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

-3
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3answers
85 views

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

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
131 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 (...
0
votes
0answers
37 views

“At Camp” vs. “On Camp” in English

I have recently noticed that English speakers from England tend to use the phrase "on camp" when referring to summer camp, as in "I spent three weeks on camp this year." I have only heard "at camp" ...
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
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0answers
46 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
43 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
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2answers
33 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
151 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
75 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
46 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 ...
0
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0answers
21 views

When and where can the recipient of a bursary be referred to as “the bursar”?

Many student bursary contracts in South Africa refer to the beneficiary as "the bursar". The OED international online shows that this usage is correct for Scottish English but does not mention usage ...
2
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0answers
62 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
58 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
255 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
115 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
74 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
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0answers
36 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
119 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
490 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
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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
172 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
89 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
288 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
27 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
67 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
98 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
57 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
129 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
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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
52 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
245 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
498 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
350 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
82 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
3answers
104 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
85 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
90 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
87 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
84 views

Which English dialect(s) use “ennet” to mean “duck”?

Since at least Old English, the word duck has been used to describe the aquatic bird, derived from the verb to duck: Proto-Germanic *dūkaną. However, in most other Germanic languages, a word with a ...
2
votes
1answer
289 views

Meaning and origins of the American slang expression “ad' a boy, shooter!” [closed]

What does the American slang expression ad' a boy, shooter! mean? In high school I had an American teacher who would always say this, can't remember which state he was from, I think it's an ...
0
votes
1answer
65 views

What is it called when some pronounces their “t” sharply

What is it called when people pronounce their "t" sounds so sharply that it sounds like the sound "eh" comes after the "t" sound? So the "t" sound sounds like "teh" with a big emphasis on the "eh" ...
0
votes
1answer
69 views

What do I call an extra word or phrase that is habitually added but means nothing? [duplicate]

Some local dialects add phrases or words that add no meaning to the sentence or question. Minnesota speakers add 'now'. 'Who was that guy died in Duluth, now ?' Irish speakers add 'so I am/was/etc'. ...
1
vote
1answer
474 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Fantastic and fantastical

In my own idiolect, "fantastic" can mean "having fantasy elements" or, metaphorically, "very good," while "fantastical" can only have the literal sense. So, for instance, a fairy tale might be "...
2
votes
2answers
852 views

The distinction between “over there” and “over yonder.”

For most native English speakers the word 'yonder' is either archaic or poetic. For many native speakers in the Southern United States however, it is still a word in common but declining use. Those ...
2
votes
1answer
65 views

What is the origin of “smiddock”?

Pennsylvanian English: smiddock Put your middle finger behind your thumb and flick it against your arm — or better, someone else’s. I believe this is usually called a thump nowadays. But when I was ...
4
votes
2answers
586 views

Is “take a knee” primarily used only in American football/sports?

Is the expression "to take a knee," meaning to kneel on one knee, an idiom that is mainly limited to American football and other sports (as well as, perhaps, military jargon)? Has it primarily been ...