I’ve pointed out before that American English is as close to Shakespeare and Chaucer as is British English (much as some British like to think otherwise).
In the same vein, I’ve also pointed out before that some words and spellings that we think of as strictly Americanisms are actually holdovers from the way English was spoken in England. That is, Shakespeare might have said it the way that Americans do, but the British have changed their usage.
All that introduction for one lousy word, but here it is:
In my house, we call a diaper a “nappy.” That’s what the Aussies call it and my wife is an Aussie. (She uses the word more than I do, so she gets to decide what it’s called.) And of course, that’s what the British call it, too.
But Knowledge Magazine points out that the British used to call it a diaper. My dictionary agrees, saying “diaper” was the word used from the 16th century onwards, only changing to “nappy” in the early 20th century.
So the British back in the day used the word “diaper.” A bunch of them settled in the New World, still using the word diaper. Then, the British back home changed it (the word, not the diaper), only to claim now that they speak the TRUE English as handed down by the greats.
Ha, I say. Hah!*
* The ending H is added for extra emphasis.
P.S. You may ask, who are all these British people making these outlandish claims? Where are they making them? If you’re asking those questions then you’re obviously not as paranoid as I am. Keep working at it.
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