Questions tagged [eye-dialect]

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3 votes
2 answers
479 views

Is “not’ve” a valid [𝒔𝒊𝒄] contraction in either of spoken English or written English – or both or neither?

My English teacher has recently explained to me that not’ve is an accepted way to write the two spoken words not have, and he gave me this example of using it: Why that machine is not working? Oh, ...
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14 votes
4 answers
2k views

Is there a distinction between “victuals” and “vittles” that exists in writing but not in speech?

As I set out on this project I noticed that there are already several questions at EL&U referring to the words here in question. But what can I do? In Merriam-Webster’s entry for victuals, it is ...
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  • 2,875
3 votes
7 answers
951 views

Where does "Whatcha" & "Didja" come from?

Does anyone know where "Whatcha" and/or "Didja" originate from? Watcha: What did you? Didja: Did you? Edit: I cannot find these words in my English Grammar books and they are ...
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7 votes
2 answers
1k views

What do "Sech" and "Vich" mean in this sentence?

I am reading a book on life lessons, and the author quotes one of Charles Dickens's characters, Sarah Gamp, from his novel, Martin Chuzzlewit: Sech is life. Vich likeways is the hend of all things....
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3 votes
1 answer
799 views

'Gwine': How accurate is the African-American dialect in early 20th c writing?

A recent question here about "fo' sho'" produced answers with a number of quotes of Southern US or AAE (African American English) varieties. To my ear, these quotes sounded awful and I question their ...
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16 votes
3 answers
35k views

SNL's Black Jeopardy: What does "fid'na" mean?

In perhaps one of the funniest SNL's Black Jeopardy! sketches ever, the expression Fid’na was one of the six categories along with; Grown Ass, Aw Hell Naw, Girl Bye, I Ain’t Got It, and White People ...
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15 votes
4 answers
11k views

Why are expressions like “gonna”, “wanna” and “shoulda” American English?

As Etymonline suggests, the use of “a” meaning “have” in expressions like “should have” (shoulda), “could have” (coulda) and “would have” (woulda) were almost standard usage until the 17th century: ...
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1 vote
3 answers
4k views

Is it alright to use “usen’t” instead of “didn’t use to”?

I know usen’t isn’t used in everyday English, but how about using it in an exam, an essay, or a formal letter? Is it right to use usen’t instead of didn’t use to?
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  • 509
1 vote
1 answer
697 views

Word for when a writer uses alternate spelling and grammar to immitate a dialect

What is the word for when a writer spells words of a character's dialogue differently for a character in order to express an accent or dialect? I think it starts with a 'd'.
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  • 113
70 votes
8 answers
26k views

“kinda”, “sorta”, “coulda”, “shoulda”, “lotta”, “oughta”, “betcha”, "tseasy", etc. What are these?

In linguistics, is there a term describing this phenomenon, i.e., when the syllables of two words are slurred together in the spoken language? They are not contractions. While contractions are ...
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0 votes
3 answers
3k views

How do you denote written slang?

I want to use a slang term to make a sentence rhyme, but I want it known that I know how to spell it correctly. For example: Tennessee is where I wanna be.
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  • 253
2 votes
1 answer
363 views

"b'ile over" seemingly incorrect spelling?

"There's no pleasin' her, nohow, no matter how you try! I wouldn't stay if 'twa'n't for the wages and the folks at home what's needin' 'em. But some day--some day I shall jest b'ile over; and when ...
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1 vote
1 answer
253 views

Nonstandard spellings for dialects

Are there standard ways of indicating dialect, as "I 'aven't," I asked 'is name," and especially "It couldn't 'a' 'appened." Can "have" be indicated with just "a"?
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4 votes
2 answers
11k views

What is the proper pronunciation for Kipling's character-name "Mowgli"?

Does the first syllable rhyme with “glow” or with “how”? It is no use appealing to the Hindi for “Little Frog” or anything else, since Kipling confessed to making ...
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1 vote
2 answers
35k views

Correct way to spell "young'un"? [closed]

As slang, this phrase: Since I was a young'un... Is there an accepted way to abbreviate the last word there?
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7 votes
3 answers
2k views

meaning and usage of 'teh'

“I wouldn’ say no teh a bit o’ yer birthday cake, neither.” “He usually gets me ter do important stuff fer him.”                —Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Hagrid’s pronunciation ...
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9 votes
1 answer
2k views

Sam Weller in The Pickwick Papers: What accent is Dickens portraying?

In Dickens' Pickwick Papers, there's a character "Sam Weller". Weller's dialogue is written somewhat phonetically, I presume, but I'm struggling to understand what accent Dickens is trying to portray. ...
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  • 2,689
7 votes
4 answers
4k views

Why “me” instead of “my” in pirate speech?

I don’t understand the usage in constructions like “Spare meself, me ship, me crew” in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. Is it a dialect or “bloody pirate’s speech” or what?
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  • 191
18 votes
7 answers
90k views

How to spell "the youzhe" as in the abbreviation of "the usual"

The usual is a common reply to what will you order? or what are you up to?. It is often abbreviated, in Canada, to the first syllable of usual, as in the youzhe. How would you spell this abbreviation? ...
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  • 1,137
4 votes
6 answers
13k views

Etymology of "If I had my druthers..."

I understand the phrase, "If I had my druthers..." to mean, "If I had my way," as in: If I had my druthers, we'd all have Mondays off and work a half day on Saturdays and Sundays. EtymologyOnline....
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3 votes
2 answers
795 views

Punctuation of eye dialect

Suppose you have a sentence which concludes with the eye dialect somethin' for the word something. Where does the period go? Which is correct? This is really somethin'. This is really ...
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3 votes
1 answer
452 views

How popular is 'brefass' in modern American vocabulary?

This is an abbreviation of 'breakfast' that I have found myself paying extra attention to recently. In fact I have even heard my mother use it on a regular basis. Is this common in modern spoken ...
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