Questions tagged [regional]

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15 votes
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Use of "Say ..." to begin sentences, particularly in BrE versus AmE?

We were looking at this sentence, or actually a line of dialogue: They're in the car. JACK Say John! I better concentrate. Would you be able to figure out the AC? Our colleague Jane who is generally ...
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4 votes
2 answers
145 views

Where, when, and how did the term 'dogie' for 'orphan calf' originate?

Merriam-Webster's Eleventh Collegiate Dictionary (2003) has this brief entry for the word dogie: dogie n {origin unknown} (1888) chiefly West : a motherless calf in a range herd In seeking an ...
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8 votes
1 answer
522 views

Where does the idiom/story "You know what happened to the man who forced his pig" come from?

This phrase comes from my dad, who is of Bristolian stock, so it may be highly regional. I've only heard it spoken, and not written down. He uses it, I believe, when it looks like somebody is ...
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1 vote
2 answers
188 views

What is the history of the phrase "figure it out"?

Just trying to establish the time when the term came into popular use in the US or elsewhere. Google didn't tell me.
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3 votes
2 answers
333 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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-1 votes
3 answers
112 views

In what regional variations of English is "Do things like <plain-form-verb>" acceptable?

Just googling "do things like" or "does things like" will reveal quite a number of hits, some even from textbooks and the like suggesting that many English speakers think nothing ...
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2 votes
1 answer
65 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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1 vote
0 answers
35 views

Pronouncing Diacritics Aloud [closed]

When pronouncing diacritics aloud, how would you say words with a tilde or macron? For example, how would you spell jalapeño and/or Māori? Would you say “n-tilde” and “a-macron”? I assume that’s ...
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1 vote
0 answers
94 views

Why do 120 or so geographical region names end in a and ia?

The web contains lengthy lists one with about 120 names of major geographical regions that end in a and ia. Is there any merit to the idea that this might go back to the Hebrew words raqa and raqia? (...
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1 vote
1 answer
3k views

What do you call a bathroom with no toilet?

Might seem like a trick question at first, but I'm serious. When the toilet is in one room by itself (let's call this the "restroom"), and the place with the sink, washing machine, shower room and ...
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  • 704
1 vote
0 answers
71 views

Is there a term for hyperbolic words or expressions that are no longer used for exaggeration?

I recently encountered two instances of apparently hyperbolic terms that were used without any realisation that the traditional implications were far more serious / demanding / extreme. Someone said ...
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0 votes
1 answer
333 views

In what region could one refer to honking a car's horn as "hooting"?

My family is South African, and I grew up hearing them saying "hooting", referring to cars honking their horns. Of course now that I'm an adult I'm aware that's common usage, as I learned this after ...
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4 votes
1 answer
158 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 ...
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1 vote
3 answers
1k views

Where is the saying "A for away" from? [closed]

I have recently picked up the saying "A for away" (meaning, we are good to go/ready to go). I am English but live in South Africa and watch American TV, so I have no idea where this saying is from. Is ...
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  • 21
4 votes
1 answer
2k views

Origin of 'dap' shoe

What is origin of 'dap' as name for canvas shoes which is used in parts of England such as West Country & Wales? The Chamber Dictionary has the following entry but no suggestion for its origin: ...
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4 votes
1 answer
805 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 ...
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5 votes
3 answers
991 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 (...
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4 votes
1 answer
1k views

How do people in Silicon Valley pronounce "10x" as in a "10x engineer"?

I am researching the tech industry in the United States and frequently find the term "10x" developer or engineer, meaning that the worker is respected as being outstanding in their field, in effect ...
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1 vote
1 answer
113 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", ...
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  • 364
7 votes
1 answer
138 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 ...
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1 vote
1 answer
1k 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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
759 views

Should I pronounce the singular "Irishman" and the plural "Irishmen" identically?

Can someone tell me how to pronounce the following: Irishman/Irishmen I have read carefully, according to the online Oxford Living Dictionaries, the pronunciation of words like Irishman/Irishmen: ...
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10 votes
3 answers
14k views

What does "sectarian" mean on this train poster?

I was astonished to learn that in Britain you can be sentenced to five years in prison for using the technical jargon of a particular religious denomination in public. This is based on this poster: ...
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2 votes
1 answer
94 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 ...
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8 votes
1 answer
737 views

Is "Time is short and the water's risin'" a Southernism?

My Georgia-born mother used to say, "Time is short and the water's risin'." I think the expression was the title of a recent memoir, but couldn't find it on Amazon. Is anyone familiar with its ...
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1 vote
0 answers
2k views

Do "multiple choice" questions always have only one correct answer?

In most dictionary definitions it seems that "multiple choice" questions actually refer to questions where only one "correct" answer among several choices is expected to be chosen (e.g. the definition ...
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3 votes
2 answers
2k views

Can you use 'fun' as an adjective?

I was walking to school (England) with my eight-year-old talking about stuff she'd been doing the day before. At some point she said that something had been "...funner..." than something else. I did ...
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1 vote
2 answers
8k views

Are there different regional pronunciations for "ornery?"

I use a word which I learned from my parents that is pronounced ahn-ree. It's meaning is somewhere between "cheeky" and "rambunctious." My wife asked me how to spell it and I was at a loss. The ...
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  • 304
1 vote
0 answers
87 views

In which regions of the UK do children "knock on" for their friends?

As someone who has lived most of his life south of a line drawn from The Severn to The Wash - the great linguistic and cultural divide in England - I was not familiar with the expression knocking on. ...
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3 votes
1 answer
330 views

Describing Social Status in the 1920's

I am looking for ways to say "low class" and "high class" that would be used in the 1920's on the East Coast of the U.S. I am writing a story narrated by a young girl who is very class-conscious and ...
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2 votes
0 answers
496 views

Is day-ta more common in the South or the North of the US?

So I've read that dah-ta is more common in the US than in other places, but is day-ta or dah-ta more common to hear in the South? I haven't been able to find that out for sure.
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  • 21
8 votes
2 answers
661 views

"the 'first/last' of the [day/night/week, etc.]" for "the 'beginning/end' of the [day/night/week, etc.]

Where in the U.S. and Canada do they say, at the first/last of [the day/night/week, etc.] for at the beginning/end of [the day/night/week, etc.]? Luck had it that they only experienced a very minor ...
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1 vote
1 answer
63 views

What should I call classwork at the start of a period?

So as far as I can remember, whenever a teacher gives you work at the beginning of a class period, they are called "Drills" or "Warm-ups"; however, friends that I have talked to from other schools ...
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1 vote
1 answer
18k views

Is "take a bath" or "bathe" used to mean "take a shower" in some English dialects?

By analogy with Portuguese tomar banho [de chuveiro/ducha], which along with tomar uma ducha/chuveirada (Br.)/duche (Port.) means, take a shower, are there any parts of the English speaking world in ...
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4 votes
1 answer
18k views

"receptacle" vs. "outlet" in AmEng

What's the difference between receptacle and outlet to cal the device in a wall you put a plug into in order to provide electricity for a lamp, television, etc.? outlet (also receptacle, ...
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0 votes
1 answer
1k views

"The Stars and Stripes" vs. "Old Glory" vs. "The Star-Spangled Banner"

Is there a difference in using any which of those terms to call the national flag of the U.S.? Which one is most commonly used? The Stars and Stripes The national flag of the U.S., consisting of 13 ...
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1 vote
1 answer
319 views

"hundred" and "pretty" pronounced respectively as [ˈhən-dərd] and [ˈpər-tē]

Merriam-Webster's A Pronouncing Dictionary of American English gives [ˈhən-dərd], [ˈpər-tē], [ˈtem-pə(r)-ˌchu̇r], [ˈse-kə(r)-ˌterē], etc., as alternate ways to pronounce "hundred," "pretty," "...
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  • 42.5k
0 votes
1 answer
8k views

"call someone/something" vs. "call someone/something up" for "make a phone call to someone/something

What's the difference between call and call up to mean make a telephone call to? Is the latter any more informal than the former, or is it mainly a regional thing? call someone or something up To ...
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  • 42.5k
1 vote
1 answer
4k views

"Invite someone [over] to dinner" vs. "... for dinner"

What's the difference between "invite someone [over] to dinner" and "invite someone [over] for dinner"? Please, consider as an example: Thank you for inviting me [over] to dinner. Thank you ...
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  • 42.5k
7 votes
4 answers
14k views

"exhibition" vs. "exposition" vs. "exhibit" in AmEng

What's the difference between those words with regard to a public showing, as of goods or works of art? Can these be used interchangeably? Both "exhibit" and "exposition" are ...
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  • 42.5k
1 vote
2 answers
786 views

The usage of Porch vs. Patio [duplicate]

I'm a student originally from the West Coast but currently studying in New England. I came across an interesting question concerning dialectology and the use of Patio vs. Porch. I have observed other ...
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2 votes
1 answer
5k views

Is "put someone on/over to" for "put someone through/connect someone to" idiomatic?

Where in the English speaking world do they say, "put someone on/over [to]" for "put someone through/connect someone [to]" as in: If you'd like to speak direct to one of our ...
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3 votes
2 answers
6k views

"throw out/away" vs. "toss (out)" vs. "pitch (out/away)" for "dispose of; discard; get rid of as worthless or useless" in AmEng

What's the difference between "throw out/away," "toss out," and "pitch (out/away)" to mean, "get rid of as worthless or unnecessary"? Can these be used just ...
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  • 42.5k
1 vote
1 answer
389 views

Is there another way than [ɜr] to pronounce the grapheme "or" in words like "world" in AmEng?

It seems like I've lost count of the number of times that I've noticed some native speakers of American English pronounce the grapheme "or" in words like "world" as [oʊr] or [ɔr] rather than [ɜr]. ...
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  • 42.5k
6 votes
2 answers
458 views

This baby-walking device is called a ([prefix]-)[name] by people from [location]

It shouldn't be hard to agree that people around the world have babies, and people with babies like to take walks with their babies. So we invented various wheeled devices to securely hold baby ...
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6 votes
2 answers
6k views

Usage of "homework," "schoolwork," and "assignment" in AmEng for schoolwork given to students to do at home

As far as AmEng goes, is there any difference in using either homework, schoolwork, or assignment to call schoolwork given to students to be done at home? Can these be used just about interchangeably? ...
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  • 42.5k
4 votes
1 answer
7k views

"frightened 'by' spiders" vs. "frightened 'of' spiders" in AmEng

Could you explain the difference between these two sentences: I'm frightened BY spiders. I'm frightened OF spiders. Obviously both are used in American English in the sense "have a fear of ...
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  • 42.5k
1 vote
1 answer
187 views

"separate" and "terminate" for "dismiss/discharge" from employment in AmEng

According to Oxford Dictionary Online, separate US Discharge or dismiss (someone) from service or employment. terminate chiefly North American End the employment of (someone); dismiss: ...
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2 votes
1 answer
5k views

"downtime" vs. "time off" vs. "free time" vs. "spare time" in AmEng vernacular

How do those terms differ from each other? downtime North American A time of reduced activity or inactivity: everyone needs downtime to unwind ODO spare time Noun time available for hobbies and ...
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  • 42.5k
3 votes
1 answer
1k views

"Poor as Job's cat"

In which part(s) of the U.S. can one still hear the colorful simile, (as) poor as Job's cat? poor as Job - Poverty-stricken, indigent, destitute. The allusion is to the extreme poverty which befell ...
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