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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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3
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2answers
216 views

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
0
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2answers
99 views

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.
12
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5answers
11k views

The etymology of “redhead” vs. “ginger haired”

All my life I have known people with reddish, orangey hair, to be termed ginger haired. Just as you don't call a blonde a 'yellow head' red head just wasn't a word that was said (wouldn't orange head ...
1
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2answers
265 views

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 ...
5
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5answers
17k views

Pronunciation of foreign words in American vs. British English?

One of the differences between modern US English (hereafter referred to as "American English") and British English is the way in which we pronounce foreign words, particularly those of French origin ...
51
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3answers
8k 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 ...
2
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1answer
146 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,...
0
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2answers
517 views

When did Americans begin to use “practice” instead of “practise”?

I am writing an historical novel, and I try to have my characters speaking and writing as everybody did at the time. But I don't know when we in the US began to use practice as a verb instead of ...
28
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7answers
36k views

Why did “sceptical” become “skeptical” in the US?

Compare the following two Google Ngram Viewer charts for sceptical vs. skeptical in American English and British English: British English American English My interpretation of these charts is that: ...
17
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5answers
26k views

Is the proper spelling “judgment” or “judgement”?

I always thought the proper spelling was  judgment, but I see  judgement all the time, even in articles, news, etc. Merriam-Webster lists  judgement as a variant spelling for judgment. But is the ...
31
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3answers
181k views

“Programming” versus “programing”: which is preferred?

I was surprised that my spell checker did not complain for programing with one m, so I Googled it, and found on free dictionaries that both forms were acceptable. Which one is more common? Does it ...
3
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4answers
2k views

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 ...
0
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1answer
124 views

“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 ...
6
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2answers
657 views

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 ...
8
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8answers
52k views

Does “pants” more commonly mean “trousers” or “underpants”?

In the UK, I've heard pants being used as slang for underpants (or was it in Bridget Jones' Diary?), whereas in India it almost exclusively means "trousers". Describing the meaning of "put your pants ...
4
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1answer
79 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. ...
2
votes
1answer
14k views

at / on/ in (the) (Math) exam

I think it is common to say I did well on the exam in AmE. I did well in the exam in BrE. Which prepositions are suitable for the following situations when we mention the exam we took? ...
0
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2answers
61 views

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 ...
6
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2answers
29k views

“courgettes” vs. “zucchini” under a historical perspective

In this TimLymington's answer it is said: Interestingly, there is another vegetable with the same identity problem; what the British call courgettes and the Americans zucchini. What is the ...
1
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2answers
445 views

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 ...
3
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2answers
684 views

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

While checking the exact pronounciation 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 ...
-3
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1answer
480 views

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.
7
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1answer
7k views

What is the etymology of the word teeter totter?

Seesaw and teeter totter are two names for the same piece of playground equipment. I grew up using the word teeter totter mostly, but was aware of seesaw, as it was used in books. I was ...
1
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1answer
2k views

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 ...
1
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3answers
1k views

“Build out” as business jargon

I have noticed an increase recently in use of the phrase "build out" when "build" would suffice. This seems to be mainly an American English phenomenon from what I can see. Here are some examples: ...
6
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3answers
2k views

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....
4
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2answers
4k views

“cold cash” vs. “hard cash”

Context (New York Times): Besides piling into Treasuries, institutional investors are also seeking out the safety of cold, hard cash, pouring billions into commercial bank accounts backed up by ...
28
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13answers
58k views

American vs. British English: meaning of “One hundred and fifty”

I've noticed that Americans do not say "and" when speaking numbers: for example, 150 would be pronounced "one hundred fifty". I and most other British-English speakers would pronounce it "one hundred ...
4
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3answers
579 views

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 ...
2
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0answers
1k views

Differences between American and British question intonation?

In interactions with American and British people, I've noted Americans tend to have rise-fall (↗↘) intonation while I've heard the British having rise-fall-rise (↗↘↗) intonation while asking questions....
1
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1answer
264 views

Is there any AmE/BrE difference when describing intermediate colors?

Is there any difference (AmE vs BrE) when describing intermediate colors, that is, pairs of colors to get the color in between? For example: • Red-blue appearance • Reddish-blue appearance • ...
98
votes
8answers
19k views

Which is correct: “__ is different from __” or “__ is different than __”?

As someone who learned English later on in life, I was taught that different from is the correct grammar to use: this is different from that. However, it seems these days everyone uses different than ...
7
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5answers
17k views

“Dear Professor” vs “Dear Mr”: differences between British and American usage

In British English, is it acceptable to address a professor as "Dear Professor X" when writing a formal or informal letter? Does it sound natural? Why I am asking this question: I was looking ...
4
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2answers
57k views

In training or on training - differences between British and American English?

I would use "on training" as a short form of "on a training course": I'm on training next week. I would use "in training" (or simply "training") for something that is more long term: I'm in ...
70
votes
8answers
17k 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 ...
0
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3answers
374 views

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 ...
10
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6answers
3k views

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.
6
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2answers
404 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 ...
14
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4answers
66k views

When would one use “burnt” and when would “burned” be more appropriate?

More out of curiosity than anything, when would one use "burnt" and when would "burned" be appropriate? For example, This coffee tastes burnt. This coffee tastes burned. or They burnt the ...
12
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3answers
2k views

“Mx” the gender-neutral honorific

The gender-neutral honorific “Mx” has its own entry in the OED since August 2015, so no one can argue it doesn't exist. According to The Sunday Times, central and local governments have been quietly ...
10
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2answers
2k 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 ...
57
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5answers
480k views

“Fill out a form” or “fill in a form”

Does one fill out a form or does one fill in a form? I've gotten different answers from the people I've asked. Google search results: fill in a form — 14,200,000 fill out a form — 7,000,000
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4answers
17k views

Percent or per cent

How should I choose between writing "percent" and "per cent"? For example: He sold 42 percent of his stock in the company. or He sold 42 per cent of his stock in the company. Are there ...
21
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2answers
13k views

“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 ...
5
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2answers
177 views

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 ...
6
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3answers
321 views

Which words or grammar forms are likely to cause a collision between American and British English?

For all the Mickey-taking on both sides of the water I suppose British and American speakers understand one another 99% of the time. Can anyone think of any areas of vocabulary or grammar where ...
20
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4answers
2k views

Why does American English still write “glamour” with a “u”?

Why is it that in American English the word glamour retains its u while humour, neighbour, and others have shed it compared with their British spellings?
18
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5answers
2k views

Why is the BrE “petrol” called “gas” in AmE?

One of the most conspicuous differences in AmE vs BrE usage is probably that of gasoline (gas) vs petrol to refer to: a light fuel oil that is obtained by distilling petroleum and used in ...
2
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1answer
5k views

What's the difference between a hemisphere and a semisphere [closed]

Is there any difference between hemisphere and semisphere?
-3
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2answers
102 views

the verb honour in present-day British and American English [closed]

Is the following use of honor acceptable in British English? The following examples are from American sources; I'm wondering whether they make sense in British English. The soldier honored his ...