1. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Well meaning very?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Wreybies, May 21, 2014.

    Watching an episode of Mongrels where Destiny exclaims that her "obedience lessons are well expensive!"

    How common is this usage? Is it a particular register of speech or is it present across registers? Is it regional within the U.K.?
     
  2. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    You hear that very much here in the UK, although it is also regional.

    "That was well hard, pal" could be used to mean someone's just stood up to someone else in an argument.

    "I was well tired after that last shift" very tired, obviously.

    "Ange and Declan are well suited to each other" they are a good match.

    That book was well steamy" explains itself by the time you get to this part ...

    It is also sometimes used when people want to get the last word in but can't think of a comeback quick enough:

    A "I'm telling you now, your Dad's a poof!"
    B "He bloody is not, your Dad's a poof!"
    A "How's my dad a puff?"
    B "Cos I saw him down the gay bar!"
    A "Oh really? Cos he was there with your Dad, more like!"
    B "Well, well ..."
    A "Well aye!!!!"
    A walks away in triumph.
     
  3. Patra Felino
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    Patra Felino Active Member

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    Within the UK, It is definitely informal, definitely more common among the working class and definitely used in London and the south. I think it's used in the north as well but I'm less sure. I don't think it could ever be called correct English, but would be perfect to show that someone is working/lower class in dialogue.
     
  4. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    This is hilarious. :rofl: I totally saw two skinny, chavvy lads having at one another. :)

    But this illuminates another oddity:

    "Cos I saw him down the gay bar!"

    Clearly there's a missing at. Is this also a common construction?
     
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  5. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    All right, you. :) You've got me well confused. ;) Are you an Englishman in Bogotá, or a Colombian with unusually good English?
     
  6. Patra Felino
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    Patra Felino Active Member

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    Ah, I wondered why you explained that copular verb thing to me in Spanish. No, I'm from London originally but live in Bogotá. Latin America kicks ass!

    Hang on. Has the forum just been tweaked? I was sure that before it said "From: Colombia" in the bit below my avatar (which was a little confusing). Now it says "Location: Colombia" which is much better.

    Oh, and it's also common in informal UK English to say "I'm down the pub", "Let's go down the pub" etc. Even I said it myself when I lived there, and I'm a bit on the posh side when it comes to my spoken English. I would never personally say "This is well
    good" or anything though – it just sounds too wrong.
     
  7. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    Yes, it is. You seriously need to come to Wales. Seeing as CuteCat22 wrote a conversation, I shall also write one concerning two lads from Wales.


    Dafydd: You aright, good boy? Keepin' yourself busy, 'en?

    Endaf: Well aye, you know...gotta take good care of those sheep, mun! Who else will?

    Dafydd: Well that's true, bei! Fancy a pint?

    Endaf: I'd love one, butt.


    All strange words can be pronounced phonetically. :D
     
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  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    'well' has always been used in the US as a sort of 'stammer' word, when one doesn't know what to say next, as long as i've been alive, anyway...

    but i've never heard/seen it used here in place of 'very' in the context mentioned as a UK staple [well expensive/well hard]... though it is often used in the US in the following combinations and probably others i can't call to mind at the moment:

    it's been well used
    he's well known
     
  9. plothog
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    plothog Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Well meaning very, was certainly used in Nottingham (In the Midlands) when I was growing up in the eighties. I hear it less these days, but that might be because I live in Cambridge which has a particularly well educated population.
     
  10. plothog
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    plothog Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Down seems to be able to replace "at" and "to".

    I'm going down the pub.
    I'm down the pub.

    It's most popular when talking about pubs, but can be used for all sorts of places.
     
  11. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    Yep.

    Different dialects miss words out. I'm originally from Yorkshire so I would often say things like "I'm going down t'road" which is spoken "I'm going down road" (silent 't') as we would drop the worth 'the'.

    In the north east where I am now, letters are dropped from words. Try saying apple without sounding the 'p's' or little without the t's.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2014
  12. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I can do li'il easily with just a mild glottal stop, or even no glottal stop at all. Having spent my latter formative years in the South, I was often called L'il Ray-Ray. It's a southern thing. ;) But I cannot imagine how to elide the P's from apple. o_O
     
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  13. Komposten
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    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I've heard 'bout "li'l", but "a'le" (removing p's from apple)? That's just... mad...
     
  14. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    you still put your lips together but don't actually sound the P.

    Maybe we should be able to upload sound files! LOL
     
  15. Komposten
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    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I don't think it would be healthy for me to even try to pronounce that...
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2014
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  16. cutecat22
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    cutecat22 The Strange One Contributor

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    The word 'film' is pronounced 'filem' up here too!

    Also, as well as the different dialects, the same words can have totally different meanings. Two examples:

    1. We'd lived up here for a couple of years and Laddo (my son) was about seven. After a supermarket trip, I arrived home with some Aero Mint Deserts. It was the first time Laddo had ever had one so he's sat at the dining table tucking in when he suddenly exclaims "Mum! This is mint! and it's mint!" Up here, the word 'mint' is used to describe something that's really good/great/fantastic.

    2. For my day job, I work with 9 other ladies. One day we were all sat chatting during the lunch break when one of my colleagues said "Eeeee, did ya see the wifey at the bus stop this morning?" They then went on to have a full blown conversation about the 'wifey'. After ten minutes of confusion, I asked "Whose wife are we talking about?" then they explained to me that the word wifey simply meant woman.
     
  17. Komposten
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    Komposten Insanitary pile of rotten fruit Staff Supporter Contributor

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    As for the OP, I have heard a couple of cases where "well" is used rather than "very", but I believe it is mostly colloquialisms/dialect.
     
  18. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    When I wrote, "We go to university," in the dialogue, my critique group thought it was a typo. I'm not sure but I'll probably keep the British usage, to give my characters character. But I debate because not everyone will know leaving out 'the' is common usage for that sentence.

    When I hear, "obedience lessons are well expensive!" it sounds right to my ear.
     
  19. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    'Nuff said. You're awesome. I love the Yorkshire accent. :D
     
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