2
votes
2answers
106 views

Why is there “Black English” but not “White English”?

African American Vernacular English is shortened to a less precise phrase "Black English". Also, Black English is used in a broader sense: Black English is a term used for both dialects of English ...
3
votes
1answer
76 views

What led to the increased usage of “schtupping”?

I was listening to a television show the other day and one of the characters used "schtupping": schtupping — to have sexual intercourse with Dictionary.com notes that the term's origin is ...
16
votes
2answers
2k views

What does “Clearasil-scented grammatical sloth” in casual American speech mean?

John McWhorter, associate professor of English and comparative literature at Columbia University comments on the growing sophistication (or devolution) of English language among Americans in the ...
25
votes
8answers
6k views

“When I was in college…” Do you really mean college? Or university?

When someone in the US says "When I was in college..." he can mean "college" but he can also mean "university", so I've been told. If that's true, how can we know which one he is talking about? If I ...
4
votes
1answer
55 views

Kvetch - Meaning

I was just reading a book (The Help) and came across a usage of "kvetch" that didn't quite fit with how I thought it was used. A publisher is talking about a person's writing style and comments that ...
1
vote
2answers
89 views

“inquisitive” vs. “inquiring” in AmE and BrE

Do these terms share the same level of laudatoriness/pejorativeness in both BrE and AmE? Or, does one typically have a more positive/negative connotation to it than the other from your side of the ...
0
votes
2answers
286 views

“Baby is creeping” vs. “baby is crawling” in AmE

Years and years ago, I remember reading in a book on AmE usage that the phrasal turn a baby creeps before it walks was to some extent more common to AmE than to BrE, which preferred exclusively the ...
-5
votes
4answers
168 views

Adjectival “Anglican” for “English”, and “Anglicanism” for “Anglomania” in AmE

Harrap's New Shorter French and English Dictionary, Ed. 1985 [Harrap's Shorter French Dictionary], points up adjectival "Anglican" as an Americanism for "English", and "Anglicanism" as an AmE ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

“To take in” and “to catch” in the sense "to attend and visit (or see) [the sights of (a city, etc.)] in AmE

Do these terms share the same degree of informality in the sense "to attend and visit (or see)" as of someone taking in/catching the sights of a place, or taking in/catching a show or a movie? E.g. ...
-1
votes
2answers
137 views

“Bakeshop” vs. “bake shop” vs. “bakery” vs. “bakery shop” vs. “bakehouse” for a baker's shop, and “bakeries” for “baked goods” in AmE

Are all four terms in current use in AmE today to refer to a bakery's shop where bread and other baked stuff like cakes and pastries are sold? As far as I know, "bakeshop", "bakehouse", and "bakery" ...
2
votes
4answers
128 views

What adverb, typical of AmE, coincides the most with the BrE sense to “quite” [=to a noticeable or partial extent]?

As long as -- seemingly -- the adverb "quite" in AmE idiomatically carries an emphatic sense to it -- pretty much similar to saying "completely" or "absolutely" as in "That girl looks quite pretty!" ...
1
vote
1answer
42 views

“To charge (that…)” for “to claim/to assert” in AmE

While browsing my bilingual dictionary, Ed. 1985, I stumbled upon the verb "to charge" in a meaning defined as an Americanism [3(b) U.S.: to charge that... alléguer que...(to assert that)] without any ...
1
vote
3answers
104 views

“To tame” for “to cultivate [vegetables, a land, etc.]” and “to domesticate (or farm) [poultry, fish, etc.]” in AmE

The Harrap's New Shorter French and English dictionary Ed. 1985, defines both verbal and adjectival "tame" as Americanisms for respectively "to cultivate" and "cultivated", as of a plant or a land ...
0
votes
1answer
78 views

Idiomatic AmE term for “B&B”/“bed & breakfast”/“chambre d'hôte” and “table d'hôte”

Is there an idiomatic term or expression in modern day AmE for what in the UK is designated by the shared "B&B"/"bed & breakfast", and seemingly by the originally FrF expression "chambre ...
1
vote
2answers
49 views

“Knob” vs. “knoll” in AmE

The Harrap's New Shorter French and English Dictionary Ed. 1985, defines one of the senses of "knob" as an AmE equivalent for "knoll", i.e. a small, rounded hill or eminence; hillock. Sadly enough, ...
3
votes
1answer
141 views

“In back of'' vs. ”back of“ vs. the spatial sense of ”behind" in AmE

What's the difference to these expressions, as in "The little girl was hiding in back of the tree" vs. "The little girl was hiding back of the tree" vs. "The little girl was hiding behind the tree"? ...
0
votes
2answers
75 views

In/on for “into/onto” in colloquial and not so formal AmE

If the context is crystal clear and, as such, allows no risk of misunderstanding or ambiguity whatsoever, unlike "Paul jumps into the lake (= Paul jumps into the lake from a certain point)" vs. "Paul ...
0
votes
2answers
71 views

“Bikeway” vs. “bike route” vs. “bike path” vs. “bike trail” vs. “bike track” vs. “bike lane” on US road signs

To proceed further on with the "cycling topic", which of these terms are most commonly found on US roads to designate respectively a path or part of a road in an urban area marked off or separated for ...
1
vote
1answer
104 views

“Go ahead” vs. “Carry on” in AE usage

Back when I was a student, I can recall my nonnative English teachers -- after discussing a certain word, or phrase, or passage from a text with the class -- saying for me or some other guy to please ...
3
votes
1answer
40 views

Is it acceptable to use the noun “swing” for both a short round trip and an extensive circular tour in AmE?

I remember once coming across, while browsing some bilingual dictionary, the noun "swing" pointed up as an AmE equivalent for "circuit". But, sadly enough, what the bilingual dictionary didn't say ...
1
vote
1answer
80 views

“To set up” for “to arrange/prepare” or “to organize” in colloquial AmE

I already heard and read on various occasions Americans use the expression "to set up" to seemingly mean "to arrange" as in "I'll set up reservations for you" or "I'll be more than happy to set up a ...
1
vote
2answers
171 views

Does the idiom “in lieu of” for “instead of” sound legalese or affected in modern day AmE [closed]

I once came across the idiomatic "in lieu of" in some bilingual dictionary I can't seem to put my hands on anymore, but I remember pretty well the phrase being defined as an Americanism. And so, I ...
2
votes
1answer
73 views

Cyclists, cyclers, bikers, and bike riders in modern day AmE

Almost by analogy with my previous OP, how do the terms "bike rider", cycler", and "cyclist" differ in current AmE usage to describe someone that rides or travels by bicycle? My impression is that ...
3
votes
1answer
137 views

Motorcycles, bikes, motorbikes, mopeds, motorcyclists, bikers, and motorbikers in AE

As far as I know, "motorcycle" is the formal term -- and "bike" the informal one -- for a powered two (and occasionally three) wheeled vehicle resembling a bike but larger, heavier, and a heap more ...
-3
votes
1answer
108 views

Is it grammatically acceptable to drop “to” in constructions such as [to cater “to” someone] and [to entitle someone “to” something]?

Back when I was a student, I was taught as a rule that verbs such as "cater" and "entitle" should be followed by "to" before "someone" and "something" respectively. Yet, I was kind of puzzled the ...
0
votes
2answers
44 views

“To dedicate” for “to inaugurate” in AE

What's the difference between "to dedicate" and "to inaugurate" in the sense [to open or begin use of formally with a ceremony, as of a highway, park, or building]? What's the story to "dedicate"? ...
0
votes
1answer
81 views

In AE, is it okay to drop “with” in grammatical constructions with “to supply”, “to furnish”, “to present”, “to issue”, and “to endow”?

In analogy with "to provide" and "to feed", which can be both constructed with and without "with" (at least in AE) -- [This application will provide you (with) all the information you need] and [The ...
0
votes
1answer
121 views

What does “to take/catch someone off stride” mean in AE?

I guess it might originate from ball game terminology, and mean pretty much the same as "catch/take someone off balance". But, sad to say, I just can't seem to find an authoritative source online that ...
-1
votes
1answer
66 views

“Hussy” for a sewing folder in AE

Does the term "hussy" [alteration of Midde English husewif "housewife"] have any currency in modern day AE to refer to a sewing folder, or is it sort of better known as a derogatory term for a ...
0
votes
1answer
68 views

“Mobile” vs. “cellphone” in AE

I already heard Americans use the term "mobile" for "cellphone" -- which I thought was chiefly BE -- and so I wish you could tell if such usage of "mobile" has any currency in GAE? Unless it might be ...
0
votes
1answer
52 views

“To be retired” vs. “to be a retiree” vs. “to be a retirant”

Are both of these responses in current use in modern day AE to the question: What's your job? Is it I don't have a job, I'm retired. Or I don't have a job, I'm a retiree. Also, does ...
0
votes
1answer
108 views

“To a fare-thee-well” for “perfectly well” in AE

Does the idiom "to a fare-thee-well" have any currency in modern day AE speech and writing, or does it have sort of an old fashioned feel to it? http://www.thefreedictionary.com/fare-thee-well ...
0
votes
2answers
74 views

“Associate with [someone]” for “socialize with [someone]” in colloquial AE

What's the difference in AE between saying "I like to associate with new folks" and "I like to socialize with new folks"? E.g. I am a positive person and I like to associate with other positive ...
2
votes
1answer
266 views

“As long as” for “since” in AE

Some of you might have noticed that I oftentimes use the conjunction "as long as" in my questions and my posts. I was just wondering -- does "as long as" in the sense "since" [=in view of the fact ...
-2
votes
2answers
129 views

“Multi tiered parking lot/garage” vs. “multi story/storied parking lot/garage” vs. “multi level parking lot/garage” in AE

Are these terms current enough in AE to be used just about interchangeably in modern prose?
4
votes
2answers
376 views

In AE, is “tin” used instead of “can” to designate an eco friendly BPA free can of sardines?

I've always thought that "can" was the typical term to refer to a can of sardines (or the like) in AE, and "tin" the BE equivalent, until I recently stumbled across "tin" used instead of "can" on a US ...
0
votes
2answers
69 views

Cowboys, cowpokes, cowpunchers, wranglers, vaqueros, and buckaroos

Depending on where you are regionally located in the US, can these terms be used just about interchangeably in the sense "a hired hand (a cowhand) who tends cattle and performs many of his duties on ...
3
votes
4answers
74 views

“Tote” vs. “carry” in AE

Aside from formality/informality registers, what is to "tote" that is not to "carry" to AE native speakers? Does "tote", unlike "carry", imply a certain way to hold or support something while moving? ...
1
vote
1answer
120 views

Had you had asked

Let's say in this scenario: Someone asked me for help to do certain thing. I gave a negative response. That person then asked for the reason. I responded with: "Had you had asked me nicely ...." ...
4
votes
4answers
209 views

Yards, courtyards, and gardens in American English

As long as reportedly Americans commonly designate an area of land, usually planted with plants, trees, flowerbeds, etc., adjoining a house as a yard (front yard/backyard); and a plot of land used for ...
1
vote
1answer
278 views

“Decide/Intend on [gerund]” vs. “decide/intend to [infinitive]”

In analogy with "plan on [gerund]", do the gerund constructions above have any currency in AE, or are these chiefly dialectal and might sound folksy to most ears? E.g. We decided on taking our ...
0
votes
1answer
646 views

“Have you ever been” to France? vs. “Have you ever gone” to France? vs. “Did you ever go” to France?

Which of the grammatical constructions above is (or are) more typical of what is commonly said and heard in colloquial AE? If all three options work, is there any difference to them meaningwise? ...
2
votes
2answers
72 views

Is the expression “The States” used by Americans when referring to the US?

Does the expression "The States" have any currency in AE when referring to the US, or is it chiefly used by native English speakers from outside?
-1
votes
2answers
311 views

“Sofa bed”, “hideaway couch”, “hide-a-bed”, “couch bed”, “sleeper sofa”, “day bed”, and “studio couch” in AE

Which of these terms is (or are) more typical of AE to designate a convertible consisting of an upholstered couch that can be converted into a double bed?
-1
votes
2answers
87 views

“A food is fed (to) someone or something” vs. “Someone or something is fed on (or with) a food” [closed]

Focusing on the passive voice, which of the following grammatical constructions is (or are) more typical of AE? More research is necessary before *soy formula is fed to babies^ source More ...
3
votes
1answer
532 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
338 views

“Shag” for “chase and bring back, fetch” in AE

Does "shag" have any currency in modern day AE to mean "chase and bring back, fetch (an escaped animal/prisoner)"? Is its use limited to the pursuit of runaways, or can it be extended to a broader ...
1
vote
1answer
31 views

“Snag (a chance, an opportunity, etc.) for ”seize/snatch" in AE

Does "snag" have any currency in modern day AE to say "snatch (or seize) (a chance, an occasion, etc.), and can it be used just about interchangeably with the latter? Or, is there a subtle difference ...
1
vote
1answer
78 views

“Should I” vs. “Shall I” vs. “Do I” in AE

In colloquial prose, is there some difference to saying "Should I/we", Shall I/we", "Do I/we" to ask someone's advice? E.g. Should I call the police? Sounds like I'm asking someone (or myself) ...
-1
votes
1answer
104 views

I've been betrayed by the Jedi Order, but I don't wish “for” them to all die [closed]

Does the presumably nonstandard construction "(verb) for someone/something to (verb)" instead of "(verb) (someone/something) to (verb)" have any currency in modern day colloquial AE speech and "not so ...