Similar questions have been asked in the past, but I am curious as to whether this usage has changed as of recent years. Is it more common to describe one's mobile phone as a "mobile" or as a "phone" in the UK? Likewise, is their usage limited to particular groups of people?

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I tried to frame a query for Ngram that would rule out other uses of the words "mobile" and "phone". I searched "British English" starting in 1980. My phrases were "phone in my pocket" and "mobile in my pocket". Then "phone" was the winner by a wide margin. From Rosie's suggestion, I also did "mobile phone in my pocket", but that was still smaller.


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    What phrases did you use in your NGram? Please add them to your answer in plain text. I'm worried that a search for "phone X" will also count "mobile phone X", and one for "X mobile" will also count "X mobile phone".
    – Rosie F
    Jul 23, 2022 at 15:54
  • I'd try cell phone versus mobile phone.
    – Lambie
    Jul 23, 2022 at 17:43
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    @Lambie We do not use the words "cell phone" to describe a mobile phone in the UK.
    – Chris Down
    Jul 23, 2022 at 20:59
  • @ChrisDown is right, so searching British English for cell phone (or cellphone) should return no hits. It probably will, because the tagging of British vs American English is far from perfect (of course you'll also have American usage quoted in genuinely British sources)
    – Chris H
    Jul 23, 2022 at 21:04
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    @Lambie This entire question is about UK usage: not only is it the case that the question specifically requests information about BrE, but it's also literally tagged [british-english]. How would including a compound that we simply do not have in British English have any useful effect on the answer?
    – Chris Down
    Jul 23, 2022 at 22:57

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