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44

There are several things happening here, I think. First of all, a superlative does not always have to literally refer to a singularity. Superlatives are commonly used as amplified comparatives. This can, as @Oddthinking remarks, be seen as hyperbolic use of the superlative: We had the best time last weekend! That doesn't mean we necessarily had a better ...


36

Aubergine is the British word (originally, I think, from French, but there's no percentage in guessing exactly how), and many British cooks literally would not know what eggplant is. In North America, as others have said, it's the other way about. Interestingly, there is another vegetable with the same identity problem; what the British call courgettes and ...


33

Date as a synonym of "anus" is Australian slang. The definitions I've found are a bit vague in terms of what specific anatomical feature it refers to (some say "anus," some say "buttocks"), but other people responding to this post have provided evidence that this vagueness may just be due to some dictionary-writers misunderstanding the meaning. (For example, ...


25

According to Oxford English Dictionary, the answer is yes. Zinke was the earliest attested spelling of the word, with zink also preceding zinc. The earliest attested use of the word is from 1651. Any sulphurous, and imperfect metall, as Iron, Copper, or Zinke. John French · The art of distillation; or, A treatise of the choisest spagyricall ...


25

'Software' is non-countable (like 'milk'). As a native American English-speaker who grew up with software (and a vested interest in it) and is nearing age 40, it seems like people who are quite computer literate and have been since before the age of smartphones will never say 'a software' or 'softwares' unless they're joking, or mis-educated, but native ...


23

Green’s Dictionary of Slang dates its usage from the late 19th century; fair in the sense of justifiable: [late 19C+] (orig. UK Und.): a justifiable arrest; usu. in the tongue-in-cheek phr. it’s a fair cop guvnor, put the bracelets on... any situation seen as fair and about which there is no complaint. Wiktionary cites an early usage: ...


16

I'm in the U.S., and I've never heard of the Washing-Up Fairy. Still, using a fairy to explain an unexplained yet serendipitous discovery is not unheard of. When I Googled "a fairy came and cleaned", I found: my mother would call me the next day, “Oh! a Fairy came and cleaned the house” [in a Yahoo! answer] “Let's pretend a fairy came and cleaned ...


14

While I'd agree that Andrew Leach's answer yokel is a good word for this, perhaps you could also (for British English) consider bumpkin:- An awkward, unsophisticated person; a yokel.


12

In the U.S. the phrase for cleaning the dishes after a meal is to wash the dishes (generically, to wash dishes). The action nominalization is dishwashing (with or without hyphen or space) in either case. One can say wash up instead of wash the dishes, in context, but wash up in the U.S. is just one more phrasal verb and does not have the specific ...


12

The nickname Bluey originated in the 1890s and was used as a nickname throughout World War One to refer to red-haired soldiers of the Australian Imperial Force, especially from New South Wales. During the Second World War, nearly every redhead was nicknamed Bluey, and it spread to civilian life. The name is ironic, and it seems red-haired men didn't mind it,...


12

The Australian National Dictionary has an entry for "date" meaning anus and vagina. http://australiannationaldictionary.com.au/index.php The link does not work well. You have to fill in "date" in the search field. 1919 W.H. Downing Digger Dialects 18 Date, a word signifying contempt.] 1961 M. Calthorpe Dyehouse 214 “In your bloody date! What do ...


11

The maps you see with south at the top are generally considered novelties, and are not seriously considered. The worldwide convention for maps is to orient north at the top. I have never heard the expression "down north" when referring to the northern hemisphere. A Google Ngram search shows that sometimes people say "down north" when living in an area where ...


11

It sounds like the phrase you're looking for is "kicked out on the street", which typically implies homelessness or unemployment.


10

A hen party or hen night specifically refers (in the UK) to what is called a "bachelorette party" in the US - there will be drinking, possibly a stripper, certainly some raucous laughter and dirty jokes. I wouldn't expect it to mean any random party featuring lots of women, nor any of the specialized women-only parties like a baby shower or wedding shower. ...


10

While I have seen it on Aussie job sites, I don't believe that the use of this phrase is endemic to the Antipodes. Flexible work ethic (normally used in the singular and rarely in the plural) is basically used to indicate that you should be ready to be a "team player" when it comes to working hours, sick leave, etc. If it's busy, you might have to work long ...


10

In British English there is the word yokel which has much the same pejorative overtones. yokel noun an uneducated and unsophisticated person from the countryside. [ODO]


10

Likewise, in (colloquial) Australian English, bogan can be considered roughly equivalent: The term bogan (/ˈboʊɡən/) is Australian and New Zealand slang, usually pejorative or self-deprecating, for an individual who is recognised to be from an unsophisticated background or someone whose speech, clothing, attitude and behaviour exemplifies a lack of ...


10

Chucking a wobbly comes from throw a wobbly and wobbly refers to a fit of anger, possibly suggesting the person is mentally unbalanced. The 1994 Shorter Slang Dictionary (Partridge, Beale, Fergusson) says: throw a wobbly to become angry, agitated or mentally unbalanced; to behave irrationally or unpredictably. Later 20th century. The 2008 New Partridge ...


10

The most common form that I hear in spoken Australian English from the options you've provided is the same as Minnow's answer: “I'm a hundred and sixty-nine centimetres tall.” A little less common, but perfectly idiomatic is: “I'm one metre sixty-nine.” However, the most common form that I hear in conversational (Australian) English is none of the above: ...


10

Best friend is defined by WordNet as: the one friend who is closest to you Longman defines "best friend" like this: best friend: the friend that you know and like better than anyone else Strictly speaking, these definitions imply you can only have one true best friend. That said, I do agree with others that it's possible to talk about several "best ...


10

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, "cop" in this sense means capture. My own search of newspapers found a really early example in multiple London newspapers, the earliest version of the story being published on September 1, 1875. A guy was caught breaking and entering and (after a chase) he was brought to the station where he said: Well, you ...


9

In Canada, I've often heard the phrase "dish-washing fairy". For example, if you visit your parent's place for dinner and your Mom says "Gee it would be really nice if a dish-washing fairy appeared and helped out in the kitchen (hint hint)". After reading the other answers, it seems like the exact name of this "fairy" varies a bit, but the concept seems ...


9

This is an example of a common tendency towards perverse sense of humor in Australian slang. Several sources attest to this. “In Australian society, Australian men will often give ironic nicknames. For example, a man with red hair will be given the nickname ‘Blue’ or ‘Bluey’.”¹ “1978 R.H. Conquest, Dusty Distances: ‘I found out later that he was a native ...


9

The previously-mentioned terms bumpkin (“a yokel; a clumsy, unsophisticated person)” and yokel (“(pejorative) An unsophisticated person”, also “A person of rural background”) both appear in the British-equivalent-of-redneck virtuallinguist link given in a third answer. The linked page also states that “The words hick and hillbilly are used too (also ...


8

I have not heard of this fairy. It does not exist in Norway where I live. Although a quite similar creature do exist, and is called "dishwasher":


8

The operating system is ultimately named after the valley, just like the national park, and Sam. The valley, in turn, is named after the Central Miwok name for the Ahwahneechee people, yoṣṣe’meti ‘the killers’ (apparently from the root yoṣ- ‘kill’ enlarged by a relativising agentive suffix -e ‘one who’ and the plural suffix -meti). The English pronunciation ...


8

I don't see what the quandary is here. No matter what the criteria, there's always the possibility that two or more people will score exactly the same on them. Two people may throw the same (longest) distance at a championship, which entails two winners and two best throwers for the time being. In a more abstract way, the ordering which enables us to speak ...


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