Anonymous asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 2 months ago

Language question for American, Australian, Canadian and other English-speaking  people outside Britain ?

Do you have the idiomatic use of the word "dead" to very  "really"or "very"?

In Britain dead good means really good. We say dead clever, dead interesting, dead boring, dead young, dead old etc etc

9 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    In the USA we have such expressions  as "dead ahead, dead wrong, dead reckoning (a method of navigation), dead set (on doing  something), and dead tired," that I can think of off the top of my head. But none that I can think of that fit exactly your meaning.

  • Lisa A
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    That is not a part of American English.

    We might say "dead even" or "dead heat" to indicate a tie in a race, or "dead wrong" to mean 100% completely wrong.  But we would never use "dead" in any other context to mean "really" or "very".

  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    We older Americans would understand it the way that you explain.  You're dead straight!  It's dead even.  Dead ahead. 

    I rather doubt that young Americans would understand it in that usage, because they have rather limited vocabularies and have not been readers of old books or watched old movies. 

    When I was in elementary school 6 decades ago, we read older English fiction, sometimes a few centuries old.  So my vocabulary includes much British English from mire than 80 years ago. 

    It's modern British slang that I only understand some of. 

    I just watched a 1930s British movie last night, and except for the slight accent, I understood every word and the way they spoke is the way I speak.  I mean sentence structure and word usage. 

    The only word they used that I never used in the USA was "heath".  I know this word and I know "moor", which is similar, but we don't use that either.  The closest word that we use is probably "meadow".  We use "field" but it may be slightly different.  I don't know if Britons use meadow or field.  We say "pasture" also.  If it's wet or muddy, you might call it a "bog". 

    Dead good?  We don't say it but I surely understand it.  I also understand bloody good!  Lol.

  • 1 month ago

    In Australia, we have the term 'Deadset' which means 'seriously'. eg 

    "billy was set on fire the other day."

    "What! Deadset?!"

    "Yeah, deadset mate!"

    We don't really use 'dead' too much outside of this, maybe 'dead tired' meaning so tired you feel dead. But not like what you're suggesting outside of this.

    Source(s): Australian.
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  • 1 month ago

    The only American uses I've ever heard are "dead tired" and "dead serious." 

    edit:  I've also heard "dead set" on something, meaning "seriously."  Nothing is more serious than death.

  • 1 month ago

    Canadian here.  The use of dead as an adjective is known here, and used, but, pretty rarely.

  • 1 month ago

    In the UK I date that usage back to the early 1960s; I seem to remember the Beatles saying something was "dead good".

  • J
    Lv 6
    2 months ago

    As an American, that sounds weird. We don’t do that here. 

  • 2 months ago

    I've never heard 'dead' used in that context.

    Source(s): Mustached gun toting cowboy fashion victim across the pond
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