The British Are Doming! How 'English' Common
Sayings Are Crossing the Atlantic and Conquering American Conversation
visiting the former colonies will no longer have to mind the gap
between the two languages.
More and more,
Americans are adopting Britishisms in their daily life taking
foreign turns of phrase and accepting them as their own.
charted the rise of words like 'ginger' for red hair and 'sell-by
date' for expiration date, revealing the use of British has exponentially
increased since the 1990s, in some cases more than 1,000 per cent
for certain idioms.
'I enjoy seeing
them,' Ben Yagoda, professor of English at the University of Delaware,
said to the BBC.
a birdwatcher. If I find an American saying "one", it makes my day!'
author of the forthcoming book How Not to Write Bad, has carefully
watched the emergence of the English tongue in America, chronicling
it on his blog: Not
'Over the last
decade or so, an alarming number of traditionally British expressions
have found their way into the American vocabulary,' he said.
He uses Google
Ngram to measure the popularity of a word or phrase on either side
of the pond.
The tool allows
users to measure the frequency a word appears in various books,
periodicals, and other data culled by Google. One can specify which
language to search, either British or American English.
This chart shows the rise of the term 'knackered,' which means
tired, in American English
chart shows the increasing popularity of the word 'snog', which
means to kiss passionately, in American English
Up: This chart shows the increased popularity of the term 'Chat
Up' in America
On his blog,
Mr Yagoda has discussed the rise of several phrases from everything
like 'crisps' for potato chips and 'knackered' for tired.
Associate Editor for Merriam-Webster, agrees that there has been
a British invasion of sorts.
to the definitive American dictionary this year include 'gastropub'.
says that gastropub, which is a gentrified pub serving quality meals,
was fist used in the Evening Standard in 1996. It came to America
Mr Yagoda has
traced words like 'posh' and 'ginger' to the popularity of the Spice
Girls in the early 1990s and credits J.K. Rowling with a host of
additions to the American lexicon.
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