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Questions tagged [vernacular]

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1
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1answer
627 views

“Know jack” vs. “Don't know jack.” [duplicate]

When you want to say that someone doesn't know anything about a particular thing, do you say they don't know jack about it, or that they know jack about it? I've seen it used both ways. Which is ...
2
votes
4answers
1k views

Root and meaning of the phrase 'couple two three'

I'm not even sure where and how I picked up this phrase: 'couple two three'. It basically means 'a few' but I'm curious about its origins. It almost seems similar to 'might could' in that there is ...
1
vote
1answer
158 views

Is “wally” common vernacular for a groundhog?

It just came to my attention that my family uses what some Googling suggests is a "strange" word for this furry fellow: According to the Wikipedia page, this animal/rodent/marmot has all sorts of ...
5
votes
1answer
274 views

What do you call the practice of leaving the final word in a phrase unspoken?

I cannot say for sure that Americans never do this, but some British speakers seem to leave off the last word in a (usually) set phrase. For example, the Cockney character Gerry Standing in the BBC ...
2
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3answers
246 views

Description for a verbal tic that is vernacular among young people in the U.S

Among teenagers in the U.S., there is currently popular a colloquial way of wrapping up a story: bla bla, bla bla (various sentences), so yeah. The "so yeah" signals that the person is done ...
3
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3answers
400 views

What a driver does with the passengers? [closed]

When you drive a car and bring people somewhere what you do with them? I mean, the delivery process of people. How to pronounce the complete sentence?
35
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3answers
8k views

What does “Dis sho' am good” mean in this old advertisement?

I was looking through this list of old, racist advertisements. Here's one of them: What is "Dis sho' am good" supposed to mean? I'm assuming it's some sort of attempt at stereotypical vernacular ...
7
votes
4answers
10k 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 ...
2
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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 ...
1
vote
1answer
302 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]. ...
1
vote
2answers
299 views

temporal “directly” in AmEng usage: “immediately/without delay” or “shortly/in a little while”?

What does directly commonly mean in standard AmEng when used as a temporal adverb, immediately/instantly/at once/right away/without delay -or- soon/shortly/in a little while? DIRECTLY At ...
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 ...
2
votes
1answer
956 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, ...
2
votes
3answers
440 views

“trade” for “business deal; transaction” in North American vernacular

Harrap's New Shorter English-French Dictionary, Ed. 1982, states, trade [...] 2. (b) NAm (i) transaction (commerciale); (ii) clientèle f (d'une maison); carriage trade, grosse clientèle. ...
2
votes
5answers
452 views

Ambiguous meaning of NAmEng sense of “skill” in Harrap's English-French Dictionary

Harrap's New Shorter English-French/French-English Dictionary, Ed. 1982, states, skill n 1. habileté f, adresse f, dextérité f; technical skill, habileté, aptitude f, technique; ...
2
votes
1answer
391 views

word for “owners/operators of a pastry shop” and “patissier's wife”

What would native speakers call a couple who runs a pastry shop? In France, the one in the pair that makes the pastries would obviously be called pâtissier if a man, and pâtissière if a woman, but so ...
3
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2answers
185 views

“[ball]park” in AmEng vernacular

Are the terms ballpark and park specific to baseball in AmEng, or can they also be used for every which athletic stadium in which ball games like soccer or rugby are played? For example, would a ...
1
vote
4answers
2k 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
2k views

“road” vs. “pavement” vs. “roadway” for French “chaussée” [road surface] in AmEng vernacular

What's the difference between those terms? Can they be used just about interchangeably? road: a long, narrow stretch with a leveled or paved surface, made for traveling by motor vehicle, carriage, ...
1
vote
1answer
874 views

“tab” for “hotel bill” in AmEng

In AmEng vernacular, is the word tab specific to restaurant and bar checks, or can it also be used for hotel bills? E.g. Guest: We'll be checking out early tomorrow morning, so if it isn't too ...
14
votes
4answers
10k views

“[a/the] equivalent of” vs. “[a/the] equivalent for” vs. “[a/the] equivalent to”

Which of the following constructs sound more idiomatic to you? Is there any British/American equivalent to the French phrase "broyer du noir"? Is there any British/American equivalent for the ...
4
votes
4answers
534 views

“bedrock” vs. “hardpan” for “very basis; foundation”

What's the difference between those terms in regard to their figurative sense? Can they be used just about interchangeably? Consider the following examples: Ownership of land is the bedrock of ...
1
vote
3answers
740 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
996 views

“wallet” vs. “[change] purse” in NAmEng and BrEng vernaculars

Is a man's change purse sometimes called wallet by their owner? If so, what would they usually call their actual wallet to distinguish it from their change purse? purse: a small bag, pouch, ...
7
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3answers
3k views

“cologne” and “aftershave” for “fragrance for men”

Per Farlex Trivia Dictionary, perfume or parfum is 20–40% oil and the highest concentration; eau de toilette is 10–18% oil, and cologne or eau de cologne is 3–9% oil. Leaving aside the technical ...
4
votes
2answers
419 views

Disambiguation of “fluff” vs. chiefly AmEng “lint” vs. chiefly BrEng “bobbles” vs. “pills” for French “peluches”

Robert & Collins French and English Dictionary, Ed. 1985 gives: lint: (US: fluff) peluches nfpl peluche (=bouloche): bit of fluff; fluff Collins French-English Dictionary Now, these are ...
3
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5answers
3k views

Collective “linens” vs. “linen” in AmEng vernacular

What's the difference in using the uncountable noun linen either in the plural or in the singular to refer to articles or garments, such as sheets, tablecloths, or underwear? How did originally ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

“black ice” vs. “glare ice” vs. “glaze” in NAmEng

What's the difference between those varieties of ice forming on paved surfaces during the cold season? black ice sometimes called clear ice: a thin, nearly invisible coating of ice that forms on ...
3
votes
1answer
897 views

“slick” vs. “slippery” for a road, sidewalk, etc. in NAmEng vernacular

What's the difference between these terms? slippery : tending or liable to cause slipping or sliding, as ice, oil, or a wet surface: a slippery road. Random House Kennerman Webster's College ...
1
vote
3answers
242 views

'Neerdowell' has passed out of the vernacular. What has replaced it?

'Neerdowell' is a word I last heard used by my Grandfather easily 30 years ago. At the time, he was approaching 100 years of age and, along with his equally aged wife, was a veritable gold mine of ...
2
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3answers
358 views

Usage of 'plethorically'

My question is: Can the word plethorically be used in situations in which it would describe characteristics or qualities one would apply to biotic entities (humans)? Is it acceptable to use ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

Is repeating the word “that” ok, if it is technically, grammatically correct? [duplicate]

E.g.: "... with all the sustainability considerations that that entails." If I'm correct, the above example is relative pronoun followed by pronoun - it just happens to be the same word for both ...
7
votes
3answers
25k views

What is the origin of “scrilla”?

scrilla (uncountable) (slang, African American Vernacular) money scrilling: making money. I'd buy a car, but I don't have any scrilla! That car is worth mad scrilla. So what is the ...
4
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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 ...
-2
votes
1answer
183 views

Various meanings of “mind and do” which can mean “be cautious/careful to do”, “take notice/give heed and do”, and “behave obediently and do”

How would you define the meaning of "mind and do" in the following examples: I will mind and do as I am told, Master Yoda... Mind and do your work properly... As long as you mind and don'...
1
vote
1answer
235 views

Pluralisation of Latin Words [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Which style of Latin plurals should I use? Is “data” considered singular or plural? Where are the "data"? I only have one "datum". Listening to Radio 4's Today programme ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Where do East End / Gangster slang terms for numbers relating to money originate?

Words like 'monkey', 'pony', 'ton' and so on are used by East End villains and Cockneys to denote numbers - ton is one hundred for example. Examples abound in popular culture (The Krays, Only Fools ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

Beginning sentences with a needless “So”. How did this scourge become so popular? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: When did the word “so” begin to be used to start a sentence? Garbage/stuff words So many folks begin some narrative with "So". I see it everywhere especially in ...
2
votes
2answers
287 views

Vernacular use of “Are we taking him in?” [closed]

I had a question asked of me that I completely misunderstood, but I was chastised that I did, in fact, misunderstand it. My wife and I were driving to the store with our 15 month-old son asleep in ...
3
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5answers
4k views

Vernacular vs Lingua Franca

I'm curious about the concept of vernacular vs lingua franca. Historically there is a negative connotation to the word 'vernacular,' where it was used to refer to an inferior language (of the slaves) ...
3
votes
4answers
11k views

What is the meaning of the vernacular “beasted”?

Is anyone familiar with the vernacular term "beasted", used as a verb? e.g. I beasted my exam. My colleague's teenaged son used this exact phrase in a text-message. And she had no idea whether ...
7
votes
1answer
469 views

Is “Jack of Christ” a common Britishism for Jesus Christ?

In his poem “If I Were Tickled By the Rub of Love”, Dylan Thomas refers to “Jack of Christ”: And what’s the rub? Death’s feather on the nerve? Your mouth, my love, the thistle in the kiss? My ...