general, usage features

Totes amaze!

I have already reported on my amazement with amaze in the Bridging the Unbridgeable blog. Thinking it was clearly an example of American English, I was surprised to find this T-shirt in a Primark store in Scotland. Not only does it display the word amaze in big white letters, but it also includes another interesting word: totes.

Totes amaze T-shirt

Totes amaze T-shirt

Totes, a short form of totally, is frequently found in the company of amaze. The issue of Americanisms, American English words taken over into other languages or varieties, has been bothering the one or the other British English native speaker. Words and phrases such as to wait on or transportation have caused some emotional responses.

Recently, a tendency to shorten words can undoubtedly be detected. Whether totes and amaze are going to be fully adopted into British English and thus become legit words remains to be seen. The Oxford Dictionary included totes already into its online version. Is this a step towards its legitimisation?


4 thoughts on “Totes amaze!

  1. Another one is ‘supes’ as a short form or ‘super’. On the Bridging the Unbridgeable blog, I already mentioned the speech of Lydia Bennet in the internet series The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. This character also uses ‘totes’ and ‘supes’, as in an expression like ‘this is totes squaresville’, meaning that it is for people who are ‘squares’, in other words that it is boring.
    Although it appears to originate in the US, I think this usage might be more related to a certain type of person, or a certain age group, rather than being typically American. It also appears to spread through popular culture, possibly mainly through the internet.

    • I agree. The use of these short forms can be clearly related to a specific type of person. So far, however, I have come across these short forms, such as amaze and totes, in US popular culture and TV series such as Girls for example. There is no doubt that these words spread through media. I am trying to find their source and will let you know.

  2. Dani says:

    either way his blog totes amazing 🙂 … great job Carmen and thank you or helping us out, understand these complexities (i hope I got it right)

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