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4
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1answer
73 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 ...
5
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2answers
136 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 (...
4
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1answer
119 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
59 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 ...
7
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1answer
100 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
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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 ...
4
votes
1answer
219 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: ...
8
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3answers
10k 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: ...
2
votes
1answer
66 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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0answers
573 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
486 views

Do 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 ...
1
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1answer
2k 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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0answers
59 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. ...
3
votes
1answer
251 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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0answers
159 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.
8
votes
2answers
589 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
44 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
6k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
11k 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, ...
0
votes
1answer
744 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
202 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," "...
0
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1answer
2k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
2k 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
8k 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 marked as Americanisms ...
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vote
2answers
371 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
2k 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 technicians about ...
3
votes
2answers
2k 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 about interchangeably? THROW AWAY Also, ...
1
vote
1answer
263 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]. ...
5
votes
2answers
341 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
4k 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? ...
4
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
151 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: ...
2
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
557 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
189 views

Usage of the verb “squinch” in AmEng

Collins American English Dictionary says: squinch (skwɪntʃ) (US) transitive verb to squint (the eyes); squinched up her eyes in disgust. M-W 2. a. to pucker ...
2
votes
1answer
781 views

“stop over” vs. “stop off” vs. “lay over” in AmEng vernacular

What's the difference between those terms? Can they be used just about interchangeably? stopover n./stop over v. Dictionary.com noun A brief stop in the course of a journey, as to eat, sleep, ...
3
votes
1answer
830 views

“available (availability)” vs. “valid (validity)” for “having sufficient power or efficacy” in AmEng vernacular

Per Random House Webster's College Dictionary, Ed. 1991, available suitable or ready for use; of use or service; at hand: I used whatever tools were available. readily obtainable; ...
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vote
4answers
1k views

“crash” vs. “wreck” for [road/air] accident in AmEng

What's the difference between those terms in relation to a road or air accident? crash verb (Aeronautics) to cause (an aircraft) to hit land or water violently resulting in severe damage ...
4
votes
1answer
115 views

Are “pay phones” still, if ever, called “pay stations” in the U.S.?

What is pay station in the U.S.? If you look it up, say, on ODO, it is defined as an AmEng equivalent of pay phone. pay station: n. US term for pay phone ODO Now, if you search Google Images for ...
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vote
3answers
545 views

“pocketbook” for “wallet” in AmEng vernacular

Is pocketbook a common term for wallet in AmEng vernacular, or is it primarily recognized as another word for "purse/handbag"? If indeed a relatively commonly used word for "wallet/billfold," how do ...
6
votes
4answers
880 views

The rain is “lifting”

How can the rain "lift"? I mean, I can pretty well figure out that the fog or mist or smog, etc. "lifts", i.e. disappears or disperses by or as if by rising, but "the rain lifting" sounds like it's ...
6
votes
1answer
914 views

Does anywhere else add an 'L' to words ending in a vowel sound?

When I was six I moved from Manchester (northwestern England) to Bath (southwestern England). I was baffled to hear my school mates describe the 'aerials' they lived in. Fast forward many years ...
3
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1answer
100 views

Is “you will be frowned upon” always an ominous understatement?

I am from the UK, and have always read phrases like "anyone who does this thing will be frowned upon" as ominous understatements portending heavy administrative action against violators. For example, ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

“Trace” as a synonym for “trail” in AmEng

As far as AmEng is concerned, does "trace" mean just about the same as "trail" in "break/blaze a trace", and -- if indeed it does -- can "trace" be used pretty much interchangeably in every which ...