Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Tue Aug 11 18:12:10 UTC 2009

On Aug 11, 2009, at 10:21 AM, Jim Parish wrote:

> Arnold Zwicky wrote:
>> the wikipedia entry mentions some adjectives: the well-established
>> preggers, bonkers, crackers, and starkers 'stark naked' (which i
>> should have recalled), plus the rarer skinters 'low on funds' and
>> butters 'ugly'.
> I find it interesting that this construction is identified as BrE, and
> specifically Oxonian.

well, Oxonian in its origin.  some of these items are now widespread
in colloquial British English.

but identifying some item as "British" (or "Southern" or "New Yorker"
or whatever) is not a claim that it occurs *only* in some group of
speakers (or that everyone in that group uses it).  it's just a claim
that the item occurs *primarily* in that group.

in the case of British and American English, there's quite a lot of
spreading of items in each direction, so it's no great surprise to
find some Americans using "British" items (and vice versa) on
occasion.  and then, of course, over time the items can spread in
their "new" locations.


The American Dialect Society -

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