Category: Varieties of English

Join guest blogger Natalie King on a linguistic trip to the not-yet-gentrified parts of London to explore the city's urban slang.

Urban London slang: an introduction for hipsters

In 1969 Ralph McTell sang ‘let me take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of London…’ Well, reader, permit me to do the same. We’re going on a linguistic journey to urban London. You can leave your Lonely Planet guide to the city behind. And you can forget the name of […]

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Some words unique to Singapore have recently been included in the OED.

5 great words from Singapore English (now in the OED)

As an OED editor working mostly on words coming from world varieties of English, I am always fascinated by the research that goes into every dictionary entry, and what it tells me about the culture and history of English-speaking communities in different parts of the globe. Every once in a while, I also get the […]

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While there are some similarities in dialect from town to town in Yorkshire, there are a few differences to be heard ‘an all’.

What I’ve learned since moving to Yorkshire

On the occasion that you offer someone a free – and perfectly fresh – slice of cake (it doesn’t happen very often, let me tell you), you half expect your hand to be very much snapped off. Or at the very least, an ‘It looks lovely ta, but I’m dieting’, accompanied with a sorry pat […]

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To date, region-specific pronunciations for words from 10 varieties of English have been added to the OED, namely Scottish, Irish, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, South African, Caribbean, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysian, and Philippine English.

Shibboleth, Sibboleth: pronouncing international Englishes

‘Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce it right’ says Judges 12:6 of the King James Bible. The word Shibboleth was adopted more broadly to refer to language which can be used to identify those who belong (or rather, do not belong) to […]

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The woodlouse has had many different names, depending on which part of Britain you’re in: we take a look at some of the regional variations.

The many names of the woodlouse

You’re probably familiar with the woodlouse, but (unless they happen to be your field of study), you probably haven’t given them a great deal of thought lately. The more biologically-minded among you may throw around the Latin term isopoda for the order, and oniscus or armadillidium for the two common varieties, but to most of […]

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Street in Dublin

An American in Dublin

It’s Bloomsday. I am strolling the streets of Dublin just as the celebration’s namesake, Leopold Bloom, did on this date nearly 100 years ago in James Joyce’s Ulysses. Like him, I am taking in the many sights and sounds of Ireland’s storied old capital. As a word nerd and language writer, I’m especially listening out […]

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The language of Irish English

Explore the language of Irish English, from ‘gobdaw’ to ‘hooley’

Today is St Patrick’s Day, which seems a perfect excuse to not only go out for a few beers and perhaps a couple of glasses of usquebaugh, but also to take a closer look at some Irish English words. However you choose to celebrate today, whether you’re planning to dance your socks off at a […]

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Northern Irish is a rich and varied, blending slang from Ireland, Scotland, and the north of England

Ten verbs from Northern Ireland that you’ll enjoy using

Northern Irish is a rich and varied dialect, blending slang from Ireland, Scotland, and the north of England with some of its own unique creations. The following ten verbs are used in Northern Irish English, as well as other regional varieties, and are some of our favourites from the most recent update to Cowp […]

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