Sarah J. Carlson

Contemporary Young Adult Author

Gotten is an Americanism???? All these years of speaking Murican and I never even knew….


ImageBack story: I’m working on writing a character who speaks the British English variety of English. And crap there are just so many differences, not only in vocabulary but syntax among other things. I sent my work to a professional editor in the UK (after having like 5 British English speakers read it) and I’m going through my feedback. I actually did shockingly well, but….

Gotten and block (as a distance)=Americanisms. Also chug, like chug a beer. Also snickered, that should be sniggered. I have a list of a gagillion other things, but I never would have guessed those…. Okay not a gagillion but a lot.

15 thoughts on “Gotten is an Americanism???? All these years of speaking Murican and I never even knew….

  1. Marcus Case

    Life is full of surprises! As with most things, until we’re told otherwise, how can we possibly know? But it sounds as though you’ve gotten some great editorial feedback (did I get that right?)!


      1. Marcus Case

        I have multiple POV’s. My first editor praised me and the second suggested a massive cull (= killing, in the UK!). Both said I should take plenty of time and think it over. I did, and went with the first one.


  2. evenlode1967

    Confession – as a British writer, ‘gotten’ is one of my biggest bugbears when I see it in a story set in Britain. Lots of british writers who have learnt to write on the internet use it as a matter of course, but its something you would never hear anyone say here! I could go on at length, but I won’t. I’m just glad to see you mention it 🙂 Happy writer! EF


    1. sjoycarlson Post author

      Haha thanks! It really did blow my mind and I definitely removed it! Such a weird, random difference 😀 That made me then wonder, do the Brits use forgotten? But not enough to actually look it up lol.


  3. evenlode1967

    (The other one I love is ‘piddling about’ which in the US means mooching about the house doing odd jobs and hanging out. In Britain, it means urinating! Makes me howl with laughter every time I see it!) EF


    1. sjoycarlson Post author

      And mooching, at least how I use it, means to take stuff from your friends constantly because you’re unprepared. I’ve seen British writers using piddle around the house and I kind of actually thought it was a Brit thing because I don’t really see it much lol.


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