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definition of the word British_English

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British English


1861 (US), British + English.

British English


British English

  1. The English language as written and spoken in Britain, especially in England, contrasted with American English and that of other places.
    • 1861, “The Shakespeare Mystery”, in The Atlantic Monthly, v 8, n 47, Boston: Ticknor and Fields, p 258 (note):
      We shall not say that this is British English; but we willingly confess that it is not American English.
    • 1863, George Perkins Marsh, “The English Language in America”, in Lectures on the English Language, 4th ed., New York: Charles Scribner, p 667:
      Some noticeable and general differences between American and British English may be explained by the fact, that considerable bodies of Englishmen sometimes emigrated from the same vicinity, and that in their new home they and their multiplied descendants have kept together and continued to employ dialect peculiarities of their native speech, or retained words of general usage which elsewhere perished.
    • 1868, Richard Grant White, “Words and their Uses: British English and American English”, in The Galaxy, v 4, New York, p 102:
      Now, according to my observation, no man whom the Dean of Canterbury, or the Public Orator of Cambridge, would accept as a speaker of pure English, says, with thick utterance, “a gloss of ayull;” and yet thousands of their countrymen do speak thus, and this peculiarity of British English passes very gradually away as social and mental culture increase, until among the best-bred and best-educated people it vanishes, and is heard no more than it or a nasal twang is heard among similar people here.
  2. The English language as written and spoken in Britain and much of the Commonwealth of Nations, contrasted with American English.

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