U vs. Non-U English

Can you pick the British vocabulary identified as 'U' (upper class) as opposed to that identified as 'non-U' (aspiring middle class) in the 1950s? See game note for some more explanation.

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U/Non-U OptionsU Terminology
Which is U... (A) couch or (B) sofa?
(A) cycle or (B) bike?
Midday meal: (A) lunch or (B) dinner?
(A) greens or (B) vegetables?
(A) rich or (B) wealthy?
(A) 'They have a lovely home' or (B) 'They've a very nice house'?
Insane: (A) mad or (B) mental?
(A) dentures or (B) false teeth?
Playing card: (A) jack or (B) knave?
(A) looking-glass or (B) mirror?
U/Non-U OptionsU Terminology
(A) napkin or (B) serviette?
(A) lavatory or (B) toilet?
(A) 'Pardon?' or (B) 'What?'
(A) pudding or (B) sweet?
(A) cemetery or (B) graveyard?
(A) glasses or (B) spectacles?
(A) perfume or (B) scent?
(A) drawing-room or (B) lounge?
(A) dress suit or (B) dinner jacket?
(A) ice or (B) ice cream?
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  • The terms U and non-U were coined by linguist Alan S. C. Ross in 1954 to distinguish the speech of the English upper class from that of the middle class. Lower class speech was not at issue. The linguistic divide using these terms was popularized by Nancy Mitford in the essay "The English Aristocracy" and the distinction caused quite a stir in its day, though not all aspects are maintained today.
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Last Updated: Jun 4, 2018

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