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6 votes
1 answer
263 views

1920s postcard joke meaning? Cut some ice

Can anyone explain the meaning of this 1920’s postcard? The text reads: “I should worry like the iceman and cut some ice.” Next to this is a cartoon of a little boy with an axe chopping a large block ...
J. Dixon's user avatar
7 votes
2 answers
792 views

"This is a good one, this is" [duplicate]

I have long been curious about a particular English (in parts of GB) phrasing habit. For example: Oh she's lovely, she is. That's a nice one, that is. You should keep doing that, you should. I am ...
Christopher Palmer's user avatar
7 votes
1 answer
9k views

Distribution of slang term “opp”

I’m a teenager from Chicago. One slang term which is used by young people in my community rather often is “opp.” It is clearly derived from the stem “oppose,” and is basically short for opposition or ...
Graham H.'s user avatar
  • 890
-3 votes
1 answer
398 views

What's the meaning of "chips and nicks"? [closed]

I watched a video in which somebody had just had his car painted, but a rock fell on it and took away some of the paint. While I was translating video subtitles, I heard this expression: "chips ...
aha's user avatar
  • 1
0 votes
1 answer
113 views

Recent derogatory usage of the term ‘inkblot’?

I have observed the use of the term ‘inkblot’ in online forums for criticizing writing which is deficient in coherent logic and/or elucidation, e.g. “your incoherent inkblots notwithstanding.” In this ...
Shelby Moore III's user avatar
1 vote
0 answers
219 views

What are the best examples of how American women spoke in the 1940s?

I'm struggling to figure out what the best examples of American 1940s speech would be, especially for women. Movies from the 40s often suffer from Mid-Atlantic accents. Much of the media of the day ...
Johnny's user avatar
  • 111
1 vote
1 answer
4k 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 ...
language hacker's user avatar
2 votes
7 answers
6k 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 ...
guymanduder's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
326 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 ...
MichaelChirico's user avatar
5 votes
1 answer
1k 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 ...
Miles N. Fowler's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
334 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 ...
aparente001's user avatar
  • 21.6k
2 votes
3 answers
445 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?
Brian Cannard's user avatar
35 votes
3 answers
11k 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 ...
Fiksdal's user avatar
  • 3,295
8 votes
4 answers
17k 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 ...
Elian's user avatar
  • 43k
2 votes
1 answer
5k 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 ...
Elian's user avatar
  • 43k
1 vote
1 answer
432 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]. ...
Elian's user avatar
  • 43k
1 vote
2 answers
397 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 once; ...
Elian's user avatar
  • 43k
2 votes
1 answer
6k 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 hobbies and ...
Elian's user avatar
  • 43k
3 votes
1 answer
2k 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, or ...
Elian's user avatar
  • 43k
2 votes
3 answers
534 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. [...] Now, ...
Elian's user avatar
  • 43k
2 votes
5 answers
520 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; ...
Elian's user avatar
  • 43k
2 votes
1 answer
2k 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 ...
Elian's user avatar
  • 43k
3 votes
2 answers
227 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 ...
Elian's user avatar
  • 43k
1 vote
4 answers
3k 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 ...
Elian's user avatar
  • 43k
1 vote
3 answers
4k 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, ...
Elian's user avatar
  • 43k
1 vote
1 answer
2k 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 much ...
Elian's user avatar
  • 43k
15 votes
4 answers
23k 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 ...
Elian's user avatar
  • 43k
4 votes
4 answers
1k 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 ...
Elian's user avatar
  • 43k
1 vote
3 answers
2k 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/...
Elian's user avatar
  • 43k
2 votes
1 answer
1k 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, or case ...
Elian's user avatar
  • 43k
7 votes
3 answers
5k 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 ...
Elian's user avatar
  • 43k
4 votes
2 answers
649 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 ...
Elian's user avatar
  • 43k
3 votes
5 answers
6k 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 ...
Elian's user avatar
  • 43k
6 votes
3 answers
7k 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 ...
Elian's user avatar
  • 43k
3 votes
1 answer
3k 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 ...
Elian's user avatar
  • 43k
0 votes
3 answers
636 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 ...
user862888's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
658 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 ...
Clayton Geist's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
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 ...
user avatar
11 votes
8 answers
36k 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 ...
ermanen's user avatar
  • 62.9k
5 votes
7 answers
5k 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 ...
Elian's user avatar
  • 43k
-2 votes
1 answer
208 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'...
Elian's user avatar
  • 43k
1 vote
1 answer
306 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 ...
immutabl's user avatar
  • 3,119
3 votes
1 answer
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 ...
immutabl's user avatar
  • 3,119
1 vote
2 answers
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 ...
ak84's user avatar
  • 559
2 votes
2 answers
308 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 ...
Tim Reddy's user avatar
  • 285
3 votes
5 answers
5k 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) ...
Akin's user avatar
  • 1,521
3 votes
4 answers
16k 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 ...
Urbycoz's user avatar
  • 15.7k
7 votes
1 answer
669 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 ...
Robusto's user avatar
  • 152k