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Welcome to the Information desk of Wiktionary, a place where newcomers can ask questions about words and about Wiktionary, ask for help, or post miscellaneous ideas that don’t fit in any of the other rooms.

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For past questions, see /Archives.

September 2014[edit]

Limits to etymology[edit]

Is there a limit to how much etymology one should employ in an entry? --Æ&Œ (talk) 03:54, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

There doesn't seem, for example, much point in giving the entire history of tea and pot under teapot, when an interested reader just needs to understand that it's a compound, and can visit the component parts for more. Equinox 06:43, 2 September 2014 (UTC)

Is vowel length phonemic in Icelandic?[edit]

I've been organising the rhymes and I noticed that short and long vowels seem to be in complementary distribution. Short vowels appear when two or more consonants follow, long vowels otherwise. Is vowel length allophonic or phonemic in Icelandic? If it's allophonic, then we should probably remove the length marks from vowels, at least in rhymes pages. —CodeCat 14:45, 5 September 2014 (UTC)

It's allophonic, but the rules are complicated. Long vowels occur before certain consonant clusters (basically, the ones that can form a syllable onset) and short before others (those that can't or don't form an onset). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:48, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

Scientific name of The Regent Honeyeater, Xanthomyza phrygia or Anthochaera Phrygia?[edit]

On the wikipedia page for The Regent Honeyeater it states that the scientific name for the bird is Anthochaera phrygia. On the Wikipedia page for the genus Anthochaera it does not include the Regent Honeyeater, though it does mention it. I have searched for papers showing that Xanthomyza Phrygia is no longer a part of Xanthomyza, and there are none which I can discover using my university's journal databases (University of New England, NSW Australia) and Google scholar. One paper, 'Phylogeny and evolution of the Australo-Papuan honeyeaters (Passeriformes, Meliphagidae), by Amy C. Driskell, and Les Christidis' suggest they are "nestled within the genus Anthochaera", which they proved through DNA sequensing, though most papers still name the bird Xanthomyza, suggesting that the bird has kept it's name despite the study undertaken by Driskell and Chrisidis. The Australian Government page states that the scientific name is Xanthomyza (http://www.environment.gov.au/resource/regent-honeyeater-xanthomyza-phrygia, and this page has been updated after the 2003 study. The action plan for Australian birds 2010 (Garnett, S., Szabo, J., & Dutson, G. (2011). The action plan for Australian birds 2010 (1st ed.). Collingwood, Vic.: CSIRO Pub) also names the bird as Xanthomyza Phrygia, rather than Anthochaera Phrygia. Some experts, such as D. J. Geering (http://www.absa.asn.au/Corella/CVol34/C34353.pdf), have started to call the bird Anthochaera. I am not sure if it has officially been changed by whomever has the authority to change it, and that is the reason for me writing this post.

Maybe you should ask this at Wikipedia- this is Wiktionary. Chuck Entz (talk) 08:37, 7 September 2014 (UTC)

Audio pronunciations[edit]

I've recently started contributing Australian English audio pronunciations. For words without significant pronunciation differences between US/UK/AU, am I ok to contribute audio pronunciations? Should I mark these as AU? Or should I stick to words with a particular AU pronunciation? Screw0dog (talk) 06:00, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

I'd say you can add whatever words you like, but they should always be marked as AU, even in cases where there's no significant pronunciation difference between the various dialects. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:02, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

search for polish words[edit]

I want to read the English Wiktionary, but only get Polish words. How can I search for only the Polish words in the English version of Wiktionary?

Special:Search/incategory:"Polish lemmas" granica? Keφr 05:37, 14 September 2014 (UTC)

phonemic and phonetic, slashes and brackets[edit]

I found a conversation from 2008, but I didn't see anything resolved. I just now put in a proposal to change the editing guide to say phonemic instead of phonetic for pronunciation in slashes. The IPA article on wikipedia says slashes are for phonemic pronunciation. I think we need both. In polish the ó is not pronounced the same in komórka and komórkowa, and I need to know that. Particularly when there is a audio clip there should be a phonetic transcription of that in addition to whatever "official" or phonemic pronunciation we want to put on. Gbleem (talk) 21:15, 13 September 2014 (UTC)

block me[edit]

I guess that maybe it’s just because I’ve been taking my antidepressants inconsistently again, but I’m getting the feeling that I’m unwanted here (at least by one person). Most of the work that I do here is crap; I’m parasitic. People think that I’m a troll. I also can’t undo any mistakes from my past, so I have to be reminded of them over and over again. Block me. I don’t care how long. —Æ&Œ (talk) 13:14, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

You could at least reply with a snarky one‐liner. --Æ&Œ (talk) 22:37, 24 September 2014 (UTC)

desktop link[edit]

Hi I am a newbie to this site and I know it should be easy to do, but I can't work out how I can create a shortcut on my desktop to this site?! Please help!

Hello. Please remember to sign what you write by ending with four tildes. In regards to creating a shortcut to the English Wiktionary on your desktop, it all depends on what operating system you are using. Because you haven't clarified which one you are using, I will just assume that you are using Microsoft Windows 7. If that is the case, then simply navigate to your desktop, right click onto a blank spot within it, go to "New" from the dropdown menu, and click on the "Shortcut" option. After you do this, a new window should pop up with the header "Create Shortcut". Copy and paste this URL into the editable field within that window:


After doing so, click "Next". Then put "Wiktionary" into the next editable field that you see, and then click "Finish". Tharthan (talk) 19:33, 27 September 2014 (UTC)

Finding a word using your "Search" engine if you don't know the correct spelling[edit]

I was typing a response to a book reviewer's comments at Amazon.com, and the site's spell-checking program underlined the word with a wavy red line - thus indicating that I had spelled it incorrectly. I tried all the various permutations of the word's spelling that came to mind, but none of them were adjudged to be correct by the aforementioned spell-checking program.

Frustrated, I then came to Wiktionary to alleviate that emotion by learning the elusive, correct spelling of the word. That was when I determined that Wiktionary presented the same problem as the Amazon.com spell-checking program: if one doesn't know the correct spelling of a word, one cannot obtain its correct spelling. Instead, each time I entered a permutation of the word I was informed that no such "page," or "article," exists on the Wiktionary site, and that "if you would like to add such a page or article..."

At that point I gave up, arose from my chair, went downstairs to my library, found my twenty-pound, unabridged dictionary, and looked up the word in the old-fashioned manner. I thought that there had to be a better or more efficacious way of dealing with this - surely, oft recurring - problem. First on the list of solutions was for Wiktionary to do the same thing that most other online dictionaries (both free and paid subscription) incorporate. It's the same program that Amazon.com, IMDb.com, Youtube.com and many other websites use: an algorithm that, after each letter you type, makes "informed" guesses about what product, topic, subject, film title, song, band etc. being sought, then displays its guesses. (I won't give an example - I'm sure you know what I am describing.) Then, the thought hit me: how about creating a section on the Wiktionary site that is devoted entirely to housing a standard (physical) print dictionary for the many instances that this problem - not knowing the spelling of a word - occurs. Sure, it would be slower to "flip" through the "pages" of the online dictionary than it would be to type the word in the Search field/box...but that is true ONLY IF you KNOW the correct spelling of the word being sought. On the flip-side, however, it WOULD definitely be quicker than going downstairs and looking for it in the exact same fashion as would be utilized when consulting a print dictionary - flipping through the pages. I can see two things that would happen if you ultimately decided to make this suggestion a reality: 1) you will be (I'm fairly certain) the only website that has a standard "book"-form version of a dictionary on the internet and, 2) you will make your visitors/contributors (such as myself) very happy about not having to make repeated excursions away from their computers to pull out the dusty, old-fashioned physical repository of words. (just a thought...) Anyway, that's my story, and I'm stickin' to it. :-)

Finally, if you have time, let me know what you think. And, if you determine the implementation of this idea is too monumental, exhaustive or tedious an endeavor for the resources at your disposal (i.e. too large of an investment for too little potential return), please let me know that, as well. (Have no fear. Even if you don't/can't make my suggestion a reality, I'll still love the site, and all the great people who contribute to it's continued existence. All of you whom do so have my gratitude and admiration for your efforts in this noble endeavor.)


Michael Glover

p.s. The word that caused all the problems - lackadaisical. I kept trying to put an "S" after the hard "C"/"K" in the first syllable (i.e. "lacksadaisical," "lacksidaisical," "lacsadaisical," "lacsidaisical," "lacksidasical," "lacsidasical" etc., etc. ad infinitum, ad nauseum. p.p.s. I encountered the same problem with another word while in the process of typing this story - algorithm. I tried "algorythim," "algorithym," "algorithim," "algorythym" etc. and, in the end, made yet another trip to the library, downstairs.

It would be good if we could improve our search function to suggest possible words in such cases. It does do that sometimes, but not often enough. Until we manage to strengthen our search function, I would suggest trying Google. When I typed in lacksadaisical the first thing it said was "Did you mean lackadaisical?" and when I typed in algorythim the first thing it said was "Showing results for algorithm", so in both cases Google was good at figuring out what you were trying to say. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:25, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
P.S. If you go to Category:English lemmas you'll find a list of all English headwords here; it's a bit like seeing just the headwords in a paper dictionary. So that might help too, rather than trudging downstairs for your paper dictionary. Now, it is true that if you scroll through that category 200 entries at a time, it might take you a long time to get to the section you're looking for, but if you type https://en.wiktionary.org/w/index.php?title=Category:English_lemmas&from=alg into your browser's URL bar, you'll find all the headwords starting with "alg-", and https://en.wiktionary.org/w/index.php?title=Category:English_lemmas&from=lack will get you all headwords starting with "lack-". I concede this is rather esoteric knowledge we can't expect new users to figure out intuitively. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:35, 29 September 2014 (UTC)
See Index:English/l - you would have found it in seconds. SemperBlotto (talk) 08:40, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

Clarification re Sandbox[edit]

How often is my sandbox cleared? I am enrolled in LIB2002 Reference 1 at Algonquin College,Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. I will be posting my assignment 1 today. The next assignment posted during the term but I need to have access to assignment 1 to complete assignment 2. please advise.


This is Wiktionary. Your sandbox is over at Wikipedia, at w:User:Emma3171/sandbox. It doesn't get cleared automatically. Anything you have written there will stay there until you clear it yourself. And even after it's been cleared, you can still find its previous contents in the page history. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:07, 29 September 2014 (UTC)

New Word[edit]

I propose a new word. a noun describing a female postal route mail carrier is "POSTMA'AM"

STEVEN MALONE AT <e-mail redacted>


We don’t accept words people have recently invented; the requirement for English words is that they have at least three independent uses spanning at least one year. See WT:CFI for more detail. — Ungoliant (falai) 01:17, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

A reason is an idea that works to explain reality and reasoning is discovering ideas that work to explain reality.[edit]

A reason is an idea that works to explain reality.For Example Gravity is a force of attraction created by a mass.This idea works in every situation where we find gravity.For Example the orbits of the planets,the tide,the seasons.Reasoning is discovering ideas that work by applying the Rules of Reason to ideas about reality.1.Reason is an idea that works to explain reality.2.An idea either works to explain reality or it doesn't work.3.An idea either works to explain reality or it doesn't work to explain reality.It can't be something in between. The only legitimate purpose of language is to explain reality.Reality is reasons and reasons are ideas that work in reality.Reasons that work in reality are reasons in language.This is the reasoned representative language of humanity.

Is there a reason your explanation is so devoid of reality? Language exists so people can communicate and express themselves. Explaining reality is only a small part of it. Chuck Entz (talk) 07:03, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

How to indicate syllable breaks with long consonants in IPA?[edit]

In most languages that have them, long consonants occur across syllable boundaries, meaning that they both end the preceding syllable and begin the next one. But in IPA, long consonants are indicated with a single symbol followed by a length sign. So it's not really obvious how to split that between two syllables. Does anyone know what the common practice is in IPA? —CodeCat 21:35, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

Wouldn't one just use /Vː./? Tharthan (talk) 23:13, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
But that isn't really correct. —CodeCat 23:14, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
Huh. I dunno then. As such, I too would be interested in the answer to this question. Tharthan (talk) 23:55, 30 September 2014 (UTC)
Long consonants are very often indicated by gemination in IPA, probably more often than with the long sign, so you can put the syllable break boundary between them, thus: /pet.to/. To be honest, though, I've never understood Wiktionary's obsession with showing syllable breaks; they're usually either completely predictable or (as in English) totally ambiguous. Showing a syllable break at an ambisyllabic consonant is easy when the consonant is also long, as in the /pet.to/ example above, but how do you show that the /p/ in happy is ambisyllabic while not being long? Neither /hæ.pi/ nor /hæp.i/ nor /hæp.pi/ is unambiguously correct. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:15, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
We can't avoid showing syllable breaks, because we still need to put the stress mark between syllables. —CodeCat 12:38, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
But then we only have to show the break before the stressed syllable, not the other ones. So /ˈhæpi/ would be unproblematic, though /ɛkˈspɛns ~ ɛksˈpɛns/ still wouldn't be. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:54, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
In the end, it still means that sometimes you have to put a stress marker "on top" of a long consonant. On addūcō or assertor this is a problem for example. —CodeCat 14:20, 1 October 2014 (UTC)
Yeah, but as long as you use /dd/ and /ss/ rather than /dː/ and /sː/ it isn't really a problem. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:06, 1 October 2014 (UTC)

October 2014[edit]

Block capitals[edit]

Whenever a form asks me to fill it out in block capitals... I always wonder what other sort of capitals there are. Anyone? Renard Migrant (talk) 12:52, 3 October 2014 (UTC)

If our definition of block capital is correct, then typed capitals wouldn't be block capitals. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:24, 3 October 2014 (UTC)
I suppose it's to encourage clear, unambiguous lettering, as opposed to cursive capitals. Keith the Koala (talk) 11:04, 7 October 2014 (UTC)

Created entries[edit]

How can I find a list of new entries that a particular user has created? Zeggazo (talk) 22:26, 3 October 2014 (UTC)

Go to Special:Contributions, enter their user name, and check the "Only show edits that are page creations" box. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 07:13, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

Looking for a word.[edit]

The word would mean something along the lines of "someone who is sexually/emotionally attracted to shy or socially awkward people." I'm also looking for a word that means something like "a female who has a mother-like role in a relationship". Rædi Stædi Yæti {-skriv til mig-} 15:17, 4 October 2014 (UTC)

I am not even sure such a word exists, but even if you find it, you will be probably better off not using it, as I think it would be likely to be very obscure or slang. (Unless I am missing some obvious one.) Eschew obfuscation and all that. Keφr 06:07, 6 October 2014 (UTC)


Neutral, geographical (short-form) name - which is aplicable in general meaning- cannot be translated by transient political name with limited use Czechia is a correct common geographical name. It is commonly used in academic and scholar circles and in media. It is not still widespread, but the using of the word has been increased and the name was registered in 1993 in the UN list of countries. The short form name of the Czech state should be used, because it is politically neutral, capable to denominate the country in timeless (historical) meaning. The use in common language is not important in that direction. More, to ask for deletion of its equivalents in multiple languages, where that form is COMMONLY used contradicts demonstrably the truth. Above all, to ask for the deletion of universally applicable correct name is shortsighted, because using only politcal name limits Czech state only to the period from 1993 until now, which is clumsy and confusing, becuase history of Czechia is more than 1100 years old. Such a request can be done only by somebody, who is not able to realize or understand real importance of short form (geographical, informal) name of the country in general context. So, the request is nonsensical and totally unpractical, complicating clear description of the Czech state with absurd necessity to dividing and separating periods in Wikipedia articles, as is proved e.g. by Music of Czech lands / Music o the Czech Republic (and many others), however it is music of one country. This "Czech" issue is only one among all traditional countries in Europe, without comprehension of necessity to denominate the country by the name, which is able to be applicated in general, thus, to simplify and generalize the use, which is helpful and comprehensible for everybody, who is not (for obvious reasons) informed about political and formal changes in the country (similarly to many other European countries). The Czech state cannot be described as "the Czech Republic" not only because it is INCORRECT in itself, but also because resulting in generating of errors, from which can be chosen one of the most absurd here (taken from English Wikipedia): http://s1203.photobucket.com/user/JanBlanicky/media/Bo1590ivoj.jpg.html ("Bořivoj I, Duke of Bohemia, born in the Czech Republic" !!! ) and many other similar nonsenses.

The request of mr.Polansky is not only in the direction against the orientation of recipient and writer of articles in Czech section of Wikipedia, but also against the recommendation of the Ministry of Foreign affairs of the Czech Republic from 1998 (http://s1203.photobucket.com/user/JanBlanicky/media/MZV1998.jpg.html). Links (detailed explanations info): 1) http://www.czech-this.net/articles.php?req=read&article_id=111 2) http://czechia-initiative.com/czechia_name.html 3) https://www.facebook.com/CzechiaCZ


This is Wiktionary, not Wikipedia. This is not the place to discuss suggested page moves at Wikipedia. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:09, 4 October 2014 (UTC)


Mmm! I'm going to a do - that is - an event. I need to write the plural in a text message. What is the plural? Is it dos, doos, do's or what? And this meaning of do seems to be missing. Bob Brown

It's dos, and this meaning is the first meaning listed under do#Noun. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:41, 9 October 2014 (UTC)

Regarding 2014 Wiktionary Word Archive[edit]

To whom it may concern,

I am a regular visitor to the Wiktionary. However as many of you might have observed by now, the word-of-the-day archive has not been populated since January 2014.

The editors are requested to look into the matter and do the needful.


Hi. Could someone please be so good as to unprotect (semi-protect, whatever) Template:es-conj-er? There's a bit of work to do on it to bring it in line with other similar templates, you see. Thanks. --Type56op9 (talk) 09:01, 25 October 2014 (UTC)

Unprotected. (Why was it even protected in the first place? It does not even have a hundred transclusions.) Keφr 09:10, 25 October 2014 (UTC)
Lovely. And Template:es-conj-ir too, ta. --Type56op9 (talk) 10:22, 25 October 2014 (UTC)
Lowered to semi (170 transclusions). Keφr 10:40, 25 October 2014 (UTC)

Need help with adding the plural to a noun[edit]

I want to add a plural form to the Wauja noun amunaun. So I imagine it would look like this: amunaun (plural amunaunaun). I tried copying the format used by the English site for one of its noun plurals (goose/geese). This is what I tried: Template:wau-noun It didn't work. Apparently I need a template? Would be grateful for some advice. Thanks. 22:35, 25 October 2014 (UTC). The page I am trying to add the plural to is here: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/amunaun Emi-Ireland (talk) 22:36, 25 October 2014 (UTC)

{{wau-noun}} won't work until there's actually something at Template:wau-noun (curly brackets are for templates). Using the {{head}} template, the unnamed parameters (named ones such as g= or tr= don't count) after the language code and the part of speech category are for inflected forms, with the odd-numbered parameter for the name of the form, and the even-numbered for the form itself. You'll see that I put "plural" in the 3rd parameter position and amunaunaun in the 4th. Chuck Entz (talk) 23:54, 25 October 2014 (UTC) thank you! Emi-Ireland (talk) 00:04, 26 October 2014 (UTC)

what are the pros and cons of editorial anonymity[edit]

I don't understand what editorial anonymity means to find the pro and cons.

can some one explain it to me to I understand —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 01:23, 28 October 2014 (UTC).

editorial + anonymity? Keφr 08:32, 28 October 2014 (UTC)

November 2014[edit]

Could someone please capitalize the title on the "subjunctive" page?[edit]

Could someone please capitalize the title on the "subjunctive" page? I don't know how, but it bothers me makes Wikipedia look bad and un-professional. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 22:32, 4 November 2014 (UTC).

This is Wiktionary, not Wikipedia. Because this is a dictionary, the difference between capital letters and lower-case letters is very important, so polish and Polish are two different pages, and subjunctive has a lower-case letter because it isn't normally capitalized. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 23:23, 4 November 2014 (UTC)
Unfortunately, for some reason, the Latin Wiktionary decides to keep its pages capitalized when they are not normally capitalized and decides to put things like (en) at the end of their article titles to clarify the language. God, that pisses the hell out of me. No offense to Latin Wiktionarians, but I just hate that idea. The reason I don't like that is because if we do that, then it's harder to put those pages into interwiki links. It's a nightmare for me to look at a page like that with no interwiki links when it really needs them. Rædi Stædi Yæti {-skriv til mig-} 01:36, 9 November 2014 (UTC)


I have a question about a word. I specifically would like to know the history of this word. I am doing an essay on this word as a punishment. here is the word - SKANK. I know it's a derogatory word but I need to know some history, or a place to start my search on it's history. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 22:19, 7 November 2014 (UTC).

How do French Judaists spell Dieu?[edit]

--Romanophile (talk) 09:08, 9 November 2014 (UTC)

According to G-d#Translations, it's D.ieu, which is confirmed by [1] and [2], while [3] indicates an alternative form D-ieu. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 22:04, 9 November 2014 (UTC)

Red link at Category:Ancient Greek language[edit]

Hello, I'm not an expert here, so I was wondering why there is a red link inside the box at Category:Ancient Greek language. The ancient Greek Wiktionary was deleted or it never started? (I am sorry, I have not learnt how to properly put wikilinks inside a text yet) Nikolas (talk) 22:24, 9 November 2014 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure there's never been an Ancient Greek Wiktionary, and I'm pretty sure there will never be one. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 23:48, 9 November 2014 (UTC)
How can you be sure that there will never be one? Are you a psychic? :D Nikolas (talk) 00:37, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
The rules have been tightened up considerably regarding Wikimedia wikis in dead languages since the Latin and the Old English wiktionaries were started, and they're unlikely ever to be relaxed again enough to allow creation of a new one such as this. The main problem is that there are no terms in such a language for modern places, institutions, concepts, etc., which means that new ones have to be created- and those would be really terms in a conlang based on the original language, not in the language itself. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:25, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
Actually, the main problem—indeed the main reason why no more Wikimedia projects in extinct languages will be approved—is that there are no native speakers to form the basis of the community of editors. It is now a requirement that a language have native speakers in order for it to have its own Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikibooks, etc. Exceptions are sometimes given for Wikisource and Wikiquote, since those projects present previously published information rather than original writing. However, even then, extinct languages are often incorporated into the Wikisources and Wikiquotes of their modern descendants, so Old English source material is hosted at English Wikisource and Ancient Greek source material is hosted at Greek Wikisource, and so on. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:12, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
What about A Greek-English Lexicon (this version), it could be expanded, the past editions of the Liddell-Scott are in the public domain nowadays. .Nikolas (talk) 22:25, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
Of course we can have as many Ancient Greek words here at English Wiktionary as we want. But there isn't going to be a Wiktionary with definitions written in Ancient Greek and with Ancient Greek as the interface language. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 22:45, 11 November 2014 (UTC)
Sure, I agree with that, thumbs up, but can someone please rework the infobox that is the main concern of my 1st message? I have no idea, and no time at the moment, on how to do that, but if you write down some relevant shortcuts, I could quickly learn and edit it . :)Nikolas (talk) 07:47, 13 November 2014 (UTC)

correcting entry and adding quotation to page randon[edit]

First time wanting to edit a page here, and I've come up with a complex task that is way beyond me at the moment, so I'm wondering if someone would like to adopt it.

On the page randon there is currently a quotation from Spenser that is misplaced in the Noun section. It needs to be removed (a pity) or moved to the Adjective section, which needs then to be created.

I have a quotation that does belong in the noun section. It is from Halley, and I suspect (but don't know) that in the short (again, I suspect ...) period between the beginning of scientific ballistics and this word becoming obsolete (likewise, I think, the word 'random' used in this sense) it is therefore an important and valuable quotation.

"half the Parameter is the greatest Randon, and that that happens at the Elevation of 45 Degrees"

A Discourse concerning Gravity, and its Properties, wherein the Descent of Heavy Bodies, and the Motion of Projects is briefly, but fully handled: Together with the Solution of a Problem of great Use in Gunnery. By E. Halley.

Miscellanea Curiosa, Vol. I, 2nd Edition, 1708 p.316

(An ebook version is in preparation for Project Gutenberg.) --Alkhowarizmi (talk) 03:57, 10 November 2014 (UTC)


I realize these words are not in the dictionary. So what best describes the act of ovalizing, say "ovalizing" a hole during manufacturing, or oblonging, "oblonging" a round object by placing it in a press. I know once the object has been deformed, per se, it is oblong. Please advise. Thanks!

Using Template:suffix without categorization?[edit]

It used to be that one could use {{suffix}} with lang=- to keep it from adding a category in cases where the suffixation occurred in a language other than that of the entry. Is there any way to do this now, and if not, why not?

I'm asking this because I'm not quite sure how to get rid of bogus categories such as Category:Middle English words suffixed with -k, which contains only the English term crash- but no Middle English terms at all.

The template can be useful for formatting in etymologies, which makes replacing it in cases like this a bit of a pain. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:04, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

Use nocat=1. lang=- doesn't work because if it did, then the template could no longer format the text and the link correctly. Even if it's not supposed to add a category, it should still know the language. —CodeCat 02:16, 12 November 2014 (UTC)
I've added this to the documentation for {{suffix}}, {{prefix}} and {{confix}}, so I won't be asking this again in six months. Feel free to improve on my efforts- they're just a first draft. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:20, 12 November 2014 (UTC)

Unexpected Initial Accent in Southern (US) Nouns[edit]

This is a phenomenon I've always found curious, but I hadn't really considered just how unusual it was until I saw the reaction of someone who wasn't aware of it at all (diff).

It consists of certain words that are accented on the second syllable elsewhere, but instead are accented on the first syllable in Southern English. It's not just that the first syllable is accented, though. The second syllable retains a strong secondary accent, to the point that it sounds like the first syllable is a separate word, and the second syllable retains its full, unreduced pronunciation. The first syllable is also lengthened quite a bit, but I'm not sure if that's separate from the strong stress.

The examples that will no doubt be most familiar are guitar (/ˈɡɪːˌtɑɹ/) and police (/ˈpoːʊˌliːs/), but w:Southern English also lists behind (/ˈbiːˌhaɪnd/),cement (/siːˌmɛnt/), Detroit(/ˈdiːˌtrɔɪt/), display (/ˈdɪːsˌpleɪ/), hotel (/ˈhoːʊˌtɛl/), insurance (/ˈɪːnˌʃəɹɨns/), July (/ˈd͡ʒʊːˌlaɪ/), motel (/ˈmoːʊˌtɛl/), recycle (/ˈriːˌsaɪkəl/), TV (/ˈtiːˌviː/) and umbrella (/ˈʌːmˌbɹɛlə/). A couple more examples that come to mind are Arab (/ˈeːɪˌɹæb/) and Italian (/ˈaːɪˌtæljən/). I've also caught myself doing this with a word or two like default (/dɪˈfɑːɫt/), but I'm not Southern and I'm not sure where I picked it up.

I'm curious as to whether anyone has ever studied this, and whether anyone knows more about it, especially whether there's a pattern to which words have it and how far beyond the Deep South it extends. Chuck Entz (talk) 07:05, 16 November 2014 (UTC)

After moving from New York to St. Louis, I've noticed people here say insurance with initial stress (I'm used to penultimate) and likewise for some words that are both nouns and verbs, but used as nouns, though I can't htink at the moment which ones. I don't know whether that's an extension of the same accent in that respect. Does Southern display (which you list) have initial stress for the verb and noun, or which?​—msh210 (talk) 19:45, 17 November 2014 (UTC)
It may be on the edge of the South, but Missouri is still a Southern state. I have no specific knowledge about the verb sense of display, but the general pattern is for the noun to have the initial accent, while the verb (if there is one) is the way it is everywhere else (recycle seems to be the exception). I'm wondering if it started out as a way to insure clarity in some strata of unfamiliar but frequently-used words. You'll note that behind is the only one in the list that goes back to Old English, and it was no doubt an uncommon word pressed into service as a euphemism. All of the above is just speculation, which is why I was hoping there was something about it in the literature. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:07, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

wherefore Lazarus, not Elazarus[edit]

Why did אלעזר become Λάζαρος (Lázaros) with no initial (glottal stop or) vowel? Does Ancient Greek not allow initial vowels or something?​—msh210 (talk) 19:37, 17 November 2014 (UTC)

This would be better at the Etymology scriptorum. As to substance: The etymology at Lazarus is missing details. You'll find ‏אֶלְעָזָר in the Hebrew scriptures as Ελεαζαρ (Eleazar) / Eleazar, but the name in the New Testament which gave rise to the modern name is from ‏לַעְזָר, which is itself derived from אלעזר. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:53, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
Ah, thanks!​—msh210 (talk) 06:04, 19 November 2014 (UTC)


--Supersonic414-On Wikia 13:52, 18 November 2014 (UTC) Hello! I just want to ask how to reply to peoples post! —This unsigned comment was added by Supersonic414 (talkcontribs) at 13:52, 18 November 2014 (UTC).

  • Click an [edit] link, put an appropriate number of :s or *s under someone else's post, type your reply, ~~~~ and submit. Keφr 14:03, 18 November 2014 (UTC)
  • Thank you for the help. --Supersonic414-On Wikia 14:06, 18 November 2014 (UTC) —This unsigned comment was added by Supersonic414 (talkcontribs) at 14:06, 18 November 2014 (UTC).
    • You forgot the ~~~~. Keφr 14:07, 18 November 2014 (UTC)

Pop-Culture Words?[edit]

Hello all, I wanted to ask, should pop-culture terms be here? This is a dictionary for pretty much everything, but really, should media terms be here? It's not that I have anything against them, but it would help if there was, say, a specific portal that led to any, if not all, terms caused by the internet, IM slang, pop culture references, etc. Of course, if this is already handled,then disregard this message.

Thanks Muaadth on fire (talk) 17:34, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Internet slang is in plenty of mainstream dictionaries (though not to the same extent — yet!). Being Internet-based and freely editable, we tend to get more of it, and earlier. You can search by "Internet slang" category at the bottom of these entries, to narrow it down. Equinox 21:08, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Phrase "stand pat" question[edit]

I always have know about the general usage of this phrase as a poker term, and as an expression of firm resolve. I don't have the resources to look deeper into the origin of the second word, but wondered if it could be derived from "patent" as in "letters patent", suggesting a proven right to occupy a place or position. Betsinoregon (talk) 20:59, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

I imagine it's the adverb pat#Adverb. Equinox 21:09, 19 November 2014 (UTC)

Request for deletion[edit]

I couldn't get templates {{RQ:Mlry MrtArthrP1}} and {{RQ:Mlry MrtArthrP2}} to work properly, though the code worked alright when I shortened their names. Would someone please delete these two templates or tell me how to do it. — ReidAA (talk) 11:23, 21 November 2014 (UTC)

I've deleted them both since you have gotten {{RQ:Mlry MArthrP1}} and {{RQ:Mlry MArthrP2}} to work. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:48, 21 November 2014 (UTC)
Thanks very much. — ReidAA (talk) 22:07, 21 November 2014 (UTC)