Tag Archives: language

North American English words not used in the UK

Thanks to reading this Wikipedia article I’ve realised I can claim to know 2 versions of English, or at least 2 dialects, I hadn’t realised how many differences there are. ¬†There may be some more recent words which are missing as I left N. America on 1996!

I removed around 20% of the Wikipedia list, i.e., those words which I never heard in common usage.

I’m sure the following is not exhaustive ūüėČ

A

affirmative action

providing opportunities in education or work based on (e.g.) race or gender (UK: positive discrimination)

airplane

fixed-wing aircraft. Alteration of UK aeroplane, probably influenced by aircraft

alphabetize

(verb) (UK and US: sort alphabetically)

aluminum

(UK: aluminium)

arugula, rugola

the herb also known as rocket or garden rocket. Borrowed from southern Italian dialect in the early 1960s (“Ask Italian greengrocers for arugula, rucola or ruccoli; ask other markets for rouquette, rocket salad or, simply, rocket.” ‚ÄĒ The New York Times, May 24, 1960, in OED).

 

 

B

baby carriage

pushable vehicle for transporting babies, also called stroller, buggy or regionally baby coach (UK: perambulator (very old-fashioned or formal), pram, or, for the type that an older baby sits rather than lies in, pushchair or buggy)

ballpark

a baseball stadium; although used as well to mean range of approximation or accuracy (“in the ballpark”; “a ballpark figure”) *

Band-Aid *

(trademark) bandage for minor wounds, (UK: Elastoplast (trademark), plaster [DM]); also, a makeshift solution

bangs

front part of the hair cut to hang over the forehead (UK: a fringe)

barrette

hair slide

baseboard

skirting board

bellhop

a hotel porter

blinders

(on a horse) (UK: blinkers)

blood sausage

black pudding

boardwalk

a walkway usually made of planking, typically along a beach (as that of Atlantic City) (UK: promenade)

bobby pin

hair grip, Kirby grip

booger

(slang) a piece of nasal mucus (UK: bogey)

boombox

a large portable stereo, syn. with ghettoblaster, which is also American in origin but is common in the UK.

boondocks

(also the boonies) rough country; a very rural location or town; backwoods; the “sticks”. Sometimes refers to rough, poor neighborhoods in a city. From Tagalog.

breadbox

a box for keeping bread (UK: usually bread bin)

broil

to cook food with high heat with the heat applied directly to the food from above (UK: grill) [DM]. Apparently first used by Chaucer.

brownstone

a type of residential building found in New York City and other large cities

buddy, bud

a friend; also used as a term of address (UK similar: mate)

busboy

junior restaurant worker assisting waiting staff, table clearer, water pourer etc. (UK: busser; runner)

C

caboose

a train car attached usually to the rear mainly for the crew’s use (UK: guard’s van’ or brake van’); also (colloquial) the buttocks

candy

[UK: sweets]

careen

(of a vehicle) to travel fast and out of control, usually swerving or cornering (UK: career)

cart

a four wheeled wire frame used to carry shopping (UK: trolley)

cell phone *

(short for cellular telephone) a portable telephone; UK: mobile phone, often abbreviated to mobile

certified mail

recorded delivery

ChapStick *

(trademark, sometimes used generically) a lip balm – trademark Lypsyl is common (UK: Lip Balm *)

checkers

a popular board game (UK: draughts)

charge account

in a store or shop (UK: credit account)

checking account

the type of bank account used for drawing checks; distinguished from savings account. (UK: current account or cheque account)

cilantro

coriander leaf, while in the US, coriander refers only to the seed.

conniption (fit)

(slang) temper tantrum.

cookout

informal meal cooked and eaten outdoors, a cross between a picnic and a barbecue or a cooking competition taking place outdoors

co-ed, coed

female student at a coeducational college (e.g., “He saw the party as an opportunity to meet co-eds.”); any group of people with members from both genders (e.g. “My soccer team is co-ed.”)

condo

Condominium

cooties

fictional disease, a term used by children (UK: germs, lurgy); also a term for lice

costume party

party where costumes are worn (UK: fancy-dress party)

cotton candy

spun sugar often sold at fairs (UK: candy floss)

counterclockwise

(UK: anti-clockwise)

coveralls

a one-piece outer protective garment (UK: overall, boiler suit)

critter

(informal) a creature; an animal (as a horse in the South or a bull in the North); often used jocularly (as in “congresscritter”, a congressperson); sometimes a term of endearment

crapshoot

risky and uncertain venture; from craps, a dice game

 

 

D

diaper

An absorbent undergarment (UK: nappy)

dime

a 10-cent coin. Derived from the French word disme (the original spelling), meaning a tenth part or tithe, and ultimately from the Latin decima. Five-and-dime, dime store, a store selling cheap merchandise; a dime a dozen, so abundant as to be worth little; on a dime, (slang) ten dollars, in a small space (“turn on a dime”) or immediately (“stop on a dime”); nickel-and-dime, originally an adjective meaning “involving small amounts of money” and then “insignificant”, also a verb meaning “to rip-off by many seemingly insignificant charges”. (The nickel [DM] is the 5-cent coin.) In Britain, the old sixpence, a small coin of a comparable size and value, was formerly used in similar expressions before a decimal currency was introduced in the 1971.

direct deposit

a method of payment by bank transfer, similar to European giro, almost exclusively used for deposits of pay checks or government benefits

discombobulated

to confuse or disconcert; upset; frustrate (UK and US: discompose)

dishrag

a cloth for washing dishes (UK and US: dishcloth)

dishwashing liquid

a liquid soap used for washing dishes (UK “washing-up liquid”)

dish towel

a towel for drying dishes (UK: tea towel)

douche

device for rinsing the vagina or anus; also douchebag* is used as an insult

downtown*

(noun, adv., adj.) (in, to, toward, or related to) either the lower section or the business center of a city or town‚ÄĒ(used in UK but more common expression would be city centre)

drape

(UK: curtain)

driver license, driver’s license

(UK: driving licence)

drugstore

a pharmacy, or a store selling candy, magazines, etc. along with medicines (UK approx.: chemist or “corner shop” [DM])

druthers

preference of one thing over another derived from a contraction of “I would rather” or “I’d rather” (e.g., “if I had my druthers, I’d…”)

drywall

gypsum board, plasterboard, or any process that builds interior walls without the use of water (UK: plasterboard)

dude

A male or a farm hand at a horse ranch. Americans often use this as the combined equivalent of the British usage of “mate” and “bloke”, or, even closer, as the equivalent of Caribbean “man/mon”. Dude has become more understood in the UK due to television, films, music, etc.

Dumpster

(trademark: might be becoming genericized) large trash receptacle (UK approx.: skip [DM]); to dumpster-dive, to rummage through a Dumpster

dweeb

a boring, studious or socially inept person (a nerd, a geek or a “drip” an old-fashioned mild pejorative for someone exceptionally eccentric or lacking in social skills)

 

 

E

eggplant

the plant Solanum melongena (UK: aubergine); “eggplant” is common in the Commonwealth outside the United Kingdom.

Elevator

(UK: lift)

Emergency brake

brake in motor vehicle operated by a lever used to keep it stationary. Also referred to as an “E-brake”. (UK: handbrake)

English muffin

(UK: “muffin“, “hot muffin“) (for more, see article)

envision

to Envisage

eraser

(UK: rubber [DM])

expiration

As in expiration date (UK: expiry)

expressway

A type of limited-access road (UK “motorway“)

 

 

F

faucet

water outlet (UK and US: tap [DM])

flack

a publicist or press agent; sometimes also an alternate spelling of flak “negative commentary”, which is used in the UK. Although flack “press agent” was first recorded just one year after flak “Flugabwehrkanone”, the two are likely unrelated.

flashlight

portable battery-powered electric lamp (UK: torch)

freeway

(see article) (UK motorway)

freshman

a first-year student in college or high school (fresher in UK)

French fries (or fries)

pieces of potato that have been deep-fried. Originates from Belgian style of cooking potatoes (UK chips: e.g., fish and chips or pie and chips)

frosting

A confection applied to cakes (US and UK: icing)

 

G

garbage

(UK: rubbish)

garbage can; waste basket

(UK: rubbish bin or simply bin, as in “Put the rubbish in the bin.”)

gasoline

(esp. in the past also spelled gasolene; abbreviated gas) (UK: petrol)

gee-whiz

as an interjection, a euphemism for “Jesus”; as an adjective, denotes something characterized by or meant to cause excitement or sensation (“gee-whiz technology”; “a gee-whiz attitude”)

get-go (git-go)

the very beginning (of something) [1]

green thumb

(UK: green fingers)

grifter *

a con artist, transient swindler, or professional gambler (UK: con man); also grift can mean an act of thievery or trickery

gotten

Archaic in most of the UK except Yorkshire where it is widely used.

H

hickey

a bruise on one’s skin resulting from kissing or sucking; (UK: love bite * )

ho

The word “whore“, synonymous with tramp (harlot) or slut and often used as an insult. The spelling is associated with African-American English, though it does no more than reflect a non-Rhotic pronunciation of the standard word, similar to what can be heard in Boston (“haw” or “ho-wuh”) or Australia.

hobo

tramp (BrE); subculture of wandering homeless people,[1] particularly those who make a habit of hopping freight trains. Becoming more popular in the UK

hood

engine compartment cover of front-engine automobile (UK: bonnet)

play hooky

to play truant from school; to cut class (UK also: skive, bunk off or playing wag or wagging off or mooching)

horseback riding

simply “riding” or horse riding in the UK

howdy

(short for how do you do) casual greeting that originated in the Southern States. (UK How do?)

J

jack off, jerk off *

(slang) to masturbate; UK usage would be “to wank”. If used as a disparaging noun, as in “that guy is such a jackoff [or jerkoff]”, the UK equivalent would be “that bloke is such a wanker (or a “tosser”)”. In this sense, sometimes written “jagoff”. (It is generally not considered as vulgar or insulting as “wanker” is, however.) Can also mean to delay, stymie, thwart, or cause confusion, sometimes with the intent to defraud (“I’ve waited an hour to be served; they’re jerking me off,”; “They say I never returned the car- I left it in the lot. I’m getting jerked off here.”) In the latter sense, may also be “jerked around”.

jackhammer

(UK: pneumatic drill)

Jane Doe

See John Doe.

jeez

minced oath for “Jesus”, sometimes spelled geez

Jell-o

(trademark) gelatin dessert (UK: jelly [DM])

john

(slang) a toilet; also, the client of a prostitute

johnson

(slang) penis ( UK¬†: “willy” )

John Doe

unnamed defendant or victim (as in a lawsuit), or a person whose identity is unknown or is intended to be anonymous; also, an average man¬†; compare John Q. Public (UK equivalent is Joe Bloggs, or John Smith). The female equivalent is Jane Doe, or less frequently “Jane Roe” as in Roe v. Wade. Also Baby Doe.

L

ladybug

a red, black-spotted beetle (UK: ladybird)

laundromat

a public place to wash laundry (UK: laundrette)

learner’s permit

a restricted license for a person learning to drive, who has not yet passed the necessary driver’s test (rules vary from state to state); also called driver’s permit (UK: provisional driving licence)

left field *

a source of unexpected or illogical questions, ideas, etc. (“that proposal came out of left field”); for the baseball sense see left fielder; see English language idioms derived from baseball (now becoming more common in the UK)

license plate, license tag

vehicle registration plate (UK: number plate)

M

mail

UK: post

mailman

see mail carrier

mailbox

(UK: post box, letter box, pillar box)

math

mathematics (UK: maths).

midsize

medium size

Miranda

(Miranda warning) the warning (usually “You have the right to remain silent. If you give up that right, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.” etc.) given to criminal suspects when arrested; (Miranda rights) the right of a criminal suspect when arrested, as established in the United States Supreme Court case Miranda v. Arizona; hence mirandize, to recite the Miranda warning to (a criminal suspect). In the UK this is referred to as “reading rights” or “cautioned as to his rights” (not to be confused with a police caution).

mohawk

a type of haircut (UK: mohican)

mama, mamma, momma

mother (UK often: mum[my], mam, ma)

mom-and-pop

single-family operated small business (“a mom-and-pop store”) (UK: family business)

mono / mononucleosis

(UK: Glandular fever)

mortician

(UK & US: undertaker, funeral director)

N

narc

law enforcement narcotics agent; but ‘to narc on’ someone is to inform on them to an authority figure, used also as a noun labeling a person who does such. Also ‘Grass’ (UK and New Zealand) or ‘Dobber’ (Australia and most parts of the UK, except central Scotland where ‘dobber’ generally means ‘penis’).

napkin

(UK: serviette)

nightstand

encompassed by bedside table

nix

cancel

 

O

obligated

(UK: “obliged”)

off-the-rack

of clothes, etc. (UK: off-the-peg)

ornery

irritable, crotchety, cranky, troublemaking (from ordinary)

outage *

temporary suspension of operation (“a power outage“, UK: powercut); the amount of something lost in storage or transportation [DM]

overpass *

(UK: flyover)

 

 

P

pacifier

(UK: dummy [DM], comforter [DM])

pantry

(UK: larder)

pantyhose

(UK: tights, a term used for similar non-sheer garments in the U.S.; “pantyhose” refers only to sheer or semi-sheer nylon-based tights)

paper route

a regular series of newspaper deliveries (UK: paper round)

paper towels

a roll of absorbent perforated paper used to clean around the house (UK: kitchen roll)

parking lot

a usually outside area for the parking of automotive vehicles (UK: car park)

penitentiary

prison; gaol/jail.

period

punctuation mark at the end of a sentence (UK: full-stop)

Popsicle

A trademarked brand of frozen juice, or flavored ice on a stick. The term is widely used to describe all such confections without regard to brand. (UK: ice lolly)

pre-authorized payment/withdrawal

(UK: direct debit (variable amount)/standing order (fixed amount))

public holiday

(UK: bank holiday, although public holiday is also used, more formally, when referring to New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day). See Federal holiday

 

 

R

rad

short for “radical”, different or interesting, exceptional; synonym for cool

raincheck

The metaphorical raincheck is used in the US to indicate that the person “taking the raincheck” regretfully cannot accept the current invitation but would like to be invited to a future event. Stores may “give a raincheck” when they have run out of an advertised item; this is usually a coupon to purchase the item later at the advertised price. In the UK the person “taking the raincheck” may attend an event, but is warning the host that there is a possibility that they may not be able to make it. Both usages are becoming more common in UK English, particularly amongst office workers.

Realtor (trademark)

member of the National Association of Realtors; as a genericized trademark, any real estate broker or real estate agent (UK: estate agent)

restroom

a toilet, particularly a public one.

RV (recreational vehicle)

see article for usage of the terms RV, motor home, and the British camper [DM] and caravan [DM]

S

Saran wrap

(Saran is a trademark) plastic wrap (UK: cling film)

scalper

ticket tout

Scotch Tape

(trademark) sticky tape (UK: Sellotape [trademark])

sedan automobile

(UK: saloon)

self-rising flour

self-raising flour

semester

term

shopping bag : (UK: carry bag)

Shyster*

A lawyer or accountant of dubious ethical standards. This phrase commonly indicates a person with no ethical restraints. (From German Scheister)

sidewalk

usually paved path for pedestrian traffic, often constructed of concrete or less usually of stone (UK: pavement [DM], footpath [DM])

skim milk

(UK: skimmed milk)

sneaker

(usually pl.) a form of footwear, also called tennis shoe or “gym shoe”‚ÄĒsee regional vocabularies of American English (UK: trainer, plimsoll, regional dap,pump, [DM])

snuck

(colloqual Past Tense and Past Participle) form of “Sneak” ) (US standard and UK: Sneaked)

soccer

used in the UK but the sport is also known as “Football” or fully as association football

soda pop

(UK: soft drink [without CO2 e.g. orange juice], or fizzy/carbonated drink [with CO2 e.g. Coca-Cola])

sophomore

a second-year college or high school student (Trinity College Dublin has sophister in this sense); (adj.) the second in a series (as in, an athlete’s “sophomore season”, a band’s “sophomore album”) From the Greek: Sophos – Wise; and Moros – Fool, Moron (UK: undergraduate has this extended sense)

specialty *

(UK: speciality, though specialty is used in law and medicine)

station wagon

automobile with extended rear cargo area (UK: estate (car))

stickshift, stick

(car with) manual transmission, as opposed to an automatic (UK: gear stick or gear lever for the stick; manual for the car)

strep throat

a sore throat caused by Streptococcus

stool pigeon, stoolie

police informer (UK: grass) (From the use of captive birds as hunting decoys)

stoop

A small porch, platform, or staircase leading to the entrance of a house or building. Chiefly Northeastern U.S.

streetcar

vehicle on rails for passenger transportation [DM] usually within a city; also called trolley [DM] or trolley car if electrically powered by means of a trolley (UK: tram)

stroller

vehicle for baby transportation featuring the child in a sitting position, usually facing forward (UK: pushchair, buggy [DM])

suck

A phrase expressing distaste or disapproval. Slowly entering British slang.

SUV *

Sport-Utility Vehicle. Often referred to as a 4√ó4 (“four by four”) in the UK; in the US “4√ó4” usually refers to a four wheel drive pickup truck

sweater

a knitted jacket or jersey (UK: jumper or wooly jumper)

sweatpants

(UK: track bottoms, tracksuit bottoms. Colloqially trackie bottoms or trackies)

 

 

T

tailpipe

exhaust pipe

takeout

(UK: takeaway; Scotland & US also: carry-out)

teleprompter

(see article) (UK: compare autocue)

thru*

Through. An abbreviation mostly used in the fast food industry, as in Drive Thru. Also used in traffic signs (“Thru Traffic Keep Left”; i.e., traffic that is continuing through an interchange rather than exiting should keep to the left) and occasionally road names (“New York State Thruway”) and sometimes in newspaper headlines. Absolutely not considered acceptable spelling in other contexts. Seen in the UK at McDonalds, Burger King etc.

thumbtack

short nail or pin with a large, rounded metal head (UK: drawing pin)

track and field meeting * (track meet)

(UK usually athletics meeting [DM]); see also track [DM]

trashcan

(UK: dustbin, rubbish bin)

trunk

storage space usually over rear wheels of an automobile (excepting some) (UK: boot)

two-bits

literally, worth 25 cents or a quarter (a bit is an eighth of a dollar); figuratively, worth very little, insignificant (informal). In UK the phrase “two bob“‘ exists although this far more common in London and the south-east. Likewise mickey mouse.

two cents, two cents’ worth

an opinion, a piece of one’s mind (as in, “I’m gonna go down there and give him my two cents”) – (UK similar: two pence, two penneth, two penn’orth or tuppence worth)

 

 

U

undershirt

an upper undergarment with no collar, and with short or no sleeves, worn next to the skin under a shirt (UK: singlet, vest [DM], semmit in Scotland and Northern Ireland [2])

upscale

relating to goods targeted at high-income consumers (UK: upmarket)

uptown

(noun, adj., adv.) (in, to, toward, or related to) either the upper section or the residential district of a city; e.g., in Manhattan, New York City the term refers to the northern end of Manhattan, generally speaking, north of 59th Street; see also Uptown, Minneapolis; Uptown, Chicago; Uptown New Orleans; compare downtown. Often has implications of being a desirable or upscale neighborhood. However, in Butte, Montana and Charlotte, North Carolina, “Uptown” refers to what would be called “downtown” in most other cities.

 

 

V

vacation*

an individual’s earned time off from work: usually 1 to 4 weeks (UK: holiday)

varmint or varmit

(from vermin) pest which raids farms, rather than infesting them

 

 

W

washcloth

(UK: flannel, UK often & US less frequently facecloth; US less frequently also washrag)

wastebasket

synonym for trash can, especially one intended for light waste (UK: dustbin; wastepaper basket is an interior object for waste from each room.)

windshield

the front window of an automobile (UK: windscreen)

wiseguy

a mobster; also smartass (e.g., “hey, wiseguy‚Ķ”) (UK: a “know-it-all”)

 

Z

zinger

a witty, often caustic remark; something supposed to cause surprise or shock

ZIP code

(for Zone Improvement Plan) the postal code used by the United States Postal Service composed of 5 digits as in 90210, sometimes a suffix of 4 digits after a hyphen is used. (UK equivalent: postcode or post code or rarely postal code)

zipper *

(UK usually zip [DM])

zucchini

the plant Cucurbita pepo, also zucchini squash. (UK: courgette)

 

 

 

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_American_words_not_widely_used_in_the_United_Kingdom

 

Poem containing ~800 of worst English irregularities

I often find myself in conversations debating the relative complexities and challenges of various languages, machine-based and human.  The following is a clever poem that needs to be reproduced in its entirety, illustrating how English is more about learning exceptions than learning rules.

Gerard Nolst Trenité РThe Chaos (1922)

Dearest creature in creation
Studying English pronunciation,
I will teach you in my verse
Sounds like corpse, corps, horse and worse.

I will keep you, Susy, busy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy;
Tear in eye, your dress you’ll¬†tear;
Queer, fair seer, hear my prayer.

Pray, console your loving poet,
Make my coat look new, dear, sew it!
Just compare heart, hear and heard,
Dies and diet, lord and word.

Sword and sward, retain and Britain
(Mind the latter how it’s¬†written).
Made has not the sound of bade,
Saysaid, paypaid, laid but plaid.

Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as vague and ague,
But be careful how you speak,
Say: gush, bush, steak, streak, break, bleak ,

Previous, precious, fuchsia, via
Recipe, pipe, studding-sail, choir;
Woven, oven, how and low,
Script, receipt, shoe, poem, toe.

Say, expecting fraud and trickery:
Daughter, laughter and Terpsichore,
Branch, ranch, measles, topsails, aisles,
Missiles, similes, reviles.

Wholly, holly, signal, signing,
Same, examining, but mining,
Scholar, vicar, and cigar,
Solar, mica, war and far.

From “desire”:¬†desirableadmirable from “admire”,
Lumber, plumber, bier, but brier,
Topsham, brougham, renown, but known,
Knowledge, done, lone, gone, none, tone,

One, anemone, Balmoral,
Kitchen, lichen, laundry, laurel.
Gertrude, German, wind and wind,
Beau, kind, kindred, queue, mankind,

Tortoise, turquoise, chamois-leather,
Reading, Reading, heathen, heather.
This phonetic labyrinth
Gives moss, gross, brook, brooch, ninth, plinth.

Have you ever yet endeavoured
To pronounce revered and severed,
Demon, lemon, ghoul, foul, soul,
Peter, petrol and patrol?

Billet does not end like ballet;
Bouquet, wallet, mallet, chalet.
Blood and flood are not like food,
Nor is mould like should and would.

Banquet is not nearly parquet,
Which exactly rhymes with khaki.
Discount, viscount, load and broad,
Toward, to forward, to reward,

Ricocheted and crocheting, croquet?
Right! Your pronunciation’s OK.
Rounded, wounded, grieve and sieve,
Friend and fiend, alive and live.

Is your r correct in higher?
Keats asserts it rhymes Thalia.
Hugh, but hug, and hood, but hoot,
Buoyant, minute, but minute.

Say abscission with precision,
Now: position and transition;
Would it tally with my rhyme
If I mentioned paradigm?

Twopence, threepence, tease are easy,
But cease, crease, grease and greasy?
Cornice, nice, valise, revise,
Rabies, but lullabies.

Of such puzzling words as nauseous,
Rhyming well with cautious, tortious,
You’ll¬†envelop lists, I hope,
In a linen envelope.

Would you like some more? You’ll¬†have it!
Affidavit, David, davit.
To abjure, to perjure. Sheik
Does not sound like Czech but ache.

Liberty, library, heave and heaven,
Rachel, loch, moustache, eleven.
We say hallowed, but allowed,
People, leopard, towed but vowed.

Mark the difference, moreover,
Between mover, plover, Dover.
Leeches, breeches, wise, precise,
Chalice, but police and lice,

Camel, constable, unstable,
Principle, disciple, label.
Petal, penal, and canal,
Wait, surmise, plait, promise, pal,

Suit, suite, ruin. Circuit, conduit
Rhyme with “shirk it” and “beyond it”,
But it is not hard to tell
Why it’s¬†pall,¬†mall, but¬†Pall Mall.

Muscle, muscular, gaol, iron,
Timber, climber, bullion, lion,
Worm and storm, chaise, chaos, chair,
Senator, spectator, mayor,

Ivy, privy, famous; clamour
Has the a of drachm and hammer.
Pussy, hussy and possess,
Desert, but desert, address.

Golf, wolf, countenance, lieutenants
Hoist in lieu of flags left pennants.
Courier, courtier, tomb, bomb, comb,
Cow, but Cowper, some and home.

Solder, soldier! Blood is¬†thicker“,
Quoth he, “than¬†liqueur or¬†liquor“,
Making, it is sad but true,
In bravado, much ado.

Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
Pilot, pivot, gaunt, but aunt,
Font, front, wont, want, grand and grant.

Arsenic, specific, scenic,
Relic, rhetoric, hygienic.
Gooseberry, goose, and close, but close,
Paradise, rise, rose, and dose.

Say inveigh, neigh, but inveigle,
Make the latter rhyme with eagle.
Mind! Meandering but mean,
Valentine and magazine.

And I bet you, dear, a penny,
You say mani-(fold) like many,
Which is wrong. Say rapier, pier,
Tier (one who ties), but tier.

Arch, archangel; pray, does erring
Rhyme with herring or with stirring?
Prison, bison, treasure trove,
Treason, hover, cover, cove,

Perseverance, severance. Ribald
Rhymes (but¬†piebald doesn’t) with¬†nibbled.
Phaeton, paean, gnat, ghat, gnaw,
Lien, psychic, shone, bone, pshaw.

Don’t be¬†down, my¬†own, but¬†rough it,
And distinguish buffet, buffet;
Brood, stood, roof, rook, school, wool, boon,
Worcester, Boleyn, to impugn.

Say in sounds correct and sterling
Hearse, hear, hearken, year and yearling.
Evil, devil, mezzotint,
Mind the z! (A gentle hint.)

Now you need not pay attention
To such sounds as I don’t mention,
Sounds like pores, pause, pours and paws,
Rhyming with the pronoun yours;

Nor are proper names included,
Though I often heard, as you did,
Funny rhymes to unicorn,
Yes, you know them, Vaughan and Strachan.

No, my maiden, coy and comely,
I don’t want to speak of¬†Cholmondeley.
No. Yet Froude compared with proud
Is no better than McLeod.

But mind trivial and vial,
Tripod, menial, denial,
Troll and trolley, realm and ream,
Schedule, mischief, schism, and scheme.

Argil, gill, Argyll, gill. Surely
May be made to rhyme with Raleigh,
But you’re not supposed to say
Piquet rhymes with sobriquet.

Had this invalid invalid
Worthless documents? How pallid,
How uncouth he, couchant, looked,
When for Portsmouth I had booked!

Zeus, Thebes, Thales, Aphrodite,
Paramour, enamoured, flighty,
Episodes, antipodes,
Acquiesce, and obsequies.

Please don’t monkey with the¬†geyser,
Don’t peel ‘taters with my¬†razor,
Rather say in accents pure:
Nature, stature and mature.

Pious, impious, limb, climb, glumly,
Worsted, worsted, crumbly, dumbly,
Conquer, conquest, vase, phase, fan,
Wan, sedan and artisan.

The th will surely trouble you
More than r, ch or w.
Say then these phonetic gems:
Thomas, thyme, Theresa, Thames.

Thompson, Chatham, Waltham, Streatham,
There are more but I¬†forget ’em
Wait! I’ve got it:¬†Anthony,
Lighten your anxiety.

The archaic word albeit
Does not rhyme with eight-you see it;
With and forthwith, one has voice,
One has not, you make your choice.

Shoes, goes, does *. Now first say: finger;
Then say: singer, ginger, linger.
Real, zeal, mauve, gauze and gauge,
Marriage, foliage, mirage, age,

Hero, heron, query, very,
Parry, tarry fury, bury,
Dost, lost, post, and doth, cloth, loth,
Job, Job, blossom, bosom, oath.

Faugh, oppugnant, keen oppugners,
Bowing, bowing, banjo-tuners
Holm you know, but noes, canoes,
Puisne, truism, use, to use?

Though the difference seems little,
We say actual, but victual,
Seat, sweat, chaste, caste, Leigh, eight, height,
Put, nut, granite, and unite.

Reefer does not rhyme with deafer,
Feoffer does, and zephyr, heifer.
Dull, bull, Geoffrey, George, ate, late,
Hint, pint, senate, but sedate.

Gaelic, Arabic, pacific,
Science, conscience, scientific;
Tour, but our, dour, succour, four,
Gas, alas, and Arkansas.

Say manoeuvre, yacht and vomit,
Next omit, which differs from it
Bona fide, alibi
Gyrate, dowry and awry.

Sea, idea, guinea, area,
Psalm, Maria, but malaria.
Youth, south, southern, cleanse and clean,
Doctrine, turpentine, marine.

Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion with battalion,
Rally with ally; yea, ye,
Eye, I, ay, aye, whey, key, quay!

Say aver, but ever, fever,
Neither, leisure, skein, receiver.
Never guess-it is not safe,
We say calves, valves, half, but Ralf.

Starry, granary, canary,
Crevice, but device, and eyrie,
Face, but preface, then grimace,
Phlegm, phlegmatic, ass, glass, bass.

Bass, large, target, gin, give, verging,
Ought, oust, joust, and scour, but scourging;
Ear, but earn; and ere and tear
Do not rhyme with here but heir.

Mind the o of off and often
Which may be pronounced as orphan,
With the sound of saw and sauce;
Also soft, lost, cloth and cross.

Pudding, puddle, putting. Putting?
Yes: at golf it rhymes with shutting.
Respite, spite, consent, resent.
Liable, but Parliament.

Seven is right, but so is even,
Hyphen, roughen, nephew, Stephen,
Monkey, donkey, clerk and jerk,
Asp, grasp, wasp, demesne, cork, work.

A of valour, vapid vapour,
S of news (compare newspaper),
G of gibbet, gibbon, gist,
I of antichrist and grist,

Differ like diverse and divers,
Rivers, strivers, shivers, fivers.
Once, but nonce, toll, doll, but roll,
Polish, Polish, poll and poll.

Pronunciation-think of Psyche!-
Is a paling, stout and spiky.
Won’t it make you lose your¬†wits
Writing¬†groats and saying “grits”?

It’s a dark¬†abyss or¬†tunnel
Strewn with stones like rowlock, gunwale,
Islington, and Isle of Wight,
Housewife, verdict and indict.

Don’t you think so, reader,¬†rather,
Saying lather, bather, father?
Finally, which rhymes with enough,
Though, through, bough, cough, hough, sough, tough??

Hiccough has the sound of sup
My advice is: GIVE IT UP!

Bookmarks for July 21st through July 25th

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