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Thomas Tompion

Senior Member
English - England
In the UK we are conscious all the time of new words and idioms arriving from over the Atlantic, and I seriously fail to keep up with them. Is this verbal traffic one-way? Are Americans conscious of the arrival of new-minted English words and expressions - other than technical terms?
  • cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    BE words constantly drift westward. AE speakers have little way of knowing if they are new-minted or ancient.
    They arrive, clear customs, and find their way into our mouths. Some may sneak in as contraband. We have
    no way of knowing, as they do not normally carry tax stamps.


    Senior Member
    USA English (southern)
    Everything I know about BE, I learned from watching Fawlty Towers.

    Well, except for "that's a nice bit of kit". I picked that one up from a former employer.


    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Many of my friends watch UK-created television so we are fairly familiar with Englishisms. Public Television broadcasts many UK sitcoms & dramas, & the BBCAmerica cable TV channel is popular. There are also a surprising number of English & Scots (and many, many, Irish) living in New York City to help spread the language around. I think we are conservative about using Englishisms - you don't want to sound pretentious or not be understood. I find some slang & insults really useful - when a good descriptive insult fits the situation, I wouldn't not use it just because it's Brit.
    It's not likely anyone will start using "mobile" instead of "cell phone" and if someone asks a girl out for a "bevy" instead of a drink they'll look like an idiot, but using a Englishism in a way that could be understood & that expresses a specific idea well would be fine. American English has plenty "foreign" words already & is the richer for it - it just means we have more choices when expressing ourselves.
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