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Questions tagged [dialects]

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

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Why are the words "mobile" and "profile" pronounced differently in American English? [closed]

Why is it like that even though both of them end in the same letters?
Niklas's user avatar
  • 67
6 votes
2 answers
313 views

Tour or Tore Pronunciation

In the past few years newsmen and sportscasters have changed the pronunciation of tour (rhymes with lure) to tore (rhymes with wore). Why is this?
Kenneth Reffeitt's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
888 views

Is "go through the effort" a new variant of "go to the effort" or is it a long-standing, maybe regional, variant?

I'm 99% sure I've always used and read and heard "go to the effort" but I've started noticing in the past year or so that people younger than me, at least on YouTube are saying "go ...
hippietrail's user avatar
  • 7,804
9 votes
1 answer
144 views

Where does "off'n" come from?

The preposition "off'n" is seen/heard in Southern and other dialects of American English. He drank so much he fell off'n the bar stool. There's nothing about it in Etymonline, and Merriam-...
Robusto's user avatar
  • 152k
5 votes
2 answers
275 views

Grammatical, stylistic and vocabulary features that distinguish written dialects?

Apart from pronunciation differences in the spoken language, I'm curious what common language features are found in the prestige dialects of English in different countries. Prestige language is ...
Sophie's user avatar
  • 212
4 votes
1 answer
91 views

Are there any other out-loud-slashers here?

Native speaker (American English): I say "slash" out loud sometimes in place of "and" or "or," and an example sentence that is natural in my idiolect is "When slash ...
Sophie's user avatar
  • 212
2 votes
0 answers
35 views

think "it" silly vs. think (that) "it's/it is/it was" silly [duplicate]

As a native American English speaker, I would only ever use the second one. The first one, though, is something that I have seen (not so much heard) a lot from native speakers in both formal and ...
Sophie's user avatar
  • 212
4 votes
1 answer
157 views

dialect/idiolect quirk? "for whom" instead of "whose"

I'm a native (American English) speaker and I've noticed that this is a weird feature of my idiolect. Here is a direct quote: To the person for whom I spilled apple cider, if you're watching this, I'...
Sophie's user avatar
  • 212
1 vote
0 answers
135 views

Why would someone use their native regional accent instead of BBC English at an international conference? [closed]

Anecdote. A friend of mine works at the Chemistry department of a university in the Netherlands. My friend went to a scientific conference in continental Europe. The participants from continental ...
M. Wind's user avatar
  • 269
0 votes
1 answer
254 views

Current prevalence of idiom "pulling for you"

A prior question asks about the origin of the phrase "pulling for you," a phrase that conveys well-wishes and support (Merriam-Webster): US, informal : to say or show that one hopes (...
TaliesinMerlin's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
343 views

Does the part of speech of "said" differ between dialects?

Note: This is similar to, but not a duplicate of, an old question on Linguistics SE. Consider these two sentences: One employee accused him of serious crimes, but said employee did not provide any ...
alphabet's user avatar
  • 19.1k
6 votes
3 answers
549 views

Who uses "uni" for "university"?

I think much has been clarified by the many interesting comments this post has received. In Edit 5 below, I've tried to summarize what I think I've learned and what questions are still outstanding. I'...
Dave's user avatar
  • 151
5 votes
1 answer
249 views

Is "wheat skin color" a thing in any dialect of English or just a bad translation from Chinese?

While shopping for action figures, I came across various sellers offering "wheat skin" colored figures, for example here and probably more notably Walmart. That color seems to be what I'd ...
Guntram Blohm's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
46 views

Prefixing a road name or number with "the" -- geographical preference or proper English? [duplicate]

In reading about the LA Freeway Fire this week, it struck me (from the East Coast) as very awkward when they consistently refer to roads by prefixing them with "the". i.e., "The I-10&...
ereisch's user avatar
  • 111
-3 votes
1 answer
431 views

What is "Antipodean English"? [closed]

I was watching this video where the English gentleman asks the Scottish MP to speak in "Antipodean English". From what I know, 'Antipodes' refers to the southern hemisphere and I am unable ...
Shriram's user avatar
  • 155
3 votes
3 answers
105 views

“Core” as the name of a class in school

When I was in middle school (roughly ages 10–13 years old) in the US in the early 1970s, they combined English—or what might now be called language arts—with social studies into a single class that ...
PaulTanenbaum's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
145 views

Use of definite article in school grade names

I'm a younger speaker from Chicago. All throughout my education, I've noticed two different ways in which people can refer to grade levels. One includes the definite article and one does not. For ...
Graham H.'s user avatar
  • 890
0 votes
1 answer
95 views

What's the meaning here of "until I would have frailed him"?

Jewel, the one she labored so to bear and coddled and petted so and him flinging into tantrums or sulking spells, inventing devilment to devil her until I would have frailed him time and time. — As I ...
Soroush Gh's user avatar
20 votes
2 answers
4k views

What does this Peter Sellers sentence mean?

What does the sentence mean which Peter Sellers is here quoting from his grandad? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mbUdsQfSq0&t=294s (I refer to the sentence he says immediately after you start ...
yglodt's user avatar
  • 319
19 votes
2 answers
5k views

Origin of the phrase "crazy as a coon"—is it racist?

Encountered most recently in the Procol Harum song "Lime Street." Does the phrase refer to a raccoon, or is the word here used in the sense of the slur?
guangming223's user avatar
-5 votes
1 answer
156 views

Do terms that end with 'mate' need to be clarified where people say 'mate'?

Do terms that end with 'mate' need to be clarified where people say 'mate'? Like while playing chess, if someone says "checkmate" in somewhere like England or Australia, is it assumed they ...
user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
101 views

I was trying to describe a recipe to my friend that I'd had a go of

Is this dialectal use: And I thought I've got a nice kitchen now maybe I should learn to cook. And I'm learning, it's going quite well. I don't always know the right words for things. I couldn't ...
tes389's user avatar
  • 39
5 votes
2 answers
157 views

Do "radiant" and "brilliant" rhyme for the purposes of poetry? Wiktionary says their transcriptions are /ˈɹeɪ.di.ənt/ and /ˈbɹɪljənt/

Is this a dialectal/idiolectal thing, where some merge /i/ and /j/, and others don't? I'm ESL and always thought they're merged until now.
capet99's user avatar
  • 59
6 votes
1 answer
150 views

Is "did" used conditionally, regionally or otherwise? e.g. "Did you want..." instead of "Would you want..."

My partner frequently asks me questions that, when read literally, are questions about the past, but in intent and intended response are actually conditional questions: Did you have any thoughts ...
Michelle C. Funk's user avatar
7 votes
0 answers
353 views

Is there dialectal variation in the weak form of "on"?

This question is related, but not quite identical, to a previous one and to another similar one. In a recent video, phonetician Geoff Lindsey claimed that the words "off" and "on" ...
alphabet's user avatar
  • 19.1k
5 votes
2 answers
175 views

Apparent trill in the "br" of "bridge"

I occasionally hear "br" in words such as bridge, bring or British, pronounced with almost a bilabial trill. One example is the word "bring" in The Assumption Song by OneyNG, ...
arctiq's user avatar
  • 53
2 votes
1 answer
129 views

Unusual conjugation of "to be" [closed]

I encountered several times a certain type of sentences (in colloquial contexts) which were clearly grammatically incorrect but seems to be widely spread and, as a non-native English speaker, I would ...
Falcon's user avatar
  • 121
3 votes
1 answer
440 views

Meaning and usage of "head(s) AND tails above"?

I've come across the expression "head(s) and tails above" (the rest, the competition etc; different from something like "can't make head or tail of something" i.e. can't figure it ...
دولة فلسطين's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
159 views

Is there a documented merger or split responsible for whether or not people treat lair and layer as homophones, and if so, what is it called?

Discovered a weird bit of pronunciation distinction in friends today, between three words: lair (as in home to monster) layer (as in levels of a cake) layer (as in "one who lays things down"...
ShadowRanger's user avatar
11 votes
2 answers
2k views

"Swear" as a noun as opposed to "swear word"

I'm a teenager from Chicago. During my childhood (and, presumably, that of almost all English-speaking children), I was taught that some words were "bad" words; these words were ...
Graham H.'s user avatar
  • 890
1 vote
1 answer
248 views

Flapped r after th in English?

I have heard a few English speakers — native — say the word “three” with what sounds like a flapped r. This might include other words that begin with “thr”, but I can’t remember. It’s just been ...
user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
62 views

*an unitary operator* or *a unitary operator* [duplicate]

The rule that I usually use in such cases is that *an* precedes a vowel sound, while *a* is used before a consonant sound. I understand sound as different from letter - conventionally u would be ...
Roger V.'s user avatar
  • 231
0 votes
2 answers
619 views

How are decimal numbers read or pronounced in different locales (different decimal separator)?

In the USA we use a period (dot) as the decimal separator. The word "point" is normally used for the decimal separator when reading such a number. For example, a number such as 3.14 would ...
HangarRash's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
174 views

Y'all pronounced as "yah"

I grew up in Texas, and I've heard and often said "yah" instead of y'all. I've never seen it listed as an alternative word to y'all. Has anyone else heard this pronunciation? I cannot seem ...
Charlie's user avatar
  • 13
-1 votes
1 answer
50 views

Does anyone know what the word "Some" means here? [closed]

Just to context: I've playing a gang context game and after a funeral the rival gang drives by shooting and then the characters that were at the funeral have the car blown up and then they have to run ...
curiousUser's user avatar
9 votes
3 answers
1k views

Meaning of “a dizzard”

I’m working on translation of an American novel, dating back to the late 19th - early 20th centuries, and the main character came from a local little Vermont town. The author describes him as “old ...
Alex V's user avatar
  • 91
-2 votes
2 answers
110 views

In which Englishes are "distant" relative clauses acceptable?

Are sentences like these The man got beaten up who James saw take the train yesterday. The potato was eaten that Hayley said she wanted. with these meanings The man who James saw take the train ...
minseong's user avatar
  • 3,526
1 vote
0 answers
369 views

Terms for grandparents and other relatives [closed]

I’m a teenager from the Midwest. Different people obviously refer to their relatives in many different ways, and I’ve noticed a wide variance in what people call their grandparents. Many people who ...
Graham H.'s user avatar
  • 890
3 votes
0 answers
108 views

Where does the subcontinental usage of 'one' to mean 'named' come from?

Sometimes, when reading texts published in India, written by authors of Indian origin, I notice a usage of the word one in the sense of 'named,' or 'is called.' For instance, it's present in this ...
Heartspring's user avatar
  • 8,620
3 votes
2 answers
150 views

Is there a word for 'everything' in the Northern English dialect?

I'm wondering if there's a word for everything in the Northern-English dialect that's spoken in and around Yorkshire. I know that there's summat (something), owt (anything), and nowt (nothing), but is ...
Qiu Ennan's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
1k views

Is it common to pronounce "machinations" with /sh/?

In the show The Sandman, Ep7, a character speaks "machinations" with a soft /sh/, as "mash-in-ay-tions": You seek to snare him in your machinations again? I expected the "ch&...
ANeves's user avatar
  • 169
5 votes
2 answers
141 views

Figurative meaning of the (verbal) phrase "(play at/run) kittly-benders"?

A kittly-bender is « an area of yielding or broken ice on a body of water; also fig; hence v phrr run kittly-benders, play at ~ to run or skate over such ice as a sport » (DARE): 1871 Hale How to Do ...
دولة فلسطين's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
95 views

Why does the 'Intrusive 'R' appear in the state of Mississippi?

I've seen people discuss the intrusive 'R'. I have also been very curious about this subject, because I am from Mississippi and both my Mother and my Grandmother use the intrusive 'R'. ('Warsh', ...
RiverMiss's user avatar
30 votes
10 answers
12k views

What would a British person call the biscuits that Americans put gravy on?

What are the biscuits that Americans put gravy on called in British English? They're very different from British biscuits. I like both kinds of biscuits, but the British ones would not be good with ...
Someone's user avatar
  • 770
0 votes
1 answer
241 views

Is using "what" in place of "that" associated with a particular dialect of English? [duplicate]

While watching Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas, I heard the character Pete say the phrase "reindeer what fly" instead of "reindeer that fly". As a native English speaker, I have ...
T Hummus's user avatar
  • 131
2 votes
1 answer
548 views

Are "orange" and "ginger" synonymous (cat color)?

I recently watched a movie A street cat named Bob, where the cat was described as ginger cat. I thought the color of the cat is described as orange, too. (confirmed with google image search) The ...
sundowner's user avatar
  • 647
4 votes
5 answers
6k views

"call out" vs "call in"

When I am ill and cannot go into the office to work I say "I called out sick". I now live in Texas and people like to correct me and say that it's "call in sick".This doesn't make ...
Kris's user avatar
  • 41
1 vote
2 answers
105 views

Talking "saloon"

I recollect vaguely a line found in some piece of poetry by Dylan Thomas, and it suggests a question in many ways puzzling that I could hardly answer. I have not been able to find the poem and I ...
LPH's user avatar
  • 22.7k
4 votes
0 answers
197 views

Non-standard grammar feature in British dialect?

I moved from Worcestershire in the UK to a non-native English speaking country when I was a child, which has made me very aware of my accent. Unlike my parents, I used to have a regional accent. I ...
Daniel's user avatar
  • 41
1 vote
3 answers
611 views

Why does "we have been over this" mean something different from "we are over this"?

The whole sentence is: We’ve been over this a thousand times. The data is irrefutable! What does it mean to "have been over this" here in this context? How does this meaning differ here ...
dae's user avatar
  • 121

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