We would use "a sore",...whatever in Ontario, Canada. But, then my Mom was a Geordie, and on my dad's side, Scots, so maybe its more that. In the Atlantic provinces, these older usages are even more common. I'm now really looking forward to getting back to Cape Breton, to hear the language preserved, i believe, from the 1800's when the emigration mostly happened. My question was whether "sore head " would refer to someone who is grumpy.
Fascinating, thank you! I wonder if that's specifically because of Gaidhlig influence, from immigration from Scotland and Ireland? Disclosure: I am from New York, NY primarily. I have NEVER heard "My head is sore", but sometimes I forget there are other ways to speak "American"! :)
I struggle with it ALL THE TIME, I feel you :) I was discussing this very thing with my partner the other day and I think you're right about the influence. For example, I'll hear folks say:
I have a sore "whatever"
He's got the cancer, she had the chill
I can't do it just the now
Put those beans in a poke
That dog ripped my britches
Britches (breeches), occasionally 'breeks' if they're older and very rural Appalachia, poke (still used in parts of Scotland and England to mean a bag...also funny because it's derived from French), the way "the" gets used in places a lot of the rest of America may use "a/an" (or might just leave the article out altogether)...there are bits of my American English that I tend to forget aren't used in the rest of the country (or are only used when someone is trying to poke fun at the mountain folk). I hope I didn't come across as being overly defensive about it :-(
As we sometimes say in NYC (though more in old gangster movies than in reality), fuggeddabbouddit (translation: no worries!) I love all this stuff. I have always been fascinated by language and dialects, and I have a particular sort of excitement about English-language dialects. They are all beautiful, without exception. My speech can be full of choice NYC tidbits, from slurred phrases (Djuh get m' leddah? -- Did you get my letter?) To Yiddishisms (Oy, veh, what a schvantz! -- Gosh, what a jerk!) to 1970s inner-city talk (yo, that's wack! -- Wow, that's awful!) It's all good fun. That Gaidhlig phrasing is being preserved in some forms in pockets here and there in the USA is wonderful. My people are NYC Jews and my grandparents used to have some funny English, or "Yinglish," Yiddish-English, such as "You want I should do that?" Very similar sort of thing, they were translating word for word from their native language. Back to "sore head" though, it seemed like most Brits would find that translation acceptable, based on Duolingo's translation, so I was a bit surprised.