Can language tools (typically, but not exclusively, software tools) be asked about on English SE?

I have a question about how I can work out where a term is used. It's along the lines of:

A common use case is to see if a term or phrase is used just in one's own area (whether that be defined as their city, state, country, other), or if it's recognised in other parts of the world too.

Some interesting words to look up could be

  • "my bad" - common expression in Australia to say "oops, my fault"
  • "nonce" - means a "unique number" in American computer terminology, but it's a rude term in Britain.
  • "jumper" - a garment warn for warmth on one's upper body in some parts of the world, but not a term used often (at all?) in the US.

These are random examples for demonstration purposes.

Is there any tool that can provide this geographic breakdown of where a word/phrase is used?

  • 3
    The tool you’re seeking is just a good old dictionary; they identify if a word is or has regional variations. Though they won’t likely cover modern slang (“my bad”), it takes a while for words to be established sufficiently to be recorded. There are some specialized dictionaries, such as the Dictionary of American Regional English (DARE), that analyze certain topics in greater depth than a general purpose dictionary. But I suspect you’d find both nonce and jumper in a standard dictionary (with jumper likely carrying an indication such as “chiefly Br.”).
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Jan 19, 2022 at 14:00
  • 2
    In my dialect of American English, jumper is a piece of female clothing. It does not mean sweater. Commented Jan 20, 2022 at 3:10

1 Answer 1


This seems like a reference or resource request. We don't allow them on the main site, but we do answer them here (i.e. english.meta). Just tag your quesiton

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .