14
votes
3answers
53k views

Origin of the phrase “Now we're cooking with _”

I have heard this phrase as: Now we're cooking with gas. Now we're cooking with grease. Now we're cooking with heat. Now we're cooking with fire. Which of these is the original version, and ...
3
votes
3answers
324 views

Why was the 'hoodie' given the name 'hoodie'?

There were plenty of pieces of upper-body garments/clothing, which had a hood, before the 'hoodie'. Was it simply that no one had thought of the name up until then? Or was there something ...
14
votes
3answers
39k views

What is the difference between “clothes” and “clothing”?

Do some google I find that clothes work like objects like: You should pack your clothes. → Yes You should pack your clothing. → No Can you tell me the main difference between clothing ...
22
votes
9answers
5k views

What overarching category do “street,” “road,” “avenue”, etc. belong to?

Apple belongs to the category of Fruit. What category do street, road, and avenue belong to?
3
votes
1answer
161 views

Suitable description for this type of sentence

Lyrics from The National's Ada Ada don't talk about reasons why you don't want to talk about reasons why you don't wanna talk Is there a word for the structure of this sentence - for me it ...
5
votes
2answers
12k views

What's the appropriate word for describing “potential client”?

I want to replace a phrase "this client will eventually bring a great profit for our company" with a shorter one, but I don't know what word I should use in this scenario. I'm currently using ...
1
vote
0answers
45 views

Unitasker words like “crossbones”? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Is there a term for words that have a single meaning or are only used in a single context? I don't think I've ever heard the word "crossbones" outside of the phrase ...
3
votes
2answers
356 views

Is “unseductive” an established English word, or just coined?

In the article of Time magazine (May 17) dealing with the arrest of IMF Chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn on alleged charges of assaulting a hotel housekeeper, under the title of “The Seduction myth: What ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Does “uncanny” have a negative connotation to it?

Uncanny seems to be the word I'm looking for to describe something, but I'm worried that it might have a negative connotation to it. Does it? What are some words that are very close to having the same ...
4
votes
3answers
844 views

The difference between “require digit”, “requires a digit” and “requires digits”

For example, we have few addresses like: "Box 111" "Some Rd Suite 1" And we also have addresses that without any number: "Some Rd" So to communicate that we prefer the address with numbers, ...
7
votes
4answers
4k views

Is suffixing a personal name with “-azza”/“-azzer” a standard Cockney nicknaming rule?

In two British films I recently recalled, I noticed a trend in nicknaming that I'd like confirmation of, by someone familiar with spoken Cockney English. In the first one, Lock, Stock, and Two ...
38
votes
4answers
21k views

What term can be used to describe Yoda's speech?

What is Yoda's speech called? Is there a particular name for it (such as "dangling...")?
10
votes
3answers
11k views

Origin of the chess term “checkmate”

An attack on a king is called "check", why is an attack that guarantees the capture of a king called checkmate? What is the origin?
3
votes
4answers
16k views

Synonym for “half-ass”

As in: Don't half-ass this project or I'll fire you. I don't want to half-ass this project or I'll be fired. I half-assed this project and was fired.
1
vote
2answers
3k views

What is a common expression in English that a person might say when one suddenly got shocked by sound?

What is a common expression in English that a person might say, when one suddenly got shocked by sound? For example, while a woman was walking on the sidewalk in a dark place, she suddenly heard ...
3
votes
3answers
677 views

Irregular plurals. Leathermans or Leathermen?

Which plural do you use for a word that should have a regular plural but ends with a word that has its own irregular one? The example that made me ask was "leatherman" (the multitool) but there are ...
13
votes
7answers
57k 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
3k views

Is it “flavor saver” or “flavor savor”?

I recently got into an oddly heated discussion about whether a specific style of facial hair around a man's mouth is called Flavor saver, as in "saving the flavor for later" or Flavor savor, ...
7
votes
1answer
9k views

Origin of the term “fat chance”

The phrase "fat chance" can be used as a way of sarcastically describing the impossibility of something, but where did it originate from? I've googled it several times, and it always comes up with the ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

Using the “ex” prefix on a multiple word subject

What is the proper way to use the "ex" prefix to more than one word? Examples: He is an ex-school bus driver. My ex baseball coach taught me. I am an ex-Fish and Game Warden. ...
3
votes
4answers
11k views

What's the meaning for 'de' in “Tour de France”?

What's the exact meaning for 'de' in Tour de France? Can I describe an riding event like 'Tour de Hainan Island'? Assuming I riding around Hainan island by cycling.
10
votes
8answers
1k views

What is the word for when members of the same group attack each other?

I've noticed this in a few South Park episodes, so that's what I'd like to give an example from. I'm sure other artists have depicted something similar. Note that I'm not necessarily agreeing with ...
2
votes
3answers
469 views

What’s the etymology of “beholden”?

I know the word behold means to look upon. So why does beholden mean obligated, indebted? Can someone tell me how this phrase came about?
5
votes
3answers
1k views

“[…] up with which I will not put.”

Okay, I'm probably being a bit slow here, but I don't quite understand this story: Supposedly an editor had clumsily rearranged one of Churchill’s sentences to avoid ending it in a preposition, ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Identifying accents of British actors

As an American, a large part of my impoverished experience of British accents comes from ancient BBC comedy imports on PBS. I'd very much like to identify the regional accents the following actors are ...
11
votes
5answers
18k views

What is the origin of “stat”?

When watching medical television shows, I often hear the doctors (actors) using the term "stat", which I understand to mean "do [action] quickly/immediately". Where did this term originate, and where ...
7
votes
3answers
407 views

What is “hership”?

I've been reading Scott's Ivanhoe, and in it Cedric has been complaining of the general lawlessness of England at the time, when an alarm sounds... "To the gate, knaves!" said the Saxon, hastily, ...
7
votes
7answers
2k views

Correct comma use with “but” and “that”

Compare these 3 sentences: Both are based on librsync, but above that they behave quite differently. Both are based on librsync, but above that, they behave quite differently. Both are ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

British upper-class pronunciation of words like “what” and “when”

More from the BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens' Bleak House. I've noticed in these sort of movies, when some very upper-class speakers talk, like the lawyer in the series, Mr. Tulkinghorn, they have ...
3
votes
3answers
187 views

Relating to multiple possessions of multiple objects

Is it correct to say doctors specialties when referring to the (multiple) specialties of multiple doctors?
0
votes
4answers
441 views

Confusion with Use of “Though” [closed]

Today I came across this sentence: Though I don't sell photos taken by me it still makes me feel good/appreciated/wanted I want to know exactly what this sentence means. I assumed two possible ...
4
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the etymology of “cavalier”?

I ask this question because Webster runs a lot of top 10 lists that interest me from time to time. The current list I was browsing is called "Ten Painless Ways to Improve a Conversation". The second ...
14
votes
4answers
19k views

Is there a difference between “Speciality” and “Specialty”?

My work colleagues and I have been having a discussion about doctors (we work in healthcare), and we're split down the middle as to whether a specialist doctor would have a speciality, or a specialty ...
8
votes
5answers
20k views

“Thousand Dollars Worth” or “Thousand Dollars' Worth”. Is this a Possessive?

I was writing the following sentence: Five thousand dollars worth of equipment does not a professional photographer make. Apart from the other questionable syntax in this over-stylized sentence, ...
8
votes
6answers
9k views

Is it supposed to be a HTML or an HTML [duplicate]

I've seen many people who say: This is a HTML page. Yet I've also seen many people who say: This is an HTML page. Are both usages equally correct? Or, which is the grammatically correct ...
13
votes
1answer
501 views

“All your commas are belong to Array” and similar — is this grammar form “proper”?

I've often come across "weird" sentences like, say, instead of: All of your commas belong to Array. It writes: All your commas are belong to Array. It's not just once or twice, I actually ...
1
vote
0answers
93 views

When to use the feminine form when referring to a person? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Tendency of using pronouns 'she/her' when talking about a random person I was never interested in grammar and English in school. Now that I am older, I am ...
10
votes
5answers
24k views

What is the past tense of “sync”?

I've always believed the past tense of sync ("I sync my phone with my computer") to be synced ("I synced my phone with my computer yesterday"). This question would seem to suggest either synced or ...
6
votes
1answer
4k views

Why is The Mall (Westminster, London) pronounced like mawl?

Why is The Mall pronounced differently even though it shares the same spelling as mall (shopping)?
3
votes
2answers
3k views

What does “spot basis” mean?

What does "spot basis" mean, in the sentence "what you want to be able to do is develop the skill to go and do this on a spot basis"?
10
votes
1answer
1k views

What would be the British English equivalent to “The Elements of Style”?

I've been referred to this book by a lot of people, but one of the basic "rules" that it mentions - making your language more "cut and dry", which seems to be more of a thing with American English, ...
42
votes
4answers
4k views

Who is Jesus H. Christ?

When used as an expletive, the name Jesus Christ often gets an H inserted into the middle of it for some reason. I've heard lots of guesses about what the H stands for, the most popular one being ...
14
votes
7answers
16k views

What is the difference between a “category” and a “type”

Is there a difference between the terms category and type? I can't seem to figure out when I should use one over the other.
1
vote
1answer
244 views

A different word for “Rhyming Dictionary”

Is there a different word, a synonym or neologism for "Rhyming Dictionary"? I mean something like Rhyming + thesaurus?
7
votes
1answer
6k views

How to correctly use the present perfect tense

This link states that: When you use the present perfect tense you have to be talking about a period of time that you still consider to be going on. For example, if it’s still morning, you can say, ...
5
votes
3answers
14k 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 ...
12
votes
6answers
327k views

“All The Best” vs “Best of Luck”

I heard somewhere that if we wish someone younger than us then say "Best of luck" and if we wish someone older than us then say " All The best". I don't know how much of this is true. Will you ...
6
votes
3answers
201 views

Interpreting ambiguous agreement

We're proud of our tortilla chips and we hope you'll agree. It may seem trivial but I've seen similar remarks on other products and it just doesn't feel like a valid sentence because I can't ...
6
votes
1answer
5k views

Works as expected vs. is working as expected

Which one of these is the correct one? The registers testcase checks that the module's register interface works as expected. The registers testcase checks that the module's register interface is ...
5
votes
2answers
10k views

Pronunciation of the word Leicester

I was playing Monopoly the other day (haven't played for some time) and I bought Leicester Square. However, everytime someone landed on my block, I was unsure as to its pronunciation. So far I've ...

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