"wait/stand on line" in the UK?

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Sat Nov 29 17:47:12 UTC 2008

a correspondent writes:

I've noticed in the Black Friday coverage lots of comments from
shoppers about waiting "on line" for several hours, a construction
I've noticed several times in the past few years. Growing up in the
midwest I always said I was waiting IN line; I was unfamiliar with the
"on line" construction until I lived in the UK.


i replied that "wait/stand on line" is a famous feature of NYC speech,
and that i hadn't seen reports of it from the UK.  i also suggested
that the Black Friday coverage with "wait on line" in it originated in

but does anyone have sightings of the expression in the UK (except
from people who grew up in NYC or very close to it)?


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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