135

It's a word I made up! It's for someone who habitually electrically stimulates the brain's pleasure centres via an implanted electrode. (Like 'wirehead' in some stories by Larry Niven.)


98

A milkshake usually contains only milk and ice cream. However, sometimes strawberries or bananas can be added. If the beverage is mostly fruit and ice, then I would call it a smoothie. If you add some milk, nuts, or ice cream to it I would still call it a smoothie. The key ingredients determine the name. So if it is mostly ice cream and milk, it's a ...


94

In this context bottle is probably the informal BrE term for 'nerve' or 'courage'. British informal mass noun The courage or confidence needed to do something difficult or dangerous. ’I lost my bottle completely and ran’ ODO, sense 2. To say that someone has "more bottle than a milkman" is a jocular way of saying that he is very bold: a ...


93

Interesting! I suspected the reason was that the character s used to be written somewhat like the present-day f. (It would look like s only when it was the last character of a word.) I looked at some of the OCRed documents that Google Ngrams links to. That only strengthened my suspicion. Look at this plot (also below). I have plotted for "should,shall,must,...


88

The easiest way to think about this is to compare to he him his: Who gets the benefit? He gets the benefit. To whom does the benefit accrue? The benefit accrues to him. For whose benefit is that? That is for his benefit. For whomse benefit is that? That is for hims benefit. Obviously that last is unnecessary/wrong—in place of hims (or him'...


85

This was a problem with Google's optical character recognition (OCR) mistaking the long s (ſ) as an f. However, Google has since improved their OCR: When we generated the original Ngram Viewer corpora in 2009, our OCR wasn't as good as it is today. This was especially obvious in pre-19th century English, where the elongated medial-s (ſ) was often ...


85

I agree with Hot Licks. I am in the US. A wardrobe is a movable piece of furniture but a closet is built in to the house. A closet may have doors, unlike this one. As a child, when I read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, I imagined something like the first picture. I wonder if kids in England imagine something like the second picture?


84

Source: I'm in my early thirties and have lived my whole life in South East England. I would personally use the term "cash machine" (or the abbreviated version "machine", see further comments below). As to the other suggested terms: ATM - I fully recognise this, and might even use it occasionally. This is probably due to the influence of the large amount ...


82

There's no word for this as such; in the UK 'fried eggs' always means 'sunny-side up', some places will understand 'over easy' but that's the limit of what is common knowledge. Something like "I don't want the yolks runny" Or "I want the yolks cooked through" should do the trick. This is anecdotal, as I can't find any references to this. When they ...


69

You are thinking of the man on the Clapham omnibus. In British law he is a hypothetical, reasonably educated, ordinary person you use to compare expected conduct or behaviours with when dealing with things like negligence. Source: Too much time in the law library while my wife was in law school, and Wikipedia


68

I'm a Brit who prefers fried eggs hard. There isn't a usual British English name for that, because it's an unusual preference here. I ask for them "Hard-fried, so that the yolks are solid" and that usually works. Any variety of "over" in the description of a fried egg in the UK risks confusion. Many people know it is an American way of cooking eggs, but ...


65

"Bring sand to the beach." I have heard this many times, I am from NYC. I've heard it used most often to describe bringing a date to a place where there will be many women.


60

There are a small number of words aside from ageing that retain silent e before -ing; for some of them, this spelling is mandatory in American English as well as British English. For others, it is optional in both of these varieties of English. Retained silent e before ing seems to occur mainly after vowel letters (including y) or after the letter g, ...


58

For me (native German speaker who spent some years working in England), this is exclusively an American word of Yiddish origin. I don't think I have ever heard this word in the UK or read it in British media. I would first assume it to be an allusion to Louise Mensch, who has been over the British media a lot in recent years. Sometimes German words are used ...


53

The answers to your questions are: Yes, the shift was and continues to be a gradual and chaotic process. No, there was not a a deliberate and possibly collective decision taken by the educational institutions, the media, or the government of the time. Yes, there were a few changes that Webster tried, but the history of English spelling is much, much, much ...


53

Chemist, chemist's, chemist's shop or, sometimes, pharmacy. I've never heard "drugstore" in the UK, though one of the big chains is called Superdrug.


53

For most Americans, a milkshake is served as dessert (usually at the end of the meal), although it may also replace the main beverage for the meal if one is feeling indulgent. Milkshakes are generally not associated with breakfast. Smoothies, however, are generally viewed as a meal-replacement, most often for breakfast (when one is in a hurry to get to ...


50

There aren't two different nominative/objective pairs Who -> Whom Whose -> *Whomse, *Whom's, etc. Instead, there's three choices Who - Nominative Whom - Objective Whose - Possessive Who can't be both objective and possessive.


49

I don't give a toss about hearing the word "toss", so I suggest there's no need to toss your existing domain and branding away. Although we could, of course, argue the toss about it all day. "Toss" has many meanings. Most are not vulgar. I don't instantly think of the vulgar one whenever I hear the word. Sure I can think of it, but then there are ...


48

Citing Downtown: Its Rise and Fall, 1880-1950 by Robert M. Fogelson, Wikipedia says: The term is thought to have been coined in New York City, where it was in use by the 1830s to refer to the original town at the southern tip of the island of Manhattan. As the town of New York grew into a city, the only direction it could grow on the island was toward the ...


46

Invite has been in use as a colloquial form of invitation since at least the mid-seventeenth century. There’s nothing wrong with it in the right place, but in formal contexts such as a printed card invitation would be the word to use.


45

Abbreviations and contractions of words follow many conventions, take for example the word continued I have seen it abbreviated/shortened/contracted or clipped in three ways. cont cont. cont'd Mathematics can be similarly contracted math math. (math's) maths Perhaps, originally, the written form with the apostrophe, math's, was more common in Great ...


45

As Jo Bedard mentions in the comment to Sumit's answer, there are sexual overtones (they are too explicit to be called undertones indeed). The general meaning of all three expressions is that the speaker's reputation and / or career may depend on the outcome of the current project or undertaking and he urges the other person not to contribute to a failure. ...


44

Here are a few: "Selling ice to an Eskimo" "Locking the stable door after the horse has bolted." (or) "Shutting the barn door after the horse has gone." "Preaching to the choir" (a phrase originated by George Bernard Shaw in the play The Simpleton of the Unexpected Isles: A Vision of Judgment) "Giving a drink of water to a drowning man"


44

When the English settlers landed in the New World, they didn't have a word for maize. Maize is a New World crop which was unknown in Europe. The word "maize" was originally Spanish, and comes from the word "mahiz" in the Arawak language of Haiti, and in the early 1600s it was not yet a common word in England. The settlers called it "Indian corn", which soon ...


44

A look at early (pre-1800) English dictionaries points to a possible source of confusion early in the career of biscuit. Two dictionaries—Edward Phillips & John Kersey, The New World of Words: Or, Universal English Dictionary (1706) and John Kersey, Dictionarium Anglo-Britannicum: or, a General English Dictionary (1708)—have identical definitions for ...


43

As David M suggests it is due to pluralization. Americans tend to name their teams in reference to the collection of players on the team as a group. "The Yankees" or "The Red Sox" references the collection of players and managers who make up the team. A player is a Yankee, or a Red Sox, and the collection of players are "The Yankees". European football ...


41

As a native speaker of British English, I've never heard that phrase in my life and have no idea what it might mean. It's not a phrase I'd expect British people to understand, unless it's been used in one of the many American TV series that have been popular in the UK.


40

In Britain the term was always flies, as in your flies are undone. The only people I have heard refer to a fly in this regard are Americans. However the two expressions can sound the same, and the difference not be apparent, since an American might say your fly's undone which sounds a bit like the British term flies. I think the British expression goes ...


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