ListMoto - American English

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AMERICAN ENGLISH (AME, AE, AMENG, USENG, EN-US ), sometimes called UNITED STATES ENGLISH or U.S. ENGLISH, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States .

English is the most widely spoken language in the United States and is the common language used by the federal government, considered the _de facto _ language of the country because of its widespread use. English has been given official status by 32 of the 50 state governments. As an example, while both Spanish and English have equivalent status in the local courts of Puerto Rico , under federal law, English is the official language for any matters being referred to the United States district court for the territory.

The use of English in the United States is a result of British colonization of the Americas . The first wave of English-speaking settlers arrived in North America during the 17th century, followed by further migrations in the 18th and 19th centuries. Since then, American English has developed into new dialects, in some cases under the influence of West African and Native American languages , German , Dutch , Irish , Spanish , and other languages of successive waves of immigrants to the United States.

Any American or even Canadian English accent perceived as free of noticeably local, ethnic, or cultural markers is popularly called " General American ", described by sociolinguist William Labov as "a fairly uniform broadcast standard in the mass media". Otherwise, however, historical and present linguistic evidence does not support the notion of there being a mainstream standard English of the United States. According to Labov, with the major exception of Southern American English , regional accents throughout the country are not yielding to this broadcast standard. On the contrary, the sound of American English continues to evolve, with some local accents disappearing, but several larger regional accents emerging.


* 1 Varieties

* 1.1 Eastern New England * 1.2 New York City * 1.3 South * 1.4 Inland North * 1.5 Midland * 1.6 West * 1.7 Other varieties

* 2 Phonology

* 3 Vocabulary

* 3.1 Creation of an American lexicon

* 3.1.1 19th century onwards

* 3.2 Morphology * 3.3 English words that survived in the United States and not in the United Kingdom * 3.4 Regionally distinct terms within the United States

* 4 Differences between British and American English * 5 See also * 6 Notes * 7 References * 8 Bibliography * 9 Further reading * 10 External links


Main article: Regional vocabularies of American English

While written American English is (in general) standardized across the country, there are several recognizable variations in the spoken language, both in pronunciation and in vernacular vocabulary. The regional sounds of present-day American English are reportedly engaged in a complex phenomenon of "both convergence and divergence": some accents are homogenizing and levelling , while others are diversifying and deviating further away from one another. In 2010, William Labov summarized the current state of regional American accents as follows:

Some regional American English has undergone "vigorous new sound changes" since the mid-nineteenth century onwards, spawning relatively recent Mid-Atlantic (centered on Philadelphia and Baltimore ), Western Pennsylvania (centered on Pittsburgh ), Inland Northern (centered on Chicago , Detroit , and the Great Lakes region ), Midland (centered on Indianapolis , Columbus , and Kansas City ) and Western accents , all of which "are now more different from each other than they were fifty or a hundred years ago." Meanwhile, the unique features of the Eastern New England (centered on Boston ) and New York City accents appear to be stable. "On the other hand, dialects of many smaller cities have receded in favor of the new regional patterns"; for example, the traditional accents of Charleston and of Cincinnati have given way to the general Midland accent, and of St. Louis now approaches the sounds of an Inland Northern or Midland accent. At the same time, the Southern accent , despite its huge geographic coverage, "is on the whole slowly receding due to cultural stigma: younger speakers everywhere in the South are shifting away from the marked features of Southern speech." Finally, the "Hoi Toider" dialect shows the paradox of receding among younger speakers in North Carolina's Outer Banks islands, yet strengthening in the islands of the Chesapeake Bay . MAJOR REGIONAL DIALECTS OF AMERICAN ENGLISH

ENE WNE NYC MID-ATLANTIC INLAND NORTHERN WPA NORTH CENTRAL WESTERN MIDLAND SOUTHERN Texas New Mexico California Appalachia Boston Rhode Island Pacific Northwest Chesapeake font-size:85%; left:552px; top:55px">Maine New Orleans Upper Peninsula Philadelphia text-align:left; vertical-align:top;">

* Western

The Western dialect, including Californian and New Mexican sub-types (with Pacific Northwest English also, arguably, a sub-type), is defined by:

* _Cot–caught_ merger to ( listen ) * /oʊ/ is * /uː/ is

* North Central

The North Central ("Upper Midwest") dialect, including an Upper Michigan sub-type, is defined by:

* _Cot–caught_ merger to ( listen ) * /oʊ/ is (and may even monophthongize to ) * /uː/ is

* Inland Northern

The Inland Northern ("Great Lakes") dialect, including its less advanced Western New England (WNE) sub-types, is defined by:

* No _cot–caught_ merger: the _cot_ vowel is and _caught_ vowel is * /æ/ is universally , the triggering event for the Northern Cities Vowel Shift in more advanced sub-types ( ← /æ/ ← /ɑː/ ~/ɒ/ ← /ɔː/ ← /ʌ/ ← /ɛ/ ) * /oʊ/ is

* Midland

The Midland dialect is defined by:

* _Cot–caught_ merger is in transition * /aɪ/ may be , often only before /l/, /m/, /n/, or /ɹ/ * /aʊ/ is * /oʊ/ is


The Western Pennsylvania dialect, including its advanced Pittsburgh sub-type, is defined by:

* _Cot–caught_ merger to , the triggering event for the Pittsburgh Chain Shift in the city itself ( ← /ɑː/ ← /ʌ/ ) but no trace of the Canadian Shift * /oʊ/ is * _Full–fool–foal_ merger to * Specifically in Greater Pittsburgh , /aʊ/ is , particularly before /l/ and /r/, and in unstressed function words

* Southern

The Southern dialects, including several sub-types, are defined by:

* No (or transitional) _cot–caught_ merger: the _cot_ vowel is and _caught_ vowel is * /aɪ/ is at least before /b/, /d/, /g/, /v/, or /z/, or word-finally, and potentially elsewhere, the triggering event for the Southern Shift ( ← /aɪ/ ← /eɪ/ ← /iː/ ) * "Southern drawl" may break short front vowels into gliding vowels : /æ/ → ; /ɛ/ → ; /ɪ/ → * /aʊ/ is , the triggering event for the Back Upglide Shift in more advanced sub-types ( ← /aʊ/ ← /ɔː/ ← /ɔɪ/ ) * /oʊ/ is

* Mid-Atlantic

The Mid-Atlantic ("Delaware Valley") dialect, including Philadelphia and Baltimore sub-types, is defined by:

* No _cot–caught_ merger: the _cot_ vowel is and _caught_ vowel is ; this severe distinction is the triggering event for the Back Vowel Shift before /r/ (/ʊər/ ← /ɔːr/ ~/ɔər/ ← /ɑːr/ ) * Unique Mid-Atlantic /æ/ split system: the _bad_ vowel is and _sad_ vowel is * /oʊ/ is * /aʊ/ is * No Mary–marry–merry merger


The New York City dialect (with New Orleans English an intermediate sub-type between NYC and Southern) is defined by:

* No _cot–caught_ merger: the _cot_ vowel is and _caught_ vowel is ; this severe distinction is the triggering event for the Back Vowel Shift before /r/ (/ʊər/ ← /ɔːr/ ~/ɔər/ ← /ɑːr/ ) * Non-rhoticity or variable rhoticity * Unique New York City /æ/ split system: the _bad_ vowel is and _bat_ vowel is

* /oʊ/ is •No Mary–marry–merry merger


Eastern New England dialect, including Maine and Boston sub-types (with Rhode Island English an intermediate sub-type between ENE and NYC), is defined by:

* _Cot–caught_ merger to (lacking only in Rhode Island) * Non-rhoticity or variable rhoticity

* /aʊ/ is /oʊ/ is •/uː/ is • Commonly, beginnings of /aɪ/ and /aʊ/ in a raised position when before voiceless consonants : and , respectively * Possibly no _Mary–marry–merry_ merger * No _father–bother_ merger (except in Rhode Island): the _father_ vowel is and _bother_ vowel is

Below, eleven major American English accents are defined by their particular combinations of certain characteristics:



Mixed No No No No No/transitional Yes


No No Mixed No No Yes No


MID-ATLANTIC ENGLISH Philadelphia Yes Yes Yes No Yes No No

MIDLAND ENGLISH Indianapolis Yes Yes Yes No No Transitional Mixed

NEW YORK CITY ENGLISH New York City Yes No No No Yes No No

NORTH-CENTRAL ENGLISH Minneapolis No No No Yes No Yes No


SOUTHERN AMERICAN ENGLISH San Antonio Yes Yes Yes No No No/transitional Yes




Main article: Eastern New England English

Marked New England speech is mostly associated with eastern New England, centering on Boston and Providence, and traditionally includes some notable degree of _r_-dropping (or non-rhoticity), as well as the back tongue positioning of the /uː/ vowel (to ) and the /aʊ/ vowel (to ). In and north of Boston, the /ɑːr/ sound is famously centralized or even fronted. Boston shows a cot-caught merger , while Providence keeps the same two vowels sharply distinct.


Main article: New York City English

The Potomac River generally divides the Northern and Midland coastal dialects from the geographic beginning of the Southern dialect areas; in between these two rivers several regional variations exist, chief among them being New York City English , which prevails in and around New York City (including Long Island and northeastern New Jersey ), defined by consistent or variable non-rhoticity and a locally unique short-_a_ vowel pronunciation split . New York City English otherwise broadly follows Northern patterns, except that the /aʊ/ vowel is fronted. The cot-caught merger is strongly resisted around New York City. As depicted in popular stereotypes like _tawwk_ and _cawwfee_, the thought vowel is typically tensed in New York City.


Main article: Southern American English

The main features of Southern American English can be traced to the speech of the English from the West Country and Southern England who settled in Virginia after leaving England at the time of the English Civil War . Most older Southern speech along the Eastern seaboard was non-rhotic, though, today, all local Southern dialects are strongly rhotic, defined most recognizably by the /aɪ/ vowel losing its gliding quality and approaching , the initiating event for the Southern Vowel Shift, which includes a " Southern drawl " that makes short front vowels into gliding vowels .


The Inland Northern accent is the dialect spoken in the Great Lakes region, encompassing cities such as Chicago, Detroit and Buffalo. Only just since the mid-twentieth century has this distinctive new Northern speech pattern developed near the border between Canada and the United States, centered on the Great Lakes region (but only on the American side), defined by the Northern cities vowel shift .


Between the traditional American "North" and "South" is what linguists have long called the "Midland." This geographically overlaps with some states situated in the lower Midwest. West of the Appalachian Mountains begins the broad zone of modern-day "Midland " speech. This has often been divided into two discrete subdivisions, the "North Midland" that begins north of the Ohio River valley area, and the "South Midland" speech, which to the American ear has a slight trace of the "Southern accent " (especially due to some degree of /aɪ/ glide weakening). Sometimes the former region is designated simply "Midland" and the latter is labelled as "Highland Southern". The South Midland or Highland Southern dialect follows the Ohio River in a generally southwesterly direction, moves across Arkansas and Oklahoma west of the Mississippi , and peters out in West Texas . It is a version of the Midland speech that has assimilated some coastal Southern forms.

Modern Midland speech also has no obvious presence or absence of the cot–caught merger . Historically, Pennsylvania was a home of the Midland dialect, however, this state of early English-speaking settlers has now largely split off into new dialect regions, with distinct Philadelphia and Pittsburgh dialects documented since the latter half of the twentieth century.


Main article: Western American English

A generalized Midland speech continues westward until becoming a somewhat internally diverse Western American English that unites the entire western half of the country. This Western dialect is mostly unified by a firm cot–caught merger and a conservatively backed pronunciation of the long _oh_ sound in _goat, toe, show_, etc., but a fronted pronunciation of the long _oo_ sound in _goose, lose, tune,_ etc. Western speech itself contains such advanced sub-types as Pacific Northwest English and California English , with the Chicano English accent also being a sub-type primarily of the Western accent. In the immediate San Francisco area, some older speakers do not have the normal Western cot–caught merger.

The island state of Hawaii , though primarily English-speaking, is also home to a creole language known commonly as Hawaiian Pidgin , and native Hawaiians may even speak English with a Pidgin accent.


Although no longer region-specific, African American Vernacular English , which remains prevalent particularly among working- and middle-class African Americans , has a close relationship to Southern varieties of American English and has greatly influenced everyday speech of many Americans, including in areas such as hip hop culture . The same aforementioned socioeconomic groups, but among Hispanic and Latino Americans , have also developed native-speaker varieties of English. The best-studied Latino Englishes are Chicano English , spoken in the West and Midwest, and New York Latino English , spoken in the New York metropolitan area . Additionally, ethnic varieties such as Yeshiva English and " Yinglish " are spoken by some American Jews , and Cajun Vernacular English by some Cajuns in southern Louisiana.


See also: North American English regional phonology


/æ/ ( listen ) bAth, trAp, yAk

bAn, trAm, yEAH

/ɑː/ /ɑː/ ( listen ) AH, fAther, spA

bOther, lOt, wAsp (father-bother merger )


bOss, clOth, dOg, Off (lot-cloth split )

All, bOUGHt, flAUnt

/ɛ/ ( listen ) drEss, mEt, brEAd

/ə/ ( listen ) About, syrUp, ArenA

/ɪ/ ( listen ) kIt, pInk, tIp

( listen ) privAte, muffIn, wastEd (allophone of /ɪ/)

/iː/ ( listen ) bEAm, chIc, flEEce

( listen ) happY, monEY, partIEs (allophone of /iː/)

/ʌ/ ( listen ) bUs, flOOd, whAt

/ʊ/ ( listen ) bOOk, pUt, shOUld

/uː/ ( listen ) gOOse, nEW, trUE

Compared with English as spoken in England , North American English is more homogeneous, and any North American accent that exhibits a majority of the most common phonological features is known as "General American ." This section mostly refers to such widespread or mainstream pronunciation features that characterize American English.

Studies on historical usage of English in both the United States and the United Kingdom suggest that spoken American English did not simply deviate away from period British English, but retained certain now-archaic features contemporary British English has since lost. One of these is the rhoticity common in most American accents, because in the 17th century, when English was brought to the Americas, most English in England was also rhotic. The preservation of rhoticity has been further supported by the influences of Hiberno-English , West Country English and Scottish English . In most varieties of North American English, the sound corresponding to the letter ⟨r⟩ is a postalveolar approximant or retroflex approximant rather than a trill or tap (as often heard, for example, in the English accents of Scotland or India). A unique "bunched tongue" variant of the approximant _r_ sound is also associated with the United States, and seems particularly noticeable in the Midwest and South. The red dots show every U.S. metropolitan area where over 50% non-rhotic speech has been documented among some of that area's local white speakers. Non-rhotic speech may be heard from black speakers throughout the whole country.

Traditionally, the "East Coast" comprises three or four major linguistically distinct regions, each of which possesses English varieties both distinct from each other as well as quite internally diverse: New England , the New York metropolitan area , the Mid-Atlantic states (centering on Philadelphia and Baltimore), and the Southern United States . The only _r_-dropping (or non-rhotic) regional accents of American English are all spoken along the East Coast, except the Mid-Atlantic region, because these areas were in close historical contact with England and imitated prestigious varieties of English at a time when these were undergoing changes; in particular, the London prestige of non-rhoticity (or dropping the ⟨r⟩ sound, except before vowels) from the 17th century onwards, which is now widespread throughout most of England. Today, non-rhoticity is confined in the United States to the accents of eastern New England , the former plantation South , New York City , and African American Vernacular English (though the vowel-consonant cluster found in "bird", "work", "hurt", "learn", etc. usually retains its _r_ pronunciation today, even in these non-rhotic accents). Other than these varieties, American accents are rhotic , pronouncing every instance of the ⟨r⟩ sound.

Many British accents have evolved in other ways compared to which General American English has remained relatively more conservative , for example, regarding the typical southern British features of a trap–bath split , fronting of /oʊ/ , and H-dropping . The innovation of /t/ glottaling , which does occur before a consonant (including a syllabic coronal nasal consonant , like in the words _button_ or _satin_) and word-finally in General American, additionally occurs variably between vowels in British English. On the other hand, General American is more innovative than the dialects of England, or English elsewhere in the world, in a number of its own ways:

* The merger of /ɑ/ and /ɒ/ , making _father_ and _bother_ rhyme. This change, know as the _father–bother_ merger is in a transitional or completed stage nearly universally in North American English. Exceptions are in northeastern New England English , such as the Boston accent , New York City English , Philadelphia English , Baltimore English , and many Southern dialects , such as the Yat dialect . * About half of all Americans merge of the vowels /ɑ/ and /ɔ/. This is the so-called cot–caught merger , where words like _cot_ and _caught_ are homophones . This change has occurred most firmly in eastern New England ( Boston area), Greater Pittsburgh , and the whole western half of the country. * For speakers who do not merge _caught_ and _cot_, the lot–cloth split has taken hold. This change took place prior to the unrounding of the _cot_. It is the result of the lengthening and raising of the _cot_ vowel, merging with the _caught_ vowel in many cases before voiceless fricatives (as in _cloth, off_), which is also found in some varieties of British English, as well as before /ŋ/ (as in _strong, long),_ usually in _gone,_ often in _on,_ and irregularly before /ɡ/ _(log, hog, dog, fog_). * The _strut_ vowel, rather than the _lot_ or _thought_ vowel, is used in the function words _was, of, from, what, everybody, nobody, somebody, anybody_, and, for some speakers, _because_ and _want_, when stressed.

* Vowel mergers before intervocalic /ɹ/: The Mary–marry–merry , serious–Sirius , and hurry–furry mergers are found in most American English dialects. However, exceptions exist primarily along the east coast.

* Americans vary slightly in their pronunciations of R-colored vowels —such as those in /ɛəɹ/ and /ɪəɹ/—sometimes monophthongizing towards and or tensing towards and respectively, causing pronunciations like for _pair_/_pear_ and for _peer_/_pier_. Also, /jʊər/ is often reduced to , so that _cure_, _pure_, and _mature_ may all end with the sound , thus rhyming with _blur_ and _sir_. The word _sure_ is also part of this rhyming set as it is commonly pronounced .

* Dropping of /j/ is much more extensive than in most of England. In most North American accents, /j/ is dropped after all alveolar and interdental consonants (i.e. everywhere except after /p/, /b/, /f/, /h/, /k/, and /m/) so that _new, duke, Tuesday, presume_ are pronounced , , , . * /æ/ tensing in environments that vary widely from accent to accent. With most American speakers, for whom the phoneme /æ/ operates under a somewhat continuous system, /æ/ has both a tense and a lax allophone (with a kind of "continuum" of possible sounds between those two extremes, rather than a definitive split). In these accents, /æ/ is overall realized before nasal stops as more tense (approximately ), while other environments are more lax (approximately the standard ); for example, note the vowel sound in for _mass_, but for _man_). In some American accents, though, specifically those from Baltimore , Philadelphia , and New York City , and are entirely separate (or "split") phonemes, for example, in _planet_ vs. _plan it_ . This is often called the Mid-Atlantic split-_a_ system. Note that these vowels move in the opposite direction in the mouth compared to the backed British "broad A "; this phenomenon has been noted as related to the increasingly rare phenomenon of older speakers of the eastern New England (Boston) area for whom /æ/ changes to /ɑ/ before /f/, /s/, /θ/, /ð/, /z/, /v/ alone or when preceded by a homorganic nasal.

* v * t * e

/æ/ tensing in North American English


CONSONANT AFTER /æ/ SYLLABLE TYPE EXAMPLE WORDS NEW YORK CITY & NEW ORLEANS BALTIMORE & PHILADELPHIA EASTERN NEW ENGLAND GENERAL AMERICAN , MIDLAND U.S. , & WESTERN U.S. CANADIAN , NORTHWESTERN U.S. , & UPPER MIDWESTERN U.S. SOUTHERN U.S. "> arable, arid, baron, barrel, barren, carry, carrot, chariot, charity, clarity, Gary, Harry, Larry, marionette, maritime, marry, marriage, paragon, parent, parish, parody, parrot, _etc.; this feature is determined by the presence or absence of the Mary-marry-merry merger _

/m/, /n/ Closed Alexander, answer, ant, band, can _(the noun)_, can't, clam, dance, ham, hamburger, hand, handy, man, manly, pants, plan, planning, ranch, sand, slant, tan, understand_, etc.; in Philadelphia,_ began, ran, _and_ swam _alone remain lax_

Open amity, animal, can _(the verb)_, Canada, ceramic, family _(varies by speaker), _, gamut, hammer, janitor, manager, manner, Montana, panel, planet, profanity, salmon, Spanish_, etc._

/ɡ/ Closed agriculture, bag, crag, drag, flag, magnet, rag, sag, tag, tagging_, etc._

Open agate, agony, dragon, magazine, ragamuffin_, etc._

/b/, /d/, /dʒ/, /ʃ/, /v/, /z/, /ʒ/ Closed absolve, abstain, add, ash, bad, badge, bash, cab, cash, clad, crag, dad, drab, fad, flash, glad, grab, halve _(varies by speaker)_, jazz _(varies by speaker)_, kashmir, mad, magnet, pad, plaid, rag, raspberry, rash, sad, sag, smash, splash, tab, tadpole, trash, _etc. In NYC, this environment, particularly, /v/ and /z/, has a lot of variance and many exceptions to the rules. In Philadelphia,_ bad, mad, _and_ glad _alone in this set become tense. Similarly, in New York City, the /dʒ/ set is often tense even in open syllables (_magic_,_ imagine_, etc.)_

/f/, /s/, /θ/ Closed ask, bask, basket, bath, brass, casket, cast, class, craft, crass, daft, drastic, glass, grass, flask, half, last, laugh, laughter, mask, mast, math, pass, past, path, plastic, task, wrath_, etc._

All other consonants act, agony, allergy, apple, aspirin, athlete, avid, back, bat, brat, café, cafeteria, cap, cashew, cat, Catholic, chap, clap, classy, diagonal, fashion, fat, flap, flat, gap, gnat, latch, magazine, mallet, map, mastiff, match, maverick, Max, pack, pal, passive, passion, pat, patch, pattern, rabid, racket, rally, rap, rat, sack, sat, Saturn, savvy, scratch, shack, slack, slap, tackle, talent, trap, travel, wrap_, etc._


* Nearly all American English speakers pronounce /æŋ/ somewhere between and , though Western speakers specifically favor . * The NYC, Philadelphia, and Baltimore dialects' rule of tensing /æ/ in certain closed-syllable environments also applies to words inflectionally derived from those closed-syllable /æ/ environments that now have an open-syllable /æ/. For example, in addition to _pass_ being tense (according to the general rule), so are its open-syllable derivatives _passing_ and _passer-by_, but not _passive_.

* Flapping of intervocalic /t/ and /d/ to alveolar tap before unstressed vowels (as in _buTTer_ , _parTy_ ) and syllabic /l/ (_boTTle_ ), as well as at the end of a word or morpheme before any vowel (_whaT else_ , _whaTever_ ). Thus, for most speakers, pairs such as _ladder/latter, metal/medal,_ and _coating/coding_ are pronounced the same, except with the stressed /aɪ/ (see below).

* Canadian raising of /aɪ/: many speakers split the sound /aɪ/ based on its presence before either a voiceless or voiced consonant, so that in _writer_ it is pronounced but in _rider_ it is pronounced (because is a voiceless consonant while is voiced). This is a form of Canadian raising but, unlike more extreme forms of that process, does not affect /aʊ/. In many areas and idiolects, a distinction between what elsewhere become homophones through this process is maintained by vowel lengthening in the vowel preceding the formerly voiced consonant, _e.g._, for "writer" as opposed to for "rider".

* Many speakers in the Inland North , North Central American English , and Philadelphia dialect areas raise /aɪ/ before voiced consonants in certain words as well, particularly , and . Hence, words like _tiny_, _spider_, _cider_, _tiger_, _dinosaur_, _cyber-_, _beside_, _idle_ (but sometimes not _idol_), and _fire_ may contain a raised nucleus. The use of rather than in such words is unpredictable from phonetic environment alone, though it may have to do with their acoustic similarity to other words that _do_ contain before a voiceless consonant, per the traditional Canadian-raising system. Hence, some researchers have argued that there has been a phonemic split in these dialects; the distribution of the two sounds is becoming more unpredictable among younger speakers.

* T glottalization is common when /t/ is in the final position of a syllable or word (_get_, _fretful_: , ), though this is always superseded by the aforementioned rules of flapping * L-velarization: England's typical distinction between a "clear L" (i.e. ) and a "dark L" (i.e. or sometimes even ) is much less noticeable in nearly all dialects of American English; it may even be altogether absent. Instead, most U.S. speakers pronounce all "L" sounds with a tendency to be "dark", meaning with some degree of velarization . The only notable exceptions to this are in some Spanish-influenced U.S. English varieties (such as East Coast Latino English , which typically shows a clear "L" in syllable onsets ); in New York City English , where the /l/ is clear in prevocalic positions; and in older, moribund Southern speech of the U.S., where "L" is clear in an intervocalic environment between front vowels . * Both intervocalic /nt/ and /n/ may commonly be realized as or simply , making _winter_ and _winner_ homophones in fast or non-careful speech. * The vowel /ɪ/ in unstressed syllables generally merges with /ə/ (weak-vowel merger ), so _roses_ is pronounced like _Rosa's_.

Some mergers found in most varieties of both American and British English include:

* Horse–hoarse merger , making the vowels /ɔ/ and /o/ before 'r' homophones, with homophonous pairs like _horse/hoarse, corps/core, for/four, morning/mourning, war/wore,_ etc. homophones . * Wine–whine merger , making pairs like _wine/whine, wet/whet, Wales/whales, wear/where,_ etc. homophones , in most cases eliminating /ʍ/, the voiceless labiovelar fricative . Many older varieties of southern and western American English still keep these distinct, but the merger appears to be spreading.


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North America has given the English lexicon many thousands of words, meanings, and phrases. Several thousand are now used in English as spoken internationally.


The process of coining new lexical items started as soon as the colonists began borrowing names for unfamiliar flora, fauna, and topography from the Native American languages . Examples of such names are _opossum , raccoon , squash _ and _moose _ (from Algonquian ). Other Native American loanwords, such as _wigwam _ or _moccasin _, describe articles in common use among Native Americans. The languages of the other colonizing nations also added to the American vocabulary; for instance, _cookie _, _cruller _, _stoop _, and _pit_ (of a fruit) from Dutch ; _angst , kindergarten , sauerkraut _ from German , _levee , portage_ ("carrying of boats or goods") and (probably) _gopher _ from French ; _barbecue , stevedore , and rodeo from Spanish .

Among the earliest and most notable regular "English" additions to the American vocabulary, dating from the early days of colonization through the early 19th century, are terms describing the features of the North American landscape; for instance, _run, branch, fork, snag, bluff , gulch , neck_ (of the woods), _barrens, bottomland , notch, knob, riffle, rapids , watergap, cutoff, trail , timberline _ and _divide ._ Already existing words such as _creek , slough , sleet _ and (in later use) _watershed _ received new meanings that were unknown in England.

Other noteworthy American toponyms are found among loanwords; for example, _prairie , butte _ (French); _bayou _ ( Choctaw via Louisiana French); _coulee _ (Canadian French, but used also in Louisiana with a different meaning); _canyon , mesa , arroyo _ (Spanish); _vlei, skate, kill _ (Dutch, Hudson Valley ).

The word _corn_, used in England to refer to wheat (or any cereal), came to denote the plant _ Zea mays _, the most important crop in the U.S., originally named _ Indian corn _ by the earliest settlers; wheat, rye, barley, oats, etc. came to be collectively referred to as _grain _. Other notable farm related vocabulary additions were the new meanings assumed by _barn _ (not only a building for hay and grain storage, but also for housing livestock) and _team_ (not just the horses, but also the vehicle along with them), as well as, in various periods, the terms _range , (corn) crib , truck , elevator , sharecropping _ and _feedlot ._

_ Ranch ,_ later applied to a house style , derives from Mexican Spanish ; most Spanish contributions came after the War of 1812 , with the opening of the West. Among these are, other than toponyms, _chaps _ (from _chaparreras), plaza , lasso , bronco , buckaroo, rodeo ;_ examples of "English" additions from the cowboy era are _bad man, maverick, chuck ("food") and _Boot Hill ;_ from the California Gold Rush came such idioms as _hit pay dirt_ or _strike it rich._ The word _blizzard_ probably originated in the West. A couple of notable late 18th century additions are the verb _belittle_ and the noun _bid,_ both first used in writing by Thomas Jefferson .

With the new continent developed new forms of dwelling, and hence a large inventory of words designating real estate concepts _(land office, lot , outlands, waterfront,_ the verbs _locate_ and _relocate, betterment, addition, subdivision),_ types of property _(log cabin , adobe _ in the 18th century; _frame house , apartment , tenement house, shack , shanty_ in the 19th century; _project, condominium , townhouse , split-level , mobile home , multi-family_ in the 20th century), and parts thereof _(driveway , breezeway, backyard , dooryard; clapboard , siding , trim, baseboard ; stoop_ (from Dutch), _family room, den;_ and, in recent years, _ HVAC , central air , walkout basement)._

Ever since the American Revolution , a great number of terms connected with the U.S. political institutions have entered the language; examples are _run (i.e, for office), gubernatorial, primary election , carpetbagger _ (after the Civil War ), _repeater_, _lame duck _ (a British term used originally in Banking) and _pork barrel ._ Some of these are internationally used (for example, _caucus , gerrymander , filibuster , exit poll )._

19th Century Onwards

The development of industry and material innovations throughout the 19th and 20th centuries were the source of a massive stock of distinctive new words, phrases and idioms. Typical examples are the vocabulary of _railroading _ (see further at rail terminology ) and _transportation _ terminology, ranging from names of roads (from _dirt roads_ and _back roads_ to _freeways _ and _parkways )_ to road infrastructure _(parking lot , overpass , rest area ),_ and from automotive terminology to _public transit _ (for example, in the sentence "_riding_ the _subway downtown_"); such American introductions as _commuter_ (from _commutation ticket), concourse , to board_ (a vehicle), _to park, double-park_ and _parallel park_ (a car), _double decker_ or the noun _terminal_ have long been used in all dialects of English.

Trades of various kinds have endowed (American) English with household words describing jobs and occupations _(bartender , longshoreman, patrolman, hobo , bouncer , bellhop, roustabout , white collar , blue collar , employee , boss_ , _intern , busboy , mortician , senior citizen ),_ businesses and workplaces _(department store , supermarket , thrift store , gift shop , drugstore , motel , main street , gas station , hardware store , savings and loan , hock_ ), as well as general concepts and innovations _(automated teller machine , smart card , cash register , dishwasher , reservation_ , _pay envelope, movie , mileage, shortage , outage , blood bank )._

Already existing English words—such as _store , shop , dry goods, haberdashery , lumber _—underwent shifts in meaning; some—such as _mason, student, clerk _, the verbs _can_ (as in "canned goods"), _ship, fix, carry, enroll_ (as in school), _run_ (as in "run a business"), _release_ and _haul_—were given new significations, while others (such as _tradesman )_ have retained meanings that disappeared in England. From the world of business and finance came _break-even , merger , delisting, downsize , disintermediation , bottom line ;_ from sports terminology came, jargon aside, _Monday-morning quarterback, cheap shot, game plan_ (football ); _in the ballpark , out of left field , off base, hit and run,_ and many other idioms from baseball ; gamblers coined _bluff , blue chip, ante , bottom dollar, raw deal, pass the buck, ace in the hole, freeze-out, showdown;_ miners coined _bedrock , bonanza, peter out, pan out_ and the verb _prospect_ from the noun; and railroadmen are to be credited with _make the grade , sidetrack, head-on,_ and the verb _railroad._ A number of Americanisms describing material innovations remained largely confined to North America: _elevator , ground , gasoline ;_ many automotive terms fall in this category, although many do not _(hatchback , sport utility vehicle , station wagon , tailgate , motorhome , truck , pickup truck , to exhaust)._

In addition to the above-mentioned loans from French, Spanish, Mexican Spanish, Dutch, and Native American languages, other accretions from foreign languages came with 19th and early 20th century immigration; notably, from Yiddish _(chutzpah , schmooze, tush_) and German —_hamburger _ and culinary terms like _frankfurter/franks, liverwurst, sauerkraut, wiener , deli(catessen) ; scram , kindergarten , gesundheit ;_ musical terminology _(whole note , half note ,_ etc.); and apparently _cookbook , fresh_ ("impudent") and _what gives?_ Such constructions as _Are you coming with?_ and _I like to dance_ (for "I like dancing") may also be the result of German or Yiddish influence.

Finally, a large number of English colloquialisms from various periods are American in origin; some have lost their American flavor (from _OK _ and _cool_ to _nerd _ and _ 24/7 ),_ while others have not _(have a nice day , for sure);_ many are now distinctly old-fashioned _(swell, groovy)._ Some English words now in general use, such as _hijacking, disc jockey , boost, bulldoze_ and _jazz ,_ originated as American slang. Among the many English idioms of U.S. origin are _get the hang of, bark up the wrong tree, keep tabs, run scared, take a backseat, have an edge over, stake a claim, take a shine to, in on the ground floor, bite off more than one can chew, off/on the wagon, stay put, inside track, stiff upper lip , bad hair day, throw a monkey wrench/monkeywrenching , under the weather, jump bail, come clean, come again?, it ain't over till it's over,_ and _what goes around comes around._


American English has always shown a marked tendency to use nouns as verbs . Examples of verbed nouns are _interview, advocate, vacuum, lobby, pressure, rear-end, transition, feature, profile, spearhead, skyrocket, showcase, service_ (as a car), _corner, torch, exit_ (as in "exit the lobby"), _factor_ (in mathematics), _gun_ ("shoot"), _author_ (which disappeared in English around 1630 and was revived in the U.S. three centuries later) and, out of American material, _proposition, graft_ (bribery), _bad-mouth, vacation , major, backpack , backtrack , intern, ticket_ (traffic violations), _hassle, blacktop , peer-review, dope_ and _OD _, and, of course _verbed_ as used at the start of this sentence.

Compounds coined in the U.S. are for instance _foothill , flatlands , badlands , landslide _ (in all senses), _overview_ (the noun), _backdrop, teenager , brainstorm , bandwagon, hitchhike , smalltime, deadbeat, frontman , lowbrow_ and _highbrow, hell-bent, foolproof, nitpick, about-face_ (later verbed), _upfront_ (in all senses), _fixer-upper, no-show;_ many of these are phrases used as adverbs or (often) hyphenated attributive adjectives: _non-profit , for-profit , free-for-all, ready-to-wear, catchall, low-down, down-and-out, down and dirty, in-your-face, nip and tuck;_ many compound nouns and adjectives are open: _happy hour , fall guy , capital gain , road trip , wheat pit, head start, plea bargain ;_ some of these are colorful _(empty nester , loan shark , ambulance chaser, buzz saw , ghetto blaster , dust bunny),_ others are euphemistic _(differently abled (physically challenged), human resources , affirmative action , correctional facility )._

Many compound nouns have the form verb plus preposition: _add-on, stopover, lineup, shakedown, tryout, spin-off, rundown _ ("summary"), _shootout , holdup, hideout, comeback, cookout, kickback , makeover , takeover , rollback_ ("decrease"), _rip-off, come-on, shoo-in, fix-up, tie-in, tie-up_ ("stoppage"), _stand-in._ These essentially are nouned phrasal verbs ; some prepositional and phrasal verbs are in fact of American origin _(spell out, figure out, hold up, brace up, size up, rope in, back up/off/down/out, step down, miss out, kick around, cash in, rain out, check in_ and _check out_ (in all senses), _fill in_ ("inform"), _kick in_ or _throw in_ ("contribute"), _square off, sock in, sock away, factor in/out, come down with, give up on, lay off_ (from employment), _run into_ and _across_ ("meet"), _stop by, pass up, put up_ (money), _set up_ ("frame"), _trade in, pick up on, pick up after, lose out)._

Noun endings such as _-ee (retiree), -ery (bakery), -ster (gangster)_ and _-cian (beautician)_ are also particularly productive. Some verbs ending in _-ize_ are of U.S. origin; for example, _fetishize, prioritize, burglarize, accessorize, itemize, editorialize, customize, notarize, weatherize , winterize, Mirandize ;_ and so are some back-formations _(locate, fine-tune, evolute, curate, donate, emote, upholster, peeve_ and _enthuse)._ Among syntactical constructions that arose in the U.S. are _as of_ (with dates and times), _outside of, headed for, meet up with, back of, convince someone to, not about to_ and _lack for._

Americanisms formed by alteration of some existing words include notably _pesky, phony, rambunctious, pry_ (as in "pry open", from _prize), putter_ (verb), _buddy, sundae , skeeter, sashay_ and _kitty-corner._ Adjectives that arose in the U.S. are for example, _lengthy, bossy, cute _ and _cutesy, grounded_ (of a child), _punk_ (in all senses), _sticky_ (of the weather), _through_ (as in "through train", or meaning "finished"), and many colloquial forms such as _peppy_ or _wacky_. American blends include _motel , guesstimate, infomercial _ and _televangelist ._


A number of words and meanings that originated in Middle English or Early Modern English and that have been in everyday use in the United States dropped out in most varieties of British English; some of these have cognates in Lowland Scots . Terms such as _fall _ ("autumn"), _faucet _ ("tap"), _diaper _ ("nappy"), _candy _ ("sweets"), _skillet _, _eyeglasses _ and _obligate _ are often regarded as Americanisms. _Fall_ for example came to denote the season in 16th century England, a contraction of Middle English expressions like "fall of the leaf" and "fall of the year".

During the 17th century, English immigration to the British colonies in North America was at its peak and the new settlers took the English language with them. While the term _fall_ gradually became obsolete in Britain, it became the more common term in North America. _Gotten_ (past participle of _get_) is often considered to be an Americanism, although there are some areas of Britain , such as Lancashire and North East England , that still continue to use it and sometimes also use _putten_ as the past participle for _put_ (which is not done by most speakers of American English).

Other words and meanings, to various extents, were brought back to Britain, especially in the second half of the 20th century; these include _hire_ ("to employ"), _quit_ ("to stop", which spawned _quitter_ in the U.S.), _I guess_ (famously criticized by H. W. Fowler ), _baggage _, _hit_ (a place), and the adverbs _overly_ and _presently_ ("currently"). Some of these, for example _monkey wrench _ and _wastebasket _, originated in 19th century Britain.

The mandative subjunctive (as in "the City Attorney suggested that the case _not be closed_") is livelier in American English than it is in British English. It appears in some areas as a spoken usage and is considered obligatory in contexts that are more formal. The adjectives _mad_ meaning "angry", _smart_ meaning "intelligent", and _sick_ meaning "ill" are also more frequent in American (these meanings are also frequent in Hiberno-English) than British English.


Linguist Bert Vaux created a survey, completed in 2003, polling English speakers across the United States about the specific words they would use in everyday speech for various concepts. This 2003 study concluded that:

* For a "long sandwich that contains cold cuts , lettuce, and so on", the most common term found in the survey, throughout the country (preferred by 77% of the participants), was the word _sub_ (an abbreviation for _submarine sandwich _). The New York metropolitan area shows the greatest variety of terms for this idea in one single region, largely counting for the 5% of the survey who preferred the term _hero_, nearly 7% (which is even more prevalent in the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia metropolitan areas, including southern New Jersey as well as eastern Pennsylvania) who preferred _hoagie_, and just less than 3% (also notably prevalent throughout New England, except Maine) who prefer _grinder_. * The U.S. is largely divided about the "generic term for a sweetened carbonated beverage". Nearly 53% of the surveyed sample preferred _soda_, particularly in the Northeast, eastern Wisconsin , Greater St. Louis , the far West , and some of South Florida , with it also called _tonic_ in some parts of southeastern New England . Over 25% preferred _pop_, particularly around the Midwest (including the Great Lakes region ) and the Western regions along the Canada–US border . Over 12% preferred _coke_ (which is also trademarked for a specific cola product ), particularly scattered throughout the South . Urban, coastal California speakers use all three terms, though especially _soda_. Speakers of the West generally use _soda_ or _pop_.

* The most common word or phrase "to address a group of two or more people" (in the second person ) was _you guys_ at almost 43%, particularly throughout the Northeast and Great Lakes region (along with simply _you_ at nearly 13%). _Y'all_ was preferred by 14%, particularly in the South, but reaching somewhat noticeably into the Northern regions as well. _Yous(e)_ was largely confined to the New York and Philadelphia metropolitan areas, at just over 0.5%. The expression "yinz" is a distinctive feature of Western Pennsylvania speech. * The most common term for generic, rubber-soled shoes worn for athletic activities is _sneakers_ as said by 46% of those surveyed throughout the country, but particularly in the Northeast. 41%, particularly outside of the Northeast, said _tennis shoes_. Several much rarer other terms were also documented in various regions of the country. * Nearly 68% of the participating speakers make no distinction between _dinner _ and _supper _, or simply never use the term _supper_. * 64% of the participants said they use "Where are you at?" to mean "How are you coming along?" This also incorporated the 34% who use "Where are you at?" in any context, for example, to even mean "Where are you physically located right now?" * Freshwater "miniature lobsters " were identified by 40% of polled speakers as _crawfish_, 32% as _crayfish_, and 19% as _crawdads_ within no particular regional boundaries, except that _crayfish_ was especially uncommon in the South. 5% reported having no term for this animal. * The most common nicknames for grandparents were _grandpa_/_grampa_ and _grandma_/_gramma_. * Nearly all American English speakers called the lampyrid insect a _firefly_ or _lightning bug_, with nearly 40% using the two terms interchangeably. * The use of the word _anymore_ with a positive sense , simply as a synonym for _nowadays_ (e.g. _I do only figurative paintings anymore_), was reported as sounding acceptable to 5% of participants. However, in example sentences with a clearly disheartened tone or dismissive attitude, the positive use of _anymore_ sounded acceptable to as many as 29% of participants (e.g. _Forget your baby wearing nice clothes anymore_). This rare use of the word was observed much more around Pennsylvania and going westward into the Midland region . * The "wheeled contraption" for carrying groceries was identified by 77% of participants as a _shopping cart_ and by nearly 14% as a _grocery cart_. 4% preferred the term _buggy_: a clearly Southern phenomenon.


Main article: Comparison of American and British English

American English and British English (BrE) often differ at the levels of phonology, phonetics, vocabulary, and, to a much lesser extent, grammar and orthography. The first large American dictionary, _An American Dictionary of the English Language_, known as Webster\'s Dictionary , was written by Noah Webster in 1828, codifying several of these spellings.

Differences in grammar are relatively minor, and do not normally affect mutual intelligibility; these include: different use of some auxiliary verbs ; formal (rather than notional) agreement with collective nouns ; different preferences for the past forms of a few verbs (for example, AmE/BrE: _learned_/_learnt_, _burned_/_burnt_, _snuck/sneaked_, _dove/dived_) although the purportedly "British" forms can occasionally be seen in American English writing as well; different prepositions and adverbs in certain contexts (for example, AmE _in school,_ BrE _at school_); and whether or not a definite article is used, in very few cases (AmE _to the hospital_, BrE _to hospital_; contrast, however, AmE _actress Elizabeth Taylor_, BrE _the actress Elizabeth Taylor_). Often, these differences are a matter of relative preferences rather than absolute rules; and most are not stable, since the two varieties are constantly influencing each other, and American English is not a standardized set of dialects.

Differences in orthography are also minor. The main differences are that American English usually uses spellings such as _flavor_ for British _flavour_, _fiber_ for _fibre_, _defense_ for _defence_, _analyze_ for _analyse_, _license_ for _licence_, _catalog_ for _catalogue_ and _traveling_ for _travelling_. Noah Webster popularized such spellings in America, but he did not invent most of them. Rather, "he chose already existing options on such grounds as simplicity, analogy or etymology". Other differences are due to the francophile tastes of the 19th century Victorian era Britain (for example they preferred _programme_ for _program_, _manoeuvre_ for _maneuver_, _cheque_ for _check_, etc.). AmE almost always uses _-ize_ in words like _realize_. BrE prefers _-ise_, but also uses _-ize_ on occasion (see Oxford spelling ).

There are a few differences in punctuation rules. British English is more tolerant of run-on sentences, called "comma splices" in American English, and American English requires that periods and commas be placed inside closing quotation marks even in cases in which British rules would place them outside. American English also favors the double quotation mark over single.

AmE sometimes favors words that are morphologically more complex, whereas BrE uses clipped forms, such as AmE _transportation_ and BrE _transport_ or where the British form is a back-formation , such as AmE _burglarize_ and BrE _burgle_ (from _burglar_). However, while individuals usually use one or the other, both forms will be widely understood and mostly used alongside each other within the two systems.

British English also differs from American English in that "schedule" can be pronounced with either or .


* United States portal * Language portal

* Dictionary of American Regional English * List of English words from indigenous languages of the Americas * IPA chart for English * Regional accents of English speakers * Canadian English * North American English * International English * Received Pronunciation * Transatlantic accent * American and British English spelling differences


* ^ Dialects are considered "rhotic " if they pronounce the _r_ sound in all historical environments, without ever "dropping" this sound. The _father–bother_ merger is the pronunciation of the unrounded /ɒ/ vowel variant (as in _cot, lot, bother_, etc.) the same as the /ɑː/ vowel (as in _spa, haha, Ma_), causing words like _con_ and _Kahn_ and like _sob_ and _Saab _ to sound identical , with the vowel usually realized in the back or middle of the mouth as . Finally, most of the U.S. participates in a continuous nasal system of the "short _a_" vowel (in _cat, trap, bath_, etc.), causing /æ/ to be pronounced with the tongue raised and with a glide quality (typically sounding like ) particularly when before a nasal consonant ; thus, _mad_ is , but _man_ is more like .


* ^ English (United States) at _ Ethnologue _ (18th ed., 2015) * ^ " Unified English Braille (UEB)". _Braille Authority of North America (BANA)_. 2 November 2016. Retrieved 2 January 2017. * ^ en-US is the language code for _U.S. English_, as defined by ISO standards (see ISO 639-1 and ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 ) and Internet standards (see IETF language tag ). * ^ Plichta, Bartlomiej, and Dennis R. Preston (2005). "The /ay/s Have It: The Perception of /ay/ as a North-South Stereotype in the United States English." _Acta Linguistica Hafniensia_ 37.1: 107-130. * ^ Zentella, A. C. (1982). Spanish and English in contact in the United States: The Puerto Rican experience. Word, 33(1-2), 41. * ^ Crystal, David (1997). _English as a Global Language_. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-53032-6 . * ^ Crawford, James (1 February 2012). "Language Legislation in the U.S.A.". languagepolicy.net. Retrieved 29 May 2013. * ^ "U.S. English Efforts Lead West Virginia to Become 32nd State to Recognize English as Official Language". us-english.org. Retrieved 13 May 2016. * ^ "48 U.S. Code § 864 - Appeals, certiorari, removal of causes, etc.; use of English language LII / Legal Information Institute". Law.cornell.edu. Retrieved 2015-06-01. * ^ Labov, William (2012). _Dialect diversity in America: The politics of language change_. University of Virginia Press. pp. 1-2. * ^ Kretzchmar, William A. (2004), Kortmann, Bernd; Schneider, Edgar W., eds., _A Handbook of Varieties of English_, Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter, p. 262, ISBN 9783110175325 * ^ Labov, William (2010). _The Politics of Language Change: Dialect Divergence in America_. The University of Virginia Press. Pre-publication draft. p. 55. * ^ _A_ _B_ "Do You Speak American: What Lies Ahead". PBS. Retrieved 2007-08-15. * ^ Labov, William. 2012. Dialect diversity in America: the politics of language change. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press. * ^ _A_ _B_ Labov, William (2010). _The Politics of Language Change: Dialect Divergence in America_. The University of Virginia Press. Pre-publication draft. p. 53-4. * ^ Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006) , p. 148 * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006 :141) * ^ Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006 :123–4) * ^ Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006 :135) * ^ _A_ _B_ Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006 :237) * ^ Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006 :271–2) * ^ Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006 :130) * ^ Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006 :133) * ^ _A_ _B_ Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006 :125) * ^ Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006 :127, 254) * ^ Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006 :124, 229) * ^ Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006 :124) * ^ _A_ _B_ Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006 :137, 141) * ^ _A_ _B_ Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006 :230) * ^ Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006 :231) * ^ Labov, Ash Lynn, James M. (2004). _Calvert\'s Descriptive Phonetics_. Thieme, p. 136. * ^ Sedivy, Julie (March 28, 2012). "Votes and Vowels: A Changing Accent Shows How Language Parallels Politics". Discover. Retrieved January 24, 2016. * ^ Cf. Trudgill, p.42. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ _F_ Kortmann (2004 :263, 264) * ^ Labov et al. (2006 :180) * ^ Kortmann (2004 :315, 340) * ^ _A_ _B_ Wells (1982b :476) * ^ Kortmann (2004 :263, 264) * ^ Kortmann (2004 :263, 264) * ^ Kortmann & Boberg (2004 :154, 343, 361) * ^ Heggarty, Paul et al., eds. (2015). "Accents of English from Around the World". Retrieved 24 September 2016. See under "Std US + ‘up-speak’" CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link ) * ^ _ North American English _ (Trudgill, p. 2) is a collective term used for the varieties of the English language that are spoken in both the United States and Canada . * ^ "What Is the Difference between Theater and Theatre?". Wisegeek.org. 2015-05-15. Retrieved 2015-06-01. * ^ "Early Mainland Residues in Southern Hiberno-English". 20. JSTOR 25484343 . doi :10.2307/25484343 . Retrieved 29 May 2013. * ^ _A Handbook of Varieties of English_, Bernd Kortmann & Edgar W. Schneider, Walter de Gruyter, 2004, p. 317. * ^ Labov, p. 48. * ^ Trudgill, pp. 46–47. * ^ Wells, John C. (1982). _Accents of English_. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press . pp. 136–37, 203–6, 234, 245–47, 339–40, 400, 419, 443, 576. ISBN 0-521-22919-7 . 0-521-22919-7 (vol. 1), ISBN 0-521-24224-X (vol. 2), ISBN 0-521-24225-8 (vol. 3) * ^ Labov et al. (2006), p. 171. * ^ Labov, Ash & Boberg (2006 :61) * ^ According to _Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition_. * ^ "Want: meaning and definitions". Dictionary.infoplease.com. Retrieved 29 May 2013. * ^ "want. The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000.". Bartleby.com. Archived from the original on 2008-01-09. Retrieved 29 May 2013. * ^ "Want – Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary". M-w.com. Retrieved 29 May 2013. * ^ J. C. Wells. _Accents of English_. 3. Cambridge University Press. pp. 481–482. * ^ Labov, William ; Ash, Sharon; Boberg, Charles (2006). _The Atlas of North American English_. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. p. 182. ISBN 3-11-016746-8 . * ^ Trager, George L. (1940) _One Phonemic Entity Becomes Two: The Case of 'Short A'_ in _American Speech_: 3rd ed. Vol. 15: Duke UP. 256. Print. * ^ Freuhwald, Josef T. (November 11, 2007). "The Spread of Raising: Opacity, lexicalization, and diffusion". University of Pennsylvania . Retrieved September 21, 2016. * ^ Grzegorz Dogil, Susanne Maria Reiterer, and Walter de Gruyter, eds. (2009). "general+american"+"velarized" _Language Talent and Brain Activity: Trends in Applied Linguistics_. Walter de Gruyter GmbH. p. 299. CS1 maint: Uses editors parameter (link ) * ^ Wells (1982 :490) * ^ Wells, John C. (April 8, 1982). _Accents of English: Vowel 3: Beyond the British Isles_. Cambridge University Press. p. 515. * ^ _A Handbook of Varieties of English_, Bernd Kortmann & Edgar W. Schneider, Walter de Gruyter, 2004, p. 319. * ^ _A_ _B_ _Principles of English etymology: The native element - Walter William Skeat_. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2015-06-01. * ^ "You Already Know Some German Words!". Retrieved 9 January 2017. * ^ ""The history of Mexican folk foodways of South Texas: Street vendors, o" by Mario Montano". Repository.upenn.edu. 1992-01-01. Retrieved 2015-06-01. * ^ _What\'s in a Word?: Etymological Gossip about Some Interesting English Words - Robert M. Gorrell_. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2015-06-01. * ^ _The Pocket Gophers of the United States - Vernon Bailey_. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2015-06-01. * ^ _The American Language: A Preliminary Inquiry Into the Development of English ... - H. L. Mencken_. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2015-06-01. * ^ "Lame Duck". Word Detective.com. Retrieved 29 May 2013. * ^ A few of these are now chiefly found, or have been more productive, outside of the U.S.; for example, _jump,_ "to drive past a traffic signal"; _block_ meaning "building", and _center,_ "central point in a town" or "main area for a particular activity" (cf. Oxford English Dictionary). * ^ "The Maven\'s Word of the Day: gesundheit". Random House . Retrieved 29 May 2013. * ^ Trudgill, Peter (2004). _New-Dialect Formation: The Inevitability of Colonial Englishes_. * ^ "Definition of day noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner\'s Dictionary". Oup.com. Retrieved 29 May 2013. * ^ "Definition of sure adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner\'s Dictionary". Oup.com. 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North Carolina State University. * ^ Algeo, John (2006). _British or American English?_. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-37993-8 . * ^ Algeo, John. "The Effects of the Revolution on Language", in _A Companion to the American Revolution_. John Wiley ">(blog). Style Guide of the American Psychological Association. 2011. Retrieved 2015-03-21. * ^ Jones, Daniel (1991). _English Pronouncing Dictionary_. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521425865 .


* Labov, William ; Sharon Ash; Charles Boberg (2006). _The Atlas of North American English_. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter . ISBN 3-11-016746-8 .


* Bailey, Richard W. (2012). _Speaking American: A History of English in the United States_ 20th-21st century usage in different cities * Bartlett, John R. (1848). _Dictionary of Americanisms: A Glossary of Words and Phrases Usually Regarded As Peculiar to the United States_. New York: Bartlett and Welford. * Garner, Bryan A. (2003). _Garner's Modern American Usage_. New York: Oxford University Press. * Mencken, H. L. (1977) . _The American Language: An Inquiry into the Development of English in the United States _ (4th ed.). New York: Knopf.

History of American English

* Bailey, Richard W. (2004). "American English: Its origins and history". In E. Finegan & J. R. Rickford (Eds.), _Language in the USA: Themes for the twenty-first century_ (pp. 3–17). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. * Finegan, Edward. (2006). "English in North America". In R. Hogg MARGIN:0 4EM">ARTICLES RELATED TO AMERICAN ENGLISH

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Dialects and accents of Modern English by continent





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* Gibraltar * Isle of Man * Malta

North and South America



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* v * t * e

English-speaking world

_Click on a coloured area to see an article about English in that country or region_ _



* English-speaking world * History of the English language * British Empire * English in the Commonwealth of Nations


* List of countries by English-speaking population * List of countries where English is an official language



* Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha _


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* _ Puerto Rico _


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* _ Gibraltar _ * Malta


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Dependencies shown in _italics_.

* v * t * e

_ Languages of the United States

Languages in italics_ are extinct.



* African American Vernacular English * Appalachian English * Baltimore English * Boston English * Cajun English * California English * Chicano English * Eastern New England English * General American English * High Tider English * Inland Northern American English * Miami English * Mid-Atlantic American / Delaware Valley English * Maine English * Midland American English * New England Englishes * New Mexican Englishes * New Orleans English * New York City English * New York Latino English * Northern American English * North-Central American English * Ozark English * Pacific Northwest English * Pennsylvania Dutch English * Philadelphia English * Pittsburgh English * Puerto Rican English * Southern American English * Texan English * Tidewater English * Transatlantic English * Upper Michigan English * Western American English * Western New England English * Yeshiva English

Oral Indigenous Languages

Families A–C


* Abenaki * Anishinnabemowin * Arapaho * Blackfoot * Cheyenne * Cree * Fox * Gros Ventre * Mahican * Massachusett * Menominee * Mi\'kmaq * Mohegan-Pequot * Munsee * Myaamia * Nanticoke * Narragansett * Pamlico * Potawatomi * Powhatan * Quiripi * Shawnee * Unami

* _Etchemin _ * _Loup _ * _Nawathinehena _


* Chamorro * Hawaiian * Refaluwasch * Samoan * Tokelauan


* Arikara * Caddo * Wichita

* _Kitsai _


* Kathlamet * Tsinúk * Upper Chinook


* _Barbareño _ * _Cruzeño _ * _Obispeño _ * _Purisimeño _ * _Ventureño _

Families C–K

Dené– Yeniseian

* Ahtna * Deg Xinag * Dena\'ina * Gwich’in * Hän * Hupa * Jicarilla * Koyukon * Lower Tanana * Mescalero-Chiricahua * Navajo * Tanacross * Tolowa * Upper Kuskokwim * Upper Tanana * Western Apache

* _Cahto _ * _Eyak _ * _Holikachuk _ * _Kwalhioqua-Clatskanie _ * _Lipan _ * _Mattole _ * _Plains Apache _ * _Tsetsaut _ * _Tututni _ * _Upper Umpqua _ * _Wailaki _


* Inuit * Inupiat * Aleut * Alutiiq * Central Alaskan Yup\'ik * Central Siberian Yupik * Chevak Cup’ik


* Cayuga * Cherokee * Mohawk * Oneida * Onondaga * Osage * Seneca * Tuscarora * Wyandot

* _Erie _ * _Neutral Huron _ * _Nottoway _ * _Susquehannock _ * _Wenrohronon _


* _Central Kalapuya _ * _Northern Kalapuya _ * _Yoncalla _


* Cochiti Pueblo * San Felipe–Santo Domingo * Zia–Santa Ana Pueblos * Western Keres * Acoma Pueblo * Laguna Pueblo

Families M–S


* Konkow * Maidu * Nisenan

* _Chico _


* Alabama * Chickasaw * Choctaw * Koasati * Mikasuki * Muscogee

* _Apalachee _


* Achumawi

* _Atsugewi _


* Central Pomo * Eastern Pomo * Kashaya * Southeastern Pomo * Southern Pomo

* _Northeastern Pomo _ * _Northern Pomo _


* Coeur d\'Alene * Columbia-Moses * Halkomelem * Klallam * Lushootseed * Nooksack * North Straits Salish * Okanagan * Salish * Thompson * Twana

* _Cowlitz _ * _Lower Chehalis _ * _Quinault _ * _Tillamook _ * _Upper Chehalis _


* Assiniboine * Crow * Dakota * Hidatsa * Kansa * Lakota * Mandan * Omaha–Ponca * Quapaw * Stoney * Winnebago

* _Biloxi _ * _Catawba _ * _Chiwere _ * _Mitchigamea _ * _Moneton _ * _Ofo _ * _Tutelo-Saponi _ * _Woccon _

Families T–Z


* Jemez * Kiowa * Picuris * Southern Tiwa * Taos * Tewa

* _Piro Pueblo _


* Coast Tsimshian


* Comanche * Hopi * Ivilyuat * Kawaiisu * Kitanemuk * Luiseño * Mono * Northern Paiute * O\'odham * Serrano * Shoshoni * Timbisha * Tübatulabal * Ute-Chemehuevi * Yaqui

* _Cupeño _ * _Tongva _


* Makah


* Nomlaki * Patwin * Wintu


* Central Sierra Miwok * Southern Sierra Miwok * Tule-Kaweah Yokuts * Valley Yokuts

* _Bay Miwok _ * _ Buena Vista Yokuts _ * _Coast Miwok _ * _ Gashowu Yokuts _ * _ Kings River Yokuts _ * _Lake Miwok _ * _ Northern Sierra Miwok _ * _Palewyami _ * _Plains Miwok _

Yuman– Cochimí

* Cocopah * Havasupai–Hualapai * Ipai * Kumeyaay * Maricopa * Mojave * Quechan * Tiipai * Yavapai



* Haida * Karuk * Kutenai * Siuslaw * Washo * Yuchi * Zuni

* _Chitimacha _ * _Tonkawa _

Mixed or Trade Languages

* Chinook Jargon * Michif

* _ Mohawk Dutch _

Manual Indigenous languages


* Anishinaabe Sign Language * Blackfoot Sign Language * Cheyenne Sign Language * Cree Sign Language * Navajo Sign Language

* _ Plateau Sign Language _


* Hawai\'i Sign Language * Keresan Pueblo * Navajo Family Sign Language

Oral settler languages


* Louisiana

* Cajun * Colonial

* Métis * Missouri * Muskrat * New England


* Pennsylvania Dutch * Hutterite * Plautdietsch * Bernese * Alsatian * Texas


* Caló (Chicano) * New Mexican * Puerto Rican * Isleño

Manual settler languages


* American Sign Language * Black American Sign Language * Pro-Tactile American Sign Language * Puerto Rican Sign Language


* Samoan Sign Language


* _Martha\'s Vineyard Sign Language _


* _ Sandy River Valley Sign Language _ * _ Henniker Sign Language _

Immigrant languages (number of speakers in 2000 in millions)

* Spanish (28) * Varieties of Chinese (2) * French (2) * German (1.4) * Tagalog (1.2) * Arabic (1.1) * Vietnamese (1) * Italian (1) * Korean (0.9) * Russian (0.7) * Polish (0.7) * Portuguese (0.6) * Greek (0.4) * Persian (0.3) * Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian (0.2) * Armenian (0.2) * Yiddish (0.2)


* GND : 4094804-3 * BNF : cb126474421 (data) * NDL : 00560167

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