2
votes
1answer
74 views

Difference between “ditch”, “trench” and “gutter” [closed]

I have been trying to understand the difference between the three, is this a usage difference between American English and British English? What is the difference?
0
votes
1answer
66 views

Plural of “is” — “ises” or “isses”?

If I had many is words, how would I refer to them in the form of a plural? Could I use ises or isses? Example: You use entirely too many isses in your sentences.
5
votes
3answers
173 views

What word describes a university class in both the UK and the US?

In the US words like class, subject, course are used to describe a university class, while in the UK, words like subject and course are used to describe the name of the whole university degree. ...
6
votes
9answers
1k views

Word for a person who wants to impose his rules everywhere or advise

My colleague has always something to advise, whatever you eat or play and he sometimes tries to dig out information from you and again advise on it. I just hate to get any feedback from him: if what I ...
1
vote
3answers
91 views

Verb mix-up in a sentence

I have this sentence, and I have a feeling that the verbs and subjects do not agree with each other, and it continues to bother me. How can I fix it? Furthermore, both mates in a couple could also ...
17
votes
6answers
1k views

American 'cup' measurement — for cheese

One recipe states "one cup of cheese, shredded". Now, does this mean you need a "cup" of cheese (i.e. 8oz.) and then grate it (I am English), or do you grate it first and then measure your "cup" of ...
2
votes
1answer
214 views

Is “teen-ager” correct? Still used? Etymology?

I was reading an article in The New York Times published in 1990 and came across the spelling of teenager as 'teen-ager'; is this American spelling? Archaic? The young man, who often said he only ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

Is “stationery” the name of the store that sells pens, pencils, paper, school things, etc.?

In Brazil we call this store by the generic name of papelaria, something like "paper store". What is the correct name for this? Is "Stationery" the name in any country that speaks English? I read ...
1
vote
1answer
192 views

Incorrectly transliterated foreign words that have been improved [closed]

Seeking a list of several foreign words (usually names, but any noun) that have been borrowed from other languages, but originally transliterated/pronounced incorrectly and are now being improved into ...
-1
votes
2answers
661 views

To work under the advisory of?

I want to describe my current research-assistant position saying that "I work under the advisory of John Green". Is this the correct way of saying that my advisor is John Green? If not, what is the ...
1
vote
3answers
621 views

Why is soldier ˈsōljər? Where did the “j” come from?

Just a pronunciation question. Is it a vestige of the spelling battle between i and j, where in English the j lost out to the i, but with soldier we retained the sound?
3
votes
5answers
296 views

What is the word for something that is based on a prototype?

If two objects (or "types") have the relationship where one is the prototype of the other, then the other is the __ of the prototype. In this sentence, from the context of the prototype: This ...
2
votes
2answers
130 views

A soft substance that can be used to seal a seam between a bathtub and a wall [closed]

I need to go shopping for a certain thing, but do not know a proper English word for it. It is a soft substance usually sold in a tube that can be used to seal a seam between a bathtub and a wall. It ...
3
votes
4answers
4k views

“Café” vs. “coffee shop” in American English

When is café used and when is coffee shop used? Are there any differences? Which is more widespread?
5
votes
1answer
167 views

Pool or billiards in 1890s American South?

Which term is more likely to have been used in Georgia around 1893? I found a British website which explains the origin of the modern game known as American pool ...
3
votes
4answers
284 views

What is the history of the word “lobby”?

I would like to know if the word "lobby" would have been used in 1890s Georgia (United States) and to what exactly this word would have referred in that time.
3
votes
4answers
708 views

“Hot cakes” or “flapjacks” in 1890s American South?

Which term is more likely to have been used by my main character, a young man from a wealthy Macon, Georgia family, in 1893?
2
votes
1answer
92 views

Cologne or toilet water?

I am writing a novel set in 1890s Georgia (United States), and I am wondering whether the main character, a young man of eighteen, would refer to eau de toilette as cologne, toilet water, or something ...
20
votes
4answers
6k views

Why does “corn” mean “maize” in American English?

I keep hearing "corn" as a synonym of "maize". This is widely popularized worldwide by popcorn. However, this is American English! In British English, "corn" can mean any type of "grain", especially ...
3
votes
2answers
189 views

OED Appeals: Antedatings of “party animal”

The OED has made a public appeal for help in tracing the history of some English words, including: party animal noun earlier than 1982 When the OED added its entry for party animal, ...
4
votes
1answer
147 views

What does “bite” and “quarter-backing” mean in this context?

It's from the first few lines of the foreword to Karl Llewellyn's "The Bramble Bush": These lectures grew out of an attempt in 1929 and 1930 to introduce the students at Columbia Law School to ...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Different Meanings of 'Jumper' (Transatlantic embarassment)

I'm originally from Wales, now living in the USA, and as the cold weather is approaching I'm determined, this year, to start using the word sweater to describe the item of clothing I'm wearing, as ...
2
votes
2answers
126 views

US English — “primary grains being produced” vs. “major cereals being produced”

I am correcting a Spanish-to-English translation that states, The primary grains being produced in the world are maize, wheat, rice, barley, sorghum and oats. I would prefer to use cereals ...
7
votes
4answers
864 views

“Muppet” in American English

I see an event is being organised in Washington, DC, called the Million Muppet March. In British English (at least) a muppet has no very positive a connotation:- muppet (ˈmʌpɪt) — n slang ...
2
votes
5answers
377 views

Pronunciation difference between “cycle” and “psycho”

When I speak English, I can't tell the difference between cycle and psycho, I pronounce them the same. And it's not only cycle vs. psycho; when words end in -le or -o, I always confusee them. How to ...
11
votes
1answer
6k views

Why is it called a semi-truck? Doesn’t “semi” mean “part”?

I was wondering why semi-trucks are called that. Doesn’t semi mean “part of”? A semi-truck is a whole truck if I ever saw one!
2
votes
4answers
2k views

Difference between “heck” and “hell”

Many say that one shouldn't use "hell" as it is informal. You can use "heck" instead. Both convey the same meaning. Then why this difference? Why can't one use "hell" everywhere?
8
votes
6answers
11k views

Is there a different understanding of “rubber” in British and American English?

I was well aware of the different meanings of rubber, not least because there are the same definitions in my mother-tongue. However, while reading a text about differences between British and American ...
5
votes
3answers
17k views

“Invite” vs. “invitation”

I hear a lot of people saying "Send me an invite". I always thought that it was an 'invitation'. Is "sending one an invite" accepted usage? Or is it incorrect? If I need to get my wedding invitation ...
1
vote
3answers
230 views

Usage of the word 'burlesque'

Here, in the place where I am being hosted, almost every evening there is an event usually called "burlesque". Is "burlesque" normally used by Americans? How is the word used generally? In what ...
1
vote
2answers
701 views

Is “shvisle” a real or made up word? [closed]

I've come across the word in this captchart: "Yo, my nizzle, can you pass me that shvisle?". Is it supposed to mean something? I've easly found the meaning of nizzle, but I'm at a loss with shvisle. ...
4
votes
3answers
585 views

Usage of “note (bill)” and “banknote” in AmE

Do American English speakers use note to mean bill (as in ten-dollar bill)? If so, is note a shortening of the word banknote?
5
votes
3answers
3k views

“Aeroplane” or “Airplane” - Which are people more familiar with? [closed]

I'm considering creating an application which has the word "Aeroplane" in the title. However, I have noticed in Google the following trend: Aeroplane: 16,700,000 results Airplane: 119,000,000 ...
6
votes
1answer
955 views

“Autumn” vs. “fall” — geographical distribution of usage?

I know that generally autumn is the British term and fall is the American one, but what is the geographical distribution of the two terms outside these countries? I'm fairly sure that no British ...
12
votes
4answers
28k views

“flat” vs. “apartment”

Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, 8th edition Flat: noun. [ countable ] ( BrE ) a set of rooms for living in, including a kitchen, usually on one floor of a building. Apartment: noun. ( ...
2
votes
3answers
4k views

Which of these two sentences is correct (“processes” vs. “process”)?

Which of the following two sentences is correct? Read more about the processes behind my projects. ...or... Read more about the process behind my projects. The one on top looks right ...
3
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the difference in meaning between “pattern” and “rhythm”?

What is the difference in meaning between pattern and rhythm? It seems to me that the former is more American-English and the latter more British-English. Are these more or less synonyms or are there ...
12
votes
7answers
9k views

Difference between “canteen” and “cafeteria”

Are there any differences between canteen and cafeteria? In India, usually an eating place attached to an office, factory or school is called a canteen. Of course, in some new offices it is called ...
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 ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

Difference between “garbage” and “trash”?

What's the difference between garbage and trash? Is the difference significant?
8
votes
4answers
3k views

Do Americans use the world 'turtle' as a generic word to mean 'tortoise'?

Obviously there are two different animals — a tortoise and a turtle. But I have been told by a colleague that in the US the word turtle is used to describe both. I find this odd as for example the ...
6
votes
8answers
9k views

Which is correct: “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 ...
11
votes
3answers
15k views

What's the difference between 'subway', 'metro' and 'tube'?

When I watched the "American Album" program, Susan and Henry talked about New York, and she used the word 'subway'. When I listened to BBC's '6 minutes English', I heard 'tube' used in the ...
9
votes
2answers
7k views

Why “ladybird”?

In case you don't know, in British English, the little red-with-black-spots insect is not called a "ladybug", as in North America, but a "ladybird". This seems rather a poor act of classification, ...
20
votes
5answers
29k views

What is the origin of the phrase “I'll take a raincheck”?

What is the origin of the phrase I'll take a raincheck?
16
votes
4answers
8k views

Can or should “ask” ever be used as a noun?

"The ask is that you provide me with..." I started hearing "ask" being used as a noun a few years ago. Is this a recent trend? Is it an East Coast thing, unique to North America, or just unique to ...
11
votes
3answers
8k views

Is there any difference between “color” and “colour”?

What is the difference between color and colour?