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Watching David Firth's Jerry Jackson, I noticed that he often says "rate" and even writes it "r8". From the context of the usage I'm pretty sure he means "really" when he says that.

So I'm pretty sure this is a British colloquialism for "really", but I've never heard it outside of this cartoon. It might also be a local British colloquialism.

Can somebody clear this up for me? Is this really British English? Is it common for British to pronounce "really" like "rate"?

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    He means Right, which has the same emphatic sense in this context that Really does. From /rayt/ to /reyt/ is practically no step at all, and some people even say /riyt/ (eye spelling Reet) as an exclamation. Commented Apr 29, 2017 at 13:12
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    Are you sure he's not saying "right"? Commented Apr 29, 2017 at 13:13
  • It still seems to like a British thing. Doesn't sound "He is right clever" awkward to an American?
    – hgiesel
    Commented Apr 29, 2017 at 13:18
  • @hgeisel, maybe you can edit the heading for your question to reflect that the issue is not just pronounciation, but meaning and proununciation of "right" used to mean really, very or extremely.
    – user227547
    Commented Apr 29, 2017 at 19:07
  • @hgiesel: it definitely sounds British. We never say this in the Midwest. Like "spot on" or "bloke".
    – user175542
    Commented Apr 29, 2017 at 21:09

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'Reyt' (or 'reight' or 'reet' or 'rayt' - they're pretty much pronounced in the same way, and all mean the same thing) is British English. It's the word 'right', but pronounced with a northern (usually Yorkshire) accent.

The meaning, as you've worked out, is either 'very' or 'really'. It's extremely widely used in the north of England.

Dictionary.com notes that:

  1. Right in the sense of “very, extremely” is either archaic or dialectal. It is most common in informal speech and writing: It's right cold this morning. The editor knew right well where the story had originated.

The Yorkshire Post (a newspaper from that region) produced a short guide to some Yorkshire words and phrases, including 'reight'.

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