Search Results for: Ngram

“Go wobbly”

In a commencement address last month, former U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, “When we as people, a free people, go wobbly on the truth even on what may seem the most trivial matters, we go wobbly on America.” … Continue reading

“Chattering class/es”

I could have sworn I’ve done a post on this one, but apparently not, so here goes. The OED‘s definition and first three citations: chattering classes  n. (occasionally also in sing. chattering class) freq. derogatory members of the educated metropolitan … Continue reading


Lynne Murphy’s new book, The Prodigal Tongue, has plenty of blog-fodder, which I’m just starting to make my way through. As with “bestie,” I was surprised when she mentioned “flummox” as a Britishism, but once again, she’s right. For the … Continue reading

“Bits and Bobs”

As noted in the previous post, I was surprised to see Harvard historian Jill Lepore use “bits and bobs” in a New Yorker piece; the phrase seemed just too British to be used by an American. But to paraphrase John … Continue reading

“Put paid” (500th post!)

This is a red-letter post: the 500th one since I started doing Not One-Off Britishisms more than six years ago. The surprising thing is that the NOOBs keep coming. I was alerted to the latest by Andrew Mytelka of the … Continue reading

More on “stand”

Prompted by some comments to my post on “stand (for election)” to take a deeper look, I find some interesting nuances. To start, “stand” in the sense of put oneself forward for an office dates to at least 1551, according … Continue reading

British English “in rude health”

I started this blog in large part because its topic–British words and expressions becoming popular in America–runs counter to the far more popular narrative of Americanisms taking over British English. This supposed subjugation, which has been lamented for a couple … Continue reading

“In the Street”

A notable difference in British and American usage can be found in references to streets or roads. We would normally say, “I live on Parrish Road,” while the British would say, “I live in Parrish Road.” This sounds very strange … Continue reading

“Done and done”

I hasten to say this is not a Britishism, at least in the way it’s currently used in the U.S. But it relates to a Britishism, so I reproduce below my post on “done and done” from the Chronicle of … Continue reading


This summary appeared February 3 on the home page of the New York Times: It reminded me that a couple of weeks back, someone suggested “flummoxed” as a NOOB. That sort of flummoxed me, as I had thought of it … Continue reading