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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
16
votes
6answers
8k views

The inquisitive tale of “Nosey Parker”

A nosy parker is someone who doesn't mind their own business. They will poke their noses into other people's affairs, and attempt to eke out whatever information they can, the more personal the better....
7
votes
1answer
36k views

Why do British people pronounce “idea” with an “r” sound at the end? [duplicate]

Non-rhotic dialects tend to drop "r" sounds, so why is one added here when there is no "r" in the word?
18
votes
2answers
8k views

Why does the term “gondola” refer to BOTH a Venetian canal boat AND an enclosed lift up a mountain? [closed]

The first time I encountered the word “gondola” was as a 20 year old on her first visit to Venice. Gondolas, to me, were written in my memory as a flat, fancy, romantic (and expensive to ride) boat ...
1
vote
1answer
386 views

Word for scold in America [closed]

What do Americans usually use instead of word scold ? For example parents scold their children when they act up . How would write same sentence but with American version of scold?
1
vote
1answer
904 views

Schoolmaster vs Principal or Teacher

As I understand it, the word schoolmaster can either mean a man who teaches in school or one that disciplines or directs. The word schoolmaster can be a synonym of teacher and principal. But which ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

What are the connotations of “clueless”?

As a result of a discussion with @Hot Licks on another post, it is apparent that his (American) understanding of the nuances associated with clueless is slightly different to my (British) ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

What does 'bespoken' signify, as opposed to 'bespoke'?

The verb bespeak admits two past participles: bespoke and bespoken. I am interested in the attributive usage of these terms. A bespoke suit is one tailored to please and to fit a particular ...
0
votes
2answers
32k views

“Councilor” vs. “Councillor”

Is councilor the spelling used in the U.S., while councillor the spelling used in Canada, UK, and most places internationally? Hilariously, Google will use both councilor and councillor in the same ...
4
votes
2answers
89k 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 ...
2
votes
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....
50
votes
5answers
17k views

Why do we say “under the grill”, not “above” or “on” the grill?

I found this sentence in a textbook. It's I cooked the fish slowly on / under the grill. According to the author, the correct answer is under. I also used Google. It turns out that there is more ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

“Sheltered Housing” in American English?

Sheltered housing is a British English term covering a wide range of rented housing for older and/or disabled or other vulnerable people. -Wikipedia Is there an American equivalent for this kind of ...
3
votes
2answers
9k views

Difference between “everlasting” and “eternal”

I know these two sentences are somehow different, but I don't know how: This is an everlasting love. This is an eternal love. I read here that there are a number of adjectives for ...
11
votes
3answers
4k views

Why is the 'L' in detailed not doubled?

I cannot quite understand why the 'L' is not doubled when forming 'detailed' from 'detail'. Is that an exemption to the consonant doubling, or did I simply not understand the rules? From the answers ...
23
votes
2answers
2k views

British Mass Nouns versus American Count Nouns

British English often employs mass nouns where American English would only employ count nouns. Count nouns are nouns which take pluralization and numerical quantifiers like 'many'. Mass nouns can't be ...
6
votes
2answers
760 views

If a “cooking show” is grammatical, why not a “cooking book”?

I enjoy cooking, and I've been told I'm quite a good cook. I have several cookery books 1 at home, mostly on Italian and British cooking, but not one is written by a famous cookery writer 2. I've ...
6
votes
3answers
341 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
3k views

Double Consonants in Gerund

Is there any rules regarding gerund that tell when to double the consonant of a word and when not to? I'm a little bit confused regarding this matter. Based on this link there are words that can be ...
2
votes
1answer
732 views

Is “go exercising” ungrammatical or non-standard?

Friends, I think the phrase "go exercise" is spoken in colloquial English. But I can still find the phrase "go exercising," even in Google books. Like the excerpt below: I like to exercise, but ...
3
votes
1answer
23k 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? ...
6
votes
2answers
439 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 ...
10
votes
5answers
2k views

Your Mileage May Vary [closed]

In the United States we have a saying, "your mileage may vary", which means "your experience may be different". In English-speaking countries that don't use Imperial miles, is there an equivalent ...
15
votes
2answers
77k views

What’s the difference between “tire” and “tyre”?

Basically, everything is in the title. I've seen on the web that tire is US English, while tyre is British English. But then I asked some British friends graduating in Language and Literature, and ...
19
votes
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 ...
13
votes
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 ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Is “strong medicine” idiomatic?

Is the expression “strong medicine” idiomatic? I am referring to drugs that contain a high concentration of chemicals and are used for soothing severe pains or treating severe diseases. A drug whose ...
5
votes
2answers
4k views

“Quite” American vs British English

In looking at the answers for this question, Using "quite" with a noun, it occurred to me that "quite," although having a dictionary definition, might be used differently by AmE and BrE ...
1
vote
4answers
868 views

Why are American and British English almost identical? [closed]

This might seem to be a dumb question; however, I think it's rather strange that the two dialects are so similar considering the huge geographical distance between Great Britain and America. In the ...
23
votes
4answers
23k views

What is the name for the glove worn to take out baked food from oven, so that touching the hot tray doesn't burn our hands? [closed]

Is there a specific name for the thick glove worn (or may be any cloth used) to touch hot dishes in the oven? For example, we wear a glove and take the dish containing baked food from the oven. It'...
5
votes
2answers
996 views

If someone says “They insisted that he left”, is there any ambiguity in BrE or in AmE?

Do they mean something like "please go! You must leave!" or could it be "We assure you that he left"?
2
votes
2answers
392 views

Is this meaning of “scurrilous” only known/understood to speakers of American English?

A few weeks ago I stumbled across the word "scurrilous", meaning "given to the use of coarse or vulgar language". I shared this word with two other people, but they had taken it to mean "scandalous". ...
2
votes
4answers
23k views

How to pronounce “Calm”? [closed]

I need to know how "Calm" is exactly pronounced (whether the L is silent or not). And I need a good reference as an evidence.
18
votes
7answers
31k views

How to pronounce fractions with denominators larger than 20 where the last digit of the denominator is 1 or 2? eg 4/31

Disclaimer: I speak British English. I've noticed a lot of differences between the way Americans and Brits pronounce numbers.1 Since the question concerns this, I thought it might be appropriate to ...
5
votes
3answers
2k views

What is the US English for “soppy”?

According to the online Cambridge Dictionary, in British English the word soppy means: showing or feeling too much of emotions such as love or sympathy, rather than being reasonable or practical:...
2
votes
1answer
999 views

What is the question tag for: "They got the answers, ____?

What would be the appropriate question tag for the sentence "They got the answers yesterday, ______?" Is haven't they the correct question tag? I would also like to know the different American ...
7
votes
8answers
10k views

Is 'yeah-nah' a uniquely Australian idiom?

There is a response in Australian English that means "Yes I hear you and empathise with your situation, but no this course of action won't work for me." [Yeah-Nah] I assumed this was a normal part of ...
1
vote
3answers
14k views

Is there a difference between disclude vs exclude? [closed]

I say exclude if I want to prevent inclusion in the first place. I say disclude if I want to express that I remove something that was already previously included (as in its remove from inclusion ...
36
votes
3answers
208k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
26k views

nonexistent, non-existent or non existent? [duplicate]

I see various spellings of the same, which one is correct? I have considered that the spelling might differ if it is British or American English, but as English isn't my native speak I have no clue.
2
votes
2answers
889 views

A term to explain my progress in an incomplete undergraduation

Here in Brazil, all the undergraduations last for 4-5 years and each year is divided by 2 academic periods and we refer to each one as period. Thus as I am a Mining Engineering undergraduate student ...
2
votes
1answer
793 views

Use of subjunctive in Britain vs North America

Why has much UK writing abandoned the use of the subjunctive? I see phrases such as: "It is important that his writing is comprehensible." rather than, "It is important that his ...
1
vote
0answers
272 views

they would've got away with/would've gotten away with it [duplicate]

Which is right: They would’ve got away with it. They would’ve gotten away with it. I am interested in what we would say in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, not in the United ...
2
votes
2answers
476 views

US English vs UK English [closed]

Of course, I am not a native English speaker nor a good one (or at least not as good as I would like to be). I know there are some differences between UK and US English, but, from my perspective, they ...
3
votes
2answers
104k views

Disoriented vs. Disorientated [duplicate]

In the U.S., we seemingly prefer the former to the latter. However, I was sitting with my friends when one of them stated that he was "disorientated" while we were playing a video game. My theory, at ...
14
votes
7answers
2k views

“I've gotten better-looking as I get older” When did “gotten” re-enter the BrEng vernacular?

This summer I went to Ireland, to be more precise Dublin. Overall good weather and good fun. Anyway, while I was staying in Dublin I'd buy the local newspaper and one tabloid headline caught my eye. ...
12
votes
6answers
15k 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 ...
20
votes
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?
8
votes
1answer
3k views

What is the reason that American English and British English use “Post” and “Mail” with different frequencies?

Common usage in the UK is that a postman of the Royal Mail Service delivers the post, and someone may post a letter (see BrE Ngram), whereas in the USA, usage has become equally common that a mailman ...
3
votes
4answers
249 views

Could “shingled” mean “pebbly”?

One of the definition of shingle is a mass of small rounded pebbles, especially on a seashore. You can say a shingle beach (more common usage in UK than US perhaps) Is it also correct English ...
5
votes
4answers
11k views

Why do Americans seem to use the word “delicious” less often than I do?

I am a foreigner and now I am in America. I always use the word delicious whenever I like food. For example: This meat is so delicious! But one of my friends, who is not a native speaker, once ...