Expressions about a phone call and its quality

I was listening to a radio program and there was an interview going on over the phone between the anchor and the listener. But I heard a disturbing sound from the phone call and the anchor said, “Well, it looks like your signal is being dropped out there.” Something like this… (My words here could … Read more

Global socially acceptable way of acknowledging that I’m being a “pedantic w****r”?

I’m Australian and would not hesitate to call myself a “pedantic wanker” in public (because, well… I often am!). There is a very small chance that someone (most likely elderly or particularly conservative) may be offended. IMO though, it’s quite socially acceptable, and unless you are in a particularly formal setting, the risk of it … Read more

“‘ve” contraction in Canadian and Australian English

I’m wondering if in Australian or Canadian English you can use ” ‘ve” before a noun phrase in informal style: I’ve a car. They’ve a great time. The question is somewhat related to this one. The thread there shows that you can say this in British English but not in American English. Yet no one … Read more

Was Zink ever valid spelling for Zinc?

On the Genealogy & Family History Stack Exchange I asked What might ‘pitt Zink’ in 1873 South Australian diary mean? and the first answer I received more or less aligns with my thinking that Zink is being used where today we would (in Australia) write Zinc. The writer was living in South Australia, but prior … Read more

What is the origin of “deadly” as “excellent” in Irish and Australian English?

I wonder what the origin of "deadly" as "very good" and "excellent" is in Irish and Australian English. For example, a satisfied hotel guest might say, "The staff were very friendly and helpful. The room was really nice and the breakfast was deadly." Actually, many etymology dictionaries like Etymonline only refer to the origin of … Read more

Is”peanut” is pronounced as “pienut” in Australian English?

This morning on NHK Japanese National TV there was a short feature on an Australian person who is running an English school, teaching language and cooking at the same time. As a part of the scenario reporter was preparing an egg with spinach on a fry pan. At one moment the Australian teacher instructed him … Read more

Is the phrase “great pickup” a regional (Australian?) thing?

I am someone who grew up in Canada, and been mostly exposed to Canadian, American, and British English. When speaking with some Australians, I’ve been noticing the use of the phrase “great pickup”, or “nice pickup”. The meaning is similar to how I would say “nice catch”, or “good eye”, or more verbosely, “good job … Read more

Dialect using “woman” instead of “women”?

If you watch this VICE episode, the presenter sounds like a native speaker, but uses "woman" instead of "women" every time (probably over a dozen times in the 10 minute video). Specifically, the presenter is either pronouncing the word "women" in an unusual way (so: is this some kind of dialect or regional variation?) or … Read more

Strange pronunciation of “door”

I have just heard Australian-English actor Rob Inglis repeatedly pronounce the word “door” so that it rhymes with “poor”. In what dialect is that pronunciation found? Is it Australian? Edit – clarification My “Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary” gives the pronunciation [dɔ:(r)] for “door” and [pʊǝ(r)] for “poor” Mr Inglis’ pronunciation is [dʊǝ], not [dɔ:]. Answer … Read more