the latter pronunciation off ...
7
votes
2answers
3k views

Is “early mark” only used in Australia and New Zealand?

What countries is "early mark" used in? It means being let out of something, typically school, early. onelook.com only reports it being mentioned in Urban Dictionary, and it doesn't have information ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Regional word for paperboard that school children use in projects?

I'm talking about large paperboard that school children create their projects on. They might draw or paste things on them, usually to present some sort of information. You may see them carrying them ...
0
votes
1answer
101 views

Resources describing Somerset English [closed]

Can anyone suggest any good resources describing the grammar of traditional Somerset English (not accented standard English)? The Wikipedia article for the West Country dialects provides a good ...
5
votes
3answers
352 views

Usage of hain't

According to Dictionary.com, ain't has two meanings: Nonstandard except in some dialects. am not; are not; is not. Nonstandard. have not; has not; do not; does not; did not. When I ...
13
votes
6answers
2k views

History and usage of “dooryard”

I have been interested in the expression "dooryard stop" recently. This is an expression that is used to describe a short visit in someone's dooryard (driveway) that often means not staying long ...
2
votes
0answers
454 views

How is “World English” difficult for native speakers of English? [closed]

There is a newly used term, World English (WE). It is nobody's mother tongue. It is spoken across the world, for example, at check-in desks, airports, international trade fairs, world cup football ...
1
vote
3answers
259 views

What dialect is “I be doing this”?

In which part of the world do people use sentences like "I be doing this" (missing out the 'will' after the 'I')? Sounds like some of the 'street-ghetto' to me. What is it exactly?
6
votes
4answers
975 views

Was your fender “stove-in” after your car was hit by that truck?

Is stove-in — smashed inward — an archaic expression? Is it a regional expression? I was speaking with someone from my hometown (Salem, MA), and he used the word during our conversation. Made me ...
5
votes
6answers
642 views

How do you refer to a hyponym that is the same word as the hypernym?

What word (or how do you phrase things) do you use when the ostensible word for the class is the same as the word for a subset of the class? For example, in the United States, there are many brands ...
2
votes
3answers
3k views

Modern-day equivalent of “dog my cats”

As you know, somewhere in The adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Jim expresses his certainty that he's noticed that a noise came from the garden of Miss Watson by saying (my emphasis) "Say, who is ...
4
votes
2answers
705 views

Pronunciation of Bank, Tank, etc.: Bay-nk, Ray-nk or Baen-k or Raen-k?

What is the standard US pronunciation for words such as the following: Bank Rank At least in my dialect of US English (Inland Northern), the following seem like close transcriptions: Bank: ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

Pronouncing the “N” as separate syllable at the end of words like “known” and “pattern”

Over time, I have heard people pronounce the "n" on words like "known" (NO-en) and "pattern" (PAT-r-en), as though it were a separate syllable. The instances of my hearing such have been rare ones, ...
12
votes
4answers
854 views

When quoting speakers of another English dialect than your own, should you spell things their way?

I realize (or realise?) I may be splitting hairs here, but I find this question interesting, and I’ve never heard or seen it discussed before. I was about to post a quote from Rich Hickey outside my ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Do “hull” and “full” rhyme?— rules for “short U” sounds before L

I grew up speaking a variety of American English that merges the "short U" sounds before L. The "short U" sounds are the vowels in the words STRUT and FOOT. For me, before an L sound, all words have ...
9
votes
5answers
604 views

OED Appeals: Origin of “bimble”

The OED has made a public appeal for help in tracing the history of some English words, including: bimble verb earlier than 1983 The word bimble, meaning ‘to move at a leisurely pace’, ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Pronunciation of “catch”

I was curious about the different pronunciations of the word catch; more specifically, the difference between /kætʃ/ and /kɛtʃ/. The Oxford dictionary lists both pronunciations as correct; is this ...
6
votes
4answers
577 views

Origin of “Erry” (every)

I have noticed a trend in some rap music where erry replaces the word every (see 1:35 of "The Motto" by Drake). Can anyone shed light on the origins of this pronunciation? I thought it might trace to ...
-1
votes
1answer
205 views

Does and online repository exist for texts written in African American English / 'Ebonics'? [closed]

I wonder whether I can find a work of literature in AAE somewhere? I mean not citations of conversations or songs etc, but a full-fledged story or novel or technical text.
5
votes
1answer
7k views

Hwat, hwere, and hwy?

In which English accents do they put an h before every word that starts with wh? Example from Youtube. Notice his pronunciation of whisky.
6
votes
1answer
265 views

Who says /ˈjumə/ for “humor”?

What dialect(s) pronounce humor voiced initially and non-rhotic finally (i.e., with both those features in the same dialect: the word would be pronounced something like /ˈjumə/)?
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Why “me” instead of “my” in pirate speech?

I don’t understand the usage in constructions like “Spare meself, me ship, me crew” in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. Is it a dialect or “bloody pirate’s speech” or what?
4
votes
3answers
667 views

Which English dialects have 2nd person plural?

"Y'all" is the famous southern US form of the 2nd person plural. The Brooklyn / Italian-American "youse" might be another. While the existence and usage of "y'all" has been addressed somewhat ...
4
votes
3answers
653 views

Does American “condominium” as applies to building ownership have an equivalent term in British or Australian or other English dialects?

An American "condo" is a building, usually residential or industrial, that is owned in condominium by multiple parties. I've recently learned that this term isn't used in conversation in Britain or ...
8
votes
6answers
1k views

What metaphor do countries that don't play baseball use for intercourse?

Related question: In sex talk, how many bases are there and what do they all mean? There are lots of English-speaking (or English-learning) countries where baseball simply isn't played much if at ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

Regional pronunciation of “calliope”?

I’m watching Auction Kings and a lady from Atlanta (who does not have much of a southern US accent) is putting a calliope up for auction. What caught my attention was the way she pronounce it: ...
1
vote
3answers
5k views

Do we “study about” something?

I accept study about where study is a noun ("He conducted a study about changes in population"), but I saw this construct in a local newspaper article and it struck me as odd. Here, study is a verb. ...
3
votes
1answer
556 views

Do things that “get one’s rocks off ” always “rock one’s socks off ”?

I see both of these two phrases used quite often and I have to question why rocks are so cool here. Is there a history behind both of these sayings, and is possible that both of them are just mere ...
2
votes
2answers
722 views

New Orleans Accent

I'd heard that New Orleans residents are more New York- than Southern-sounding. Recently, I saw some of the Khan Academy videos, and noticed that Salman Khan, who, as Wikipedia says, is from New ...
1
vote
0answers
148 views

“She don't care about me”: how to explain this? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: The grammaticality of “that don't impress me much” I know the rule, the correct form is: "she doesn't care about me," but I heard it in Lost series, I ...
9
votes
4answers
30k views

Is 'useable' preferred in certain regions, or just an alternate spelling of 'usable'?

I rarely use spell checkers, but today when I did use one, it suggested changing the word 'useable' to 'usable' (i.e. to drop the first 'e'). This seemed immediately intuitive and I thought I'd just ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

What are the origins of the regional pronoun “yinz” of southwestern Pennsylvania?

A common informal word used in southwestern Pennsylvania and the forefront example of what is commonly known as "Pittsburghese" is the word yinz, pronounced /jɪnz/ in IPA. Alternatively it is less ...