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Questions tagged [british-english]

This tag is for questions related to English as used in Great Britain, and sometimes Ireland.

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1 answer
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What is the meaning of "sutting "?

On Netflix, I came across the word sutting while watching a British series called Supacell. It seems that the actor was talking about a gun. Unfortunately, I haven't found its meaning in any ...
Mo Ali's user avatar
  • 145
0 votes
1 answer
51 views

Word for the dust carried by wind

Is there a word for the dust that is carried by the wind and gradually accumulates? In US English 'silt' almost fits: earthy matter, fine sand, or the like carried by moving or running water and ...
Peter Bill's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
60 views

Why do Americans not say "and" when saying particular years? [closed]

Why do Americans not say "and" when saying particular years? For example, here in the UK, for 2010, we'd say "two thousand and ten", but in the US, they would say "two ...
Ramona Green's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
153 views

What did Tolkien apparently have against commas?

While reading his books in English for the first time a while back, I was shocked by how ultra-concise the language was in the original language. Perhaps the most frustrating part was his extremely ...
Gollum Nicehobbit's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
6 views

When can we omit the article in front of a countable word in singular? [migrated]

In the sentence below, there is no "the" in front of former President. I am wondering what is the grammar rule for that? Under Smith and his successor, Douglas, Canada sought closer trade ...
Julia's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
1k views

In Northern England, what vowel phoneme is used in “can’t”?

Which vowel phoneme, START or TRAP, do people in the North of England usually use in can’t? (Obviously the northern START is pronounced like a longer version of TRAP, which is not the case in the ...
Monkle's user avatar
  • 71
1 vote
1 answer
116 views

Is "bet" only used by vulgar people? [closed]

My cousin says "bet" is only used by vulgar people, and that "wager" is used by gentlemen. I disagree. We're talking about risking money on an outcome. I wonder if the fine people ...
Ciro Andrade's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
59 views

How common is “you lot” for a group of exactly two persons and under what circumstances can it be used as such if any?

Something about “you lot” tells me that it can't really be used with a group of two persons and requires a somewhat bigger group being addressed as a unit, to what extent is that correct and if not ...
Zorf's user avatar
  • 139
2 votes
1 answer
53 views

Comma uncommon usage

At the beginning of The Magician's Nephew, CS Lewis wrote: In those days Mr. Sherlock Holmes was still living in Baker Street and the Bastables were looking for treasure in the Lewisham Road. In ...
jean-luc's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
31 views

Adjectives derived from proper nouns are not always capitalized [duplicate]

I have had a hard time teaching the rule that proper adjectives are capitalized on the Continent (one student even proudly declaimed that proper adjectives just don't exist in England). I taught this ...
LMR's user avatar
  • 77
1 vote
0 answers
37 views

correct usage/type with conjunctive adverb [duplicate]

a) Our vacation was wonderful, however, it was too short. Is a) incorrect or acceptable use? I understand it should have a semicolon with a comma or start a new sentence, but some resources conflict ...
bluebell1's user avatar
  • 305
4 votes
1 answer
90 views

Meanings of “catch one up” in British English

I know that it’s common in British English to say things like You go on ahead. I’ll catch you up. That usage is never encountered in American English. We would say, “I’ll catch up with you.” In ...
PaulTanenbaum's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
120 views

The meaning of schneid (not sure of the spelling) in colloquial British English (London centric)

The word schneid is used commonly in London (UK) slang to mean that someone is devious and not to be trusted - like a spy for example. It is highly derogatory. I have read that on this site that the ...
Mark Sutton's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
53 views

"Ill" word meaning in 17th century 1608

I'm writing a script set in 1608 in British English from the 17th century. I want to know the exact meaning that the word "ill" had at that time? We appear just as ill. (We look just as ...
Dylan Lozano's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
532 views

Is 'bunch' meaning 'protuberance, swelling' used in British English?

Looking up 'bunch' with reference to a question on ELL, I noticed that Merriam-Webster's first definition is protuberance, swelling. I don't see a similar meaning given by other online dictionaries, ...
Kate Bunting's user avatar
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0 votes
0 answers
99 views

Perchance and Mayhap

I'm writing a screenplay set in England 17th century 1608. Which was more common "Mayhap" or "Perchance". The meaning is "maybe". Ex: Perchance/Mayhap we will live a long ...
Dylan Lozano's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
85 views

"Hence" Multiple usages in Old English

I´m writing a script using 1608 17th century british english language. I would like to know if the meaning of hence can be used as follows. Hence, he needeth me. (For this reason, he needs me.) Get ...
Dylan Lozano's user avatar
-2 votes
4 answers
144 views

"Lamb" Use in Early British Modern English 17th-century 1608

I am writing a screenplay set in England in the year 1608. In one sentence I used the word lamb (a young sheep), but according to what I've seen on the internet this term is more of a modern English. ...
Dylan Lozano's user avatar
15 votes
3 answers
2k views

Was "coven" used as a term for a group of witches in 1608 or was another term in use?

I am writing a screenplay set in England in the year 1608. In one sentence I used the word coven (a group of witches), but according to Etymonline this word started to be used from 1660, or 52 years ...
Dylan Lozano's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
74 views

"Kin" Use In Early British Modern English 17th century 1608 [duplicate]

I am writing a screenplay set in England in the 17th century during the year 1608. I need to know if the use of "kin" (a family) is appropriate in this context. I know that this word did ...
Dylan Lozano's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
190 views

What's the difference in usage between "to" and "unto" in 17th century English?

I am writing a script in which all the characters speak early Modern English. I have learned a bit about Old English, but I am not an expert so I am also consulting multiple artificial intelligences, ...
Dylan Lozano's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
27 views

differences of usage with conjunctive adverb

a) You must have a good reason for possession of a bladed instrument. It will have to be genuine, for example, someone back packing may use one for the preparation of meals. b) You can put knives in ...
bluebell1's user avatar
  • 305
0 votes
0 answers
51 views

The etymology of doctoring text [duplicate]

I was gutted today that I failed The Times crossword on one clue - "writings not considered genuine", which I've now come to know is "apocrypha". While trying to give a clue to ...
roganjosh's user avatar
  • 297
4 votes
2 answers
260 views

UK vs USA grammar, past tense usage of "were stood" and "found…stood" that jars my American mind

One of my favorite authors uses past tenses in the following manner: Other than Camden and Luke’s cousin Alex, who were stood outside the main doors talking, no one was in sight. An American would ...
dlbruce's user avatar
  • 41
0 votes
1 answer
261 views

Current prevalence of idiom "pulling for you"

A prior question asks about the origin of the phrase "pulling for you," a phrase that conveys well-wishes and support (Merriam-Webster): US, informal : to say or show that one hopes (...
TaliesinMerlin's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
118 views

Does 'dust yourself off/down' (AmE/BrE) have the same literal and figurative meanings?

Taking the figurative sense, a common AmE saying: Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again. No one is necessarily physically down or dusty. Someone could have just fallen off a ...
HippoSawrUs's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
20 views

Anyone else with this place of articulation of their rhotic sound? [duplicate]

As my question implies, I have an unusual manner of articulation for my rhotic sound, and I wonder if anyone else shares it: my rhotic sound is formed by bringing my bottom lip up so that my top teeth ...
Kyle Colbourne's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
559 views

Who uses "uni" for "university"?

I think much has been clarified by the many interesting comments this post has received. In Edit 5 below, I've tried to summarize what I think I've learned and what questions are still outstanding. I'...
Dave's user avatar
  • 151
1 vote
1 answer
83 views

being nice vs. being kind [closed]

In the TV series Doctor Who, in his last episode 'Twice Upon a Time', the 12th doctor says: Always try to be nice and never fail to be kind. full quote on wikiquote What is the difference between ...
bjelli's user avatar
  • 111
0 votes
2 answers
244 views

Should we say "insisted that we attended" or "insisted that we attend"?

She insisted that we attend the party. She insisted that we attended the party. I know the following versions are correct (I'm only curious about the ones above): She insisted that we should attend ...
Ali E's user avatar
  • 151
-4 votes
1 answer
159 views

What British accent do I have?

What British accent do I have? https://voca.ro/1mw6Jrr5y0yR
dwally89's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
11 views

What will be the passive voice sentences for these sentences? [closed]

How many men are there? How much milk he buys? There are books. It is a toy. Books are there.
raj rajput's user avatar
-3 votes
1 answer
150 views

Proper hyphenation of “technologies”

The New Oxford spelling dictionary by Maurice Waite from 2005 says on p. 521, tech|nolo¦gies Note there's no break after “techno” despite the Greek root téchnē. Why? Could we kindly ask for an ...
user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
175 views

'Go on a binge' in British English?

If said without any accompanying information, is 'go on a binge' primarily understood by Brits as meaning a 'drinking binge'?
Swenglish's user avatar
  • 107
-2 votes
2 answers
166 views

Is "bugly" used in British English?

Is "bugly" (from 'butt ugly') used in British English? And if it is, is it more common in some regional dialects than others?
Swenglish's user avatar
  • 107
0 votes
0 answers
46 views

Is "skunkworks" used in British English?

Is the originally American English "skunkworks" also used in BE? And if it is, is it still regarded as being an Americanism, or has it been assimilated into BE?
Swenglish's user avatar
  • 107
3 votes
1 answer
128 views

Do compounds ending in "college" have initial stress in British English but final stress in American English?

Zwicky (1986, p. 54) claims that compounds ending in college have initial stress in British English but final stress in American varieties. Thus, Brits would say KING'S college but Americans ...
Zoltan's user avatar
  • 493
-1 votes
4 answers
116 views

Can I use the adjective “existing” with a noun, if there are no existing instances of that noun?

Would the following sentence make sense, if there are no existing instances the noun? I will go out and look for existing dinosaurs By using the adjective “existing”, the sentence refers to ...
Shuzheng's user avatar
  • 141
1 vote
4 answers
719 views

Is there a word for fans making excuses for their favorite artist? [duplicate]

The example I'm thinking of is Bethesda and Starfield. Other than the graphics it's not a well designed game, but people keep making excuses for it, when smaller teams have done far more with far less ...
Austin Capobianco's user avatar
-2 votes
1 answer
58 views

Usage of dash, grammar

There are two sentences : Cat is a small animal with soft fur that people often keep as a pet. Cat — a small animal with soft fur that people often keep as a pet. Is the second one correct from ...
Jess3032's user avatar
20 votes
2 answers
4k views

What does this Peter Sellers sentence mean?

What does the sentence mean which Peter Sellers is here quoting from his grandad? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mbUdsQfSq0&t=294s (I refer to the sentence he says immediately after you start ...
yglodt's user avatar
  • 319
1 vote
5 answers
187 views

How to be 'ornery' in BE?

I'm looking for the best BE substitute for the AmE word "ornery" in the phrase "an ornery bunch". Complicating the task for this second-language speaker of English is that ...
Swenglish's user avatar
  • 107
1 vote
2 answers
227 views

Connotations of "that's too bad" between American and British english

I am a Canadian, but I study in Edinburgh, Scotland. I have discovered a peculiar feature of my speach that seems to surprise most people from here. When ill befalls others, I use the phrase "...
Jack's user avatar
  • 113
1 vote
0 answers
66 views

Sentence improvement too redundant [closed]

Can this be improved? The last tale of success on a constructed new programming language is one at the famous X, LLC. or, The last tale of success of a constructed new programming language is one ...
Alix Blaine's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
55 views

If you mean 'good' then say so! [duplicate]

Why do the British, myself included, ofttimes respond to an inquiry which could be answered by "Good" or "Fine" by saying "Not bad" or "Not bad at all"?
ben svenssohn's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
204 views

British school terminology "given yards"

In a recent Tom Scott video, an older gentleman who is currently serving as the town crier of Honiton recounts his childhood involvement in the "hot penny festival". We used to wear gloves, ...
Darth Pseudonym's user avatar
28 votes
5 answers
4k views

Understanding of -pants vs. "pants" in UK speakers

My wife, a native Spanish speaker, today asked me about why a youtuber would call themselves 'craftypants'. I explained that -pants was added to something as synecdoche, so for example an intelligent ...
Kirt's user avatar
  • 1,607
2 votes
1 answer
584 views

What's up with the syntax of "more fool me"?

In UK English, the idiom "more fool me" means something like "and I'm a fool for doing so". But how might you try to understand the underlying syntax? Is "fool" an ...
jogloran's user avatar
  • 123
0 votes
1 answer
59 views

What is the particular word for a person who thinks in-depth when s/he is lonely?

I am looking for a word that describes a person who can think independently, and in-depth when s/he is alone. A single word is preferrable.
Moon Knight's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
401 views

Context for "There was nothing could be done for him."

Sentences (1)-(2) below are grammatically/semantically correct. Sentences (1)-(2) are traditionally explained by deletion of a nominative case relative pronoun. However, in my view, sentences (1)-(2) ...
GWisdom's user avatar
  • 41

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