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Questions tagged [british-dialect]

British English–specific tag for questions about dialect. Use this tag if your question is about nuances of grammar or pronunciation in spoken British English.

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0answers
50 views

“I'll have coffee” vs “I'll have a coffee”

I have noticed that the indefinite article is used a lot more for drinks in Britain than in the US. If one were in a restaurant idiomatically in the UK you would say "I'll have a coffee", whereas in ...
-2
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2answers
43 views

scoffing his granola

In this Passage what is the meaning of "scoffing his granola" sentence: He’s a terrible time keeper. We go on and on at the kids about time keeping but the Head’s late for everything. The assembly ...
1
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0answers
70 views

How can I learn British accent ? [closed]

British accent is considered to be the king of all the accent. And to me also it sounds nice . So I really wanted to learn how to speak it Also I was not born in england or so ,so a non native speaker ...
0
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2answers
111 views

What does “d-d” mean? Possible 19th century profanity?

I have several quotes of late-19th-century speech (by British men) which use the abbreviation "d-d" for a word. I'm not sure what it means, but from the context I assume this is profanity of some sort....
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0answers
56 views

Using of the pronoun 'She' with Objects

While I was watching 'dinnerladies' yesterday, I noticed that they referred to 'ladder' as (she) in lieu of (it), so I wonder if it was an idiom or accent. Thanks One of the contexts was like this. ...
1
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0answers
17 views

Rrported speech [closed]

I want to know the reported speech of this sentence 1-do you speak english ? 2- if I were you Id take an aspirin
6
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2answers
360 views

Why are pubowners called landlords in the U.K.?

I just came across the fact that Brits call the owners\operators of their pubs landlords, (on the new show "The Reluctant Landlord"). Being from the USA I am only aware of the term landlord being used ...
0
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2answers
84 views

Confused by a phrase I heard in Downton Abbey

I'm a native English speaker and I know that the English spoken in the show by the aristocracy is in the dialect of received pronunciation. I've been learning about the various dialects in England ...
12
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1answer
492 views

How long ago did Londoners start saying “f” instead of “th”?

Is there any evidence for how far back replacement of “th” with “f” goes in London (and environs) historically? (I’m talking about how some Londoners say “fanks” and “everyfing” etc.)
0
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2answers
79 views

I'm confused about the usage of “grade” in educational contexts in the UK. Can you please give me some examples on how you would use it? [closed]

I have searched the web but I can't get my head around it still. I know that "grades" are used in the US system, but I've read that this will be the case in the UK in 2018 too. In this case would ...
2
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2answers
252 views

Well as an adverb modifying an adjective

I notice that there has been a change in the word well. Examples are: She's well nice. It's well good. Is this a West of England term (I lived there for a while), or has it just entered the ...
2
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0answers
106 views

What's a British English way of saying rest stop [closed]

Context: Are we staying here the whole night, or is this just a [rest stop]. I don't feel as though I'd say rest stop in British English, but I can't think of what I could say exactly.
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2answers
56 views

Is there a word for this?

Is there a word for a lack of order and control by authority? I think I have forgotten the word for it and can't seem to find any help anywhere.
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1answer
6k views

More impressive way of saying “I am really interested in your works” to a Prof [closed]

I want to send an email to a professor in London. I wanna say "I'm really interested n your works" but I am searching for a more impressive and more British way of saying that. Could any one help me?
1
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2answers
586 views

Pronunciation of the word 'negotiate' with an /s/

So, I've heard this one a couple of times so far, especially in formal contexts on BBC Radio 4 and other tv/radio stations. OED states you can only say it this way — /nɪˈgəʊʃɪeɪt/, providing no other ...
1
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1answer
904 views

What's the Scottish equivalent of “holy crap!” “oh my God!” “Jesus Christ!”, etc?

No swear words, please (sorry). It's for a YA fantasy that takes place on Skye (modern day), and has to be something a teenager might say (again, yeah, I know. Swearing. But surely there's ...
1
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1answer
89 views

What English dialect adds an 'r' after a 'w' in certain cases? [duplicate]

While watching videos online I've heard multiple brits pronounce "drawing" as "drawring". What dialect does that? Please contribute more examples of this as well, as that is the only one I can ...
4
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0answers
52 views

Earliest use of “book,” the slang verb meaning “to leave quickly” [duplicate]

"Book," the slang verb meaning to leave quickly--has anyone found it used prior to the 1840s? I found it used in chapter 143 of Varney the Vampire: "[I]f the old watchman comes round, we may have to ...
1
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0answers
85 views

Where does “Do you want the bill grabbing?” come from?

I heard this phrase at a restaurant the other day - in Sheffield, England. The waitress said first, "Do you want anything else getting?", and then after that, "Do you want the bill grabbing?" This ...
2
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4answers
177 views

Unfamiliar usage of the phrase “as from”'

This is a paragraph from one of Wodehouse's books. Nephew(also the narrator):"Golly!" Aunt:"You may well say 'Golly!' Anatole, God's gift tothe gastric juices, gone like the dew off the petal ...
0
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1answer
116 views

Pronouncing “really” like “rate”

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 ...
8
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2answers
5k views

“hotting up” vs “heating up”

I'm watching "The Great British Baking Show" and I heard a host use the phrase "It's hotting up." Later, a contestant said it was "heating up". It seems they both meant something similar, but did ...
0
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1answer
152 views

Can we use “Postponed” word for Library Book extension?

Today, my teacher asked me to postponed his books from library. But i did not understand his meaning. All i think is, he wants his book's extension from library. Please put light on it about the word ...
2
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1answer
704 views

Seen pronounced 'sin'

My other half is from West Sussex in England. Herself and her sister both pronounce seen as 'sin' and some of her friends from the area she grew up in pronounce it in the same way (including her ...
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2answers
9k views

On THE other hand or on another hand?

I'm editing a manuscript which takes place in 1854 Britain. I've run across two uses of "on another hand" used in place of "on the other hand." Is this proper vernacular for the era or should I edit ...
4
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2answers
2k views

Is there a way to phonetically write English so that when read it is with a “British accent”? [closed]

I am going to be performing a monologue which will mostly be in a southern accent, but there is one brief part, where I quote a British person, and would like to give it a general British accent. Is ...
3
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2answers
634 views

Is it an Essex dialect or something else?

Being not a native English-speaker and not familiar with the dialects of the English language, especially the British ones, I'm wondering about an interesting fact for a long time. A British music ...
2
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2answers
1k views

Flapping in British English

Flapping is typical for American English (e.g. better is usually pronounced /bɛɾər/ rather than /bɛtər/), but I've also heard a few British speakers using it (EDIT: e.g. David Cameron saying better ...
1
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1answer
425 views

Does any dialect of English pronounce “sojourn” with emphasis on the second syllable?

I used to think that sojourn was pronounced with emphasis on the second syllable (So-Journ'), and until now that's how I'd heard it, then I heard from some learned people that it's on the first ...
0
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0answers
71 views

The /r/ sound in “drawing” in British English? [duplicate]

One of my pet peeves is that, in the UK, many people seem to mispronounce the word "drawing". The correct pronouciation is /ˈdrɔː.ɪŋ/. Why then, do so many people allow that /r/ to creep in to give /...
3
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1answer
89 views

Is “agone” still a current dialectal expression?

Agone is defined in dictionaries as an archaic form of "gone" (TFD) but according to Etymonline the term is still used as a dialectal variant: Ago: ago (adj.) early 14c., shortened form ...
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3answers
9k views

'Go to sleep' vs 'Go and sleep'?

I just had a linguistics test (it's called UKLO) that measures you're ability to problem solve and translate languages you know nothing about. For one of my translation answers I wrote 'Don't go and ...
2
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2answers
462 views

“This what is” vs “This that is”

Came across the following choice of words from a British-Australian writer. It is not very recognizable to me, and am wondering if it's a question of dialect, or was just a mistake/typo: All this ...
0
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1answer
119 views

BrE: monophthong in here, clear, mere, etc

Usually in BrE words like clear, fere, clear, mere, etc are pronounced with a diphthong comprising an open high front vowel followed by something resembling a schwa. However, they are sometimes ...
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2answers
1k views

What does “betraying the fact” mean?

I'm reading a BBC article on ketamine abuse. In the article it says: The doors at the Baiyun drug rehabilitation clinic are always locked, betraying the fact that the patients inside aren't ...
0
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1answer
1k views

Use of 'z' versus 's' [duplicate]

I've been brought up believing that most of the words that have suffix with '-ize' or '-ized' is the American English form and the British English forms use (most of the time) '-ise' or '-ised' as the ...
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2answers
1k views

What does “mphm” mean? [closed]

I'm reading The Good, The Bad and The Smug by Tom Holt. It's a British-style fantasy/comedy in the Hitchhiker's tradition, and is good so far (page 89). But, something is throwing me: often a ...
0
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1answer
729 views

“Don't you know” in upper class-British?

I have been reading Jeeves and Wooster recently, and the latter character says "don't you know" a hell of a lot. Eg. "He's my manservant, don't you know?" "Tea is very good after a journey, don't you ...
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1answer
108 views

A question about completing sentence [closed]

Those who favor the new law say that the present law does not set spending limits on lobbyists' gifts to politicians, nor ______ statewide funds. it limits limits it does it limit does ...
4
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2answers
5k views

Non-standard British use of possessive “me”

Native North American speaker here. It's fairly common in certain British dialects to substitute "me" for "my" (Shiver me timbers) in informal speech. My impression is that some speakers mix the ...
1
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0answers
116 views

Usage of “Vanessa” in Open All Hours

In the episode "Duet for solo bicycle" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCnc8hUPuPU&t=4m22s Albert Arkwright says - "No need to get all Vanessa about it." 00:04:00 I made progress last night ...
2
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2answers
1k views

How there are so many dialects of English in England?

I was just wondering how there are so many variations of dialects in England, which isn't really a very large country, they have Brummie, Yorkie, Cockney, the one in Liverpool, I don't know what's the ...
1
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1answer
2k views

“negotiate” with /s/

OED lists two ways of pronouncing negotiate: Brit. /nᵻˈɡəʊʃɪeɪt/ , /nᵻˈɡəʊsɪeɪt/ Which British dialects use /s/ rather than /ʃ/ and in what contexts does this difference appear?
2
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0answers
464 views

what do you call the crust of the bread in your dialect? [closed]

We in Nottingham, call the crust of the bread the nobby. What do other dialects call it?
2
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2answers
305 views

Couldn't be parked: Ngaio Marsh

In one of her novels, Dame Ngaio Marsh has Roderick Alleyn propose marriage to Agatha Troy, who responds she "couldn't be parked." In context this appears to be equivalent to "couldn't be more ...
3
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1answer
4k views

'Off of' versus 'from' [duplicate]

Is 'off of' ever a valid substitution for 'from'? For example, 'It's that guy off of Friends.' Would it ever be acceptable to use this construction in formal written English? I live in the West ...
9
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2answers
844 views

What is the etymology of the word “howwa”, meaning “that thing”?

In the North-East of England, where I live, the word "howwa" is used to mean "that thing". It is pronounced like "shower" and could be used in the following contexts: Can't you get it to work? ...
9
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3answers
8k views

What is the origin of Bishy Barney Bee?

The attached picture is of a delightful little creature which throughout the UK is known as a Ladybird (not sure what you call them in America) EXCEPT in Norfolk, where it is known as a 'Bishy Barney ...