Queue or line? President Obama and the US/UK divide

About Words - Cambridge Dictionaries Online blog

by Liz Walter

Credit: Getty Images Credit: Getty Images

When Barack Obama visited the UK recently, he told us that should we choose to exit the European Union in June, we would be ‘at the back of the queue’ when it came to trade negotiations with the US. Commentators were quick to jump on his use of the British word ‘queue’ rather than its US equivalent, ‘line’, some accusing him of trying to ingratiate himself with Brits, or even implying that he was parroting words written for him by supporters of a ‘remain’ vote in Britain’s upcoming EU referendum.*

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