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

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2
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2answers
1k 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/ ...
0
votes
0answers
41 views

Pronunciation of “Attribute”

My question: Is it common to use the same pronunciation of the word "attribute" for both the verb and noun? If so, how does this vary geographically? Explanation: I'm from Michigan and have always ...
3
votes
2answers
7k views

“Balconies”, “porches”, “decks”, “terraces”, “verandas”, “lanais”, “galleries”, and “piazzas” in GAE and dialectal AE

In AE, a porch is apparently just about the same structure as a veranda, i.e. an open or enclosed gallery or room attached to the outside of a building. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/porch ...
7
votes
6answers
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: /...
7
votes
1answer
152 views

Strange pronunciation of “door”

I have just heard Australian-English actor Rob Inglis repeatedly pronounce the word "door" so that it rhymes with "poor". In what dialect is that pronunciation found? Is it Australian? Edit - ...
3
votes
1answer
37 views

Origin of “even you” without connotations of surprise/insult/praise? (Indian English)

I live in southern India, and I've noticed that in a Indian English, the word "even" can be used without indicating surprise, as it does elsewhere. Some examples: Even you should be able to ...
1
vote
4answers
131 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
4answers
2k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
76 views

How did the term “crayfish” become “crawdad”?

I am given to understand that "crawdad" and "crayfish" refer to the same creature (or group of creatures resembling small lobsters that live in freshwater), and that the difference is dialectical. ...
6
votes
7answers
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
99 views

Is the term “krapfens” popular/well-known in English? [closed]

The word krapfens means "donuts": in Italy it is quite common to see it in German as well as in English; I guess that's because Italian borrows many original expressions from foreign languages. It ...
7
votes
5answers
1k 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?
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,...
4
votes
1answer
67 views

Is “the same” widely used in any native-speaking population of English speakers?

I often see "the same" used regularly in discourse from and among South Asian speakers of English, particularly among speakers of IndE, as in I visited the tiger preserve in Ranthambore, and I ...
11
votes
3answers
13k 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 ...
20
votes
6answers
9k views

Dialects where days of the week end with “dee”?

Someone recently posted a question about the pronunciation of Wednesday, which reminded me of a different question about pronouncing the days of the week I've had floating around in my head for a ...
3
votes
5answers
243 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
46 views

In which regions of the UK do children “knock on” for their friends?

As someone who has lived most of his life south of a line drawn from The Severn to The Wash - the great linguistic and cultural divide in England - I was not familiar with the expression knocking on. ...
6
votes
6answers
3k views

“Fixing to” at the beginning of a sentence

Use of fixing to at the beginning of a sentence is prevalent in the southern states of Amerca. Is this the right usage? And is this only a southern US thing? Examples: Fixing to call her. ...
35
votes
4answers
2k views

Why do I pronounce “horrible” so harrhibly?

With Friends Like These A few months ago, a couple good friends brought up a topic they know I disdain, and kept prodding me for my opinion on it. They wouldn't let up, until finally I proclaimed "[...
4
votes
1answer
90 views

Kiwi (New Zealand) Pronunciation of “Moscow”

So I was watching some Flight of the Conchords just a moment ago (classic), and they're from New Zealand. In one of their songs, they said "Moscow". I'd assumed that Kiwis would say it "Mos-co" (like "...
8
votes
9answers
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 ...
1
vote
0answers
66 views

Is day-ta more common in the South or the North of the US?

So I've read that dah-ta is more common in the US than in other places, but is day-ta or dah-ta more common to hear in the South? I haven't been able to find that out for sure.
1
vote
1answer
26 views

Word for when a writer uses alternate spelling and grammar to immitate a dialect

What is the word for when a writer spells words of a character's dialogue differently for a character in order to express an accent or dialect? I think it starts with a 'd'.
-1
votes
2answers
54 views

Term for “Hereditary by Nurture” [closed]

In the nature vs. nurture debate, there's a category oft forgotten: hereditary by nurture. This is a strict subset of nurture - the extreme case of it - where, from the time of birth, the environment ...
8
votes
8answers
20k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
80 views

Are some accents/dialects incorrect [closed]

I may not be incorrect in my knowledge about speech, but Dialects or accents that drop sounds from words, syllables from words, or just completely change the sound from words are they correct? I see ...
13
votes
8answers
4k 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
3answers
3k views

How commonly does “done” replace “did”?

How common is it for native English speakers to actively replace the past tense 'did' with the past participle 'done'? I used to think it was only really done in rather vulgar dialects, but I have ...
193
votes
9answers
10k views

What is the factual basis for “pirate speech”? (Did pirates really say things like “shiver me timbers”?)

The "pirate speech" we hear/see/read, for example, on the website Talk Like A Pirate Day consists of a rhotic dialect characterized by phrases like "shiver me timbers," "ooh arh me hearties," and so ...
6
votes
4answers
392 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 English,...
0
votes
1answer
133 views

Is “take a bath” or “bathe” used to mean “take a shower” in some English dialects?

By analogy with Portuguese tomar banho [de chuveiro/ducha], which along with tomar uma ducha/chuveirada (Br.)/duche (Port.) means, take a shower, are there any parts of the English speaking world in ...
10
votes
6answers
891 views

Is the word 'staithe' used outside of Norfolk?

In Norfolk a landing stage for unloading boats is called a 'staithe'. The Norfolk Broads and rivers are dotted with staithes. Notices proclaim things like 'Public Staithe', or Private Staithe'. But I ...
2
votes
0answers
49 views

Use of “what” vs “that”? [duplicate]

There is a song titled "Better Not Wake the Baby" by a band called The Decemberists. One of the lines in the song is as follows: Drown yourself in crocodile tears, Curse the god what made ...
0
votes
2answers
194 views

What are the South African words for crisps and French Fries?

Consider Exhibit A. Consider Exhibit B. In England, A is referred to as 'Chips' and B is referred to as 'Crisps'. In the United States A is referred to as 'French Fries' and B is referred to ...
4
votes
4answers
514 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

Origin of “chuck a wobbly”?

Chuck a wobbly is Australian slang for someone throwing a tantrum, and I like it because it invokes amusing imagery. I'm not certain of its origins however. I can see how it may be equivalent to the ...
12
votes
1answer
204 views

What accents pronounce “quarter” as “korter”? Which other words can drop /w/ before /ɔr/ like this?

Many people drop the "w" from words like "dwarf," changing the pronunciation from /dwɔrf/ to /dɔrf/. This has led to the re-spelling "dorf" being used in some informal contexts, e.g. "Dorf Fort." My ...
6
votes
3answers
12k 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 ...
6
votes
6answers
10k views

Is “who all is” grammatically correct?

I often tend to say something like Who all is coming to the movies? And my friends correct me that I should be saying Who all are coming to the movies? So which one is correct?
5
votes
4answers
586 views

“exhibition” vs. “exposition” vs. “exhibit” in AmEng

What's the difference between those words with regard to a public showing, as of goods or works of art? Can these be used interchangeably? Both "exhibit" and "exposition" are marked as Americanisms ...
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
83 views

The usage of Porch vs. Patio [duplicate]

I'm a student originally from the West Coast but currently studying in New England. I came across an interesting question concerning dialectology and the use of Patio vs. Porch. I have observed other ...
7
votes
9answers
28k views

In which parts of the USA do the say “soda” or “pop”?

Depending on where you go in the world, some people will refer to a carbonated beverage as "soda" while others choose to use the term "pop." For example, "Can I get you a soda" vs. "Can I get you a ...
1
vote
0answers
15 views

“been a watching”, “been a playing” - why? [duplicate]

I first encountered adding an "a" before a verb in songs in phrases such as "I've been a-playing". At first I thought that songwriters add it when they need one more syllable to make a verse sound ...
4
votes
1answer
88 views

What is Mother Gothel's Accent?

What is the accent of Mother Gothel in the movie Tangled? In an interview with the voice actor (see here), she has a pretty neutral American accent (GenAm + father-bother + caught/cot, from what I ...
3
votes
1answer
50 views

Is there any dialect of English that uses “positive ever” to mean “once”?

One of the most interesting things for me is to learn that some construction that seems completely ungrammatical to me is completely okay for speakers of some other dialect of English. For example, ...
1
vote
5answers
371 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
3answers
159 views

You'll have had your tea

Okay, so I've become aware of the phrase "you'll have had your tea", which is something of a cliché of a Scottish dialect. I'm not actually sure if it's currently in common usage or not. But I have ...
1
vote
2answers
80 views

“flat,” “stone,” “dead,” “dirt,” “plumb,” and “right” as indicators of directness, completeness, or general intensity [closed]

What's the difference between those words? Can they be used just about interchangeably as adverbs indicating completeness or totality? Please, compare: Looking back over my years of wildlife work,...