Noun. Line, as in the thing you stand in, or, if you are from New York, on. Also verb, intransitive, usually followed by “up.” I was inspired to include this because just this morning I was at my local grocery store, and noticed that a sign indicating where the “line” for checkout should start had been replaced by one indicating where the “queue” should start. Queue may possibly have initiated the current crop of not one-off Britishisms; a Google Ngram indicates a steady rise in popularity since the early 1950s. Presumably its appeal has something to do with the ambiguity-inducing multiple meanings of line, line up and (these days) online. Also worth noting is a recent vogue for using queue up instead of the traditional cue up, as in cue up a recording. Clearly, further investigation is called for.“Whatever the other attractions of the Lillian Hellman play [“The Little Foxes”], which opens on May 7, the most talked about one is unquestionably Elizabeth Taylor, its star, who has never been on Broadway. On Monday, while a queue formed in the rain, the Martin Beck sold $120,000 worth of tickets.” (New York Times, March 18, 1981) “Hundreds queue up to be extras for upcoming Bonnie and Clyde film” (Headline, Joplin Globe, March 5, 2011)
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