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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38 views

Is there any well-known British accent which aʊ is pronounced like əʊ in?

I think I've heard the word "about" pronounced with əʊ (as in "Poland"). Is it just me or there's indeed such an accent in Great Britain or, more specifically, in England?
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1answer
64 views

How is the word 'gullet' understood by non-medical English speakers?

I've found that there are several dialect words that mean both 'windpipe' and 'gullet'. This is true of Wright's (old, but monumental) dialect dictionary (http://eddonline-proj.uibk.ac.at/edd/) (see ...
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Use of plurals for singular organisations [duplicate]

In spoken and written British English (perhaps more commonly the former), people tend to use plurals for singular organisations. For instance, "Liverpool are on top of the table", or "The Treasury are ...
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1answer
78 views

Liverpudlian Accents and The Beatles

The Beatles all have/had a Liverpudlian accent, but it wasn't very strong, especially if you compare it to the accents of Merseyside personalities from similar backgrounds (such as Steven Gerrard, ...
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1answer
802 views

What dialect/accent in the UK do people not say the word “the”

I know a decent amount about different dialects in the UK, and usually recognize and identify them, but I heard one today that took me by surprise. I was watching a TV show, and this family, who I ...
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1answer
90 views

U.K. regional anomaly in pronouncing -ought

I'm reading Henry Fielding's Tom Jones, written in 1749 and based in Somersetshire. I'm intrigued by Fielding's unusual but consistent representation of the way some less-educated characters pronounce ...
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0answers
135 views

Why do some speakers pronounce the aɪ sound as ɔɪ?

Essentially, I'm referring to how some British English speakers pronounce words like "time", "right". That first vowel changes and ends up sounding like "toyme" or "royght". Americans seem to have ...
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2answers
398 views

Is the phrase “You are requested” polite or rude?

My supervisor and I wrote a research paper to be sent to journal for review. My supervisor wrote the cover letter of the paper as Dear Editor in Chief You are requested to review the paper "...
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2answers
234 views

The use of “keep” to mean “put away” (possibly dialectal or novel usage)

In Welsh, cadw, the verb corresponding to the English verb keep can be used to mean put away or store (something) in its appropriate place. Welsh-speakers will sometimes be teased for transferring ...
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1answer
147 views

UK equivalent of “stateside”

The term stateside means "in the United States", is there an equivalent word for the UK, or any other country? Some examples might be: "It feels weird being stateside again." or "I'll be stateside ...
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4answers
90 views

Does 'contact number' in BrE refer to the act of contacting or to an electrical telephone contact?

It is common in BrE to use 'contact number' where AmE would use 'telephone number'. Does the 'contact' in 'contact number' refer to the act of making contact, or is there a more technical origin, as ...
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2answers
279 views

Can an intrusive R appear within one word?

When the word ‘drawing’ is pronounced as /'drɔːrɪŋ/, is that R called intrusive? Is such pronunciation colloquial and unacceptable for formal address?
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3answers
385 views

Derivation of a slang greeting in Yorkshire: “Aye up serry”

When I was young, in the West Riding of Yorkshire 1942 to 1960 you would greet an acquaintance thus: "Aye up serry". I believe older residents of the village of Kiveton Park still use the phrase, or ...
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2answers
47 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 ...
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2answers
478 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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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. ...
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91 views

“We was” and other dialectal variants

According to the British Library site, the use of nonstandard forms of past tense expressions like we was are common in some English dialects The verb 'to be' has two simple past forms in ...
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2answers
2k 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 ...
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2answers
126 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 ...
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1answer
674 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.)
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2answers
103 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 ...
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2answers
285 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 ...
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0answers
313 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
71 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
23k 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?
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2answers
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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 ...
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1answer
2k 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 ...
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1answer
164 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 ...
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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 ...
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0answers
88 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 ...
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4answers
201 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 ...
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1answer
185 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 ...
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2answers
8k 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 ...
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1answer
184 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 ...
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1answer
1k 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
14k 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 ...
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2answers
3k 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 ...
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2answers
937 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 ...
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2answers
2k 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 ...
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1answer
629 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 ...
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0answers
135 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 /...
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1answer
97 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
13k 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 ...
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2answers
847 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 ...
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1answer
169 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
2k 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 ...
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1answer
3k 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 ...
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1answer
2k 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
351 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 it I don't ...