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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (2)

2
votes
2answers
43 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
481 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?
3
votes
1answer
56 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; ...
12
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
192 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
vote
2answers
232 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
119 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
87 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
181 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 ...
3
votes
5answers
323 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; ...
-2
votes
1answer
139 views

Various meanings of “mind and do” which can mean “be cautious/careful to do”, “take notice/give heed and do”, and “behave obediently and do”

How would you define the meaning of "mind and do" in the following examples: I will mind and do as I am told, Master Yoda... Mind and do your work properly... As long as you mind and ...
5
votes
8answers
1k views

African American Vernacular English

I was going through some articles about "African American Vernacular English". Article 1. Article 2. These articles give some examples, but they do not clearly specify hard rules to be followed in ...
8
votes
8answers
4k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
162 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
875 views

Walking and Talking L's

I have a friend who always pronounces the l's in walk and talk. Is this regional? Is there anywhere that standardly pronounces the l?
8
votes
3answers
558 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" ...
5
votes
2answers
213 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 ...
5
votes
6answers
1k views

“Mic” as an abbreviation for microwave

Last week, I was among a group of friends and commented on the fact that someone had removed a sticker from their microwave. I used the word "mic" to abbreviate microwave, and people thought I was ...
0
votes
1answer
71 views

“I was already gone” and “I had already gone”

Could you please explain the difference between I was gone and I had gone in the following sentence: When Tom got home I was already gone When Tom got home I had already gone
5
votes
2answers
119 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
67 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
74 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
300 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the proper usage of “Y'all” in southern American dialects

The construction of the word to me implies that "you" is singular, whereas "y'all" is plural. To a football team: "Y'all are going to play a great game." To a tennis player: "You are going to play a ...
2
votes
2answers
74 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. ...
2
votes
3answers
618 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 ...
3
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the origin of “I calls ’em like I sees ’em”?

This expression seems to be pretty widespread, for example being in Wiktionary and Futurama. Does anyone know what the origin is? Also, what kind of dialect might I calls or I sees be?
3
votes
1answer
61 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
58 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 ...
-1
votes
2answers
190 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?
9
votes
7answers
362 views

How widespread are snow goblins?

I live in the Northeastern part of the US. We've had a lot of snow recently. Part of living in a snowy area is clearing the collected snow pack from the wheel well so that it doesn't interfere with ...
10
votes
10answers
1k views

Are older senses of “anent” still alive in any dialect?

The obscure preposition anent has a long history, going back as far as Beowulf: him on efn ligeð ealdorgewinna [line 2903] ("beside him lies his great enemy") It has carried many meanings, ...
4
votes
1answer
103 views

“emmet-butt” - Westcountry dialect

My grandfather's family were from Somerset in the southwest of England and one of his favourite pieces of Westcountry dialect was 'emmet-butt', which apparently meant/means a 'mole hill'. However, I ...
11
votes
6answers
934 views

“Football” and “Soccer”

I know that the game which is called football in Europe is called soccer in the U.S. But I wonder to what extent this differentiation is strict. What do people from England call their favorite game in ...
13
votes
7answers
3k 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
44 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
69 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 ...
10
votes
8answers
4k 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
76 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?
3
votes
2answers
174 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
9k views

How common is pronouncing the past tense of beat as /bet/?

Personally, I pronounce the past tense of "beat" (to win at a game) as /biːt/, to sound identical to the infinitive. However, I have heard a few people under the age of 30 and from either the west or ...
1
vote
1answer
125 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
77 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.
3
votes
2answers
468 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 ...
13
votes
6answers
5k views

In the context of cooking, what is the difference between “flipper” and “spatula”?

I'm genuinely confused about this because at first I thought a spatula was a cooking tool resembling a flat pallet attached at an angle to the handle that could be used for activities such as flipping ...
10
votes
4answers
5k views

to “sleep” vs to “go to sleep”

I'm from the northeast US. When describing the phenomenon of going to bed at night, or falling asleep, I always formulate the verb like that, as in "I went to bed at 10" or "I didn't fall asleep until ...
3
votes
1answer
202 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, ...
1
vote
4answers
168 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
308 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. ...