Negation with indefinite items in English can be expressed in three ways: any-negation (I didn’t have any money), no-negation (I had no money) and negative concord (I didn’t have no money). These variants have persisted over time, with some studies suggesting that the newest variant, any-negation, is increasing at the expense of no-negation (Tottie 1991a, 1991b). Others suggest that although this variable was undergoing change in earlier centuries, it is stable in Modern English (Wallage 2017). This article examines the current state of the variability in four communities within two distinctive English-speaking regions: Toronto and Belleville in Ontario, Canada, and Tyneside and York in Northern England. Our comparative quantitative analysis of speech corpora from these communities shows that the rates of no-negation vary between Northern England and Ontario, but the variation is largely stable and primarily conditioned by verb type in a robust effect that holds cross-dialectally: functional verbs retain no-negation, while lexical verbs favour any. The social embedding of the variability varies between the communities, but they share a common variable grammar.