What is the difference between `while' and `whilst'?

(A. Reema, Bangalore)

The `w..h..i..l' in `whilst' ispronounced like the word`while', and the ?nal `st'sounds like the `st' in `stupid'and `stump'. As far as themeaning is concerned, thereis no difference between`while' and `whilst'. Accordingto some scholars, `while' is amuch older word than`whilst'. The word `whilst' isnot used in American English;in British English, however,it is mostly used informal contexts. It is consideredliterary and somewhatold fashioned by many people.What is the meaning of `cowed into'?S. UPENDRAN

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