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Different word uses

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I've heard 'waiting on someone' used to mean waiting for someone, but not recently. There is another difference in how this word can be mixed up with another. I believe it's an east coast regionalism to say, "Waiting on line to get into a theater." I grew up basically in the Midwest, and we'd always say, "Waiting in line." I first heard "on line" when I went to college at an eastern school. I thought it was very strange, said that way.


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What they did more of in NYC was to play stick-ball with a spaldeen. The spaldeen was a red rubber ball trademarked "Spaulding" hence its street name. In Baltimore we called it stoop-ball, and someone's front marble-stepped stoop was always home plate.

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A phrase that seems to me to be American is, "He liked to pet the cat."

Here, we would say, "He liked to pat the cat."

For us, pet is a noun, pat is the verb, but it seems in the US, pet is both noun and verb, although I would expect pat is also used as as a verb, as in, "He liked to pat me on the backside."

It is just that we don't use 'pet' as a verb. The cat is our pet, even if the cat thinks we are its slave. :whistle:

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Ah, but petting is another thing entirely. It is NOT patting. If anything, it is 'stroking', but not the beating type stroking you might be thinking of. Maybe caressing would be the closest word for it.

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Ah, but petting is another thing entirely. It is NOT patting. If anything, it is 'stroking', but not the beating type stroking you might be thinking of. Maybe caressing would be the closest word for it.

The word 'petting' is not in common usage here. We do in fact say 'patting,' and use it to mean affectionate stroking of the pet.

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As I suspected, the word 'pat' has very different meaning in America from its use here in South Australia.

We pat our pets with a gentle fondness, fetching forth only appreciative purring from the cat or slobbering panting from the doggies.

The Wordweb dictionary concurs with our usage by defining pat thus:


Verb: (pat, patted, patting.) pat

1. Pat or squeeze fondly or playfully, especially under the chin

2.Hit lightly -"pat him on the shoulder"

For pet Wordweb shows:


Noun: pet

1. A domesticated animal kept for companionship or amusement

Verb: (pet, petted, petting)

1. Stroke or caress gently

Clearly the dictionary shows the words 'pat' and 'pet' as interchangeable verbs, of gentle touching. (gloves not needed.)

Pet however is primarily defined as a noun.

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Poem for Des

You'd pat your pet

Where I'd pet my pet

Your pet, in fact,

Being a cat.

That's that pet you'd pat.

Your cat.

But what if your cat,

You most loved pet,

Had found out that

Your best ever pet

Wasn't, indeed, the cat?

In fact the cat was all wet

Thinking he was the pet

That you loved to pat

While really in fact

Such bliss was an act

For your true love I'll bet

Is someone else you can pet

With caress, squeeze and stroke:

A right tight Aussie bloke

And the cat, well, the cat

Must make do with a pat.

One hopes it won't get

Itself into a pet

While the bloke gets the pat.

Er...the pet.

The bloke's now been pet

So with appetites whet

Into bed quick he gets

So the result of the pets

Is as good as it gets.

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Guys, there's another definition. It's 'petting' meaning "to grope or fondle; foreplay without intercourse."

Colin :lol:

I thought you were too young to know about that one... :lol:

How quickly they lose their innocence :lol:

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My particular hate in current usage, or lack thereof, is "I'll go with." This is of course meant to convey "I'll go with you."

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Another one I hate is "I graduated high school."

Whatever happened to F'in' prepositions?

I graduated from high school.

God, modern language sucks sometimes... flamingmad.gif

Now that surprises me Pec, I am heartened to see you declare your dislike of omitting the preposition.

I thought omitting it was at least common in the US because I am so used to hearing the request, "Write me," instead of, "Write to me."

Great point, thanks. :lol:

The reason modern language gets to suck so much is because it has no teeth. :lol:

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'Graduated college' is a particular bugaboo of mine, too.

'Go with' is rapidly becoming one, too.

Isn't it peculiarly English to say 'Let's go to mine'? I keep seeing that usage in Brit writing, never in American.


It's quite common to hear that in Australia, but usually only after the question, "My place or yours?"

I just saw one that disturbs me, but I am wondering if that is just because it is considered incorrect here.

Does anyone else have problem with,

"I was waked up by him."

instead of,

"I was awakened by him," or even, "I was woken up by him."

The whole series of words based on 'wake' is somewhat bewildering.

wake, waken, wakened, woke, woken, awake, awaken , awakened, awoke, awoken. (wacky?)

Waked is in some dictionaries as an additional item, which really doesn't help (?)

I suspect some carry-over from olde English is involved as we no longer use spake very much, but certainly spoke, spoken, speak, seem to be of similar derivation or at least variation.

Of course spake may well still be used by some folk, but as I'm not a true believer, the Lord does not spake unto me at all. :lol:

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