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Lexical Leavings

by Tom Gally



In British English, it seems, people are said to "come out in a rash." In the United States, the usual expression is "break out in a rash."

British and American examples, respectively, from the Web:
But Mr Davis is now in talks with his Exeter solicitors to take his six-year battle for damages to the European Court of Justice. Mr Davis claims he first became ill in 1996 when he came out in a rash from which he has never recovered.

Humiliated 84-64 by the Hoosiers in the opening game of the season, their first under new coach Gene Bartow, the Bruins had regrouped, won the Pac Eight and moved easily through the West Regional. Now they came to Philadelphia in no mood for brotherly love. Starting guard Ray Townsend was so keyed up he broke out in a rash.
There are British examples on the Web of "break out in a rash," too, and it appears in at least one British dictionary (though more British dictionaries list "come out in a rash"). In a quick Web search, I didn't see any American "come out in a rash" examples.
(March 17, 2003)