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"To bench" meaning "to pray"[edit]

I have heard people ask after finishing a communal meal, "Shall we bench?" I want to know how common it is to use "bench" to mean "pray."--Simonsa 23:28, 7 May 2009 (UTC) [Originally: 01:43, 4 March 2009]

There is an Old English word bensian (pray). There could easily be a English (UK) dialect usage derived from that, which now could be anywhere such Englishmen pray. DCDuring TALK 12:46, 4 March 2009 (UTC)
I see no evidence of usage in print. Where did you hear it? Could it be spelled a little differently? DCDuring TALK 13:09, 4 March 2009 (UTC)

I have heard it only in the context of American Jews. One of the people who used it, however, was a rabbi from Liverpool.--Simonsa 23:28, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

This sense is alternately spelled "bench" and "bentsch," and is apparently known widely only by Jews. The Yiddish word is almost certainly cognate with the Old English word above.--Simonsa 23:40, 7 May 2009 (UTC)

Aha! Google Books has many usage instances in the bentsh spelling here. I think we would treat

it as English (dialect derived from Yiddish (which uses Hebrew script). I will request an entry at WT:REE. DCDuring TALK 00:31, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

For anyone reading this: [[bentsh]] now has an entry (thank you, Ruakh). - -sche (discuss) 01:06, 25 March 2012 (UTC)


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The following discussion has been moved from Wiktionary:Requests for verification.

This discussion is no longer live and is left here as an archive. Please do not modify this conversation, though feel free to discuss its conclusions.

Rfv-sense: The unincorporated areas just outside a city's boundaries.

Plausible, but uncited and unfamiliar to me. I could not find unambiguous support for this in the first 15 minutes of searching at bgc nor a definition at bench at OneLook Dictionary Search or bench in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911. DCDuring TALK 13:25, 21 February 2012 (UTC)

Just because you haven't heard of it doesn't mean automatically drag it to RfV. Consider the following:
  • East Wenatchee Bench, Washington and several other CDPs have "bench" in their name; in that usage, it refers to an unincorporated area
  • This sentence in a Wikipedia article on Weber State University (the sentence, I might add, that inspired me to add the definition), which comes from this website: "In 1951 the college moved from its downtown location in Ogden to a spacious and scenic area in the southeast bench area of the city". Weber State is located on the outskirts of Ogden, in an area which was not in the city limits at the time.

Consider that in those contexts, none of the other definitions for "bench" really makes sense. I know that that's not enough, but it's what I have at present. This happening yet again does irk me a bit; it seems as though more than half the new words and definitions I've created have been RfDed or RfVed. I think the usage dates from after 1911, so that would rule out Century. I would suggest trying a source that is more familiar with the vernacular of the Northwestern and Rocky Mountain United States Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 00:44, 24 February 2012 (UTC)

Feel free to provide citations. If we have a term that no other reference has, we owe it users to clearly show the meaning of the term in use. See WT:ATTEST. I find it curiously satisfying to find citations that support definitions I provide or that give me indications about what others mean when they use a word. FWIW, I hope you can find the support that this entry deserves. I am not sure that I would know where to look for attestation. You seem to have a better handle on the possibilities. DCDuring TALK 01:25, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
I think the main issue is whether the place names are not in fact named after the geology sense (which may need a little work). The geology of the western US being characterized by many layers of sedimentary rock with dramatic erosion of high plateaus by powerful waterflows, "benches" are a common feature. Searching for "east|west|north|south bench" at google books yielded me many references to the geology, some proper names of places, and NO references to the legal status of a place or its relationship to larger inhabited places. But others may have better luck than I in finding the right search terms for a more fruitful search. DCDuring TALK 02:00, 24 February 2012 (UTC)
RFV-failed. - -sche (discuss) 01:04, 25 March 2012 (UTC)

Here's one, seemingly.​—msh210 (talk) 15:37, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

Please do re-add the term if you can find two more citations. - -sche (discuss) 05:07, 28 April 2012 (UTC)