Questions tagged [transatlantic-differences]

Differences between how English is used on one side of the Atlantic compared with on the other side; specifically, the difference between Canadian and American English on one side and Irish and British English on the other.

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What is the word for abdominal pain, stomach ache or belly ache?

In everyday conversation, what's the usual word that describes the abdominal pain that is caused by diarrhoea? Do you say it's a "stomach ache" or "belly ache"? Is there a ...
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3 votes
2 answers
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How can “Harold” and “Herald” ever sound the same?

I was reading a book¹ recently where the main protagonist is fixated on homonyms and has rules that proper nouns are not homonyms and gives Harold and herald as an example of words that sound the same ...
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5 votes
0 answers
238 views

Is "luggage" becoming a countable noun?

When I learned English, I learned that "luggage" an uncountable noun, meaning the collection of all your bags and suitcases (and/or their contents). From https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/...
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-1 votes
2 answers
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Are comma splices more common in British English or American English?

To me it seems that they are more common in British English than in American English (and I say that as a Brit). From what I have noticed, American politicians' writing tends to have fewer comma ...
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4 votes
2 answers
728 views

From ‘cupboard’, a chair is taken out?

It seems to me that ‘cupboard’ in the 21st century is usually a closet or cabinet; a piece of furniture usually with shelves for storing food, crockery, and utensils. But early in the 20th century, ‘...
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2 answers
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Around 1970 in Britain, was this use of 'shall', in 'You shall go (=I let you go)', already out-of-date in daily conversation?

A striking grammatical difference between BE and AE is the various uses of auxiliary verbs (now, modal verbs) of will and shall. When I was a high school boy studying English without any chance of ...
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Is this sentence construction wrong, where "going home" has other implied meaning, the origin and span of which isn't known? [closed]

I stumbled upon this article about the origins of some unusual idioms and phrases, as I have heard many of them being used popularly. But I was bit shocked and frustrated when I read this sentence ...
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2 votes
4 answers
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punctuation: chicken-fried steak [closed]

Does anyone know why the adjective in "chicken-fried steak" is hyphenated by some people but not by others? What do writing guides on both sides of the pond say about this issue? The ...
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The difference between "have got" and "have got to"?

I have been asked about the difference between Have got Have got to Are they considered as present perfect forms?
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2 answers
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Is "know the drill" used in American English as well as UK English in a daily conversation?

Some of my American friends say this is truly American expression. And I found this comment; “Get prepared and ready for your punishment” (especially if you have already been punished before) either ...
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2 answers
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Dropping articles: "I have a little brother and little sister." - is this correct? [closed]

I teach ESL online through a company which provides materials. One sentence given is "I have a little brother and little sister." When I read this aloud to the student, I automatically added ...
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1 answer
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Is "fleabag" as a derogatory term for an unpleasantly dirty person a Britishism?

I have always heard and used "fleabag" as referring to a shabby hotel/motel room, a dump of a place, so I was kind of surprised to see it also has a separate meaning of a dirty person. This ...
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1 vote
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Why is the stressed form of "of" different in American English than in other English?

In UK English, of has the stressed pronunciation /ɒv/. In Australian English, it has the corresponding pronunciation /ɔv/. However, in US English, it is /ʌv/ instead of the corresponding /ɑv/. I get ...
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-1 votes
2 answers
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"I wouldn't really recommend it" in British vs American English

Consider this phrase and context: "One could do X. One could also do Y, but I wouldn't really recommend it." (The general "you" instead of "one" could also be used, but ...
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3 votes
2 answers
650 views

Use of Grade Levels Instead of Age [closed]

Why do Americans use grade levels to indicate the passage of time instead of actual age? (i.e. “When I was in 12th grade” vs. “When I was 17, 18, etc.)
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Is Northwest the wrong spelling

I am taking IELTS exam and I was marked wrong in the following question: Preferred location: in the Northwest Apparently, the correct answer is "North-West." Notice that officially, IELTS ...
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1 vote
3 answers
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What is the difference between "cancel" and "abort"? [closed]

I've tried to see the definition, but i still don't get it. What is their difference and when to use it?
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3 votes
2 answers
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BrE usage of "should have"

This usage of "should have" appears to be a Britishism. I wonder if anyone cares to provide an explanation of the British "should have" usages. Several observers have emphasised ...
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3 votes
1 answer
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A babysitter or a childminder?

I have recently had a lesson about jobs. I noticed that a different term 'childminder' is used for a babysitter in the UK. Is that right? Does anybody know if it's common?
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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 [...
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3 votes
5 answers
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Why do Americans find the word "request" to be rude?

I was reading somewhere that Americans find the word request to be a rude gesture. You must directly ask them a question instead of using the word "request". For example, in this Quora post, "Don't ...
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8 votes
2 answers
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Why did American English change certain past tense verb endings from ‑t to ‑ed but not others?

I always get “mad” (we don’t actually get upset with each other) at a friend of mine because he uses the UK versions for the past tense of verbs like spill or spell, saying spilt or spelt instead of ...
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1 answer
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"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 ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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What is the difference between "park" and "parc"?

I recently stumbled over this wiktionary page: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/parc#English Noun parc (plural parcs) Alternative form of park (partially enclosed basin in which oysters ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
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American vs British pronunciation in a word: "run", how should that be pronounced?

As far as I know, words like run or under (letter: "u") are pronounced as: British: /rʌn/ American: /rən/ with the schwa sound The above is according to the page: A Key To English Pronunciations — ...
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What is a secondary school graduate called?

I think graduate indicates only a university graduate in British English, but in American English can it perhaps also suggest a high-school graduate as well? Could anyone tell me something about ...
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2 votes
1 answer
465 views

Draft Beer or Draught Beer (In Canada)

There's a few threads on here about draft vs draught, but I couldn't find an answer to my question. As a preface, I'm Canadian, and know that draft (US) and draught (UK) are generally interchangeable,...
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1 answer
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"hold on I'll put you through" or "hang on I'll put you through"

Hello, this is Melanie Brown from Central Bank. Can I speak to Mr. Clark? Please (hold on / hang on) I'll put you through. Which one - hold on or hang on - is the more appropriate, frequently ...
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6 votes
3 answers
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Why are pubowners called landlords in the U.K.?

I just came across the fact that Brits call the owners\operators of their pubs landlords, (on the new show "The Reluctant Landlord"). Being from the USA I am only aware of the term landlord being used ...
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4 votes
1 answer
104 views

Young native-speaking males emphasizing deep voices

Recently a possibly new speech pattern has come to my attention and I am wondering whether it is genuine or whether I am mistaken. It is young, male native speakers emphasizing a deep, "rough" voice. ...
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3 votes
4 answers
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Is the term Indian Giver politically correct?

My son is Cherokee & uses this term & I was concerned if that is a proper term. I thought it originated because the US government historically gave land & such to tribes, then took it back ...
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3 votes
2 answers
829 views

Is the pronunciation difference between “BrE deuce” vs “AmE deuce” systematic?

While checking the exact pronunciation of the term deuce, I noticed that there is a clear difference between BrE /djuːs/ and NAmE /duːs/. While it is true that pronunciation has more exceptions ...
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-3 votes
1 answer
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understanding meaning of 'cuttie' [closed]

Urban Dictionary tends to describe the word cuttie in quite sexual way. Is it really the main meaning or the noun can be used normally to name a person / thing which is just cute.
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2 votes
2 answers
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How to name a person from the same country as speaker?

My Slavic language (Slovak) uses the word krajan, speaker can in this way name another person whose origin lies in the same country/land/area/region. English translations I have found: compatriot ...
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8 votes
4 answers
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Insight into the pronunciation of the word algae?

Can anyone provide some insight into the pronunciation of the word algae? Various dictionaries give either the /g/ version as in gear or the /dʒ/ version as in jeep. For example: https://dictionary....
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2 answers
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What is an "in honors" school student in the US?

I came across this sentence on an American website Aron is a student in honors in his class I was wondering how to phrase this for a UK audience.
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4 votes
3 answers
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The difference between 'purview' and 'remit' (BrE/AmE)?

I noticed, on YouTube, that Trey Gowdy in his congressional confrontations used the word 'purview' but never 'remit'. I could not find 'remit' as a noun in Merriam Webster, only the verb, and wondered ...
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Clued-in or clued-up (on something)

Here's what Merriam Webster has to say about clued-up: "British, informal: having a lot of information about the latest developments: He's totally clued up on/about the latest computer ...
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10 votes
6 answers
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Is the phrasal verb “buck up” used only in British English, not in American English?

Is the phrasal verb buck up used only in British English? I’ve never heard an American use the word buck up to mean cheer up; I suspect the phrasal verb is only used in British English.
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2 votes
2 answers
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How to distinguish and use the present perfect for the recent past?

I'm having trouble understanding and using the so-called “perfect of recent past” aspect on the present tense. I have three related questions about this which are in bullets, two here and one at the ...
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2 answers
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Tuition program: a pondial difference?

I'm under the impression that tuition program in American English refers to a scheme relating to tuition payments, whereas tuition programme in British English means a course or training program. If ...
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24 votes
3 answers
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"Closet" vs. "Wardrobe" Why is the first more common in the US?

I believe that speakers on both sides of the pond (i.e. the Atlantic Ocean) are familiar with the terms closet and wardrobe. The first is distinctly American, and the latter is used in the UK. Oxford ...
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5 votes
2 answers
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What’s a semi-formal American equivalent for the British expression “value for money”?

I'm searching for an American phrase that would be equivalent to the British “X is great value for money”, one that’s not too colloquial and can be used in a serious product description. I am aware ...
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3 votes
3 answers
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Losing power in the UK vs US: what's more common?

Which of the following is more common in British English vs American English? Power cut Power outage Power failure Blackout
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10 votes
2 answers
3k views

UK English: Do y'all use "buzzard" to mean "a contemptible or rapacious person"?

In the US, buzzard denotes vultures, but also a contemptible or rapacious person to use definition 3 from the online Merriam-Webster. The most common phrase I'm personally familiar with is to say you ...
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53 votes
3 answers
10k views

How did "biscuit" come to have a distinct meaning in North American English?

The Oxford Living Dictionary makes a clear distinction between the usage of biscuit in Britain and North America: British: A small baked unleavened cake, typically crisp, flat, and sweet. ‘a ...
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2 votes
1 answer
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What's the difference between a hemisphere and a semisphere [closed]

Is there any difference between hemisphere and semisphere?
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73 votes
8 answers
20k views

How can I order eggs "over hard" in the UK?

I've recently made a couple of trips to the London area, and I've had a terrible time trying to convince the hotel breakfast cooks that I want my eggs fried "over hard", meaning that both the white ...
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48 votes
10 answers
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Should I say "ATM" or "cashpoint" in the UK?

ATM is an initialism of automated teller machine, coined sometime in the 1970s. I have always considered it an Americanism while its British equivalent has always been cashpoint, Oxford Living ...
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2 votes
2 answers
151 views

Can it ever be acceptable to use singular “they” with a specific referent of known but undisclosed gender?

I am not sure whether these two examples using singular they to refer to a specific, singular referent are acceptable in educated speech: I had a friend in Paris, and they had to visit the doctor for ...
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