Questions tagged [dialects]

This tag is for questions related to mutually intelligible variations within a language.

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In which dialects is "knowed" the past tense of know?

In some folk songs, such as Woody Guthrie's "Hard Traveling" and Townes Van Zandt's "Poncho and Lefty," the word "knowed" is used as the past tense of "know." ...
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3 votes
0 answers
56 views

Reverse Tensing of the /æ/ Phoneme in American English?

I am a native speaker of a General American sociolect that realizes the /æ/ phoneme as [ɛə] before nasal consonants (e.g. 'fan,' 'stand,' 'ram'), and I've recently noticed that I've begun un-raising (...
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7 votes
3 answers
102 views

Is there an English dialect that distinguishes between stressed /oʊ/ from its final unstressed form?

Is there any English dialect that distinguishes the stressed /oʊ/ as in goat, throat, slope, broke, stroke, etc. from the final, unstressed /oʊ/ as in sparrow, arrow, tomorrow, yellow, window, etc? ...
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2 votes
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American English region where "here" is pronounced "cheer"

On the Andy Griffith Show the characters from Mayberry (modeled on Mount Airy NC) pronounce "here" as "cheer". This can be heard at second 29 of Andy Griffith Football Story from ...
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15 votes
2 answers
6k views

Which American dialect pronounces "heard" as "hu-yd"?

There is an American English dialect/accent that pronounces words like "heard" and "bird" as "hu-yd" and "bu-yd". One example of this would be CCR's song "...
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Unusual usage of the word of? What might be the source? [duplicate]

I used to live in Southern Illinois, and being a Northerner by birth, I encountered what I thought was odd, word usage by the locals. They used the phrase "of a morning" instead of "in ...
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3 votes
2 answers
231 views

Are Canadianisms like "aboat" equally common on the American side of the border, adjacent to it?

Most Canadians live close the the border. If you cross to the American side of border, in a rural area, do Canadianisms (1) like "aboat" (2) suddenly become much less common? Since this ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Can the idiom "fall off the wagon" be said to be "chiefly American"?

I read an answer on another site which referred to the idiom of falling off the wagon as being "chiefly American". That got me curious since I would have thought that this particular idiom ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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A north country question: is Varmint the root of Warm 'un?

I would like to examine the proposition that the Yorkshire and north country term warm ‘un may derive from the word varmint. I was brought up in south Yorkshire and often heard children referred to as ...
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7 votes
4 answers
352 views

Is there an English equivalent of the Scots usage of "boak" (meaning retch) as a noun?

"Boak" is a Scots word that means "retch" (or vomit), and like retch it can be used as a verb, i.e. "that makes me want to boak" means "that makes me want to retch&...
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3 votes
1 answer
107 views

“One syllable” words ending in -re

I’m an American (in upper Midwest) teaching my child about one-syllable words ending in Silent E, such as kite, which makes gives first vowel a long vowel sound. You might know these as VCe syllables (...
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4 votes
1 answer
789 views

Variant of English pronunciation in the UK

On YouTube, I noticed a channel "RateMyTakeaway" with a man with interesting pronunciation One example, at 1:26 in this video: https://youtu.be/Z7YM7iYtFRY?t=86 He says (as far as I can ...
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4 votes
2 answers
118 views

Using 'would' instead of 'will'

I know there are questions with similar titles, but I've checked and they aren't asking what I'm asking. I've recently started working with a guy from Nigeria, and in our discussions I've found myself ...
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1 vote
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How many allophones possible of phoneme /ə/ are there in American English?

I am an ESL student. I want to speak American English fluently. Due to influence of my local dialect in my country, I only discover that there is [ə ɐ ɪə ɑ] doubtably according to my ear, and native ...
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6 votes
1 answer
239 views

When did the California Vowel Shift begin?

When did the California Vowel Shift begin: as soon as California was settled by English speakers? Or did it develop later?
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1 vote
1 answer
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Dialectal variation in subtleties of usage of the word "sore"

I grew up in southern England, and now live in Scotland. There are many interesting and well-known quirks of usage that differ between Southern English English and the various Scottish dialects and ...
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3 votes
0 answers
61 views

"Yeap" and "yep" and "yeah" [duplicate]

Is the use of "Yeap" and "yep" and "yeah", more predominant in different English speaking countries, or is it more a matter of personal preference? UPDATE: The ...
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6 votes
2 answers
427 views

What does this bit of Cockney mean?

In the 2nd episode of the 3rd season of Would I Lie To You?, a fragment is shown from a 1985 episode of London Weekend Television's The Six O'Clock Show, with someone purporting to be a former Teddy ...
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0 answers
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Adverbial adjectives [duplicate]

Continuing from this question about a cloze reading test, in the construction If a conversation starts angry, it will almost certainly continue angry. or the song lyrics Start angry... end mad... ...
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0 votes
1 answer
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Is it correct to pronounce the letter N as "ain" when spelling out words letter by letter?

I live in a non-English-speaking country. A lot of people around me pronounce the letter N as "ain" (/eɪn/ in IPA). I am very confused because in dictionaries the letter N can be only ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
152 views

Dialect using "woman" instead of "women"?

If you watch this VICE episode, the presenter sounds like a native speaker, but uses "woman" instead of "women" every time (probably over a dozen times in the 10 minute video). ...
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1 vote
0 answers
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Bibs & Bobs vs. Bits & Bobs [duplicate]

When I was a relative newcomer to Yorkshire, in the North of England, I was slightly annoyed when I heard people talking about 'bibs and bobs' (meaning odds and ends). I wanted to correct them by ...
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1 vote
2 answers
373 views

What is the trend in pronouncing the word "strength"? [closed]

Over the years, I have heard 3 different ways to pronounce the word strength: stre(ng)kth /stɹɛŋkθ/ strenth /st̠͡ɹ̠ɛn̪θ/ shtrength /ʃtɹɛŋθ/ I definitely pronounce it with option 3 (shtrength /ʃtɹɛŋθ/...
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1 vote
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112 views

Do American and British English speakers understand the phrase ''to make a hames of sth''?

This phrase is used in Ireland (Hiberno English). It means to make a mess of something. Interestingly enough, everyone in Ireland knows what this phrase means but very few actually know what a hames ...
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3 votes
1 answer
175 views

Is drinking-jack another word for mug?

In "Tower of the Elephant", Robert E. Howard uses the word "drinking-jack" three times apparently meaning mug or something like that, judging by the context: Torchlight licked ...
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0 votes
0 answers
38 views

"Why wasn't ya"

In "Wrath of Man", a 2021 movie with Jason Statham as "H", he's being told "what you didn't hear, is that I was meant to be drivin' the truck that day" to which he ...
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3 votes
2 answers
142 views

Me vs My in East Midlands dialect [duplicate]

In the dialect I grew up with (1960's Leicestershire/East Midlands), I'd say "me", when I meant "my". For example: "That's me car." vs "That's my car." What ...
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1 vote
0 answers
187 views

Can "raise a point" and "make a point" mean the same thing generally?

I personally think "to raise a point" means "to mention some point of interest" while "to make a point" means "to state or demonstrate something of particular ...
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0 votes
1 answer
112 views

How do I pronounce names that end with "t" in the standard American dialect?

For example, how do I pronounce the "t" in "Robert"? (Assuming nothing is said after it, or the thing after it starts with a consonant) Is it a half-stop "t" or a regular ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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phonetics of certain words with "i"

I have from time to time noticed the different pronunciations of some words like civilization and organization where the "i" phonetically sounds like "aay". It is more clear in ...
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1 vote
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186 views

Why do Christians in American deep south say "whenever" when they mean "when"?

As a midwestern American (Iowa), I want to understand the history, reason, and mechanics of why southern Americans say "whenever" when the word "when" would suffice. For instance: ...
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0 votes
0 answers
65 views

English dialect/accent that switches out the letter "p" with a voiceless bilabial trill (ʙ̥)

Just to clarify the title: not sure if this dialect always switches the "p" out with the "ʙ̥". For example, if the p is in the beginning of word, maybe this doesn't happen. Also, I'...
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2 votes
1 answer
281 views

What are the differences between Indian English and other (native) varieties?

From my observation, I can identify some differences. Indian speakers use some Hindi words which are not found among native speakers. Indian speakers pronounce 'w' and 'v' interchangeably. Indian ...
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1 vote
1 answer
415 views

Is "awe" pronounced as /ɔː/ or /ɑː/ in American English?

I have an American friend who pronounced the word "awe" with the same vowel as British people pronounce Thought: /ɔː/. But when I look up this word in dictionaries, they pronounce it as /ɑː/....
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5 votes
2 answers
491 views

Pronunciation of “master” and “plaster” in Northern England

A pattern I've noticed in Northern England is that people of my age (born in the '90s) pronounce words like “master” and “plaster” with a short A (/a/), whereas anyone of my parents' generation (born ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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Variations in regional terms in USA

I was born in East Tennessee and have traveled extensively in Middle Tennessee and West Tennessee. I live in South Florida and have visited Northern California. Does anyone know why there is a ...
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0 votes
0 answers
180 views

GROCERY or GROSHERY [duplicate]

I am from Minnesota and have always pronounced GROCERY as GROSH-RY. I teach grammar and pronunciation online, and I recently encountered much controversy regarding what is the correct or incorrect ...
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3 votes
2 answers
333 views

Regional meanings of the word "Yankee"

I saw this in an upvoted YouTube comment: To foreigners, a Yankee is an American. To Americans, a Yankee is a Northerner. To Easterners, a Yankee is a New Englander. To New Englanders, a Yankee is a ...
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1 vote
0 answers
74 views

Slight GOAT-fronting in GenAm

According to the Wikipedia page, GOAT in GenAm is realized as a slightly fronted [ö̞ʊ]. I have also heard some GenAm(-like) speakers produce that variant, though others produced a completely back ...
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0 votes
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"She's like a cockroach what turned into a butterfly."

This is a line from Pocketful of Miracles (1961) She's like a cockroach what turned into a butterfly. Apparently in "standard English grammar" this should be She's like a cockroach that/...
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3 votes
2 answers
100 views

"Don't give me with the scruples!"

In The Fortune Cookie (1966) Walter Matthau's character, a cunning lawyer, says: What's the matter? You feel sorry for insurance companies? They got so much money they don't know what to do with it. ...
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7 votes
4 answers
3k views

Does hillbilly slang fall under a type of English language and if not, what is it called?

Does hillbilly slang (for lack of better words) fall under a type of English language and if not, what is it referred to as, if anything? Such as: Ch'out!= combo of "watch out!" combined. y'...
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7 votes
1 answer
866 views

Origins/meaning of “is dis/this a system?”

Does anyone know the origins of the phrase “Is dis/this a system?”? After seeing it in 1920s and 30s era American comic strips, and later scattered in multiple pop-cultural contexts, I was wondering ...
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0 votes
1 answer
75 views

What dialect is "just from + Ving"? [closed]

I have been hearing this construct recently: just from + Ving For instance: I'm just from eating [...] You're just from swimming [...] This structure certainly isn't part of standard English, if ...
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0 votes
2 answers
253 views

Which British accent is closest to the standard Australian accent? [closed]

Which British accent is closest to the general Australian accent? Does this correlate with where the majority of British Australians originate? Any comments on the variations of either accents by ...
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3 votes
1 answer
214 views

What is the origin of extra prepositions added after verbs in Indian English?

It seems that speakers of Indian English often add prepositions to create phrasal verbs in situations where the verb would have been sufficient on its own. Some examples I have noticed: to “pass out” ...
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0 votes
0 answers
59 views

Any name for this feature of certain dialects where past simple is replaced with past participle?

For the record, I know there is a similar question here that asks about basically the opposite function in some Americam Dialects. I want to know if there is a name for the type of dialectic feature ...
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3 votes
1 answer
167 views

Grade x vs xth grade

Something that I noticed is that Canadians often use "Grade X", while Americans prefer "Xth grade". For example, Canadians would use "Grade 9" rather than "9th grade,...
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  • 131
0 votes
0 answers
264 views

What does the phrase ‘back the road’ mean?

Could someone explain to me the meaning of the phrase ‘back the road’ in the following sentence: “My father still lives back the road past the weir in the cottage I was reared in”? Does it mean ‘next ...
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1 vote
2 answers
72 views

"Best" as a sign-off in a chat message

A new colleague of mine, a native English speaker with whom I have only communicated via text, used "Best!" at the end of a chat message. Does this signify anything to the extent of "...
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