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be on the dole vs. be on welfare

English translation: dole = unemployment benefit = where you have paid your contributions

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14:46 Jul 10, 2003
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
English term or phrase: be on the dole vs. be on welfare
Is it the same?
In my opinion not, but I will appreciate your kind opinion.
Andrzej Lejman
Local time: 08:26
English translation:dole = unemployment benefit = where you have paid your contributions
Explanation:
welfare = state welfare, no contributions paid
Selected response from:

EdithK
Switzerland
Local time: 08:26
Grading comment
I have to choose one answer, but I really thank you all. I will remember, that the meaning might be different in Europe and in America.
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
5 +11dole = unemployment benefit = where you have paid your contributions
EdithK
5 +6it is exactly the same.
Marian Greenfield
5 +2Just thought you might want to know...
Lisa Lloyd
5 +2dole = unemployment benefits / welfare = other benefits
Sonia Hill
5 +1No significant difference in current usage
Christopher Crockett


  

Answers


2 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +6
it is exactly the same.


Explanation:
on the dole is British, and is used here in the U.S. only a bit ironically, referring to the British term.

Marian Greenfield
Local time: 02:26
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 732

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  EdithK: see below, dole is also Irish and not just British, maybe not US.
2 mins

agree  xxxJoeYeckley: It just depends on which side of the Atlantic you do it on.
3 mins

agree  Fuad Yahya
12 mins

agree  Christopher Crockett: The same in the U.S., for sure.
16 mins

agree  DGK T-I: agree if for US usage (not for 'East Shore of Atlantic' :-)
50 mins

agree  Empty Whiskey Glass
1 hr

agree  Domka: I am not sure if you need a Polish translation, but jsut to let you know: to be/go on the dole -byc na zasilku, pojsc na zasilek and to be on (living) welfare - zyc z zasilku.
1 hr

agree  Catherine Norton
4 hrs
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3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +11
dole = unemployment benefit = where you have paid your contributions


Explanation:
welfare = state welfare, no contributions paid

EdithK
Switzerland
Local time: 08:26
Native speaker of: Native in GermanGerman, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 278
Grading comment
I have to choose one answer, but I really thank you all. I will remember, that the meaning might be different in Europe and in America.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  uparis
2 mins
  -> Thanks.

agree  Lisa Lloyd: spot on
3 mins
  -> Thanks Lisa.

agree  Bob Kerns: Never claimed either but I fully agree with Edith
9 mins

agree  Steffen Walter
12 mins

agree  J. Leo: I was under the impression that 'dole' was for welfare and unemployment on this side of the Atlantic (Europe).
12 mins

agree  jerrie: I think it's now called JSA (Job Seekers Allowance), and the more stamps (NI contributions) the more you're entitled to. I'm sure there was a loophole when I was a student, that meant you could claim during vacation (stamps or no stamps!)
13 mins
  -> Thanks all. I can only tell how we use it in Ireland. And there, I'm 100% certain, at least technically.

agree  JudyK: the "dole" refers specifically to unemployment benefit, as stated, whereas "welfare" seems to be to be a more general term for benefit (e.g. low income allowance, etc)
20 mins

agree  Armorel Young: but dole sounds very dated to my English ears now - these days we'd probably just say that someone is "on benefits"
21 mins
  -> That is of course true, thanks, but that was not the question.

agree  DGK T-I: Almost agree for UK 'dole'(in relatively recent times)would be benefit for people 'in the dole queue' ie:unemployed 'on the dole' whether it was JSA(benefits for contributions paid)or IncomeSupport(not for contrib.made)May be different in Irish Repub.
43 mins

agree  Empty Whiskey Glass
59 mins

agree  Spiros Doikas
1 hr
  -> Thanks all.
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18 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
No significant difference in current usage


Explanation:
except that "the dole" is rarely used in the U.S. any more --though it once was, commonly in the "Great Depression" of the 1930s.
I don't agree with Edith's distinction at all, at least in a U.S. context.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-07-10 15:10:37 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

The history of the word \"dole\" is interesting :
Here\'s the O.E.D. :

5. a. Dealing out or distribution of gifts; esp. of food or money given in charity.

C. 1205 Lay. 19646 Six cnihtes..gan to þas kinges dale, swulc heo weoren vn-hale;

6. a. That which is distributed or doled out; esp. a gift of food or money made in charity; hence, a portion sparingly doled out; spec. (usu. the dole); the popular name for the various kinds of weekly payments made from national and local funds to the unemployed since the war of 1914-18. Phr. (to be or go) on the dole: (to be or start being) in receipt of such unemployment relief; also transf. and fig.

1362 Langl. P. Pl. A. iii. 63 Whon 3e 3iuen doles.

1480 Caxton Chron. Eng. ccxlvi. (1482) 311 A dole to poure peple of vi shyllynges viii pens to be delyd peny mele.

U.K. and U.S. usage definitely differ, it appears, though I am certain I\'ve heard the word used in the context of the \'30s depression.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-07-10 15:15:23 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Finishing my response to Edith :
I\'d say that Dublin was U.K.
\"U.K. and U.S. usage definitely differ\" --what more can I say ?
Thanks, Edith.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-07-10 15:20:50 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

More from the OED to Lisa\'s historical point :

1. The state of being divided; division. Obs.
C. 1000 Ælfric Exod. viii. 23 Ic sette dal betwux þin folc & min folc;

[obsolete sense]
2. a. A part or division of a whole; a portion; = deal sb.1 1. Obs.

A. 1000 Guthlac (Gr.) 25 Is þes middan-(asg)eard, dalum (asg)edæled;

c. A portion of a common or undivided field; = dale2 1. Obs.

1523 Fitzherb. Surv. 41 They [meadows] ought to be well staked bytwene euery mannes dole.

So, the OED doesn\'t run this \"common meadow land\" quite back to Saxon times --but it\'s not infallable, by any means.

Christopher Crockett
Local time: 02:26
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 124

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  EdithK: Well, visit Dublin, and you may hear it again.
7 mins
  -> I'd say "

agree  DGK T-I: agree (with small addition that 'on welfare' specifically American, although 'the welfare state' (much UK use),'welfare benefits' (sometimes used in UK) )
9 mins
  -> Yes. Thanks, Giuli.
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26 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +2
Just thought you might want to know...


Explanation:
the origins of the term:

To be on the dole: To be receiving unemployment benefits. In Saxon times strips of common meadow land (doles) were distributed annually. Since the National Insurance Act of 1911, the dole became synonymous with unemployment benefit.

The term is used the same way in the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand, but apparently not in the US :)

Lisa


    Reference: http://www.hoganfinancial.com/QuarterlyNotes/Moneyexp.pdf
Lisa Lloyd
Local time: 07:26
Native speaker of: Native in SwedishSwedish

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Christopher Crockett: Yes, I'll explore this in the OED above.
4 mins

agree  DGK T-I: Agree with Lisa for non - US use (and Christopher & Marian for US) Interesting history from C.& Lisa - as Christopher says,'doling out food,etc' has resonance of soup kitchens,food queues,etc
33 mins
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39 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +2
dole = unemployment benefits / welfare = other benefits


Explanation:
As I understand it "to be on the dole" is an informal term for receiving unemployment benefits only. The Oxford dictionary states: "Dole: Brit. informal - benefit paid by the state to the unemployed."
I think the term "welfare" is mainly used in N. America, whereas UK English tends to use the term "benefits". Both these two terms cover financial support of various kinds (not just unemployment benefit), such as housing benefit, single parent benefit, etc.

Sonia Hill
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:26
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 4

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Domka
42 mins

agree  DGK T-I: late agree...
7 hrs
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