0
votes
1answer
77 views

Does the electricity “go or cut” “off or out”? [closed]

Which of the following choices are correct? While I was reading a book last night, suddenly the electricity ______. cut off cut out went off went out What are the differences ...
3
votes
3answers
286 views

What does the word 'knocked' mean in the old song "Knocked 'em in the Old Kent Road'?

What does the word 'knocked' mean in the old song Knocked 'em in the Old Kent Road'? I really want to know because "knocked" in the song, doesn't make sense to me.
0
votes
1answer
210 views

How can I explain a word used in a previous sentence?

I am defining a "thing" with an adjective. Example: X is a small y. Then I want to give a clean and simple explanation for the adjective small --because it can mean several things and I want to ...
0
votes
1answer
238 views

To whom does “British” refer?

I've seen from sources claim that the word "British" can be used to refer to different things. Some say Great Britian, some the UK, and some even the UK including her overseas territories. Which of ...
1
vote
1answer
79 views

Meaning of “Would you value the ethics of consequence over means?” [closed]

I've been reading a book for a while and I've stumbled on the following sentence, which I didn't quite understand: Would you value the ethics of consequence over means? The context is the ...
0
votes
3answers
406 views

What's the difference between “lad” and “mate” in British English? [closed]

Can "lad" only be used to address a male, while "mate" both male and female?
2
votes
1answer
98 views

Lady Chatterley's Lover: “as rotten as high game”

I came across the following sentence in Chapter 15 of Lady Chatterlay's Lover, when the keeper talks about the English middle class: ... full of conceit of themselves, frightened even if their ...
4
votes
1answer
210 views

A vague definition in a dictionary, “shag:a sexual partner of a specified ability”. Is there any better or plainer explanation?

I'm not a native English-reader, I'm Chinese. So mostly I get meanings of words by consulting dictionaries. I read this in a dictionary about the word shag: a sexual partner of a specified ...
-1
votes
1answer
610 views

What does 'tickety boo' mean? [duplicate]

We had an engineer at our house the other day to check an appliance and he used the term 'tickety boo' at least three times. Clearly being British I am aware of the expression, and I also think I know ...
1
vote
3answers
565 views

Meaning of “at least Dick Turpin wore a mask”

I tried to sell my stuff and one of the guys asked me if I could bargain on the item and I said no. He replied with the message, At least Dick Turpin wore a mask. What does that mean?
9
votes
6answers
2k views

Confused by the British having “dinner” in the afternoon” and “tea” in the evening

I’m having problems with meal names in the UK. I’ve just learnt that dinner can refer to the afternoon meal, and that tea can refer to an early evening meal. Is this specific to a certain area in the ...
2
votes
4answers
218 views

Difference between 2 questions [closed]

I am filling in this form and on page two there are 2 questions (Q11 and Q12) that seem the same to me but probably are not. Q10: Your date of leaving UK Q11: Are you resident in the UK for the ...
0
votes
2answers
3k views

The difference between Cool and Cold [closed]

I am not a native speaker of the English language but have been living in United Kingdom for last couple of years. Once I was with my friend who was an Irish and I said "Its cold outside" and he ...
7
votes
2answers
152 views

What does the enterprise to “feed the duck on Epsom Downs” mean?

There is the following sentence in the ending part of Jeffery Archer’s “The Forth Estate,” which I waded to after months. In the showdown of the media owner Dick Armstrong and Sir Paul Maitland, ...
1
vote
2answers
418 views

Banking meaning of “held”

While filling in a UK form I just encountered the following question: How many credit cards held? This was followed by a free-form text field. So they are either asking ‘how many credit cards ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

Meanings of word “nick” in British English

Word nick seems to be used to describe many things. According to the dictionary, the main meanings are: a small notch, groove, chip, or the like, cut into or existing in something. a hollow place ...
0
votes
1answer
435 views

What is the meaning of “at its discretion”?

What does "at its discretion" mean in the following sentence? Dual Gadgets undertakes, at its discretion and cost, to repair or replace defective equipment covered by warranty in 3.b., provided ...
4
votes
1answer
654 views

What does “to have a little form” mean?

In the article, "Not nein...but TEN reasons why we should love Germany", the following phrase is being used: LET’S face it, Britain and Germany have a little form over the past century. ...
5
votes
3answers
851 views

Etymology and meaning of the word “snog”

Having looked to urban dictionary, witionary, online etymology, dictionary.com, Wikipedia and wordfreaks.tribe.net, I have found a wide variance in the etymology and definition of the word snog. I ...
10
votes
4answers
612 views

Ambiguous connotation of “just” - How do natives interpret these?

First of all, these questions are a bit related but not what I'm actually asking about: Is “I just spent all my money” grammatically incorrect? “I just ate them” and “I've just eaten them” - What's ...
5
votes
3answers
304 views

Is the expression “quote you happy” accepted English grammar? What is its history?

I'm editing a document written by someone who grew up in the UK, which contains the phrase "We'll quote you happy". That doesn't parse for me (I grew up in New Zealand), but a quick search about the ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

“Woman front bits” meaning

Whats does "woman front bits" actually means? This question is surprisingly inspired by one of the answers to this question: "Is there any slang I should avoid in the UK or Ireland". It is ...
10
votes
3answers
609 views

Very unusual meaning of “abortion”

The following use of the word "abortion" got my attention. It is from Graham Greene's The End of the Affair, published in 1951. Here is the context: "...Listen. I met a man on the Common today ...
2
votes
4answers
3k views

“Enclosure” vs. “attachment”

If I understand it correctly, one usually uses the term enclosure when referring to extra documents to e.g. a letter. But what if these extra items are not other documents and papers? Say I have ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

British English - “In two hours time”

From users of British English, I have noticed the pattern of adding "time" after a unit of time, as in: He has class in 30 minutes time. My initial impression as an American is that this is ...
13
votes
1answer
5k views

Trapezium/trapezoid — why are the US/UK definitions swapped around?

These are the US definitions... Trapezoid — a 4-sided flat shape with straight sides that has a pair of opposite sides parallel. Trapezium — a 4-sided flat shape with straight sides and NO parallel ...
0
votes
2answers
13k views

What does 'reference' mean in a CV?

I am an undergraduate student who is creating a CV for internship. I saw a CV template which had a heading called "Reference." What does that mean? Is it related to the applicant's previous work ...
3
votes
3answers
358 views

Is “Most of the world does not distinguish captions from subtitles” true?

In the wikipedia article about closed captioning one reads Most of the world does not distinguish captions from subtitles. In the United States and Canada, these terms do have different meanings, ...
8
votes
3answers
365 views

“Posting in all its branches” in the nineteenth century: travel, mail, other?

"Posting in all its branches" is a phrase I've seen a number of times in 19th century British sources. A google search (regular and books) gives context mostly in reference to traveling or ...
2
votes
0answers
429 views

Whats' wrong with the following sentence? [closed]

One thing that despise me is when people cannot look me in eye. I believe that the statement is grammatically wrong since we are using passive voice in the sentence so it should be 'despises' ...
1
vote
2answers
106 views

“..which did what lay in it…” Ref: (“A tale of two cities” by Charles Dickens)

Ref: (“A tale of two cities” by Charles Dickens). What does “..which did what lay in it…” mean in the following sentence? “As the bank passenger – with an arm drawn through the leathern strap, ...
10
votes
1answer
521 views

What is “double history”?

I'm a Yank watching the UK version of Being Human and the character mentions sitting next to his ex-girlfriend in "Double History" (season 2 episode 3 around timestamp 24:18). It's clearly a history ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

What does “message to the main” mean?

I have been listening to the song Written in the Stars by Tinie Tempah and the lyrics go like this: Oh written in the stars A million miles away A message to the main Oh Seasons come and ...
10
votes
7answers
14k views

What is the meaning of the term “herbert” in British slang?

In the song Get Out of My House by The Business, the chorus is: Out, out get out of my house, you'd better take your sheepskin too no son of mine's going round as a hippie or a scruffy little ...
3
votes
2answers
571 views

“cold cash” vs. “hard cash”

Context (New York Times): Besides piling into Treasuries, institutional investors are also seeking out the safety of cold, hard cash, pouring billions into commercial bank accounts backed up ...
4
votes
3answers
607 views

“Never mind” in AmE and BrE

Reading some forum pages about the meaning of this phrase, I realized that there's a difference in usage of it, between American and British English. What's the difference in meaning of "never mind" ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

What does “hard sums” mean?

I have heard British people speak about "hard sums," but I can't find a definition anywhere. Is it just a generic way of referring to any arithmetic that the speaker believes is difficult? Or does it ...
4
votes
2answers
565 views

What's a “right old roarer” in British English?

I was reading an Amazon review just now, and came across someone (Tchaikovsky) being described as a right old roarer. I'm guessing this is familiar slang to Brits, but I'm not getting good search ...
1
vote
2answers
267 views

The use of “for” and “of”

Are for and of interchangeable in these circumstances? Is the meaning affected at all? He was the Minister for Education. He was the Minister of Education. The Institute of Medical ...
10
votes
5answers
1k views

When and how did “momentarily” come to mean “in a moment”, rather than “for a moment”?

"Momentarily" used to mean "for a moment" only, and not "in a moment". Thus, newscasters could be divided into two clear groups: those who would say "we'll be back momentarily," and those who would ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

What does a “man of leisure” do exactly? What is the definition and the connotation?

I watched the BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens' Little Dorrit some weeks ago, and have happily remembered a question I had forgotten from it just now. In this dialogue, Mr. Clennam, a dashing and ...
3
votes
5answers
2k views

What connotation exactly does the word “noddy” have in British English?

I watched a BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens' The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby the other day, and came across a bit of dialogue I couldn't quite decipher: A character named Squeers: ...
11
votes
6answers
4k views

How many of the “Top 10 favorite British words” are understood by Americans?

Merriam-Webster Dictionary online shows “Top 10 Favorite British Words”. I’m interested in knowing how many of the listed words are understood or accepted by Americans as English, whichever British ...
11
votes
7answers
21k views

Is it true that “tuppence” refers to a woman's vagina in British English slang? If so, why?

I was looking up a definition online, as I often do, in this case the British slang word tuppence; I got the standard "a slang reference to a coin denomination" definition from Wikipedia, but stumbled ...
3
votes
3answers
7k views

Does the interjection “steady on!” mean something to a Brit?

More from the BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens' Bleak House. In this particular scene, one character, Sergeant George, is infuriated at another character, Mr. Smallwood, his petty landlord come to ...
5
votes
2answers
986 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 ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

Does “oath” have an implied religious connotation?

In Singapore you don't have to swear an oath in court if you are of certain religions. Instead you affirm that you're speaking the truth: Circumstances under which affirmation may be made 16.   ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

What does the “right” in the “The Right Honourable” mean? Why is it there?

I don't think the right in the "The Right Honourable" means "correct", because I can't see how that makes sense in context. I considered right as a British slang intensifier that means "really", but ...
8
votes
9answers
17k 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
823 views

What does “you'll be in your whack” mean?

Another colorful expression from that British movie I mentioned earlier. The context of the quote here is that there are these guys trying to smuggle ecstasy pills, and there's another guy hosting ...