Words where you are

Can you help us to identify and record the words, phrases, and expressions particular to where you live or where you are from?

How we speak can reveal where we are from: not just our accent, but the language we use. Words and phrases particular to a city, region, or country are a distinctive part of English, and we at the OED are asking you to help us identify and record them.

Most of us have experience of using a familiar term in unfamiliar circumstances and being met with a blank stare. Many of us can recall a moment when a word we’ve known and used for years at home turns out to be baffling to people from other parts of our own country, or from another English-speaking region. If a picture is hanging askew, would you say that it is agley, catawampous, antigodin, or ahoo?  At the beach, do you wear flip-flops – or would you refer to them as zoris, jandals, or slipslops? Would you call a loved one your doy, pet, dou-dou, bubele, alanna, or your babber? Many such words are common in speech, but some are rarely written down, so they can easily escape the attention of dictionary editors.

Whether you’re in Manchester, Mumbai, Manila, or Massachusetts, the OED would like to hear from you. Please use the form below to tell us about the words and expressions which are distinctive to where you live or where you are from. We’re looking forward to reading your suggestions. You can also join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #wordswhereyouare

Which words are used where you are?

  • e.g. cheeselog, away for slates.
  • e.g. a woodlouse, on the road to success.
  • e.g. Leeds, UK, Mumbai, south-west Australia

 

Posted by Kirsty Gibson on 25 April 2018 6.30

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