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  1. #1
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    Question 'Hardware store' in British English?

    Hi all,

    I'd like to know what are those shops called that sell building materials and tools etc. I know that at least in the US they are called 'Hardware stores', but how about in the UK? I once heard one very British word for that but it sounded very old-fashioned to me... (Unfortunately I don't remember that word anymore)

    Thank you for your help and greetings from snowy Finland!

  2. #2
    new2grammar's Avatar
    new2grammar is offline Senior Member
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    Re: 'Hardware store' in British English?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jolittn View Post
    Hi all,

    I'd like to know what are those shops called that sell building materials and tools etc. I know that at least in the US they are called 'Hardware stores', but how about in the UK? I once heard one very British word for that but it sounded very old-fashioned to me... (Unfortunately I don't remember that word anymore)

    Thank you for your help and greetings from snowy Finland!
    In India it's is call 'Hardware and Electrical' store, probably it would be same everywhere including your country. Kindly have a check on it.

  3. #3
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    Re: 'Hardware store' in British English?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jolittn View Post
    Hi all,

    I'd like to know what are those shops called that sell building materials and tools etc. I know that at least in the US they are called 'Hardware stores', but how about in the UK? I once heard one very British word for that but it sounded very old-fashioned to me... (Unfortunately I don't remember that word anymore)

    Thank you for your help and greetings from snowy Finland!
    Hardware shop or builders suppliers..

  4. #4
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    Re: 'Hardware store' in British English?

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Hardware shop or builders suppliers..
    Ironmongers was the term used until recently.

  5. #5
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    Cool Re: 'Hardware store' in British English?

    In England they call these places a DIY shop - DIY stands for Do It Yourself.
    However, many people choose to use the name of the shop rather than the generic name e.g. Payless DIY. I hope this helps.

  6. #6
    bhaisahab's Avatar
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    Re: 'Hardware store' in British English?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    Ironmongers was the term used until recently.
    Thanks Anglika, I had forgotten that.

  7. #7
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    Re: 'Hardware store' in British English?

    Quote Originally Posted by efltastic View Post
    In England they call these places a DIY shop - DIY stands for Do It Yourself.
    However, many people choose to use the name of the shop rather than the generic name e.g. Payless DIY. I hope this helps.
    And one clever forward-thinking DIY shop (B&Q), back in the days when three-letter domain names were still available, registered the name "www.diy.com".

    b

    PS I've just checked at http://whois.domaintools.com/diy.com ; they did it 12/13 years ago.
    Last edited by BobK; 20-Jan-2010 at 18:14. Reason: Added PS

  8. #8

    Re: 'Hardware store' in British English?

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    Ironmongers was the term used until recently.

    Yes, according to Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English 5 Edition

    i‧ron‧mon‧ger / ˈaɪənˌmʌŋɡə $ ˈaɪərnˌmʌŋɡər, -ˌːŋ- / noun [ countable ] British English old-fashioned
    1 someone who works in or owns a shop that sells tools and equipment for your home and garden
    2 ironmonger’s a shop that sells this equipment
    ironmongery noun [ uncountable ]





  9. #9
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    Re: 'Hardware store' in British English?

    Related words include fishmonger, doom-monger, warmonger, scaremonger... . In 'fishmonger' and 'ironmonger' the suffix refers to a tradesman/shop-keeper (and while that dictionary may be right in calling 'iron-monger' old-fashioned* 'fishmonger isn't (except to the extent that shops selling just fish are becoming rarer). In all the others, it's what linguists call 'a productive suffix' - used commonly to refer to someone doing or favouring something with negative connotations.

    *I'm not so sure about this. Maybe it refers to an 'old-fashioned' sort of shop, but it can be used to specify exactly what service they provide: 'If you want a good range of left-handed flange grommets, don't waste your time going to a DIY store like B&Q or Wickes or Homebase; go to a proper iron-monger - like Drew's on the Caversham Road'.

    (BTW, don't spend ages with a dictionary wrestling with 'left-handed flange grommets'; I invented them for the example. Drew's isn't an invention, but it'll only be of interest to residents of Reading UK.)

    b
    Last edited by BobK; 22-Jan-2010 at 15:45. Reason: Typo

  10. #10
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    Re: 'Hardware store' in British English?

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    Thanks Anglika, I had forgotten that.
    So had I. And that was the word I mentioned in my original post. But is 'Ironmonger's' still used in England in contemporary language?

    Anyway, the way you say it doesn't matter, unless people understand you. But I was just interested in British spoken language.

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