User talk:AnWulf

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Again, welcome! Ultimateria 21:17, 26 August 2011 (UTC)

Copying from other websites[edit]

Please don't copy paragraphs of text from other website and paste them into a Wiktionary entry. It is a violation of copyright to do so. Mglovesfun (talk) 21:49, 12 September 2011 (UTC)

Paragraphs? More like a sentence that was an ordered list A comes from b, c, d, e ... The information is factual and is what it is (not creative). I can't change the facts or reorder history. I couldn't think of another way to put it that didn't alter the facts. Is that not fair use? Since he is an acquaintance, if he complained, tell me and I'll send him an apology. Having said all that ... I'll be even more careful in the future.AnWulf ... Ferþu Hal! 03:59, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
Another reason is we don't use abbreviations like OE, MDu, we use Old English and Middle Dutch, these can be shortened using their template {{ang}} and {{dum}} (and so on). Something like compare Old English would be "compare {{etyl|ang|-}}, the final dash stops the template categorize. To categorize, you put the language code of the section in question (en, fr, de, and so on). Mglovesfun (talk) 09:06, 13 September 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for the info. I know that newbies like me are a pain and thanks for being patient. The templates are like using a command line interface and are not intuitive. In fact, the whole way to enter the data is not intuitive and takes quite a while ... but I'm working at it. I will get better and faster as I learn it. Thanks for your help.


Hi! I was able to find the term in a Modern dictionary (labelled obsolete), however, the quote you cite appears to be Middle English. Can you find one that is in Modern English? Leasnam 17:00, 6 October 2011 (UTC)

Also, for Old English words, we try to keep consistent in their presentation to cut down on multiple, redundant entries. For instance, we do not create entries or links to words containing macrons or accents (like [[dúfan]] --we use those only in the display parameter (second place [optional]). Also, we typically stick to macrons over accents for Old English, showing them where needed on the first vowel of diphthongs (ēo rather than , etc.). You can find more information on how we treat OE entries here: Leasnam 17:09, 6 October 2011 (UTC)
Hi Leasnam ... I was lucky to find this one. I've been looking for a more recent one. It's a word that I know and I've seen ... and I know where it came from. I just haven't seen in a modern online dictionary that I can point folks to ... thus why I created the page. Thanks for the edits and the info. At first I didn't have the accent of dufan and then thought, well maybe it should go there since it is in B-T that way. I'll read the link. When I can get my internet connection to work again. Good stuff. Thanks! AnWulf ... Ferþu Hal! 17:52, 6 October 2011 (UTC)


Hello AnWulf. Whenever we add {{etyl}} tags to etymologies for languages other than Modern English (in this instance, Middle English), we always specify the language in the third argument. For instance, {{etyl|ang}} should be written {{etyl|ang|enm}}. This keeps the word riken from appearing under Categories for Modern English and rather places it appropriately under Middle English. Leasnam 17:34, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

OK! Thanks ... In that case, I just changed the other one to |enm ... not sure if it was needed since there was a modern English entry above it (unrelated). I noticed that you changed the etym from OE to ON and related to it the OE ... Personally, I think that's backwards (the Middle Eng. Dict. relates to the OE) but as long as it's all there, others can decide for themselves. The important thing is that the word is there.


Hi Anwulf! I saw your most recent edit to Middle English siȝe. I removed the mention of the Old English homonym siġe (sinking, setting (of the sun)) (< sīgan (to sink, lower, descend)), as this descends from separate and unrelated PGMc and PIE lemma. Also at sige. Leasnam 17:10, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

No problem. It was just part of the definition in the A-S Concise Dict. I thought it kind of odd too but I don't leave things out because I find them odd! I leave that to more experienced and knowledgeable folks.


Hello AnWulf! Please be careful as you write out your etymologies, especially in light of users who may not be native English speakers. To byspel:

  • for +‎ why, from Middle English forwhy, also forwhi, Old English forhwī (why, wherefore), also forhwy.

    The aftercoming byforms, in particular the endly one, might be taken by English learners as an alternative for forwhy in the modern language. I wontly list both forms together ahead of the gloss, which seems to help eliminate possibility of confusion. Leasnam 15:44, 8 December 2011 (UTC)
OK, I see what you're saying. I'll do that way from now on. --AnWulf ... Ferþu Hal! 16:23, 8 December 2011 (UTC)


AnWulf, Thanks for improving the entry, as the sense of "shield/protection" does properly belong under the more common and etymologically sound scield (broken vowel form). Please take a look at the entry again though, as I moved the alternative form reference to its own etymology.
We need a lot of help improving the quality of our OE and ME pages, and your work here, which is very good, is much appreciated! Leasnam 17:08, 9 December 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for fixing that. It was late and that choice didn't even come to mind. I like better to work umbe (around) the edges but this one was messed up. I don't kno much about the etyms beyond OE unless I just happen upon one so that is always kind of tuff. I'm sorry that yu must follow behind me and fix things. I now keep a handy sheet for some of the formatting that I meet but still, I come upon new problems and sometimes I'm just not sure which way to go.
I am spending too much time doing this but words are my mathom to pass others. :) They need to place to find out what they mean.--AnWulf ... Ferþu Hal! 17:34, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

Edit notes[edit]

Would like to sincerely thank you for your edits in English/Middle English/Old English, Middle English is particularly neglected here. However, things to remember:

  1. In etymologies, for compare, use a hyphen in the etyl template. Example: {{etyl|dum|-}}
  2. Can you use 'Middle English Dictionary' instead of MED? As we're aimed at all English speaking users.
  3. Avoid # in reference sections (very minor, can be fixed by bot anyway)
  4. Use the language code of the language of the section inside {{etyl}} and {{proto}}, not for example {{proto|Germanic|lang=gem-pro}}. In your case, should be ang, enm or en (en can be omitted, as it's the default parameter)

Again, thank you. Mglovesfun (talk) 14:01, 20 December 2011 (UTC)

  • HA ... and I thought I had finally gotten a handle on it. OK, I think I get it now ... I can fully admit to being befuddled since I hav seen different ways of doing it and I wasn't sure which ... if any ... was the preferred one. At first I had been using the etyl template all the way thru. But later I saw in the categories below that it was incorrectly assigning the categories. (To be honest, I hadn't paid attention to the categories earlier.) So I stopped using the etyl in the compare, but now I see the switch and how it's used ... I think.
  • Anent the language codes, what I saw ... again when I finally paid attention to the categories ... was that it seemed to be wrongly assigning the categories. So I guess my question is this — :: Let's say we have a word xxxx that came from ME from OE from PGmc from PIE. ... If I understand you rightly, it should be: —
From {{etyl|enm}} {{term|xxxb|lang=enm}}, from {{etyl|ang}} {{term|xxxc|lang=ang}}, from {{proto|Germanic|lang=ang}}, from {{proto|ine-pro|lang=ang}} ? Don't the last two put in the categories: OE words from PGmc and OE words from PIE? Or do you want lang=en in the last two for English words from PGmc and English words from PIE? ... Or am I totally off here?
If I may: when the entry is Modern English, lang=en should be used, otherwise you are correct, it will place the headword into an Old English cat. Leasnam 17:21, 20 December 2011 (UTC)
OK, I think hav it now. I was thinking that the categories should daisy chain like the words themselves but I see that y'all want it all linked to the lang of the headward ... be it en, enm, or ang.
  • Sorry about the MED reference, sometimes I do these late at night or just in a rush and I throw that in there ... often meaning to expand it but forgetting as I'm usually doing other things as well. I'll be more "swinkful" about it. Hopefully I'll soon hav all of this right so that y'all don't hav to spend time fixing my mistakes. :)


1. A "historical" word is one that's still used, but (mainly) only in historical contexts. One common cause is that the referent simply no longer exists; horseless carriage, for example, is a term for early cars, so is now "historical" because those cars are (mainly) only referred when talking about that period.

  • I was following the OED way of doing it when it marks an entry "Now hist.", see the OED for maegth. So then, what is the proper way to mark a noun to show that it is mainly used when talking about history as in scholarly papers? To me (and the OED) that is historical. Should I take it back to archaic? If I stumble across something show that it has been used as a noun after sometime in ME as a female elf, I can always update it. —This unsigned comment was added by AnWulf (talkcontribs) at 04:12, 24 December 2011‎ (UTC).
  • "Historical" is indeed "the proper way to mark a noun to show that it is mainly used when talking about history as in scholarly papers"; but that doesn't seem to be the case here? —RuakhTALK 05:59, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Then I don't think you read the new quotes and the reference. They came from a scholarly paper which is why I changed the tag to historical. I'm not hung up on which tag to use. The important thing is that the meaning is there. You can put in whatever tag makes you happy. --AnWulf ... Ferþu Hal! 14:33, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

2. I'm sure the adjective is from elf +‎ -en, but it's obviously not from an Old English word meaning "nymph, sprite, fairy".

  • Sure it is ... What else could it be from? Occam's razor (or if you prefer, the principle of parsimony) ... The noun elf is from ælf: ælf mf. - elf, sprite, fairy, goblin, incubus ... which gives us elf and the various offshoots: elfe, elfen, elfin, elven, elfish, and elvish. The meanings have been so mixed and mangled over the years that it is impossible to straighten them back out. Also, the original meanings of elfin, elfen, and elven were in reference to the feminine qualities ... smallness, daintiness (thus childlike). Elfish and elvish were the more proper adjectives to describe other elvish things ... an elvish sword. But now, they're all swapped at will. Elfen, elfin, and elven are truly nothing more than spelling variations.
  • The -en suffix was originally used to denote a feminine (like vixen - OED sense 6 or Sense 5 as a diminutive) ... thus female elf and thus the noun meaning. However, it is also used to form adjectives from nouns (earthen, woolen, golden, asf - OED sense 2). So if you attached it to elf then it can also be an adjective ... which, again, originally denoted feminine qualities from senses 5 and 6.
  • If you really want, I can split the etym and say elf + -en (sense 2 OED) and elf + -en (sense 6 OED) ... either way, it still leads back to the -en suffix. I haven't ever seen any other definition define which sense of the -en suffix was being used and I see no reason for it to be done here either.
—This unsigned comment was added by AnWulf (talkcontribs) at 04:12, 24 December 2011‎ (UTC).
  • I don't understand what you're trying to say. Half of your reply seems dedicated to explaining that it's from "elf" + "-en", which I explicitly stated . . . —RuakhTALK 05:59, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Short version is that I think you're flat out wrong. I was a bit long-winded, I'll just resay the main point: "the original meanings of elfin, elfen, and elven were in reference to the feminine qualities ...", thus, this is how it was derived from "nymph, sprite, fairy". The meaning has changed over time but clearly it does come from this.

3. You can't list Wikipedia as a reference.

  • Isn't that a bit hypocritical? Is it wiktionary's position that wikipedia is not reliable? Does wikipedia have the same rules about using wiktionary for definitions? Where does it say that and is the reason given for that? Not that it is a big deal here. What they stated in reference to elfen is found in other places. I thought I'd give the nod to wikipedia since I thought we were all in this together. —This unsigned comment was added by AnWulf (talkcontribs) at 04:12, 24 December 2011‎ (UTC).
  • It's not in the least hypocritical: neither Wiktionary nor Wikipedia uses either Wiktionary or Wikipedia as a reference; that would be circular. The whole point of a reference is that it's a reliable external source. As you say, "we were all in this together", so we can't serve as references for each other. I should think this is just common sense. (Linking to Wikipedia, of course, is fine. We do it a lot, for various purposes. But claiming Wikipedia as a "reference" is a non-starter.) —RuakhTALK 05:59, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
  • Nonsense. It would only be circular if I put entry in wikipedia and then quote my entry as a reference ... Which would be a waste of time. If I have the source to put in the wikipedia then I would quote the source in wiktionary rather than quote my own entry in wikipedia. I view wikipedia as I would any other encyclopedia reference. It if it well written with good cites, then it is trustworthy ... THAT is common sense; to offhandedly ignore wikipedia is not common sense ... As it so happens, the same info is in the other reference I cited, so I don't have an issue with taking it out.

4. References should go at the end of a language section, under a level-3 header (===References===).

  • ==English==
  • ===Alternative forms===
  • ===Etymology===
  • ...
  • ===Noun===
  • Declension
  • # Meaning 1
  • #* Quotations
  • # Meaning 2
  • #* Quotations
  • etc.
  • ====Usage notes====
  • ====Synonyms====
  • ====Antonyms====
  • ====Derived terms====
  • ====Related terms====
  • ====Translations====
  • ====References====
Which, BTW, makes more sense to me. After the PoS, the headers should be smaller since they are minor headings. FWIW, I think alt forms should be level four as well (the focus should be on the PoS), but I keep it at level three per the above layout. Also, it is better a better style to capitalize both words when there are two words, but again, I follow the above format. I keep a copy of this on my computer for a quick reference. Also note, at the link, that nouns come before adjectives. The way you have it now is the adjective before the noun.
—This unsigned comment was added by AnWulf (talkcontribs) at 04:12, 24 December 2011‎ (UTC).
Re: references at L4: Hmm. I think ELE is wrong on this point, but I'll concede it for now.
Re: nouns before adjectives: I don't note any such thing. Our usual practice is to list POSes in alphabetical order except when there's a particular reason not to; and I don't see anything in ELE to contradict that. (Though in this case, come to think of it, I didn't need to move the adjective section up, since I was splitting the entry by etymology, and etymology supersedes POS.)
  • I don't see that all in entries ... It is generally noun - verb- adjective - adverb and that is the pattern that I have been following. Furthermore, the ELE does NOT say to list the PoS in alphabetical order. In fact, it states: variations in that order are also allowable. FWIW, it's doesn't seem to be consistent in the OED either. I think it lists what the editor/writer thinks is the more important form first. --AnWulf ... Ferþu Hal! 14:33, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

RuakhTALK 01:23, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

  • You reverted it back to an entry that was a jumbled mess. You should undo your undo. The new quotes and reference were in my last revision. Tell me how you want the noun labelled ... archaic or whatever ... and I'll delete he wiki reference. I don't think your position on the etym is justifiable, but I can put back etym request and make my notes in the Talk. Otherwise, I'm done with this one and I'm moving on. As I said, the quotes and reference are in my last revision if someone wants to use them. —This unsigned comment was added by AnWulf (talkcontribs) at 04:12, 24 December 2011‎ (UTC).
  • Please feel free to restore the References heading to L4, and to restore any changes I didn't mention. (But quotations should be formatted as described in Wiktionary:Quotations.)
  • The format is listed as the "desired" format and one that I see that is often not used. I can see why. Personally, I find quite it annoying to have to make another click to see a quote unless the quote is particularly long or there are several (in which case they should be moved to the citations tab or under a quotations header). More importantly, it takes longer to format. I've been spending way too much time on this as it is and I shave a few minutes off where I can. But feel free to change the formatting.--AnWulf ... Ferþu Hal! 14:33, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

You don't actually need me to undo my rollback for you to make your edits; if you prefer to make your edits based on your last version, rather than the current version, you can click the "Undo" link yourself, and use that as your starting-point in restoring changes. (Be sure to use the "Show changes" button to see what you're changing before you save, though.) —RuakhTALK 05:59, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

  • P.S. I should mention that I'm going out of town for the next week, so please pardon any delayed responses on my part. —RuakhTALK 05:59, 24 December 2011 (UTC)
  • I see that Leasnam has fixed the etym (thank you Leasnam). Frankly, that's what you should have done rather than taking it out completely and putting in an rfe. That way the new quotes would still be there. If the only thing bothering you was trail to the femininity of the origin, then just take that part out. Meh, I think the reader can follow the yellow brick road from the OE elfen. I don't think you realize how silly the rfe looked in context of the page. I've put the quotes back in. I even formatted them they way you like. :) --AnWulf ... Ferþu Hal! 14:33, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

Middle English entries not in accord with WT:ELE[edit]

Note the changes that I had to make to your entries. Furthermore, the citations are not properly formatted. DCDuring TALK 04:21, 15 January 2012 (UTC)

You'll hav to be a little more specific. I'v made lots of entries and I spot checked a few but none were changed by yu ... so I don't kno which ones yu'r talking about.
For example, on bir, you have (1) failed to include the required headword line, (2) incorrectly formatted the quotations, (3) used an invalid section header "Descendant", which should always be "Descendants" no matter how many are listed. You also added the section out of alphabetical order, but we have a bot that should sort it correctly into place for you (if it's working). --EncycloPetey 00:54, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Sorry, did that one in a rush ... 1 & 3 are fixed. Quotations are fine. Not only have I see it done that way by others but they fall within the general guidelines. Keep in mind that the quotation formats often touted are "preferred" and not mandatory. To be honest, if they were, I'd leave it out most of the time huru with ME quotes. The "preferred" formatting takes a lot of time. If someone wants to go back and put in that format, I hav no problem with it but it depends on how I find the info and which way is faster for me. In the case of the ME quotes ... it's plug and chug ... Or, I can just leave the source off, that would be even faster. Since I'm not getting paid for this, then my time is important. So it's up to y'all. You can quibble about the formatting for quotes or go look them up and put them in yourselves.
As for the alphabetical order, I quote: English comes next because this is the English Wiktionary. After that come the other languages in alphabetical order. The last time I checked, Middle English is still English. It's not a different language. It is not an OTHER language it. It is still English. You can make the case that OE is different (and maybe should be called Anglo-Saxon which would put it up high on the list) but ME is mainly knowing the vocab and working thru the spelling variations. In the case of bir that would put down about 7th or 8th on the list. Does it really make sense to you that someone reading a ME passage and uses wikt should have to scroll past seven OTHER (FOREIGN) languages to get to meaning of English word found in ME? If you want to move it, go ahead. But it make a lot more sense that it should be before any FOREIGN language. ... And not only that, it's a lot easier and faster to work with when it is up top than having to scroll thru the other mess to make the entry. --AnWulf ... Ferþu Hal! 01:32, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
That quotation formatting is not fine. If you don't want to track down all the helpful detailed metadata, that's not a big deal, but the overall format still needs to be the same. —RuakhTALK 02:04, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Sure it's fine and let me explain to you why it is. First of all, I got that formatting from copying others. In fact, 90% of what I'v learned has come from seeing how others hav done it before me. Wikt does not lead new folks down the yellow brick road on how to make entries. Indeed, I'm still discovering switches that don't seem to be explained elsewhere. That format is very widespread, otherwise I wouldn't know about it.
Now, you admin folks like to play Calvinball. You make up the rules as you go and when someone points out that it's not what the rules actually say, well heck, you're Calvin so you go and change the rules. But as it stands the last time I looked, the rules say "preferred" ... Now, if I need to explain "preferred" to you, then you need to giv up your admin privileges. You say that the "overall" format needs to be the same yet there is one format for "examples" and a "preferred" one for quotes ... and they're different ... So already, they're not the same.
Then it starts becoming more style and preferences ... personally ... I find having to make another click to see to a quote to be irksome. For a word with one meaning, it's not a big deal. But for word with several meanings which means that I have to make several more clicks then I start cursing the bonehead who came up with that idea. Very poor user interface. And to be honest, all that megadata is clutter. Websters does it right when it gives a quote with a name ..."blah, blah, blah"—Chaucer. Do users truly want to know the year, page, publisher, and exact piece of work in a dictionary? I think not. It may make it easier for the admins to verify the quote but otherwise it is clutter to the avg user. It would be nice if the megadata itself were in a separate dropdown for the few who want it rather than the quote and the megadata cluttering up the space for everyone.
So, YOU can spend 5-10 minutes to put in the format that YOU "prefer" (I don't really care ... I just do what is faster for me) or keep whining and spend even more time to chase down the megadata and put it in yourself. --AnWulf ... Ferþu Hal! 03:26, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
You can "show" all the Quotations with a single click on the left side of the screen in most skins. Your preference is then remembered so that you don't have to click it again until 30 days have passed and you have to log in again (or until you log in from a different connection). If you don't want to format the quotes yourself, then please leave a cleanup tag so that other people will be able clean up after you. --EncycloPetey 06:29, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Yu learn something new everyday. All this time and I had never noticed the preference in the left column. Thanks for pointing that out. Darn shame that I hav to ednew it every 30 days but at least I kno its there. OK, I don't kno what the cleanup tag looks like but I'll look to see if I can find it. --AnWulf ... Ferþu Hal! 11:51, 30 January 2012 (UTC)


Hi there. Would off-road or off-piste (adjectives) be a better translation? SemperBlotto 08:21, 4 February 2012 (UTC)

I see your concerns. I made some changes. See if it makes more sense now. If it does, you need not read any further.
If it doesn't or if you're interested, then my witcraft is as follows: I wasn't quite satisfied with it when I put in last night and felt something was missing. Now, having slept over it, I added the meaning a shortening of gelandesprung. Sometimes I forget that what may be eath-seen to me, is not so eath-seen to others. Gelande literally means terrain ... a gelandesprung literally translate as "terrain jump". However, gelande can be translated in the sense of off-road or countryside as in geländeläufer ... a cross-country skier. But it is still akin to terrain in that sense as well and that's why I left it in there. If you want to add off-road or countryside, it wouldn't bother me.
Gelande is often used as a shortening of gelandesprung. A noun can function as an adjective: The water pump is broken; car race or a car show, a mountain bike. Same goes for terrain. There isn't a separate entry for terrain as an adjectiv but we do say a terrain feature ... and in this case, a gelande jump is literally "a terrain jump" thus a ski jump. There are natural gelandesprungs from the terrain but I think most are built nowadays. In the sentence: "Gelande jumpers use the standard Alpine gear with a fixed heel, rather than using Nordic skis, which allow a free heel", it is a noun (terrain) being benoted as an adjectiv. In this case, to translate it as ski jump would be awkward and somewhat redundant. Terrain fits better here. But then, that's likely why it's a loanword, it fits a niche.
Anyway, I changed it ... --AnWulf ... Ferþu Hal! 17:19, 4 February 2012 (UTC)


Hi AnWulf! Can you please add a citation for underloken? Thanks! Leasnam 20:33, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

Do you mean the reference? I added that. Or a quote? The one quote that is there is kind of lame but I can put it in if you want. This is it: Suspecto: to vnder loke.
Well, the issue is is that I cannot find an attestation of the word under any form (underloken, underlokien, underloke, onderloken, etc.). If you want to keep the entry, it must be substantiated by a citation (quote), not only a reference. Can you put vnder loken as an alternative form then cite it please with the citation you provided above? Leasnam 21:20, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Do you have a link to the Middle English Dictionary which has the entry for underloken? Leasnam 21:27, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
NM, I found it here [[1]].


Hello Anwulf! I reverted your most recent edits to mensk because the entry is Modern English, however your citations/quotes belong to Middle English. You would need to furnish either modern (post 1470) citations, or create an entry for the Middle English word and add them there. Thanks! Leasnam (talk) 00:27, 26 March 2012 (UTC)

Hi Leasnam ... Let's be honest. The entry had no references and no quotes to upstay it. An uptight, persnickety pedant could eathly challenge it as is. Had I made that entry as it is, yu or someone else would hav challenged it. Most of the meanings that I put in came from the Century Dict. which I cited. The CD itself notes ME quotes (albeit ME quotes in modern books). Webster also notes ME quotes so I don't think that noting ME quotes is a disqualifier for ModE as both Webster and Century do it. But that does bring up a frain ... Is it better to clean up a quote (modern spelling) or put it in as I find it? Webster cleans them up whereas Century puts them in as is. Sometimes I put in both if it is a truly befuddling one.
Since the meanings in Century and the MED are nearly the same and Century notes some of the selfsame quotes, a ME entry would hav been the same, so I didn't bother. I didn't realize that 1470 was the cutoff, I'v been noting 1550-1600! 1470 gives me more leeway and there a few aft-1470 quotes for mensk(e). As I said, the edit I made, anent the meanings, was pretty much straight out of the Century Dictionary which is enuff to put the meanings under the ModE heading (at least it seems to be from what I'v seen). BTW, it also has menskful and menskfully. From Century:
  • Of man or mankind; human.
  • Honored; honorable.
  • Dignity; honor; grace; favor; good manners; decorous bearing or conduct.
  • To dignify; honor; grace.
  • To worship; reverence.
If the quotes are bothering yu and yu think it will open the entry up to challenge, then take them out altho one shows the plural form: mensken.
<rant> I think this entry highlights what I ween to be the rather silly wikt policy of treating ME and OE as if they are separate tungs (ok, OE might be but if it is, then it should be called Anglo-Saxon [tho Tolkien argued strongly that it should be called OE and not AS]). Reading ME is mainly knowing the wordstock and understanding the freestyle spelling: More mensk it is manliche to deie þan for to fle couwarli (quoted in Century) is not hard to understand if one has the wordstock. ... And if folks can read the freestyle spelling of texting, then ME should be eath!
Other wordbooks such as Century, Webster, and even the OED don't make this sunderness. Rather they might mark a word as obsolete, archaic, or historical. Putting it all under English with (Middle English) or (Old English) might be better. I think as time goes by and more old books are digitized, we'll find many of these words in early ModE if not later. Truthfully, one does find them in modern books albeit it is usually in books or writs talking about ME, the history of the tung, or some other historical work. Mensk(e) made it past yur 1470 cutoff, but I think the spelling was menske rather than mensk which is likely why I put in the earlier quotes.</rant> --AnWulf ... Ferþu Hal! (talk) 16:33, 28 March 2012 (UTC)
AnWulf, would you use Latin quotations in an Italian entry? The chief purpose of citations is to substantiate proof of use in the language to which it belongs. Century dictionary (and I love CD, and refer to it incessantly) carries Middle English terms for reasons you mention above. Here at Wiktionary, we do not necessarily rely on whether a term occurs in a modern English dictionary as proof that it is a Modern English word. Now, if a Middle English quote is translated in a post-Middle English work into Modern English that's a different story. Otherwise, if a ME term was carried into the Early Modern English period and no E.M.E. cite can be found, it is best not to add a citation than to try to supply it with a Middle English one, which would actually increase the likelihood of turning the entry into a Middle English one. So please no ME citations (esp. those containing thorns, edhs, ashes, yoghs, etc.) in English entries. Please also see the discussion at tocome. Leasnam (talk) 03:45, 3 April 2012 (UTC)
Hi Leasnam … Don't misunderstand me, I'm behind yu in making mensk a ModE entry. But from that talk of the RFV for tocome, the entry as yu hav it now would fail since it lacks a citation of source or use. I don't kno what yur source is or why yu chose so few meanings when the CD has a much broader listing for it.
To the word at hand, I think some of the after-1470 quotes were '"menske'" rather than '"mensk"'. Does one note them as byspels if the "alternative forms" lists it? Or go off an make another entry with it? (I'v seen it done both ways … the tocome entry has a byspel of tocum.) Making sunder entries for "color" and "colour" may make witt, but does making sundry entries for mensk, menske, mennsk, mennske, asf …? Not that I would naysay anyone who wanted to do it but I'd like to note the sundry spellings under mensk as well if it is a good byspel of the meaning if I were making the entry.
Be stabulle of chere for menske. — Book of Courtesy, 1475
Þou may have more menske emong alle menne. — Liber Cocorum, 1475
Masters, myrth be you emang, and mensk be to this meneye. — Towneley, 1500
It's yur entry. I gave yu the citation to the CD for the meanings. Yu do as yu want with them. I may get back to it and put them in the Talk for anyone who might be interested.
I'm not sure what yu mean by "translated" ME. Sometimes early ME is more OE and needs a little help on a quote. Otherwise, ME is readable if yu hav the wordstock (and that is what wikt gives for English words … it doesn't "translate" but gives meanings) and are wonted to the freespelling ways. Webster often quotes ME writers like Chaucer but "cleans" them up: -ing insted of -yng. That's not "translating". But again, if someone can read modern freespelling texting shapes, then ME freespelling shouldn't be hard.
And I am somewhat befuddled as to how to handle some words that are found in modern books about ME or OE. For byspel, Chaucer is often quoted so does that mean that the words that he noted are fair game for ModE since they are in a modern book about ME poetry but maybe not noted by anyone since Chaucer? Overall, if I find a word in the CD or Webster, then I go with it as a ModE entry. Otherwise, unless I can find an after-1600 quote (now I'll note 1470 since yu say that is the cutoff), I put it under ME. But then we hit that freespelling world of ME and early ModE. Sometimes finding citations with the same spelling in that timeframe is a chore!
<rant> The Talk at tocome doesn't change my outlook that splitting entries into ModE and ME is silly. And it is even sillier to treat ME as an outlander tung and put it down in the middle of the pack if there are a few other tungs listed. It is STILL English and should be before any outlander tung. Soothfast, the RFV strengthens my view that this split is silly. Truly, what does it reck whether the word is tagged as ME or ModE given the number of words in the English tung? Does anyone think that someone will look at a word and say,"Wow, I can't use that word in my poem or short story since it is ME!"? ... Maybe I'll work into the novel that I'm writing then you can quote me after it has been published and can be found in Google books! lol
I don't see the worth of an ModE/ME split the way wikt does it. If a word is only found in ME or OE and then tag it (Old English) or (historical) and be done with it but it is still English ... Like the OED does maegth. That whole tocome debate was a waste of time and meaningless to most aside from a few linguisticians and somewhat misleading by labelling the word as Scots.
Is it the contention of wikt that tocome is not an English word? It may not be found in "modern" English but that does not make any less of an ENGLISH word. And til amend as law wil and forber in tyme tocum. ... This was found in a book (1927, quoting a passage in 1510) about Medieval Plays in Scotland ... So does that mean it isn't English? It looks as readable as anything else from the early 1500s to me.
BTW, I yeasay with Ƿidsiþ that, "The difference between Scots and Scottish English is more of a state of mind than a linguistic fact."
And who is this "sche" that comes in many months later to declare that it failed the RFV? Is he an uber-administrator?
As for the Italians, do they call Latin "Old Italian"? I don't kno. I kno enuff Latin to kno that I don't know much and I kno less Italian. However Ðat market æt Dúnhám is a fele readable OE byspel for market that even today's speaker's should be able to read. As I said before, I can see both sides to OE / AS talk. One of my points is that even if one splits the entries into English, ME, and OE … that these should be on top since they are all ENGLISH and come BEFORE any outlander tung. ME and OE should not be put down in the pack and treated as an outlander tung.</rant> --AnWulf ... Ferþu Hal! (talk) 16:55, 5 April 2012 (UTC)
AnWulf, in addition to the 3 good byspels above, I have been able to locate 2 more EME citations, one using mensk (DUNBAR 1508) the other menske (Surtees 1509). I don't think there is much doubt that this word made it into EME, and continues to survive in altered form today as mense (tocome, however, threw some for a loop). As far as Alternative forms are concerned, it is not necessary to create full-fledged entries for each—one main entry will suffice. The byforms can be listed as alternatives, and the citations can demonstrate these variances, especially in the case of Middle English where the berth for such is wide. What I mean by "translated" is when an Old or Middle English work is written/translated into Modern English. When this occurs, sometimes older terms get used, oftentimes in historical or timeperiod-specific ways, as Modern English (e.g. athel, frith, orlay, drighten, wyrd, etc) and are thus "revived". If dictionaries like Century 1906/1911 label them as obsolete, but usage dictates they are living, then I do not add a tag. I have found several hundred such words which I was amazed had found new life in modern usage. I agree with you that Old and Middle English are dialect continuums through time of the same English language. Many here would also agree with that statement. And OE and ME are not seen in exactly the same light that say French, Russian or Chinese are—as truly separate languages. However, for the sake of entry management and certain categorisations, we do treat OE and ME as though they were separate languages. And yes, there are other parts of speech which can and should be added to mensk to make it complete, along with several derivatives. A Middle English entry can also be created : ) Leasnam (talk) 20:11, 5 April 2012 (UTC)


Hi! Although it's not in any way a rule, a common practise we have which helps in keeping the number of cognates listed in etymologies at manageable levels is we try to stick with same-timeframe associations (--so an Old English word will list cognates in other Old languages, like Old Saxon, Old High Germ., etc. whereas Modern English will tend toward the modern version of said languages). I left German Winkel, though; but just for future reference. Leasnam (talk) 18:32, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

I understand ... but it just fit soooo well! But I hav seen timelines cross'd a lot. I only do it when it's truly clear ... and I think that someone might find it interesting. Later. --AnWulf ... Ferþu Hal! (talk) 19:01, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
lol, I understand. I cross them only when there is no choice (as when only a cross time example is available), but that is just my wont. Leasnam (talk) 19:17, 25 July 2012 (UTC)


Does this seem like a better format to you, rather than repeating the whole entry for an alternative form or perhaps even a misspellings? diff Mglovesfun (talk) 18:35, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

For one it is not a misspelling. Until the mid-70s, it was part of the Chicago Tribune's style. It's been around for many years (and recommended by spelling reformers). Next, rare is subjectiv ... It's not anywhere near as common as bureaucrat ... so if you want to tag it rare, that's fine since that doesn't truly mean a lot. Thirdly, I think the rules say alternative spellings can hav their own, full layout. We don't hav color as alternative spelling of colour. Why make someone click on the word bureaucrat to get the meaning, translations, and so forth? Why make someone take that extra step? I was careful to match things up so that they wouldn't need to go to that extra step.--AnWulf ... Ferþu Hal! (talk) 19:30, 17 September 2012 (UTC)

Quotations and lemmata[edit]

Hi! Thanks for adding quotations to [[mentch]] and other entries. :) One small request: could you begin lines with #* (the standard format, prescribed by WT:") rather than #:*? The latter format prevents the quotations from being recognised by the special "show/hide quotations" javascript some people use.

Also, if you can, please try to avoid duplicating content across multiple alternative spellings. Figure out, as best you can, which spelling is most common, put the definitions there, and use {{alternative spelling of}} or {{alternative form of}} in the other entries. If definitions are hosted in all the entries, they will fall out of sync as people edit some of the spellings but not others, and then it will look like the different spellings have different meanings, ends up being a mess. - -sche (discuss) 19:18, 18 March 2013 (UTC)