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A passage or passageway? In the UK, we would probably call it an alley or alleyway. Over here, alleys are usually too narrow for cars.

That's because they were built before cars were invented...

When I was young, I'd call it a "twitten" - that's what we used the word for "the place between two buildings, not wide enough to take a car". The archetypal twitten to me was a paved footway which went between two blocks on our council estate, we often had to refer to this when I was young as it was almost next to us, and it was just "the twitten". It was built after cars were invented. I think an "alley" too refers to a narrow passage - it wouldn't be an "alley" if cars could fit down it.

BTW, I don't know what a "dumpster" is.
Matthew Huntbach
BTW, I don't know what a "dumpster" is.

It's like Linford Christie's lunchbox, only (even) bigger.
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Matthew Huntbach (Email Removed) het geskryf:
When I was young, I'd call it a "twitten" - that's what we used the word for "the place between two buildings, not wide enough to take a car".

The Full Monty has the Sheffield term "jennel".
(Also, irrelevantly, "nesh": unusually susceptible to cold.)
Hm...I have a semantic distinction here... the thing that cars ... to walk through. What is that called (pick your dialect)?

A passage or passageway?

To me (AmE) those certainly sound better, but somehow a little generic. But maybe that's all there is in AmE.
In the UK, we would probably call it an alley or alleyway. Over here, alleys are usually too narrow for cars.

In (my) AmE, an alley must ostensibly be car accessible.

Mitch
BTW, I don't know what a "dumpster" is.

Large metal/plastic waste receptacle. Obstacles (next to discarded pallets and empty cardboard boxes) in car chase scenes down 'alleys'.

Mitch
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In the UK, we would probably call it an alley or alleyway. Over here, alleys are usually too narrow for cars.

In (my) AmE, an alley must ostensibly be car accessible.

My, but you Yanks sure are lazy when it come to going bowling!

New Marmite(TM): Not as thick! Not as dark! Not as te!

David - toro-danyo atcost uku fullstop co fullstop uk http://www.toro-danyo.uku.co.uk /
In the UK, we would probably call it an alley or alleyway. Over here, alleys are usually too narrow for cars.

In South Wales, it's a gwyli (but I've only heard it rhyming with "bully").

Ah. That may explain something that's puzzled me for almost seventy years. A sort of alleyway ran from our back gate down to the village High Street: it was too narrow, as I recall, for two adults to walk comfortably side by side, and the ground was simply dirt - no kind of paving at all. On one side was the low tumble-down wall of the doctor's paddock, on the other a tallish hedge flanking our field. We called this alleyway "The Gully", which I heard for years as "Gullet", thinking there was some allusion to one's throat. As our native "u" was the Northern "oo", "gully" indeed rhymed with "bully". And this was in Shropshire, only a short distance from Wales.

But NSOED derives "gully" or "gulley", with various meanings including of course a ravine worn into a mountainside by water, from the French for "throat", and gives as a dialectal sense of "gullet" "a narrow passage".

So was my childhood "gully" Welsh or French?
Alan Jones
In the UK, we would probably call it an alley or alleyway. Over here, alleys are usually too narrow for cars.

In (my) AmE, an alley must ostensibly be car accessible.

Which brings to mind another AmE/BrE difference. If something is particularly appropriate or of interest to someone, we say it is "right up their street", but I believe AmE would say "right up their alley".
Cheers
Tony

Tony Mountifield
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In South Wales, it's a gwyli (but I've only heard it rhyming with "bully").

Ah. That may explain something that's puzzled me for almost seventy years. A sort of alleyway ran from our back ... "throat", and gives as a dialectal sense of "gullet" "a narrow passage". So was my childhood "gully" Welsh or French?

Hmm. It's not at all impossible that the Welsh is actually ad. the English word, ad. the French. No help from OED.

Mike.

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