54

Leave back or hold back means to make a child repeat a grade in school because of lack of academic progress, or very rarely, because of slow social and emotional development (usually in kindergarten or pre-school). Here's a transcript of an NPR show that uses the terms several times. https://www.npr.org/2012/05/14/152683322/third-grade-a-pivotal-time-in-...


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 ...


37

Michael Quinion, Ologies and Isms: Word Beginnings and endings (2002) has this entry for the suffix -eroo: -eroo Also -aroo, -aroonie, and -eroonie. An informal and often humorous intensifier of nouns {A fanciful formation of uncertain origin} This ending is most common in North America, Australia, and New Zealand. It appeared in the U.S. in the ...


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 ...


25

The suffix -eroo appears to be an analoguous post-formation derived, in the view of many, from the Spanish vaquero - a cowboy. Julian Mason (in American Speech, Feb. 1960, pp. 51-55 - available through Duke University Press, albeit behind the pay-wall of JSTOR) cites a novel by one Owen Wister, Jimmyjohn Boss (1900): "Yep. Cow-punchers. Vaqueros. ...


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 ...


24

An interesting anecdote appears in Benjamin Franklin's Autobiography. Then I walked up the street, gazing about till near the market-house I met a boy with bread. I had made many a meal on bread, and, inquiring where he got it, I went immediately to the baker's he directed me to, in Second-street, and ask'd for bisket, intending such as we had in Boston; ...


19

Pretty much the only time I remember hearing "Hay is for horses" intended as an actual admonition, as opposed to a lighthearted and humorous response, was in elementary school. I think our teachers used the phrase to remind us that "Hey, Mrs. Johnson" was an inapproriately informal way to get a teacher's attention – that we should try something like, "Excuse ...


19

pushcart A type of cart with wheels that you manually push. Dictionary.com says the term is primarily used in the US and in Canada mainly US and Canadian a handcart, typically having two wheels and a canvas roof, used esp by street vendors. Also called: barrow Wikipedia suggests that it is typically known as a food cart A food cart is a mobile ...


17

Presumably because this is the way the settlers thought American Indians walked on trails through the forest. They probably did; if you have narrow trails, this is the only comfortable way to walk them. By the way, in my experience, it's not "an Indian file"; unlike "single file", "Indian file" is not used as a noun. They walked Indian file. or ... ...


16

Indians in single file: Canadians in single file:


16

In the succinctly named textbook: English Grammar in Familiar lectures. Embracing a new Systematick Order of Parsing. A New System of Punctuation, Exercises in false Syntax, and A System of Philosophical Grammar. Designed for the use of Schools and Private Learners by Samuel Kirkham, dated 1834 we have this example of usage pertaining to Pennsylvania The ...


15

The phrase market cart brings up some similar images in eBay. I think I’ve also seen this kind of stand called a "barrow", too. Collins list the following for "barrow": chiefly Brit a handcart, typically having two wheels and a canvas roof, used esp by street vendors Which neatly describes your images in a British fashion and gives "handcart" as an ...


14

It figures means it makes sense or it is expected. Go figure expresses amazement or disbelief. EDIT: figure in these senses would be similar to calculate or come to a sensible conclusion. So it figures would suggest that a situation is reasonably expected. And go figure would suggest (rhetorically) that the audience should seek to find sense in the ...


14

The difference is a qualitative one, not quantitative describing probability. It varies by context, but typically, "I think" indicates that you're basing what you're about to say based primarily on knowledge, thought or experiences you had before the current situation, whereas "I guess" indicates that you're doing on-the-spot speculation at that moment. The ...


14

Consound it, concern it and consarn it are all minced oaths for confound it, which is itself a minced oath for damn it, in turn arguably a minced oath for God damn it.


13

I grew up in New York (born in Nov 1968) and when I was a child they were called "thongs". In the very late 70s my family moved to Seattle and there they were also called "Thongs". I only became aware of the term "flip-flops" in the late 80s and found it humorous that a g-string would be called a "thong". (I can still recall my adolescent thoughts ...


12

Senior in the USA refers to the fourth year of a standard four-year college degree (an undergraduate degree or BA, for most Commonwealth English speakers). Students in the four years of a standard US college degree are known respectively as freshmen, sophomores, juniors, and seniors. (Confusingly, the last two years of high school — roughly, ages 17–19 — ...


11

Have a look at this highly relevant paper: Towards an automated classification of Englishes by Søren Wichmann and Matthias Urba from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Leipzig) Have e.g. a look at the tree-like structure on page 4, Fig. 3.1. (unfortunately the referenced paper therein doesn't seem to be available publicly).


11

From an AmE speaker, 'hey' is perfectly fine in the US, people use it all the time. I remember hearing that more than once as a child, "Hay is for horses." in response to 'hey'. It sounds like it was supposed to stop you from using 'hey' but it never did. It comes across more as a (not particularly successful) attempt at a clever saying. It's not formal at ...


11

Corn as a synonym for maize or any other grain depends on the region you look at. I once heard as explanation for this, that people tend to name the most common crop corn. So in regions with a dominant maize production corn refers to maize. In regions with a dominant grain production corn typically means grain. In my region, when people speak of corn, they ...


11

AmE here. "Would you mind and do something" is unacceptable in any region of the US in which I have ever lived (Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, South, Mid-west and Northwest.) It is not idiomatic, and at best is a terrible example of attempt at simulating non-native speech. Googling "would you mind and do" turns up no examples of this phrasing except your own ...


11

The earliest occurrence in print of hackamore I have found, in this cowboy story from 1850 (very likely the source alluded to by Wikipedia and Etymonline), explicitly associates it with the Spanish term. ('Pete' is 'Dutch' or German, the 'old man' is apparently Mexican.) “When a broncho is lassed, he is fust choked down, then a hackamore is put on ...


11

Mitford Mathews, A Dictionary of Americanisms on Historical Principles (1951), offers this entry for the word snapper: snapper, n. 1. = snapping turtle. [Citations from 1796 forward omitted.] ... 2. A cracker at the end of a whip. Usu. transf. in the sense of a word or phrase giving a smart or pointed finish to something. [First three cited examples:] ...


11

As Steinback noted in an interview, he was a bindle-stiff himself in real life. An old term used to refer migrant workers: I was a bindle-stiff myself for quite a spell,” the author told The New York Times in 1937, employing the now archaic nickname for migrant workers. “I worked in the same country that the story is laid in.” With Of Mice and Men, ...


11

Changing vowels to schwas is called vowel reduction, and it's incredibly common for most English speakers (not just people from Michigan).


11

The sentence as written is simply incorrect. The object of "help me" should be an infinitive. As you stated, "has helped me [to] develop" would be one way of correcting the sentence. This is the same regardless of what tense the first verb is in. "helped me develop," "will help me develop," "would have been helping me develop," etc. are all correct phrases. ...


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