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

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8
votes
8answers
19k 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
58 views

Are some accents/dialects incorrect

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
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 ...
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 ...
191
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
385 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
33 views

Jamaican version of English explanation [closed]

There is a hook from Biggie`s Respect song(youtube). The text is below: Me holla respect, to all the gun men dem Gun men alone, keep gun men friend Fire bun, fi all the informer dem Informer lone ...
0
votes
1answer
100 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
829 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 ...
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 ...
1
vote
2answers
324 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
121 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
480 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
155 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
11k 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
9k 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
412 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
184 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
62 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
72 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
44 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
359 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
90 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
78 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
59 views

“Poor as Job's cat”

In which part(s) of the U.S. can one still hear the colorful simile, (as) poor as Job's cat? poor as Job - Poverty-stricken, indigent, destitute. The allusion is to the extreme poverty which ...
4
votes
1answer
96 views

Usage of the verb “squinch” in AmEng

Collins American English Dictionary says: squinch (skwɪntʃ) (US) transitive verb to squint (the eyes); squinched up her eyes in disgust. M-W 2. a. to pucker ...
0
votes
1answer
86 views

In what varieties of English can “does not qualify” mean “disqualifies”? [closed]

Are there any (nonstandard?) varieties (dialects/registers/styles) of English where "does not X" can mean "does the opposite of X", either in general, or specifically for the transitive verb qualify, ...
3
votes
3answers
417 views

“Trace” as a synonym for “trail” in AmEng

As far as AmEng is concerned, does "trace" mean just about the same as "trail" in "break/blaze a trace", and -- if indeed it does -- can "trace" be used pretty much interchangeably in every which ...
3
votes
1answer
54 views

Is “agone” still a current dialectal expression?

Agone is defined in dictionaries as an archaic form of "gone" (TFD) but according to Etymonline the term is still used as a dialectal variant: Ago: ago (adj.) early 14c., shortened form ...
2
votes
2answers
78 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
1k 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
87 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
198 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". ...
4
votes
4answers
176 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
113 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
191 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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
140 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
1k 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
600 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
252 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
244 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
79 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 ...