Questions tagged [dialects]

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

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2answers
55 views

“Have a nap” or “Take a nap”?

I'd like to know what's the difference between: "We decided to have a nap" and "We decided to take a nap". Is it a BrE / AmE thing?
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0answers
40 views

'I about to died' — Southern vernacular?

I wonder if anyone here has ever heard this phrase, about to + past tense --- probably a dialectal variant of about + past tense. Is this America's Southern vernacular? And then the judge turned to ...
2
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0answers
30 views

Is the varying pronunciation of “schedule” using “sh-” vs “sk-” regional or individual? [duplicate]

‘Hard’ /ˈskɛ.djuːl/vs ‘Soft’ /ˈʃɛ.djuːl/ Is one of the two variants /ˈʃɛ.djuːl/ with ‘sh‑’ (so including [ˈʃɛ.djɫ], [ˈʃɛ.dʒɫ̩], [ˈʃɛ.dʒu.əɫ], [ˈʃɛ.dʒuːɫ]) /ˈskɛ.djuːl/ with ‘sk‑’ (so including [...
5
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1answer
568 views

a' the world's gang agley

Toward the close of her life she was greatly troubled at any unusual stir in the household. She liked to have company, but nothing disturbed her more than to have a man working in the cellar, ...
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3answers
302 views

Is cow ever the plural of cow?

I was thinking about ruminants, as you do, and I noticed that, unlike with sheep or deer, cows is the plural of cow. I started wondering why, then it occurred to me that maybe there were dialects that ...
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0answers
26 views

What US region's people pronounce “always” as “a-weiz”?

I've met a person who pronounces "always" as "a-weiz" (with a as in ant) and I'm curious about what region pronounces it like that. Thanks!
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0answers
28 views

Which English dialects have a were-where merger?

I encountered a speaker pronouncing "where" as "were". I have never heard this before.
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2answers
174 views

On the pronunciation of 's' in 'dislike' (/s/ vs /z/)

With a bit of a surprise I have recently learnt that most(all?) native English speakers pronounce the 's' in dislike (and similar words with the dis- prefix) as /s/, not /z/. However, the /z/ ...
2
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1answer
130 views

Is bad English called “Butler English”?

When somebody speaks bad English it is called Butler English in India. The phrase Butler English seems to have originated in Madras presidency in the British Rule. The butlers or the maid servants ...
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2answers
2k views

Is there such a thing as Intrusive-L (as opposed to Intrusive-R)?

Most of us have heard plenty of examples of the so-called Intrusive-R. It is a feature of non-rhotic dialects, including British RP and some New England dialects. It occurs between two vowels that are ...
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1answer
874 views

“I hope you all/both are doing well” vs “I hope you are all/both doing well”?

Do both convey the same message, or not? I hope you all are doing well. I hope you are all doing well. It occurs to me that the same thing happens with both when I'm only addressing two people ...
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2answers
102 views

Dialectical differences in pronunciation of the 't' sound in “it”, “its”, and “it's”?

There are many cases where different words are pronounced differently in some English dialects, but not others. A commonly cited example is -- Mary, marry, and merry. In English, the letter 't' may ...
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0answers
46 views

Are there English dialects that still use the verb “to snithe”?

Wiktionary says that it's used in some dialects in Northern England, but I wonder if that information is still up-to-date. Have you personally heard the verb being used?
1
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2answers
124 views

“He has been learning to swim” implicates that he doesn’t know how to swim

The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, page 164, reads He has been learning to swim implicates that he doesn’t know how to swim Is this true for most English dialects? In my native ...
3
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2answers
350 views

U vs. Non-U words in contemporary British English

The Wikipedia page on U and non-U English describes the nature of these two "sociolects" and gives a number of examples in a table. What I find intriguing is that most of this examination of the ...
2
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1answer
89 views

Which dialect of English do people pronounce advertisement as ad-VER-tis-ment

I recently listened to an audio book in which the narrator had pronounced advertisement as ad-VER-tis-ment, and thought this was a strange way of pronouncing it, so I'm curious to know in which part ...
2
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1answer
94 views

What is the meaning of “whin”?

I am reading the book "1100 words you need to know" and I face with a strange sentence: “A little drummer boy grinned in me face whin I had admonished him wid the buckle av my belt for riotin’ all ...
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4answers
69 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 ...
2
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0answers
63 views

A rural dialect for “Why”? [closed]

Forgive me if this is the wrong place to ask about this. For context, I've been trying to figure out a good way to translate "なしてや", which is a dialect of どうして and なぜ. All of them mean "why, how". ...
4
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1answer
84 views

Debygawd Cap-en! Where does this phrase come from?

I sought out this site because I need help finding the origins of a word/phrase that my family uses. We are from Southern Maryland, USA. The exclamation in question is 'debygawd.' I do not know how to ...
4
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2answers
188 views

Britishism: see you fast

In Season Two Episode One of Happy Valley, the mentor constable explains to the new recruit how helpful it is to have a good relationship with the receptionist, Joyce: Oh, and get well in with ...
2
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1answer
115 views

schwa before /r/

Right now, Wikipedia gives the pronunciation of Sirius as /ˈsɪriəs/, but in the past I've seen editors insist on /ˈsɪəriəs/. I take this to mean that it should sound like seer, which I at least ...
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4answers
3k views

Spicket or spigot?

I recently was making a list and for the first time using a digital device, typed in what I grew up referring to an outdoor faucet 'spicket' as into my iPad. My mother grew up in Utah and my father ...
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1answer
269 views

Origin of 'cuz' as shortening for cousin?

Detailed answer please and thank you. I see this used a lot among youth. I'm interested to know whether it originated in the Southern US or not?
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1answer
33 views

Not enough ado about this and that

OK, so demonstrative pronouns and their inconsistent use across dialects. I'm South African and have noticed a quirk in some Brit and Yank usages of this and that which really cause me to break out ...
1
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1answer
204 views

“Frit” as dialect for “frightened” - which dialects, especially as simple past?

Out walking the other day I came across a lovely West-Country-ism from a local walking her dog - frit, meaning frightened, in "you frit him" (referring to a startled dog). The speaker sounded local (...
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0answers
84 views

How should you pronounce the word “wolf ”?

If the dictionary’s IPA for the word wolf is /wʊlf/, then why do I sometimes hear people pronounce it /wolf/ instead of /wʊlf/? Aren’t /ʊ/ and /o/ different phonemes?
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2answers
121 views

Why do we put subject and auxiliary verbs at the end of the sentence?

Why do we put subject and auxiliary verbs e.g., have, be, do at the end of the sentence? I found this kind of sentences from a fantasy book named The last apprentice by Joseph Delany. Examples: ...
5
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2answers
136 views

“Class, open your books TO/AT page 13!”—Is it a matter of dialectal difference?

My original notion was, A) If there's a movement and a destination (as in the case of thumbing a book to reach a certain page), it should be to: Class, open your books to page 13! B) If there's ...
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2answers
2k views

Usage of “he don't” vs “he doesn't”

Well, I listened to a song and heard it's said in the text "He don't know how to..." I think a song artist used this phrase for better sounding. Am I right? Correct me if I'm wrong, and please explain ...
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1answer
46 views

In African American dialect, is it “I like” or “I likes”?

Following the rules of African American dialect, one rule is to drop the 's' on a verb when using third person singular, i.e. "she like, he like" - my question is - for the first person singular, ...
3
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1answer
328 views

I pronounce question as kweshtin. Is my pronunciation wrong?

I've lived in Houston,TX for about 10 years and after that I moved to the ME and I've made friends since then. Whenever they heard me say kweshtin they told me my pronunciation was weird. I told them ...
11
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1answer
1k views

Southern Dialect: Word for a time of day?

I remember reading a story somewhere that a Southerner wrote about one of his life experiences. He mentioned that in the region he lived there was a time of day that cooled off a large amount in less ...
3
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1answer
110 views

Is there a linguistic term for pronouncing card as “kerd” or hard as “herd”?

I notice this in some people from Northern Illinois and Iowa and am wondering if this is a well documented phenomenon. What most Americans would pronounce as "ar" is instead pronounced as something ...
9
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1answer
339 views

What region(s) of the UK still use 'pint pot' over 'pint glass'?

I have noticed some colleagues refering to a pint glass as a 'pint pot'. No one else that I've spoke to is familar with this term. It appears to be regional, but I can't work out from google searches ...
3
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3answers
3k views

Alternatives to y'all?

I am trying to write one of my first stories right now and I keep getting stuck on one thing. I have lived in Texas my whole life and so I am used to saying "Y'all" to refer to a group small or large. ...
4
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1answer
124 views

“Git 'er done”—use of “her” as dummy subject

This site has a number of questions and answers (e.g. this question) on the use of the third-person feminine pronoun ("she" or "her") as a substitute for specific things like ships and hurricanes and ...
1
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1answer
206 views

What dialect is “You wants I should do it for ya?”

I heard this phrasing in an episode of a TV show, but I can't remember what for the life of me. I just remember how weird it sounded, because no one else talked like that in the series? It was a ...
18
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1answer
833 views

-sen for -self in English: history and usage

In my class there is a gentleman from the north of England who uses "-sen" instead of "-self" in such words as "himself" ("himsen") and "myself" ("mysen"). As far as I can tell, he always uses "-sen" ...
2
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3answers
408 views

Are the words “Aural” and “Oral” homophones?

Are the words "Aural" and "Oral" usually pronounced the same? Does it vary by dialect? Are there strategies that people use to differentiate them when listening to spoken English?
21
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3answers
4k views

What is the meaning and use of “seh” in Caribbean dialects of English?

I have heard "seh" used in Jamaican English but I think it's probably used in other parts of the Caribbean too. I know that in many cases, it is simply the equivalent of standard English "say". ...
0
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2answers
92 views

How to negate the double modal construction “might could” (and others)?

I have relatives from the southern U.S., and they often use double modal verbs in their speech, like "I might could go to the market". I understand that this isn't considered standard, but it got me ...
8
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1answer
726 views

A Strange Conditional: “I couldn’t have talked to her that day if I never talked to her again”

In The Great Gatsby, thus pens Fitzgerald: ‘However—I want to see you.’ ‘I want to see you too.’ ‘Suppose I don’t go to Southampton, and come into town this afternoon?’ ‘No—I don’t think this ...
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0answers
48 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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0answers
26 views

When is a English dialect considered to be non-grammatical/have non-grammatical phrasing? [duplicate]

So the question is when a dialect of English is considered non-grammatical. I am aware that it can be considered non-standard, however some phrases can be to an extent not to be considered non-...
7
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1answer
645 views

Is there a word for when fictional media makes non-English speaking characters from the past speak in an old-timey English dialect?

There are many movies and TV shows that depict characters from historical eras who would not speak English, but do for the sake of the show's audience. In those cases, they tend to use an old English ...
3
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1answer
69 views

difficult nautical dialect

In the short story "The Last Cruise of the Judas Iscariot", by Edward Page Mitchel, Captain Cram, a sailor of Main, who builds a schooner with three masts to be frowned upon by the people of the town ...
6
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3answers
2k views

Mizzle and drizzle

Mizzle is a dialect word for drizzle. Where and how often is it used? Please read the sentence I have found: There's mizzling and there's drizzle. As far as I know, mizzle and drizzle mean the ...
4
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1answer
353 views

Is the preposition optional in “going down (to) the store”?

Cambridge Dictionary says: In informal situations, we can use down to talk about a quick trip to a destination which we consider to be less central than where we are. In this meaning, we can use it ...
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2answers
120 views

The use of the preposition 'about' in a distinct sense

The ODE defines the preposition about in such a distinct sense that other dictionaries don't: 1.1 So as to affect. I Just found one example of 'about' used in such a sense: 'there's nothing ...

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