Stack Exchange Network

Stack Exchange network consists of 174 Q&A communities including Stack Overflow, the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers.

Visit Stack Exchange

Questions tagged [dialects]

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

21
votes
2answers
2k 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
votes
2answers
33 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
votes
1answer
117 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
24 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
votes
1answer
610 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
votes
1answer
51 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
votes
3answers
1k 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
votes
1answer
111 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
60 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
74 views

Bain't = be not

Please read the passage taken from "A Few Crusted Characters" by Thomas Hardy: According to Wiktionary, "bain't" is the contracted form of "be not" and it is a British dialect. Therefore, the ...
3
votes
1answer
73 views

Be we all here?

The passage below is taken from Life's Little Ironies by Thomas Hardy. My question concerns "Now be we all here?". I understand that it means "Now are we all here?". The writer might have left the ...
-3
votes
3answers
141 views

Is English(Ænglisc, Anglisc, Englisc) a language, or a dialect? [closed]

Dialect in the linguistic sense of a variation of a language. English, the language of the Angles foreigners who came to Britain, has left its mark on this Island. Ænglisc or English a Germanic ...
5
votes
2answers
159 views

“Omm,” the shaming word

Some children use the word "omm" to shame their siblings when they catch them doing something naughty: "Omm, I'm telling Mother." This is not the same word as "um": it is pronounced differently (...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

Etymology of using “ya” instead of “you”

I have noticed that some people in parts of Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio often say "ya" instead of "you"? As in "Didya do your homework?" instead of "Did you do your homework?". Does anyone know ...
0
votes
0answers
76 views

Slang meaning of word “ter” [duplicate]

I have recently completed reading “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.” and as many others I experienced problems understanding Hagrid's way of speaking. In particular he often used word "ter". ...
0
votes
1answer
59 views

Does anyone pronounce the verb “perfect” as they would the adjective?

Is there anyone who pronounces the verb perfect as they would the adjective? For instance, would anyone say “I need to p[schwa]r-fikt my project”?
0
votes
2answers
63 views

Is there a clear preferred usage between *lifespan* and *life span*

I haven't been able to find any clear guidance on this. To me, life span looks wrong, but I have no evidence to support my intuition. A tentative look (webster vs oxford) suggests that perhaps BrE ...
7
votes
2answers
443 views

The term “handy” in “Of Mice and Men”

[Candy] "That's the boss's son," he said quietly. "Curley's pretty handy. He done quite a bit in the ring. He's a lightweight, and he's handy." "Well, let him be handy," said George. "He don't ...
1
vote
3answers
94 views

Using “as” instead of “that” (I don't know as this is valid)

When answering the ELL question “I can't say as ever I was lost” quoted Daniel Boone, I said that having as instead of that in the cited context was a "dialectal, folksy" usage. Then I came up with ...
1
vote
0answers
60 views

Different pronunciations of “-ead”/“-ed”/“-aid” words

I find that American/British English dialects tend to pronounce words like "bed", "red", "dead", "bred", "said", etc. with the exact same vowel sound: the IPA ɛ vowel (- and so this question may seem ...
2
votes
0answers
92 views

Are there American English dialects which distinguish /ɑ/ and /ɒ/ but not /ɑ/ and /ɔ/?

I relied on the Logic of English (LoE) phonograms to give myself a better understanding of English pronunciation since the spelling gives me a hard time (even as native speaker), but I noticed that ...
1
vote
1answer
61 views

Is “give a party” regional?

This answer on the ELL SE says that "give a party" is interchangeable with "throw/hold a party:" What is the difference between "hold a party", "have a party", "give a party" and "throw a ...
4
votes
2answers
281 views

Word for talking to a stranger with the purpose of befriending them

I'm looking to translate a word from my local dialect (Algerian) to English. The exact word is dsara which means trying hard to talk to a stranger with the purpose of befriending them with no mutual ...
3
votes
1answer
128 views

American dialects: Replacing the past-perfect participle with the simple-past form

I have come across some American media (The Alternate History Hub youtube channel comes to mind) in which the perfect participle and the simple-past form have been merged. For example, we would have: ...
1
vote
0answers
83 views

why are there so many different variations on RP? [closed]

I need some opinions from English peoples for a school project. I hope you wouldn't mind participating, by answering a few simple questions. Here we go! Where are you from? Do you speak any dialect ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

Origin and of the phrase “problem that needed solved” [duplicate]

I recently listened to a podcast in which the narrator described an unresolved obstacle as a "problem that needed solved." My initial assumption was that he had meant to say "problem that needed to be ...
1
vote
0answers
41 views

Pronunciation of noun “expertise” [closed]

It was recently pointed out to me that my pronunciation of the word "expertise" is non-standard. I have a strong (as in, it feels awkward to pronounce it otherwise) preference for /ˈɛkspɚˌtaɪz/, i.e., ...
0
votes
2answers
249 views

What is the meaning of the phrase, I'm partial to your abracadabra? [closed]

On Ian Dury's first album, there is a song titled, I'm partial to your Abracadabra. The song, as all of Durys' songs is filled with lots of London slang, most of which is recognisable. However, i ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Make somebody to do something

I know this verb does not take "to" after the direct object. Although, I spot T.L. Short in his "Peirce's Theory of Signs" always inserting "to" in this construction. What happens? Is it some formal-...
0
votes
0answers
18 views

Usage of “what all” [duplicate]

Growing up in New York (Long Island), and now living in Seattle, I only ever hear the following from someone roughly from the midwest: What all did you do today? I struggle to understand the ...
3
votes
2answers
733 views

Which word to use between two streets when describing an intersection, and or at?

I would normally write an intersection like: A St. and B St. but I've noticed many people also write A St. at B St. I've tried googling every way I can think of phrasing this and I can't find ...
0
votes
0answers
228 views

How much later?

Growing up in the 1980s in New York City, I understood a plain "later" to mean "later in the same day", as in the examples below. As an adult, I lived in St. Louis, met people from many more places, ...
4
votes
4answers
394 views

Using the word 'tiffin' to refer to a lunch box

In "Indian English" (whatever that means) the word 'tiffin' is used to refer to lunch boxes in south Asia. Please feel free to Google the word if you want a picture of what such lunch boxes look like. ...
1
vote
0answers
28 views

Is the use of “much” at the end of phases part of Valley Speak? [duplicate]

I've been watching Totally Spies, a show about three girls from Beverly Hills who are involved in international espionage. I've noticed they use a lot of "muches" at the end of phrases as an ...
2
votes
1answer
50 views

Is “charge port” a regional dialect thing?

I used the phrase "charge port" to refer to an AC wall outlet and many people around me hadn't heard that expression before. We are all Californians here, but my parents are from the East Coast of ...
1
vote
0answers
69 views

What is the name of this American/British dialectic phenomenon? [duplicate]

When telling stories in the past tense, I've noticed that Americans will tend to say "I was standing on stage..." or "I was sitting at our table at Friendly's last night when..." while the Brits will ...
7
votes
1answer
100 views

Which demographic of English speakers say “I've to” for “I have to”?

In a forum I frequent there are many times that contractions are used in a way that's unusual, and many users find to be ungrammatical: "I've to" etc. To me it's not ungrammatical but it sounds both ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

Where and/or when is the term “flight ticket” used?

On a forum I frequent some users were complaining about a question using the turn of phrase "flight ticket" as something no English speaker would ever say. I disagreed because it sounds like ...
2
votes
1answer
211 views

Pronouncing the final “‑ing” inflection as [əŋ] instead of as [ɪŋ]

I’m asking about American English, but feel free to answer about other dialects. The ‑ing verbal inflection ending is, in the abstract, a phonemic /ɪŋ/. Those phonemes usually get realized ...
13
votes
5answers
2k views

Is there a difference in meaning between “fill {something} in” and “fill {something} out” in American English?

Is there a subtle or significant difference in meaning between the following? fill something in fill something out In my humble opinion, the two expressions are interchangeable and both ...
0
votes
1answer
55 views

Consonant-free “of”

I was listening to "Any Friend of Diane's" by Weezer and was wondering about the varied pronunciations of of. Any friend of Diane's is a friend of mine. As rendered in the song (it's the first ...
1
vote
1answer
437 views

One word for 'a small town'

What words/phrases have you heard growing up that mean a small or remote town? I'm not a native speaker, so I haven't heard much. I've only seen the word 'whistle-stop' in a dictionary once, where ...
26
votes
2answers
2k views

“It is” used as “there is”: what is the origin?

Ok, this is a somewhat nonstandard English question. In the Southern US, or at least in Central Virginia, there is an idiomatic use of the phrase it is that is equivalent to the expression there is, ...
10
votes
3answers
691 views

What’s the geographic distribution of different pronunciations of the word “experiment”?

ᴛʟᴅʀ: Which regions say the word experiment with its stressed syllable sounding like the word spare, and which regions say that word’s stressed syllable like the word spear? PLEASE NOTE: This is NOT ...
0
votes
1answer
628 views

Meaning of “hay-trusser” [closed]

I am not a native speaker of English and would like to know the meaning of this word "hay-trusser". I am doing a Translation Study from Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge for Universidad ...
2
votes
1answer
107 views

Uniquely New York curses

This is kind-of an oddball question but the site rules don't appear to forbid it. If it somehow violates guidelines just let me know and I'll voluntarily take it down. I'm looking for region-specific ...
2
votes
4answers
185 views

Where did the term “movie house” come from?

Where did the term movie house come from? Is it a regional term? I am from the Midwest with also Texas influences from military service. I now live in New England and was called on using the term ...
2
votes
1answer
144 views

For whom does “upwards of” mean “less than, but approaching” ? Is it a regionalism?

The phrase upwards of X appears to be defined very explicitly to mean simply and only “more than X”. (In other words, it is an exact substitute for “north of”.) I have a pernicious and deeply held ...
4
votes
1answer
99 views

Translation and etymology of a slang passage

While reading software-user reviews on Google Play Store, I happened to run across the following (verbatim): "I'm game ginger an as wet as, a otters pocket full support to do you will ave to be ...
5
votes
1answer
94 views

Etymology of informal use of “favor” in the U.S

I know in some U.S. dialects, “favor” as a verb is used informally to indicate that two people share a similar physical appearance, especially when the two look so similar that one's physical ...