What are dole people?

Hello everybody have a healthy and prosperous 2006! This is my first question this year and I hope it’ll be interesting for you too :slight_smile: :
What are dole people? Couldn’t find this term in any of my dictionaries nor on the web. I know dole means charity so maybe this is colloquial way of referring to people who live on welfare?
Thank you in advance!

Quite likely, Frank – or they could work for a pineapple factory. Can you give us the context?

Hello Mr. Micawber, thanks for your quick response. Here is the context where I came across dole people. Two free lance teachers are talking about a class and asks:

What kind of class is it (school kids, dole people, secretaries…)?

So here it’s probably people who live on welfare?

Yes, indeed, and probably reduced from such as this:

Perhaps it had high property taxes, yet only poor on-the-dole people in residence, hence no tax base for improvements and no citizens who give a dang about …

(Interestingly, if you google dole people, you mostly get references to the Bob Dole political campaign.)

I liked that one, too!

It’s always interesting to hear about the differences between American and British English – to say nothing of Australian or South African English, for example, which also have words and expressions of their own. You sometimes hear such nonsense as: ‘Beware of Americanisms’. On the other hand, you can find more and more staunch supporters of American English. It so happens that I learned Oxford English and I’m very proud of my pronunciation (I don’t mean to say that I speak like a BBC broadcaster, though!), but I enjoy hearing all the other accents, too, from Cockney to Irish, Scottish or American. How dull would life be without all the different ways of speaking all over the world. The same applies to, say, Latin American Spanish vs. Castilian Spanish or French spoken in France vs. Swiss or Canadian French (I just love the latter!). We have four official languages in Spain: Castilian (or Spanish), Catalan, Galician and Euskera (or Basque) and, except for a bunch of people (or maybe more!) who think it should be solely Spanish – or one of the others – most people are happy about it. I call that ‘cultural riches’ or ‘cultural diversity’.

Hi Conchita,

I’d be fascinated to know what you mean by Oxford English. I’m a graduate from Oxford (about a hundred years ago now) but I don’t think being there affected the way I speak, which I believe is classified as non regional standard Southern English!!


Good question, Alan! I’m not sure myself, actually. I suppose I mean formal English and thought that it was the same as BBC English – I certainly didn’t mean that I studied at Oxford. Ages ago (I can say that too!) my very first teacher back in Switzerland used to say ‘Oxford English’ and my first coursebook was the ‘Oxford Progressive English Course’ by A.S. Hornby, which I’ve lovingly kept throughout the years and changes. Having a look at it now – and as compared to the material you can find nowadays – I do find that it sounds a bit formal and that some of the words must sound old-fashioned and have even become obsolete (looking-glass, motor-car…). To me ‘Oxford English’ was the equivalent of ‘Hochdeutsch’ for the German, say.

I’m glad you mentioned it. Perhaps I should just say ‘British English’ from now on.

Hi Conchita,

Sorry - it was only meant as a joke! It’s something I get a bee in my bonnet about!


:lol: and you are right about all these different ways of pronouncing (or not) the ‘s’ in Spanish – the same applies to the ‘c’, the ‘z’ and the ‘x’. Except for southern Spain and the Canary Islands, the ‘s’ here has a more sibilant sound, almost like ‘sh’, although there is a tendency now (especially among the young and which sounds rather posh --we say ‘pijo’) to pronounce it softly like in English/French/German/Italian or like they do in Mexico, for example. The opposite inclination, i.e. unstylish or not smart at all, is to sometimes replace the ‘s’ in the middle or end of a word, and before a consonant, by a sound similar to our ‘j’ (stronger than your ‘h’, which by the way is another phonetic obstacle for many Spaniards).

I would like to correct my sentence. Since it’s not a question, it should be as follows:

How dull life would be without …