Questions tagged [dialects]

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

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0answers
109 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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2answers
160 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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0answers
53 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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38 views

“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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2answers
90 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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4answers
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'...
7
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1answer
755 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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1answer
35 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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2answers
92 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 ...
3
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1answer
97 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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0answers
40 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 ...
3
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1answer
78 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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0answers
70 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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1answer
53 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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1answer
188 views

Where is this accent from?

Where does the accent used by the actor who plays Mazikeen in the Lucifer series belong to? I can tell it is American, but I don't know what region in there. Here is a scene from the series where she ...
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0answers
25 views

Does using the words “might” and “could” consecutively in same sentence have a name or is it just improper English? (spoken English) [duplicate]

It is now more than a coincidence, but I have heard numerous people from different parts of the country use the words "might" and "could" together in a sentence as in: "This ...
5
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1answer
126 views

Why was the word “bull” taboo in some dialects of English? What did it mean?

According to the American Heritage Dictionary in the entry for "critter", the word "bull" was once highly taboo (mainly in Ozarks). What did it mean? Why was it taboo? Does the word still hold the ...
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0answers
26 views

Is English converging or diverging in modern times? [closed]

For the entire history of the world, languages in disparate groups of people have tended to diverge, creating new languages. The many English dialects of today would likely have become different ...
5
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1answer
108 views

How would you transcribe and/or describe this vowel?

I'm analyzing the /æ/ vowel sound (also known as 'short A') found in words like cat, dad, or man. I am particularly interested in how that sound is realized in different dialects of American English ...
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0answers
340 views

Regionality of “scarf” vs “snarf” as in “to scarf down food”

A friend asked in a group chat who uses "scarf" and who uses "snarf". Some of us had only heard one or the other. I was reminded of the American English dialect heat maps (e.g., LINK), and I was ...
2
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1answer
105 views

Pronouncing “warrior” to rhyme with “lawyer” … is this a feature of any dialect of English?

I've been listening to a section of The Great Courses: Medieval History, an audiobook narrated by Kenneth W. Harl. From his accent, Prof. Harl is clearly American, with what I would describe as a ...
2
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1answer
59 views

Do people “make parties” in New York?

They made a party for you. Sounds plain wrong to my ears. People don't "make a party" unless their intended meaning is that they attend it, much as "I made the train this morning." However, I lighted ...
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0answers
42 views

“I'm Marsh Turner called.”

From the movie Cross Creek, set in 1920s' Florida. Marsh: I'm Marsh Turner called. This is my daughter Ellie. The syntax of this line (as opposed to the standard "I am called Marsh Turner") ...
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2answers
61 views

How often do you use 'nowadays' vs 'these days' in your dialect?

I would say that in South Africa, nowadays is rather quaint; something that perhaps Boomers and older or second language speakers would use. Unfortunately, I cautioned a student nearly a year ago ...
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1answer
218 views

Difference between “greater than” and “greater then”? [closed]

What are there a difference between the following sentences? They are pronounced the same or? Maybe it depends on the dialect? A: Are you sure 'x' is "greater than" 'y'. B: Are you sure 'x' is "...
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1answer
77 views

Is “one in the same” only a bad transcription of “one and the same”?

Trump suggested the lack of communication was justified because European countries don't inform him when they raise taxes on the US. "When they raise taxes on us, they don't consult us and I think ...
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1answer
109 views

Liverpudlian Accents and The Beatles

The Beatles all have/had a Liverpudlian accent, but it wasn't very strong, especially if you compare it to the accents of Merseyside personalities from similar backgrounds (such as Steven Gerrard, ...
4
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1answer
867 views

What dialect/accent in the UK do people not say the word “the”

I know a decent amount about different dialects in the UK, and usually recognize and identify them, but I heard one today that took me by surprise. I was watching a TV show, and this family, who I ...
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3answers
68 views

Could English speakers define from which country their interlocutor?

Could English speakers define from which English-speaking country their interlocutor (USA, England, Australia, Canada)?
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2answers
4k 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
46 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 ...
3
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0answers
47 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
625 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, putting ...
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5answers
1k 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 ...
0
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2answers
216 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
455 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 ...
21
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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 ...
0
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1answer
14k 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 ...
1
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2answers
110 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
56 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
137 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
775 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
222 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
115 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 ...
3
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4answers
91 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
66 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 "...
4
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1answer
100 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
228 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
229 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 ...
12
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4answers
7k 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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