104

Dinner is considered to be the "main" or largest meal of the day. Whether it takes place at noon or in the evening is mostly a cultural thing. For instance, many people who grew up in the American South and/or on farms traditionally ate larger meals at noontime to give them the strength to keep working through the afternoon. Supper is more specifically a ...


76

There really isn't much of a basis in fact at all, but it has some non-fiction roots. "Nearly all of our notions of their behavior come from the golden age of fictional piracy, which reached its zenith in 1881 with the appearance of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island." - Adams, C. "The Straight Dope", October 12, 2007 The Straight Dope – Fighting ...


73

Of boughten the OED writes: boughten, ppl. a. [irreg. f. bought ppl. a. by assimilation to foughten] = bought ppl. a. used poet. for the sake of metre, otherwise only dial. and in U.S. in application to purchased as opposed to home-made articles. Under the OED’s entry for buy, in the section on that verb’s inflections and their historical spellings, at ...


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 ...


56

As a native speaker of a 'deep south' dialect, I believe I can provide a fairly authoritative answer. Eat is inherently telic—unmodified it implicates (although it does not entail) complete consumption of its object. Consequently, a futurive construction such as I will eat or I'm going to eat is implicitly perfective. On is added in my dialect to ...


52

The English language has incredibly many different regional accents, leading to the same words being pronounced differently by different people, sometimes in different places and other times in the same place. What’s happening here is that some people say [ˈkʰlɪntən], such as Mrs Clinton herself, but others say [ˈkʰlɪ̃ʔn̩] with a glottal stop where the /t/ ...


42

A few answers here give good sources for various words that are commonly used when 'talking like a pirate'. It may surprise some of you to learn though, that the 'accent' that most people go with (Rolled 'R's, dropped 'h's, gruff voice, etc.) actually originates from Robert Newton, the actor who played Long John Silver in the first sound production of ...


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.


36

Harvard's Dialect Survey had the question, "What is the distinction between dinner and supper?" Here's the geographic distribution of their results from 10,661 American respondents:


32

My initial thought is that bad at (or good at) is followed by a word that describes some kind of activity and that bad with (or good with), is followed by the name of a thing or a type of person. It works with at least the following: Bad at: swimming, math, lying, football, acting, planning, French, cooking, chess Bad with: children, his hands, money, ...


30

From my own experience, this is an idiom one can only use reliably in a diverse and cosmopolitan American milieu. I employ it with no hesitation if there are Jews present, because I am certain they will understand it. But educated people with a lot of multicultural awareness probably will as well. It is not something one would be likely to use in, say, a ...


30

This is a pretty well-known area of variance among different North American accents of English. It's certainly not unique to you. In this post, I'll use the spelling "ohr" /or/ to represent the sound in in sore, and "ahr" /ɑr/ to represent the sound in star. However, there are added complications in that some people may distinguish three vowels among glory, ...


28

The origin is somewhat surprising. It dates back to Old English, according to the OED's entry for it: As the subject of an existential clause: = there adv. 4d. Now chiefly U.S. regional (south. and south Midland). In Old English esp. with following that-clause; compare A. 4a(b). The earliest example they give is this one, from "early Old English" (...


27

Heighth is no error It is a misunderstanding that the spelling or pronunciation of heighth is an illiterate and uneducated error. Although many wrongly consider it such, history is not on their side, nor are the better dictionaries. Despite how in particular over the last century the heighth spelling has come to be stigmatized, heighth is a perfectly ...


27

'Mizzle' is not, exactly, the same as 'drizzle'. As the word implies, it is mist that is lightly precipitating into droplets, but the droplets are small enough to remain airborne and do not fall as drizzle. The progression is seen in a reference quote in the OED : 1806 J. Beresford Miseries Human Life I. vi. 111 A mist, which successively becomes a ...


26

what other kind of student is there? College students. Private students. Home-schooled students. Student drivers. As Keshlam noted in a comment: It says "school students" because if it just said 'students" many of us would indeed translate it as "student drivers." Which is a somewhat different kind of hazard. A car full of school students isn't likely to ...


26

I'm an American from the south, and in contrast to other Americans who have answered, I've never heard that idiom before. I didn't have any clue what the word mensch was supposed to mean until after reading comments/answers here, and I still have to look it up to be actually sure what it means. I find it surprising that this is referred to as an Americanism, ...


26

Nearly fifty years old, born in the UK, living in N. Italy for too many years, but a frequent visitor to the UK and Ireland: can't say I have never seen ‘mensch’ online, or that my mind exploded when I read the OP's sentence. By the way, should it be written with a capital letter? In its proper context, the meaning of ‘mensch’ was easy enough to guess. But ...


25

When you switch to the World English version of Oxford Dictionaries Online, their definition of usable has this little "spelling help:" Usable can also be spelled useable, with an e in the middle: both are correct. The US version simply lists useable as an acceptable variant of usable, and omits the side note. Etymonline shows usable as being derived ...


25

As a native British-English speaker, who has lived in New Zealand for over 10 years, I have never heard this word before in either country. I would say this is exclusively American-English, and probably only from certain big cities, as well. Its use is somewhat akin to my saying "I'm going to see the whanau" and expecting anyone outside New Zealand to ...


24

I grew up in West Lancashire (near the Yorkshire border), and pretty well every one of my parents generation used thee, thou, thy and thine. The first three were sometimes combined into a multipurpose “tha”. Along with this perseverence of the informal second person singular, the equivalent verb form was still often used, e.g. “where goest thou?” instead ...


24

Hwoa! Hwat’s with the hwistling hwisky? > In which English accents do they put an h before every word that starts with wh? That isn’t what’s going on — you only think you hear an h, because your phoneme set doesn’t include this sound, but its use is pretty common in various accents. Which accents? Lots. Scottish. Irish. Several counties in the north of ...


24

I didn't become familiar with the term mensch until the 1970s, when I moved from Texas to the east coast (Maryland) for college. At the time I assumed that it was simply a regional term. However, the frequency of "a mensch" in Google Books search results suggests that the term's popularity in published writings has grown substantially since the 1950s. Here ...


23

In AmE/culture: 'lunch' is the midday meal (11:30am-1:30pm), however large it is (if you're eating something around that time, and you don't eat something bigger around that time, that was your lunch). If you eat your midday meal at 3pm, that's kind of a late lunch, but it wouldn't be called anything else. That is, in AmE, 'lunch' = midday meal; a midday ...


22

In working-class families in the North of England, dinner was traditionally the noon-time meal, and there is an afternoon or evening meal called tea. However, this is changing to some extent as people move about and some try to sound more "Southern". (English usage in the South of England, or sometimes, more particularly the South-East, is generally taken to ...


21

There is a lot of regional variation on the meanings of these words. I am only familiar with US English and UK English, others can fill in the blanks: Jumper: In the UK this just refers to an garment you wear over your shirt for warmth. It doesn't have buttons, and it pulled over your head. In the US this has a completely different meaning. It is a type of ...


21

It's Law French, the normal language of law in England until well after 1464. The words Rawe, Skawe, cokell [and] fagge are evidently English words, not French ones, presumably either because there weren't corresponding French terms (at least in Law French), or because it was important to cover every case in this statute. So, while the rest of the text is ...


21

It appears to be a dialectal variant from East Midlands where: Reflexive pronouns are characterized by the replacement of "self" with sen (from Middle English seluen): Y'usen – Yourself, Mesen – Myself, Thisens – Themselves/Yourselves, Ussens – Ourselves Example: We sh'll ay to do it ussens. (We shall have to do it ourselves.) ...


21

spicket Definition of spicket chiefly South & Midland [Middle USA] : spigot (Merriam Webster) Do you use "spigot" or "spicket" to refer to a faucet or tap that water comes out of? a. spicket (6.38%) b. spigot (66.89%) c. I use both interchangeably (2.52%) d. I say "spicket" but spell it "spigot" (12.64%) (Vaux, Bert and ...


20

In my experience, it seems that the dialect largely comes from two things Pirates are generally drunken sailors which gives birth to the 'Tavern Slur' style of speech Pirate songs! Here's an excerpt from Lighthouse Journal Music was, apparently, an important part of morale aboard any ship – pirate or otherwise. Often there would be a musician member ...


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