In which dialects has “right” been used as an adverb meaning “very”?

I, as an American English speaker, have the intuition that “right” could mean “very” in some British or Australian dialects. However, I could not find much information outside of a couple of dictionary entries that simply list it as dialectical or archaic usage.

For example, the entry from the free online Oxford Dictionary does indeed identify this usage of “right” as archaic and dialectical usage, though the entry in Merriam Webster’s online dictionary provides this usage with no qualifiers. Meanwhile, the entry in provides no indication of that usage whatsoever.


It appears to be non-standard yet with quite a spread in both the US and Britain.
Regarding “Right Honorable”, I see the temptation to equate it with “very”, but “Right Reverend” would point away from that as a definitive equivalance. It certainly turns up the volume.
It is worth noting that recht in German is far more standard in this usage as an emphasizer. Perhaps rather than “very” you could consider “quite” a better translation.

Source : Link , Question Author : kjohn , Answer Author : T.E.D.

Leave a Comment