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

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4
votes
6answers
363 views

Can a negative be used to express a positive, such as “mangoes are sweet and so aren't papayas.”

Is it incorrect to use the positive/negative construction when the intent is positive/positive? In other words can these two statements be viewed as equivalent: Mangoes are sweet and so aren't ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Linking sounds?

When one word ends in a consonant sound and the next begins with a vowel sound, can you tell me how you say these words in American English? can I..? (Can nai or Ca nai?) take it (teɪ kit or teɪk ...
2
votes
3answers
386 views

Are “shower gel” and “body soap” regional synonyms?

In Australia where I'm from solid soap has practically been replaced by shower gel except for the older generations. I expected that this type of stuff and its name came from Euro-English but now I'm ...
8
votes
5answers
3k views

“I'm sure” vs. “I'm for sure”: Who uses which, and when?

I hear both (and their negatives: "I'm not sure" and "I'm not for sure"). I want to classify the "for sure" variety as regional Southern, since that's the context I most often hear it. For example, ...
7
votes
12answers
19k views

What's the difference between “good on you” vs. “good for you”, with a sincere meaning something like “you've done a good thing”?

In the northeastern USA I usually hear "good for you," as in You passed the test? Good for you! [congrats] Good for you, for stopping to help! [you are a good person] Online I often see the ...
13
votes
8answers
49k views

What's the difference between a jumper, a pullover, and a sweater?

Following on from a recent question, in Australia we have the word jumper for a knitted long-sleeved garment, typically woollen and long-sleeved. When cosuming foreign media I always assumed the ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views

Is there an American English dialect that sounds as “distingushed” as British English?

Obviously there are a lot of subjective words in the question. There are dialects of British English that don't sound distinguished at all (Cockney). Also, what sounds distinguished is somewhat ...
6
votes
6answers
3k views

Etymology of “fixing to”

As a Southerner, I completely understand the meaning of fixing to. It means I'm getting ready to do something. But what I don't understand is where this rather unusual usage of fix comes from. Nothing ...
9
votes
8answers
9k views

“Season” vs. “series”

TV shows, other than ones that have new episodes year-round (e.g. news, soaps), typically group episodes in batches — most often per year, although not necessarily calendar years, and sometimes there ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views

“Cleats” vs. “soccer shoes”

I used to say cleats but found it uncommon for some people, though I had no trouble with soccer shoes. I have always lived in a Spanish-speaking country (Nicaragua) so I find it hard to know why that ...
7
votes
4answers
503 views

Are there any indications that English is going to split into different languages in the next hundred years? [closed]

Are there any indications that (global) English is going to split into different languages in the next hundred years?
1
vote
2answers
328 views

ZOMG — I get the OMG part, but Z? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is the origin of ZOMG? What ever does ZOMG mean? And where did it come from?
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Is suffixing a personal name with “-azza”/“-azzer” a standard Cockney nicknaming rule?

In two British films I recently recalled, I noticed a trend in nicknaming that I'd like confirmation of, by someone familiar with spoken Cockney English. In the first one, Lock, Stock, and Two ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Identifying accents of British actors

As an American, a large part of my impoverished experience of British accents comes from ancient BBC comedy imports on PBS. I'd very much like to identify the regional accents the following actors are ...
12
votes
2answers
842 views

Guidelines for the use of the slang term “cise”

I heard an unfamiliar regional slang word used thusly: I'm gonna go cise (rhymes with ice) me a sandwich and then I'll be back. When I questioned the user, the speaker insisted it has been ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What is the meaning and etymology of the adjective “jammy”, of Yorkshire English?

What is the etymology of the adjective jammy? As in, Thou art a jammy bugger! I confess I've never seen the word before. When I looked it up, I found confusing etymologies: one source says it ...
19
votes
5answers
3k views

In what region is “thou”, etc. used in dialect?

My mother often uses words like "thou", "thy", and "thine" in everyday speech. A typical example is: "Thou art a jammy bugger!" She is from the north of England. I'm wondering whether this quirk ...
8
votes
7answers
2k views

Using -ed vs. -ing in the “needs washed” construction

I'm from Central Pennsylvania, and apparently, we have a strange language construct in this area. I was recently talking about how "my car needs washed" to a friend from NJ, and she told me that my ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

“It's no use of doing something”

I have recently encountered a person from Uganda who insisted that the phrase “It’s no use of doing something” is correct, as opposed to “It’s no use _ doing something.” Taking the descriptive ...
5
votes
6answers
2k views

Is misplaced emphasis a form of mispronunciation?

I was speaking with someone today and he brought up the TV show "South Park", and he emphasized the "Park" whereas most people (and the show itself, I believe) emphasize the word "South". This got me ...
12
votes
2answers
779 views

What are the 'distances' among the major English dialects?

Yes, I admit, as an AmE speaker, that all non-North American accents sound the same: BrE, Irish, Scottish, Australian and South African. Or rather, I can tell they are different if placed side by side ...
45
votes
23answers
168k views

“Lunch” vs. “dinner” vs. “supper” — times and meanings?

I've seen cases where a noon-time meal is referred to as dinner, and the evening meal is called supper. There's also lunch around noon followed by dinner in the evening. Is there a particular ...
9
votes
8answers
2k views

Are there idioms specific to one English dialect?

Let's get into a little conversation about the differences between American English, British English and regional dialects. Some words are specific to certain dialects (lass is Scottish, the lads is ...
3
votes
1answer
384 views

Is the word “bespoke” associated with Southern American English, kind of how “bonafied” is in my mind?

Is bespoke associated with the American South, as "bonafied" (bona fide, properly) is to me? When I hear the latter, it brings to mind aristocratic Southern gentlemen sipping mint juleps; when I hear ...
6
votes
4answers
3k views

Is the use of “all set” exclusive to certain regions?

I grew up in the Northeastern US where the use of the phrase "all set" to mean "ready" or "finished" is common. An example would be, "Are you all set with that?" (perhaps while pointing to an ...
5
votes
3answers
206 views

Geographical distribution of “shall”

In all of the places that I've ever lived (various parts of the western US), the modal verbs shall and will are almost perfectly synonymous, and will is preferred by an enormous margin. Shall is used ...
12
votes
6answers
6k views

“Close the light” — regionalism or mere oddity?

If I want the room in darkness, and wish to announce my intent, I would say I'm going to turn off the light. But occasionally here in America I hear people say I'm going to close the light. ...
6
votes
5answers
316 views

Does quoting in British or American English depend on the quoted or the audience?

If you are quoting/documenting the conversation between two people — one is British and one American — do you use a consistent approach directed towards your intended audience or switch to ...
4
votes
2answers
563 views

Is it true that Cockney English is disappearing? And being replaced with “Jafaican”?

I read a couple of comments to that effect on this Youtube video, which is basically a man ranting in Cockney from the movie Football Factory (2004). The comments bemoan American ignorance about the ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Are any of the t-glottolization, th-fronting, h-dropping, etc. in English a phonological complex?

Wikipedia gives the following, with plenty others ommitted by me, as some of the features of Cockney English: T-glottalisation: Use of the glottal stop as an allophone of /t/ in various ...
9
votes
7answers
2k views

In what dialects does “often” rhyme with “soften”?

I believe in most English dialects soften is pronounced without a t sound. In some dialects, often is similar, but in others a t sound is quite evident in often. I'm interested not only in which ...
8
votes
9answers
21k views

What exactly does it mean to “mug somebody off” in British English?

I tried looking this up at the Urban Dictionary, but it gave only one net-upvoted definition, and that definition wasn't even clear. The background for my question is coming my watching from a movie ...
14
votes
3answers
9k views

Saying “today morning” to mean “this morning”

As an American, I use the term this morning, but I’ve noticed some Asian Indian coworkers who always say today morning to mean what I mean by this morning. Is this an Indian English “dialectism”? Is ...
8
votes
3answers
8k views

Recognizing a Welsh accent

For an American, I'm pretty good at UK dialects. I can immediately tell an Irish or Scottish accent from a typical (educated, Londoner) English accent. But I'm on shaky ground with Welsh accents, ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

Does anybody pronounce the word “pillow” as “pellow”?

My girlfriend giggles whenever I say it, and I never realized that I said it differently then anyone else. But now that I am listening...NOBODY says pellow? They all say pillow. I've listened to my ...
10
votes
3answers
1k views

Do people in Miami really talk like they do in the television series “Dexter”?

as I'm far from being good English speaker, I use to watch series to improve my skills. I'm fan of various genres, from Star Trek to How I Met Your Mother and I can say until now, I felt "aligned" ...
7
votes
4answers
13k views

“Checking” vs. “chequing” vs. “chequeing” with regards to types of bank accounts

I came across this little dilemma when looking up the incorrectly spelled word "chequing" in my web browser's dictionary (Opera). According to the different dictionaries you can select in Opera: EN ...
5
votes
4answers
370 views

US Route 101 — “The 101”

In my part of the world, we refer to highways without any article. So we drive on "Highway 64", or "Interstate 64", or "I-64". But when I go to California, they say "The 101". Is there any explanation ...
8
votes
1answer
463 views

Australian regional shibboleths

I have been living in Australia for 7 years now, and still haven't been able to pin down the local regional accents. I can tell a "Town" from a "Country" accent, but I can't reliably tell which state ...
7
votes
7answers
2k views

Incorrect grammar versus different dialects

My girlfriend, someone from southern New Jersey, constantly says phrases like "I'm done my homework" or "I'm done my dinner." I try to correct her and say, "I'm done with my homework" or "I'm done ...
7
votes
4answers
5k views

“The thing is, is that…”

This is a phrase I've heard many people use, and it sounds wrong to me; e.g.: The thing about that is, is that she might take it the wrong way. It seems to treat "The thing [...] is"—the entire ...
16
votes
1answer
13k views

Why is “ask” sometimes pronounced “aks”?

We've recently moved from New Zealand to New York City, and have noticed that many people (most of whom have good English) pronounce "ask" as "aks". For example: Could you please go aks her ...
3
votes
4answers
585 views

In which dialect would “poll” mean “a person's head”?

I read that poll means also, in dialect, a person's head; that is the second meaning that NOAD gives to pool as noun. Is there, nowadays, a dialect where the word as that meaning? If such dialect ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Why are many TV personalities beginning to pronounce “daughter” as “dotter”?

I have noticed the changing of proununciations of words with -au and -aw by TV presenters which is spilling over into everyday speech. For example “dotter” for daughter, “otto” for auto, “jah” for ...
24
votes
7answers
27k views

Can 'revert' be used as a synonym of 'reply'?

I am a native speaker of American English, and I have only ever heard this usage of the word revert from one person. This person is not a native English speaker (he is from India), so he may just be ...
7
votes
5answers
757 views

Can “paper bag” mean any bag?

Being Swedish but living in Kenya for many years I initially reacted when at the local market I was offered a paper bag (verbally) but given a plastic bag (physically). This is always the case and ...
2
votes
2answers
778 views

Talking in a “football voice”

English is not my native language, but normally when I listen to the radio I have no problem understanding what's being said. That's different when I listen to sports commentary, I really have to ...
4
votes
5answers
1k views

“Needs cleaned” or “needs to be cleaned”

I'm from Western Pennsylvania. Until I moved away, I never realized that when I omitted the to be from phrases like needs to be cleaned, my usage was different than what most English speakers are ...
16
votes
7answers
21k views

Why is a woman's purse called a “pocketbook”?

It's not a book, and it doesn't fit in anyone's pocket. Why does my brother-in-law insist on calling his wife's purse a pocketbook? I'm interested in the etymology, and in the chronological and ...
41
votes
7answers
2k views

Which variant of English should I use when my target audience is the world?

I know that all variants of English (American English, British English, etc.) can be generally understood by everybody who knows any of the English variants. However, there are some regionalisms that ...