Do BrE speakers say, in good, idiomatic BrE, 'wait in queue'? (= AmE: 'wait in line')

Do BrE speakers say, in good, idiomatic BrE, 'wait in a/the queue'? (= AmE 'wait in the a/the queue')

Or do BrE speakers use 'queue' instead? Johnny queued for three hours (where 'queued' means 'waited in line' AmE).

Thanks in advance, I know you are really busy, and I would really appreciate it if you would designate if you are a native BrE speaker when answering.

I've looked in five dictionaries and cannot get an answer.

2 Answers 2


Native British English speaker here, you wouldn't use 'waiting in queue'. If someone asked you where your sister was, and she was waiting in line, you could use either of the following:

noun: She is waiting in the/a queue

verb: She is queueing to get a ticket

As you can see, queue can be used as a verb or a noun. This is probably an example of 'verbing' or 'verbification' (see blog post below)



They can say all that. Queue is also used in Australia, but mostly in written wording only. In verbal speech, at least here in New South Wales, I hear "line" used way more than queue is ever used. However, when the cashier calls the next customer in queue, they tend to say "Next in waiting" instead of "next in queue" or "next in line".

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