Differences between how English is used on one side of the Atlantic compared with on the other side; specifically, the difference between Canadian and American English on one side and Irish and British English on the other.

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10
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2answers
221 views

AmE “gas” vs. BrE “petrol”

One of the most conspicuous differences in AmE vs BrE usage is probably that of gasoline (gas) vs petrol to refer to: a light fuel oil that is obtained by distilling petroleum and used in ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

“Mx” the gender-neutral honorific

The gender-neutral honorific “Mx” has its own entry in the OED since August 2015, so no one can argue it doesn't exist. According to The Sunday Times, central and local governments have been quietly ...
2
votes
2answers
79 views

Is “strong medicine” idiomatic?

Is the expression “strong medicine” idiomatic? I am referring to drugs that contain a high concentration of chemicals and are used for soothing severe pains or treating severe diseases. A drug whose ...
3
votes
2answers
228 views

“Quite” American vs British English

In looking at the answers for this question, Using "quite" with a noun, it occurred to me that "quite," although having a dictionary definition, might be used differently by AmE and BrE ...
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 ...
23
votes
4answers
5k views

What is the name for the glove worn to take out baked food from oven, so that touching the hot tray doesn't burn our hands? [closed]

Is there a specific name for the thick glove worn (or may be any cloth used) to touch hot dishes in the oven? For example, we wear a glove and take the dish containing baked food from the oven. ...
4
votes
2answers
180 views

If someone says “They insisted that he left”, is there any ambiguity in BrE or in AmE?

Do they mean something like "please go! You must leave!" or could it be "We assure you that he left"?
2
votes
2answers
176 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". ...
15
votes
7answers
2k views

How to pronounce fractions larger than a twentieth, where the last digit of the denominator is a 1 or a 2? i.e. one thirtieth is to 30 as _ is to 31

Disclaimer: I speak British English. I've noticed a lot of differences between the way Americans and Brits pronounce numbers.1 Since the question concerns this, I thought it might be appropriate to ...
5
votes
3answers
334 views

What is the US English for “soppy”?

According to the online Cambridge Dictionary, in British English the word soppy means: showing or feeling too much of emotions such as love or sympathy, rather than being reasonable or ...
1
vote
1answer
100 views

What is the question tag for: "They got the answers, ____?

What would be the appropriate question tag for the sentence "They got the answers yesterday, ______?" Is haven't they the correct question tag? I would also like to know the different ...
1
vote
3answers
643 views

Is there a difference between disclude vs exclude? [closed]

I say exclude if I want to prevent inclusion in the first place. I say disclude if I want to express that I remove something that was already previously included (as in its remove from inclusion ...
16
votes
4answers
34k views

“Programming” versus “programing”: which is preferred?

I was surprised that my spell checker did not complain for programing with one m, so I Googled it, and found on free dictionaries that both forms were acceptable. Which one is more common? Does it ...
-1
votes
2answers
2k views

nonexistent, non-existent or non existent? [duplicate]

I see various spellings of the same, which one is correct? I have considered that the spelling might differ if it is British or American English, but as English isn't my native speak I have no clue.
2
votes
1answer
256 views

A term to explain my progress in an incomplete undergraduation

Here in Brazil, all the undergraduations last for 4-5 years and each year is divided by 2 academic periods and we refer to each one as period. Thus as I am a Mining Engineering undergraduate student ...
2
votes
1answer
149 views

Use of subjunctive in Britain vs North America

Why has much UK writing abandoned the use of the subjunctive? I see phrases such as: "It is important that his writing is comprehensible." rather than, "It is important that his ...
1
vote
0answers
59 views

they would've got away with/would've gotten away with it [duplicate]

Which is right: They would’ve got away with it. They would’ve gotten away with it. I am interested in what we would say in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, not in the ...
2
votes
2answers
179 views

US English vs UK English [closed]

Of course, I am not a native English speaker nor a good one (or at least not as good as I would like to be). I know there are some differences between UK and US English, but, from my perspective, they ...
2
votes
2answers
14k views

Disoriented vs. Disorientated [duplicate]

In the U.S., we seemingly prefer the former to the latter. However, I was sitting with my friends when one of them stated that he was "disorientated" while we were playing a video game. My theory, at ...
13
votes
7answers
1k views

“I've gotten better-looking as I get older” When did “gotten” re-enter the BrEng vernacular?

This summer I went to Ireland, to be more precise Dublin. Overall good weather and good fun. Anyway, while I was staying in Dublin I'd buy the local newspaper and one tabloid headline caught my eye. ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

The etymology of “redhead” vs. “ginger haired”

All my life I have known people with reddish, orangey hair, to be termed ginger haired. Just as you don't call a blonde a 'yellow head' red head just wasn't a word that was said (wouldn't orange head ...
4
votes
1answer
586 views

What is the reason that American English and British English use “Post” and “Mail” with different frequencies?

Common usage in the UK is that a postman of the Royal Mail Service delivers the post, and someone may post a letter (see BrE Ngram), whereas in the USA, usage has become equally common that a mailman ...
3
votes
4answers
114 views

Could “shingled” mean “pebbly”?

One of the definition of shingle is a mass of small rounded pebbles, especially on a seashore. You can say a shingle beach (more common usage in UK than US perhaps) Is it also correct ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

Why do Americans seem to use the word “delicious” less often than I do?

I am a foreigner and now I am in America. I always use the word delicious whenever I like food. For example: This meat is so delicious! But one of my friends, who is not a native speaker, once ...
6
votes
6answers
9k views

Short, Politically Correct word for Native Americans [closed]

No more than four syllables, more PC than Indians. EDIT: I arbitrarily chose four syllables because any more seemed like a mouthful. I like to be PC and not have to stumble over 6+ syllables.
0
votes
3answers
224 views

When did Americans begin to use “practice” instead of “practise”?

I am writing an historical novel, and I try to have my characters speaking and writing as everybody did at the time. But I don't know when we in the US began to use practice as a verb instead of ...
7
votes
3answers
12k views

“shyer” or “shier”

My Longman dictionary states that the comparative of 'shy' is 'shyer'. However, at least two online dictionaries also give the form 'shier' as being acceptable: The Free Dictionary and ...
2
votes
2answers
4k views

Difference between mug, jug, jar, etc [closed]

When I try to translate the German word "Krug" into English, LEO shows me without further distinction: flagon jar jug mug tankard pitcher But as far as I know, they cannot always used ...
2
votes
3answers
165 views

Other academic field distinctions like math vs maths

Growing up in the US, I was taught to say "math" and the British "maths" sounded very awkward to me until I noticed mathematics had an 's' at the end, and it occurred to me that it could be considered ...
0
votes
1answer
7k views

Why do English people pronounce 'sixth' as 'sicth'? [duplicate]

It's common practice in Ireland (and the US as far as I know) to pronounce the x in the middle of sixth: six-th [sɪksθ]. However, I've noticed from visits to England as well as watching British ...
0
votes
2answers
414 views

“Build out” as business jargon

I have noticed an increase recently in use of the phrase "build out" when "build" would suffice. This seems to be mainly an American English phenomenon from what I can see. Here are some examples: ...
30
votes
8answers
6k views

Why do Americans add “The” in front of a team name, but the British do not?

I'm not certain that there is an answer to this one: Americans refer to our teams as The Example: The New York Yankees The British in my experience do not. Example: Manchester United I ...
1
vote
2answers
352 views

Weir vs. Low water dam

I came across the word weir today. It appears that we here in the USA refer to this same device as a low water dam. I’m curious why we don’t use the same word the English do, instead preferring this ...
0
votes
1answer
117 views

Verbal constructions with “on” in colloquial AE

Are verbal constructions with "on" somewhat more typical of AE than BE? e.g. beat (up) on someone, miss out on something, pass up on something, check (up) on something, catch up on something, ...
9
votes
3answers
502 views

Are there any studies on changes in British English to become more like American English?

With the spread of American popular culture (movies, books, franchises, etc.) and technical jargon (manuals, Web syntaxes, default spell-check settings, etc.), I'm wondering if there have been any ...
2
votes
1answer
468 views

Equivalence at word level [closed]

Is there a one-to-one relationship between word and meaning?
0
votes
2answers
2k views

Is there a rule for how to pronounce words such as “dance”, “prance”, “castle”?

Is there a grammatical rule for the pronunciation of words such as dance, castle and prance? I believe the British English pronunciation is "ah", while in American English it is a short "a" sound.
5
votes
2answers
544 views

Are constructions like “That's me out, then” primarily British rather than American?

Prompted by comments to this question on English Learners (about "That's you done"), I've been searching Google Books for similar constructions of the general form that's [pro]noun adjective (for this ...
7
votes
2answers
16k views

“courgettes” vs. “zucchini” under a historical perspective

In this TimLymington's answer it is said: Interestingly, there is another vegetable with the same identity problem; what the British call courgettes and the Americans zucchini. What is the ...
7
votes
5answers
2k 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, muppet has no very positive connotations:- muppet (ˈmʌpɪt) — n slang a ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the etymology of the word teeter totter?

Seesaw and teeter totter are two names for the same piece of playground equipment. I grew up using the word teeter totter mostly, but was aware of seesaw, as it was used in books. I was ...
2
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

Meaning of “presently” (US vs. UK)

Citation: ‘Presently’ should be used with care until the Anglo-American difference of meaning has been resolved. What difference?
11
votes
6answers
3k views

Is using the present perfect old fashioned?

I was talking to a Singaporean (English is her native language. I think, closer to American rather than British) friend. I learned in English class that you can use present perfect when there is a ...
21
votes
8answers
3k views

Are “traitor” and “trader” pronounced the same?

Are "traitor" and "trader" distinguishable when spoken with any English accent? My English-speaking friends seem to pronounce them exactly the same way.
8
votes
2answers
3k views

“Lambast” or “lambaste”

I looked up both lambast and lambaste in several dictionaries, but came up with no conclusions about which one is AE and which BE (if this distinction can ever be made). Moreover, the different ...
6
votes
7answers
3k views

What is “lemonade” in American English?

Lemonade is a fizzy drink, strongly carbonated. It comes in two varieties, white (which is actually colourless) and red. I have never known anyone to make it at home. Various things I've picked up in ...
4
votes
4answers
12k views

Pronunciation of foreign words in American vs. British English?

One of the differences between modern US English (hereafter referred to as "American English") and British English is the way in which we pronounce foreign words, particularly those of French origin ...
11
votes
3answers
26k views

“…didn't finish…yet” versus “…haven't finished…yet”

If I worked on something yesterday but it was not finished, which tense should I use? I didn't finish it yet or I haven't finished it yet
13
votes
9answers
30k views

What's the difference between “bucket” and “pail”?

What is the difference between bucket and pail? Is there a distinction between the shape of a bucket and the shape of a pail? Are buckets and pails made of different materials? Is there a difference ...