Wiktionary:Tea room

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Tea house party in Japan (not tea ceremony)-J. M. W. Silver.jpg

A place to ask for help on finding quotations, etymologies, or other information about particular words. The Tea Room is named to accompany the Beer parlour.

For questions about the technical operation of Wiktionary use the Beer parlour. For questions about specific content, you're in the right place.

Tea room archives +/-

Please do not edit section titles as this breaks links on talk pages and in other discussion fora.

Oldest tagged RFTs


May 2014


Why is the 5th definition of the verb exercise is marked obsolete? I've recently read it in The Economist. It's something like "to worry".

Nearwater (talk) 02:42, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, it is not obsolete though I think it is used mostly in the passive. Exercised also used as an adjective, being used as a predicate, modified by very as verbs are not: [be] very exercised, and being used in comparatives: [be] more exercised about/over/concerning. It may be that the fifth definition will become obsolete, with exercised being considered solely an adjective with this meaning.
Are you familiar with any modern use of the fifth definition in the active voice? DCDuring TALK 04:33, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
No. The other examples I found are used in the same way.
On the obsolete question: though it may not be obsolete, I wonder if it's principally used in the UK. (My Economist example is from a London publication.) Nearwater (talk) 04:52, 1 May 2014 (UTC)


In the German ety#1 of sein, none of the usage examples use sein but a different inflection of it. That is not very helpful, uses of the actual headword are needed. Also, the usage note seems to be irrelevant to the page. It is a plea for not considering mir ist kalt to be a quirky case. SpinningSpark 08:44, 1 May 2014 (UTC)

I've had a quick look and it seems that there are many verbs, English and otherwise, that are quoted in inflected forms. The quirky case thing is quite weird though. --Blarkh (talk) 16:27, 4 June 2014 (UTC)


Thank you, whomsoever, so much for this entry on SűDű Language! I have been looking for this language for some time. I believe this language will help me to learn many other languages. Please continue. Again, Thank You!

Csanty (talk) 20:16, 1 May 2014 (UTC)Csanty

Template:gerund of

I believe this template to be confusing and overused. Many nouns ending in -ing use this template instead of an actual definition. If a person doesn't know what the word ending in -ing means, he/she is unlikely to know what a gerund is and the definition will be of no use to him. Thoughts? Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 15:29, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

We could link to a definition of "gerund" in our glossary. --WikiTiki89 15:31, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
But there are many different definitions. It depends on the language. —CodeCat 15:53, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
There are only two definitions I know of: a noun representing the action of a verb, or an adverb representing that something is happening during the action of a verb. --WikiTiki89 16:07, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
Apparently there are other definitions as well, at w:Gerund. —CodeCat 16:20, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
From the list w:Gerund#Gerunds in various languages, only the French deviates from the two definitions I provided above, using it to refer to adjectival participles as well. --WikiTiki89 16:30, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
What would be best is to not use the template, and have an actual, applicable definition instead Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 16:23, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
You know well that that would be pointless. It would just mean duplicating all the definitions of the lemma, with predictable maintenance problems to follow. It's why we have form-of entries in the first place. —CodeCat 16:53, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
User:CodeCat, no, it wouldn't be pointless. It would make the definitions more precise and easier to understand. No maintenance problems would arise from that. I'm starting to think form-of templates are a mistake unless a) every single usage of them is a 100% accurate definition, and b) they use simple enough language for Joe Smordley to understand them. Gerund of is neither of those things. Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 19:49, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
I really don't understand how you think that duplicating definitions across dozens of form-of entries would not be a maintenance nightmare. Do you really believe that every single editor on Wiktionary will bother to update all of them? I certainly don't, and I doubt anyone else does either. —CodeCat 19:54, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
User:CodeCat, a) It's not duplicating definitions, it's replacing a very uninformative template with a definition that could be way clearer, and b) If it makes this Wiktionary more informative, it'd be worth it. You seem to be willing to sacrifice information for ease, which I find unfathomable and at cross purposes with the goal of the project. The present template isn't a definition, it's a categorization that doesn't tell the user anything. It's completely useless if a user doesn't know what a gerund is (and it's not a BE 1500 word, so most people probably don't), and it's not that helpful even if you do know what a gerund is. Getting rid of the template makes definitions much clearer. Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 20:00, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
So what would you propose that does not lead to duplication of definitions? —CodeCat 20:31, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
User:CodeCat: Removing the template from articles, as I've said above. You lose the template and you get an actual definition. I'm not sure where you're getting this whole duplication of definitions line of arguing. There never was any duplication of definitions. Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 20:54, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
You still haven't explained what text, exactly, you would put in the entry instead of the template. —CodeCat 21:00, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
Because there isn't any one sentence that I would put in instead of the template. It would vary with the word for increased precision. Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 21:04, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
Can you give an example? —CodeCat 21:58, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
IMO, best would be a single PoS header for each -ing-form that did not have a distinct sense, that is one not present in the associated verb. I'd think "Verb" would be the most straightforward. We could explain simply in a short linked-to Appendix that -ing-forms can fill a range of grammatical roles. DCDuring TALK 21:26, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand the objection to the term gerund. When I was in secondary school, that was the name they taught in English classes. And that's English as a second language (for Dutch speakers) too. So if they understand it, why don't native speakers? —CodeCat 21:57, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
My particular objection to the whole gerund business is you're calling a word a gerund in lieu of actually defining it Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 22:40, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
Do you have similar objections to "plural", "past participle", "nominative", "future indicative", "definite" and the likes? —CodeCat 22:43, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
Those are nothing like gerund. The first two are used in more common parlance than gerund is. Furthermore, what a gerund means varies from word to word. What a plural means doesn't Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 23:14, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
Gerund isn't really all that different from "participle" in its vagueness. w:Participle doesn't elaborate a whole lot on what a participle actually is, probably because it's not really possible to give one single clear definition. What's more, the terms "participle" and "gerund" actually overlap in meaning. The same form in many Romance languages has been called a participle by some, and a gerund by others. What you're also missing is that while these terms are vague in general, they often have very specific meanings within any given language. Look at groene for another example of that. Clearly, "inflected form" doesn't mean a whole lot on its own. But it's the standard term for this specific form in Dutch, so that's what we use. Calling the English verbal noun that ends in -ing anything other than "gerund" would be disregarding the common term for it as it's used in linguistic literature and teaching alike (as demonstrated by my anecdote). We should follow established practice when reasonable, and I don't see how it would be unreasonable here. —CodeCat 23:21, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
It's unreasonable because "gerund of BLAH" isn't a definition! Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 23:39, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
Why not? —CodeCat 23:54, 2 May 2014 (UTC)
Because it's just a link to another page and a word that's ambiguous and nobody knows any of the definitions of anyway Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 00:03, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
I asked why not. "just a link to another page" is also a definition, as shown by thousands of form-of entries already existing on Wiktionary. Please explain. You've yet to give any compelling reasons that don't involve huge changes to over half of Wiktionary's entries. —CodeCat 00:19, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
I don't know where you're getting "over half of Wiktionary's entries" when I only suggesting abandoning this template, not others. I consider it a leap of faith to say if we delete this, we have to delete the plural one. I believe "gerund of BLAH" is not sufficient enough explanation for a lay user, as gerund is ambiguous (plural isn't) and gerund isn't a well-known word (plural is). That's a perfectly good reason to abandon the gerund template. Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 00:39, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
I was responding to your claim that it wasn't a definition. Presumably, if "gerund of" is not a definition, then neither is "plural of", and all the consequences follow from that. Sorry if I don't just take your claim that "gerund" isn't a known word among those with knowledge of English grammar. Furthermore, Wiktionary uses many words that are not known to people who haven't at least done some studying of the grammatical concepts of the language. The average speaker will not know what a participle is either, let alone "nominative", to say nothing of things like "pinyin" or "construct form". So that a word isn't well known among English speakers generally is not a reason to exclude it. Especially not if it's the common term used a to describe something in descriptive grammars of the language (as opposed to learning material). —CodeCat 00:45, 3 May 2014 (UTC)

Why use a complicated word when you can use a simple word? Gerund isn't a simple word. There is a list of 1500 simple words and gerund isn't on it. Which of the following definitions is more useful?

  1. Gerund of greenlininggreenline
  2. The process of greenlining

It's pretty clearly #2, because it's more precise and uses easier language. You shouldn't use complicated words like gerund if you can say it more simply. Furthermore a description isn't a definition! I again remind you the plural of is NOT part of this discussion, so please stop claiming it is. Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 01:41, 3 May 2014 (UTC)

Both are useless, because they refer to themselves. #1 should be "Gerund of greenline", and #2 is beyond fixing: the obvious question that arises from it is "but what is this greenlining that it's the process of", to which the definition answers "greenlining"- are you beginning to see a pattern here? Chuck Entz (talk) 02:20, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
What is this greenlining? The verb definition! Purplebackpack89 (Notes Taken) (Locker) 03:18, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
@Purplebackpack89: You didn't close the <s> tag, so I did for you. --WikiTiki89 03:32, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
The problem is, "The process of greenlining." is a circular definition. Expanding it gives "The process of the process of greenlining." and then "The process of the process of the process of greenlining." etc. And this does not bring anyone closer to understanding the word greenlining. --WikiTiki89 15:13, 3 May 2014 (UTC)


...are an Indian food; see e.g. google books:fryums and a raw Google search for "lentil fryums". What are they? A Google Image search suggests they're tiny, coloured, shaped pieces of pasta, but other sources suggest they are papads/papadams. One Wikipedia page equates them with "sandige" (which I'm not sure of the lemma form of), which are in turn equated with vadagams. Also, is the lemma fryum or fryums? The apparent plural seems to be so much more common than the singular than I'm not sure if the singular is actually attested, and/or if the word just happens to end in s and isn't actually plural. (PS, considering how many ways papadam can be spelt, it's possible fryum(s) is more commonly spelt some other way.) - -sche (discuss) 16:59, 3 May 2014 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure the lemma is fryum and that it is not a native word in any language of India but is simply English fry + 'em or -um (sense 3). All the recipes I could find online mention that they are fried. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:09, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
To clarify, I'm pretty sure the nominal lemma is fryum, but I can't find any actual evidence of the singular either, so maybe it should be treated as a plurale tantum. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:20, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
See noseeum for a similar construction. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:31, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
It was a trademark [1] for "pasta, rice, flour; formed food products made from flour, starch and spices and adapted to be deep-fried by the consumer; spices (other than poultry spice), starch and salt". Equinox 20:44, 3 May 2014 (UTC)
This seems similar to pierogi and varenyky. —CodeCat 21:24, 3 May 2014 (UTC)


http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/obstrusive Should the other forms be stated for a misspelled word? —This comment was unsigned.

I think not, especially for circumlocutions like more obstrusive. DCDuring TALK 23:46, 3 May 2014 (UTC)


Where are the other genders? Lysdexia (talk) 16:11, 4 May 2014 (UTC)

The word is a noun, so it doesn't have to have multiple genders: it's masculine, with the feminine counterpart, Ἑλληνίς (Hellēnís), being a different word. Chuck Entz (talk) 22:01, 4 May 2014 (UTC)

Transwiki:ISO 639

Regarding these pages [2], which have sat in transwiki limbo for ages: I doubt the abbreviations should have separate entries, since they are terms in an ISO standard rather than terms in the language (and I bet many would prove impossible to attest, rather like those made-up ISO measurement units). Can we either zap the pages or move them to an ISO appendix of some kind? Equinox 11:36, 5 May 2014 (UTC)

Italian-American gravy

I was under the impression that Italian-Americans use gravy to refer specifically to tomato sauce, and not any sauce used for pasta in general. --WikiTiki89 12:34, 5 May 2014 (UTC)

Not per Partridge: "pasta sauce mid-Atlantic Italian-American usage US 1976"

It's hard to tell what is meant by this usage:

  • 2005, Edward Giobbi, ‎Eugenia Giobbi Bone, Italian Family Dining: Recipes, Menus, and Memories of ..., page 191:
    The ladies marched out of the kitchen with [] steaming homemade biscuits, a mound of curly bacon, and a bowl of white gravy with the handle of a ladle sticking out.
It would seem wise to limit "tomato" to an "especially". DCDuring TALK 13:54, 5 May 2014 (UTC)
I think that might be actual gravy. See "cream gravy" (a.k.a. "white gravy") in w:Gravy#Types. --WikiTiki89 18:09, 5 May 2014 (UTC)
Yes, the presence of biscuits and bacon and the absence of any kind of pasta make me strongly suspect this is cream gravy. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:39, 5 May 2014 (UTC)

afeard, afeared, affeard, affeared

Is there any way to standardize these a bit more? Are all spellings still used or are some archaic and some archaic or colloquial. Definitely currently used in my part of the world. Renard Migrant (talk) 16:13, 5 May 2014 (UTC)

Yes. It just takes a little empirical research or consultation of references (affeared at OneLook Dictionary Search and affeard at OneLook Dictionary Search). DCDuring TALK 17:21, 5 May 2014 (UTC)

o#Etymology, o#Etymology_1_3

I suspect that these are folk etymologies; it would be very, very unusual for a Romance language to have a derivation from the ablative case. Does anybody believe in these? --Æ&Œ (talk) 22:30, 5 May 2014 (UTC)

I wouldn't call them folk etymologies; they're simply mistakes. The forms are all from illum and/or illud. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 22:34, 5 May 2014 (UTC)


Is Preponed word correct to use in Conversation...? If not please give the appropriate word which can be used instead of "Preponed"...

அல்ல ..! அக்து தவரான சொல்..!

"Preponed" is Indian English; it is not used in British English, American English, etc. Instead you could say "brought forward" or "rescheduled to an earlier time". Equinox 11:33, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
preponed. pre is the opposite of pone in Latin, anyway: prepone|ponepone||antepone|postpone. Lysdexia (talk) 16:42, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
What? pre (well, prae, actually) is the opposite of post in Latin, and there is a Latin verb praepōnō, although I suspect the Indian English verb was formed by analogy to postpone rather than being inherited or borrowed from the Latin. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:55, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

Origin of polygamy

I'm looking for the first known uses of the word polygamy in each of its different contexts (zoology, botany, and anthropology). All I can find is claims its first recorded use is in 1591, and nothing actually tells me what that known use is.

I'm trying to find this out because there is conflicting information about what discipline the word originally belonged to. (Some sources claim that biology uses it in a broader sense, yet others claim that sociology associated it with marriage in order to make anthropological descriptions more precise.)

Does anyone have any actual sources for early usage?

2nd C. CE Claudius Ptolomy, Tetrabiblos Book 4 Chap. 5:
ἔπειτα ἐὰν μὲν ἐν μονοειδεῖ ζῳδίῳ ᾖ καὶ ἑνὶ τῶν ἀστέρων συνάπτουσα τύχῃ, μονογάμους ἀποτελεῖ: ἐὰν δὲ ἐν δισώμῳ ἢ καὶ πολυμόρφῳ ἢ καὶ πλείοσιν ἐν τῷ αὐτῷ ζωδίῳ τὴν συναφὴν ἔχουσα, πολυγάμους.
Then again, if the moon is in a sign of a single figure, or is applying to one of the planets, she makes them men of one marriage; but if she is in a bicorporeal or multiform sign, or applies to several planets in the same sign, she makes them marry more than once.

fag - photovoltaic sense

Discussion moved to WT:RFV.


I am looking at putting a log into Wiktionary for a phenomenon that has now been around for some time - eTravel. Details below:

"eTravel - the art of exploring the globe through the eyes of others who chose to share these journeys through an electronic media platform.

There is no right or wrong here. eTravel is all about the subjective nature of the writers who publish an article and the extent to which the writer is prepared to share these experiences.

Joining the eTravel generation is designed to be exciting. It provides both readers and writers alike the opportunity to escape to another place - and simply through using a e platform.

Have a great day."

Thoughts welcomed. —This unsigned comment was added by fxhqroamers (talkcontribs).

It sounds as though you've made up this term. There is, however, e-travel; see entry for book citations. Equinox 17:00, 10 May 2014 (UTC)
I think you need to revisit the context of the term versus e-travel. Completely different. Take a look at some of these journeys on the web under eTravel. —This unsigned comment was added by fxhqroamers (talkcontribs).
I don't see much usage of eTravel for virtual travel. DCDuring TALK 15:07, 13 May 2014 (UTC)


I learned 'wonk' as backwards for 'know' (Harvard c. 1966). The call of the wonk? 'twirk! twork! twirk!'.

Frank Thompson <email redacted>

French: traiteur

The entry for traiteur only has an English entry. The English word has French etymology and is a valid word in French, meaning both caterer and delicatessen. I'm not familiar enough with Wikitionary editing to put the meaning in myself. -- 04:17, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

the word numerous

I need to help on the term as I have been described as allowing something to happen on numerous occasions and in reality it happened twice would the amount of twice actually fit the description of numerous please help me I would be exceptionally gratefull

"Numerous" means "many". I don't think many people would consider two to be many! Equinox 11:48, 12 May 2014 (UTC)


Why does the page geblaft say that "This participle needs an inflection-table template."? Many participles of unergatives are never used attributively but only as an element of the perfect tenses and impersonal passive voice. In that case there is only one form and there are no inflections. Jcwf (talk) 04:56, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

The Category:Dutch non-adjectival past participles comes close to explaining this, but the explanation is not entirely correct. E.g. huisgehouden can very well be combined with worden and with zijn: er werd vreselijk huisgehouden, er is danig huisgehouden. Unergatives do form impersonal passives. Jcwf (talk) 05:06, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
Could someone check the etymology at blaffen as well? It doesn't look right. Wyang (talk) 05:08, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
It was added by the sockpuppet of a notorious contributor of junk edits who has been permanently blocked under several accounts (though that had a lot to do with his obsession with spanking, too). I nuked it on sight as careless nonsense. Chuck Entz (talk) 06:15, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
Look at the edit history: creation and editing have been done entirely by bots. Chuck Entz (talk) 06:24, 13 May 2014 (UTC)
The entry doesn't need an inflection table, but there was no way for a bot to know which past participles inflect and which don't, so a request was the lesser of the two evils. I've fixed the entry now. —CodeCat 11:39, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

pacy/pacey, sports label, and labels generally

A few questions about these entries.

  1. Pacy is listed as alternative spelling of pacey. Why aren't alternative spellings always redirected? They have different spellings in the quotations for these two entries, but I think the quotations could be listed together without confusion.
  2. On the pacey entry (but not the pacy entry), it's labeled as chiefly sports. How was that decided? Here's a counter-example that's not from sports: "Glenn Greenwald has delivered a pacy account that is sure to satisfy readers who see things the way he does."
  3. More generally, is there a guideline for adding labels like "chiefly sports" or "UK"? I've encountered a couple words lately in the Economist (e.g., exercised and pacy/pacey) that I think are chiefly British. Should I add the UK label?

Thanks. Nearwater (talk) 16:45, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

  1. Because pages may have entries in different languages. See WT:REDIR for a more detailed rationale.
  2. We try to avoid repeating information from the lemma in alternative form entries. “Chiefly sports” does not exclude the possibility of it being used outside sports.
  3. Do some research first. You can, for example, check what other dictionaries say or find some books using the word and see where the authors are from, or even ask here to see if someone knows the word. Don’t sweat too much over it though; no person in the world is familiar with every English dialect, so in the end adding such labels always has some degree of uncertainty. Once a user got blocked for adding an AAVE label to a word and using an Irish citation to support it, but that guy had been making shoddy contributions for years.
Ungoliant (falai) 21:44, 13 May 2014 (UTC)

ravin as noun?

Hi! I'm new. Any reasons why I shouldn't have just changed ravin from a noun to an adjective? Today I found the entry showing a single English definition. It was deemed a noun, but the definition was "ravenous", which is an adjective. I fulfilled the request for a quotation from Shakespeare, and the single citation is also an adjective: "Better 'twere / I met the ravin lion when he roared / With sharp constraint of hunger;" I thought I'd pop in and ask.

Also, another Shakespeare line gives "ravin down" as a verb, as in "to gobble ravenously". Do I want to put that on the main ravin entry, or make a new entry for "ravin down"? Thanks! Kjtobo (talk) 22:29, 14 May 2014 (UTC)

I added that noun (from Webster 1913), and it should have been an adjective, so thanks for fixing it. W1913 does also have ravin/ravine as a noun ("Food obtained by violence; plunder; prey; raven"): e.g. Tennyson, "Nature, red in tooth and claw with ravine". So perhaps we should add that. Equinox 23:21, 14 May 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! I copied the etymology and pronunciation from ravine and declared the noun uncountable, although I'm really just guessing. So if "ravin down" is a verb, then must "ravin" also be a verb with the same definition? This seems just like "gulp" and "gulp down". Kjtobo (talk) 15:22, 15 May 2014 (UTC)


(grammar) The uninflected form of a verb. In English, this is usually formed with the verb stem preceded by 'to'. e.g. 'to sit'

This is wrong on three counts:

  1. some languages do inflect the infinitive;
  2. there are uninflected verb forms that are not infinitives;
  3. The second sentence excludes the bare infinitive.

I don’t really know how to define it accurately, and Wikipedia tells us that “there is not a single definition applicable to all languages”, but I hope we can do better than this. — Ungoliant (falai) 00:32, 15 May 2014 (UTC)

"The A form of a verb usually found in dictionaries"? Keφr 00:37, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
Counterexample: Latin. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 01:29, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
Another counterexample: any language that doesn't have infinitives, of which there are many. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:43, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
Which is why I said "usually". Given the above, I think writing down a definition that precisely captures the distinction between infinitives and non-infinitives is a hopeless task. Instead, I think we should aim to describe commonly found features of verb forms which are called "infinitives". We are writing dictionary definitions, not mathematical definitions. (Which also get generalised and misused a lot, by the way.) Keφr 13:42, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
I don't know if there are many languages where it doesn't apply, but in the languages I am familiar with, the infinitive is typically the verb form that is used when an auxiliary verb is used. —CodeCat 12:04, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
My Japanese may be a bit rusty, but I am somewhat reluctant to call て-forms "infinitives". If anything, I think it is rather the る-forms which deserve this name. Keφr 13:42, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
This rusty beginner agrees. The plain form/dictionary form (~う,~つ,~る, etc.) of Japanese verbs is more like the infinitive, but the て-form that is used with auxiliary verbs to make present, progressive, passive, and other forms. Kjtobo (talk) 15:36, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
We could do something like this:
  1. (grammar) A non-finite verb form used in some languages.
    1. (English) []
    2. (other Germanic languages) []
    3. (Romance language) []
This way we don’t have to make it vaguer and vaguer whenever it turns out a language has an infinitive that doesn’t fit the description. — Ungoliant (falai) 13:29, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
We are a dictionary, concerned with how the word is used by groups of speakers, including those without linguistics training. Most English speakers use the word to refer to "English to-infinitives" and any corresponding form in another language. To start with a vague hyponym and include English as one case seems wrong-headed. It seems to me that the English term has been extended to cover verb forms in other languages and then appropriated by linguists for more technical uses, possibly until its lack of universality made it less useful. A diachronic approach to the defining the term would require distinct definitions for the usage in texts of various vintages as well. DCDuring TALK 15:03, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
Yet the different senses must be included. google books:"the Italian infinitive" is not using the word infinitive in the sense of “the English to-infinitive”. How do you suggest this be done? — Ungoliant (falai) 18:55, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
I wish I could simply do it, but I don't have the linguistic chops. I wouldn't want to exclude much, except a laundry list of languages or language families and their particular infinitives. I would have (1) the English-only sense(s) (possibly just the "to-infinitive" sense) fairly prominent, (2) the original sense in English (if different from sense 1), (3) extended sense(s) that included European languages and any other languages that were commonly studied, and (4) any technical senses that differ from the first three in scope of languages covered or in identifying characteristics. to-infinitive and bare infinitive probably warrant separate entries for the English uses, bare infinitive probably also having scope outside English.
This is really excessive for a general-purpose dictionary, but we seem to enjoy elaborate technical definitions in the technical fields that are well represented among regular contributors. DCDuring TALK 22:16, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
If we need to have entries for Italian infinitive, so be it. I hope that one or more of the technical definitions of infinitive can be written to include all uses of infinitive in combination with language names. DCDuring TALK 22:21, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
BTW, under which definition of antonym is bare infinitive and antonym of to-infinitive? If there is a definition that fits, is it the definition that most users would expect in the "Antonyms" header? DCDuring TALK 22:30, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
We don’t need an entry for Italian infinitive, we need a definition of infinitive that covers the meaning it takes when referring to the Italian infinitive, as well as the other languages whose infinitive is citable as an English word. Now, obviously we don’t need to add a line detailing the language-specific aspects of every verb form called infinitive, nor can we add a single definition that covers what the various infinitives mean without being so vague as to be useless; instead, we need is a balance between vagueness and accuracy. What I find unacceptable is excluding real meanings of a word for our own convenience. — Ungoliant (falai) 01:14, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
Most dictionaries make do with one or two definitions. Crystal's A dictionary of Linguistics & Phonetics spends one and a half lines on a translingual definition and five and half on the particulars of the English-only sense. DCDuring TALK 23:02, 15 May 2014 (UTC)
I think you have it backwards: the word originated in reference to Latin, then was applied to an analogous item in English grammar back when explaining everything in terms of Latin was required of any scholar. In the case of the Romance languages, their infinitives were the historical continuation of Latin ones, even if they had changed in function. The infinitives in other languages are mostly a hodgepodge of perceived analogues to infinitives in languages that were familiar to those who decided to identify them as such. The result is that the history of grammatical scholarship for a language can have more bearing on what an infinitive is in that language than any inherent meaning of the term itself.
I think we would be better off having a sense for Latin (Perhaps Greek can be lumped in with it as well, under the heading of "classical languages"), a sense for English, and a sense saying something sort of like: "things in various languages that have been identified by grammarians with things known as infinitives in other languages". I suspect there are a few common threads: they're noun-like verb forms, for the most part,though they can sometimes be pressed into service as adjectives and other parts of speech, and mostly have less verb-like inflectional morphology/syntax than the finite forms of the verb- but those are tendencies, nothing cut-and-dried. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:52, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
I don't have convenient access to the OED or other source about early usage in English. I certainly would expect the usage to be at least heavily influenced by Latin if indeed not about Latin. When it was applied to English, I am under the impression that it came to refer to the to-infinitive, at least in school grammars.
If we list the English senses in order of emergence, is the order as follows: 1 as applied to Latin, 2a as applied to the English to infinitive, 2b as extended to the English bare infinitive (and other nonfinite forms?), 3 as generalized to apply to certain verb forms in certain languages mostly not inflected for tense, person, number, mood, or aspect or to analogous verb forms that are inflected, but are otherwise similar to infinitives in other languages? DCDuring TALK 09:20, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
I don't know that 2a and 2b are worth distinguishing. Did sense 1 ever exist as distinct from sense 2a or 2? I have seen reference to infinitive forms in Arabic. Does anyone have a good idea of the scope of applicability of the term across languages? Slavic languages? Semitic? DCDuring TALK 10:11, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
I think the problem is more than just terminological analogy (trying to apply Latin terms to analogues in one's own language). There is actually a sprachbund in Europe, which would presumably have led to forms which have similar functions being more aligned with each other in various languages. This effect is especially strong between the central Romance and Germanic languages, i.e. primarily between French and German. So that means that "infinitive" is not just a term applied by scholars; it's also a concept (even if they don't refer to it as such) applied by ordinary people to certain forms across the various European languages. This had the effect of making those forms more similar in usage. So it's not just that Latin terms are being applied to very different forms in different languages, but the speakers themselves also contributed to those forms becoming closer to each other in function over the centuries. —CodeCat 12:38, 16 May 2014 (UTC)
I'm not quite sure when the first English grammars where written, but I should have thought that it happened in a time where the bare infinitive was quite distinctive from most finite forms of a verb (which it still was at about Chaucer's time, I think), so I would actually have guessed that the bare infinitive was called infinitive first, and the to infinitive was just identified as 'the same thing with a 'to' in front of it. As to applicability, I think most IE languages have something conforming more or less to what we'd call an infinitive, although especially the difference between an infinitive and a gerund is nowhere as salient as we'd like it to be. (As in Finnish, which has several infinitives, which act very much the way nouns do; and I think the Proto-Germanic infinitive seems to have been pretty much a noun derived regularly from a verb.) Sadly, those are all only facts that I stumbled across when writing a paper, but I don't think I have any sources for them. --Blarkh (talk) 16:17, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
Germanic infinitives are nouns in origin, but they didn't inflect as nouns by Proto-Germanic times. —CodeCat 16:20, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

I re-wrote the definition, based on some of the ideas mentioned above. As I said, writing a precise and all-encompassing definition seems hopeless, so I wrote something to convey the rough idea of how the term is used. Improvements are welcome. Keφr 17:52, 13 June 2014 (UTC)

All of these entries, along with the academic definitions worldwide, are wrong and what I dispute other than that the term infinitive must be nonfinite:
  1. Infinitives are inflected for tense and aspect: dico#Latin, tæcan. Infinitives begin but do not end. Narrowly follows that there is no such thing as the perfect infinitive. A better name is innominative—it doesn't take a direct subject.
  2. The dictionary form of a verb is not the same part of speech for each language. For English, it has defected into the verbal stem, the imperative, which is almost or usually identical to the subjunctive. For Latin and Greek it's the first-person singular present active indicative. (I don't know why, as the imperative is the most natural and utilitarian lemma.)
  3. After auxiliary verbs (like I do need.) the verb stays a verb; unlike a verbal noun it can be stative, transitive, or factitive. There is no such thing as a to-infinitive. The to construes a prospective mood with the supine form: https://en.wiktionary.org/w/index.php?title=to&diff=9138931&oldid=9138928. In Latin this is -tu or -tum after the stem; in Romance this is with at (a; à). Instead the Romance use of to (de; di) like in English is to link nonauxiliary or nontransitive verbs [prospectively]. The former use, still as a prospective but assumed infinitive, is a kind of suppletion afforded by the death of English 1000 years ago, after the Norman Conquest and within the Dark Ages, and the malliterate fallout. In Semitic can be seen the same fake infinitive with the to (l'), for Hebrew at least, and Arabic has a faker infinitive with the masculine past active indicative. These professionals don't even understand these terms. Lysdexia (talk) 07:22, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
The question for the entry infinitive is not what is a correct linguistic model. It is, what does the word "infinitive" mean to the author a potential user is reading or to the audience a potential user is writing to. So long as writers call "to be" an infinitive and readers understand "to be" to be an infinitive, we need to correctly indicate to users that "to be" is considered an infinitive.--Prosfilaes (talk) 10:06, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

true that

Worth an entry? --Fsojic (talk) 12:06, 19 May 2014 (UTC)

Not sure. This seems to be some kind of set phrase (I've seen it spelled "tru dat"). But moving that to the end of a sentence is possible in general: "Funny, that." "It's a funny thing, that." Equinox 12:08, 19 May 2014 (UTC)
I think "true that" may be possible in dialects of English where "funny, that" and "it's a funny thing, that" are ungrammatical or at least highly unusual. (I associate "true that" with AAVE—hence the spelling "tru dat"—and "funny, that" with British English.) Certainly the intonation of "true that" is different from that of "funny, that", suggesting it isn't just another manifestation of the same construction. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:15, 19 May 2014 (UTC)
I can confirm that in my native dialect, "true that" is normal, whereas I would only say something like "funny, that" if I were imitating an English accent. And as Angr pointed out, the intonation is very different. Accordingly, I've created the entry. —Mr. Granger (talkcontribs) 06:10, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
True dat is how I hear it and read it. DCDuring TALK 16:37, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
That does reflect how it's pronounced in some dialects, but not in mine – I use a [ð]. (I'm from northern California and not a speaker of AAVE.) —Mr. Granger (talkcontribs) 14:03, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic

This line is a quote from a Neil Simon play, CHAPTER TWO, a comedy about a frustrated writer who feels that his latest play he's attempting to write isn't going very well.

The entry has examples of usage from before the play came out, so it would seem he was just using an expression that already existed. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:51, 20 May 2014 (UTC)


In the book "Lost Enlightenment" R. F. Starr (Princeton) the origin of the word "gibberish" is the philosopher Jabir (721-815). Know in the West as Geber. His writings were "mystifying." No mention of this in Wiktionary. (Why is "Wiktionary" a misspelling?) —This comment was unsigned.

Hmm... Chambers calls it imitative, while Merriam-Webster says it's "probably from gibber". Equinox 17:33, 21 May 2014 (UTC)

play — to have sex

Play currently has "(intransitive) to take part in amorous activity; to make love, fornicate; to have sex" as its second sense, but the only quotation is from the 1500s. Is the sense still used, distinctly from the first sense ("to act in a manner such that one has fun; to engage in activities expressly for the purpose of recreation"), outside of the phrase "play around"? Dictionary.com assigns its sexual sense to "play around"; Merriam-Webster has "to have sexual relations; especially : to have promiscuous or illicit sexual relations — usually used in the phrase play around". If "play" by itself is no longer common with this meaning, I'd like to add a context tag to that effect, like {{cx|obsolete}} or {{cx|now|uncommon|outside of the phrase ''[[play around]]''}}.
BTW, Merriam-Webster also has a noun sense "sexual intercourse", which they mark as obsolete; if attested, it would seem to be distinct from our non-obsolete noun sense "sexual role-playing". - -sche (discuss) 19:51, 21 May 2014 (UTC)

I've seen the non-obsolete noun a lot among BDSM people (though personally I find it really twee-sounding) but I've never seen the verb used that way. "We played last night"?! Equinox 19:43, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
I'm familiar with a noun being used in compounds, e.g. "bondage play" and "breath play"; is it also used by itself? (And is it used in the sense we have, "sexual role-playing", or the sense Merriam-Webster has, "sexual intercourse"?) - -sche (discuss) 22:35, 22 May 2014 (UTC)
It is used by itself, and I think it means role-playing rather than just sex. I've added two more noun citations that seem to back this up. Equinox 11:47, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
I've seen it by itself, as in "come out and let's play" in a suggestive, almost euphemistic way to mean "fool around/fornicate/have sex" in personal ads online. This is quite common, referring to sexual activity as innocent "playing" but also for 'cheating/committing adultery'. Leasnam (talk) 16:29, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
Is there a chance that this sense of play necessarily involves "toys" or "games"? DCDuring TALK 16:58, 7 June 2014 (UTC)
as I am well acquainted with the poster of many of said ads, and know firsthand that no addl 'devices' are used, I would emphatically say No...it simply means ' mess around/be naughty/cheat on your significant other wo their knowledge...(I know :/ ) Leasnam (talk) 18:35, 8 June 2014 (UTC)
'party & play' , often abbreviated PnP, is another example Leasnam (talk) 14:47, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

exotic dancer

My friend claims this term can also be used to refer to a belly dancer or pole dancer, and not just a stripper. Does anyone know for sure? ---> Tooironic (talk) 01:37, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

I believe so. w:Exotic dancer and w:erotic dancer imply at least the meanings are confused.--Prosfilaes (talk) 03:21, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
OK thanks I'll add those additional senses now. ---> Tooironic (talk) 07:49, 3 June 2014 (UTC)


What is the definition of "telos" please?
Copied direct from Wikipedia: Social Fluency:
American academic M.J. Packer illustrated the importance of Social Fluency in his 1987 work Social interaction as practical activity: Implications for the study of social and moral development.[3] He declared "I want to propose that social fluency is at least as important a telos for social development as the formation of explicit theories, principles and hypotheses about the social world... More explicitly, social development consists in (sic) increasingly broadened fluency: becoming socially fluent in an increased range of situations and subworlds...”
Thanks -- ALGRIF talk 11:29, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

From Ancient Greek τέλος (télos), it means "end" or "goal". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:47, 24 May 2014 (UTC)
Thanks. Added. Please could someone format the entry correctly? -- ALGRIF talk 12:37, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

The cheese, Gouda or gouda?

What is the more usual capitalisation for the name of the cheese? We have entries at both currently. —CodeCat 21:25, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

I tried looking on Google Books Ngrams. Alone, the capitalized version is much more common, but that doesn't rule out the place name or sentence-initial position. So I tried several phrases like "eating {G/g}ouda", "ate {G/g}ouda", "some {G/g}ouda", "this {G/g}ouda", and "that {G/g}ouda". Most of these phrases occur too rarely for Ngrams to output a result at all, but with "that {G/g}ouda" and "some {G/g}ouda" the uppercase version was common enough to get a result, and the lowercase version wasn't, so my guess is the uppercase version is more common. But I acknowledge this isn't really great evidence. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:10, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
The evidence from the BNC and COCA likewise points to uppercase 'Gouda'. The BNC has 12 instances of 'Gouda' as the name of a cheese and no instances of 'gouda'. (It also has 3 instances of 'Gouda' as a placename and 1 instance of "The Greatest Flower Show on Earth and Historical Gouda".) COCA has 120 instances of 'Gouda' as the name of a cheese versus 33 instances of 'gouda' as the name of a cheese. (Several of COCA's citations are duplicates, but this is the case for both forms, and so probably a wash. COCA also has 8 instances of 'Gouda' as a placename, 4 instance of 'Gouda' in inline citations where it is either a last name or a placename, 1 instance of 'Gouda' as a first name (sic), 3 instances of 'Gouda' where it has no clear meaning, 2 instances of 'GOUDA' in text which is in all caps, and 1 instance of "I don't feel so gouda" where it is apparently a cheesy pun on "good".) - -sche (discuss) 16:53, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
A first name? As in Gouda Meir? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 17:39, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
This is the citation: "Jamie Oliver, the British culinary star, christened his child Poppy Honey, not nearly so unfortunate a name as that of a poor soul dubbed Gouda. Increasingly, children are also named for prized possessions." 21:30, 25 May 2014 (UTC)

male, female, and "gender identity" definitions

A major sense at female says "Belonging to the feminine (social) gender; identifying one's gender as feminine (see gender identity)." male has a corresponding similar sense. I realise this is a contentious issue, especially on the Internet, but it seems to me that whether somebody is (socially, as well as biologically) male or female is generally something determined by the observer, and that discussions of "gender identity" rarely leave the journal or the university. Are these, then, fair and unbiased definitions, or are they verging towards some kind of utopian ideal? Equinox 22:40, 24 May 2014 (UTC)

Ah, I think I am to blame for that less-than-fluent attempt at conveying that the words can refer to social gender. At the time I edited the entries, they had only biological-sex-based senses.
It's trivial to find statements (by both cisgender and transgender authors) that "I am male" or "as a female, I think XYZ", etc, i.e. statements where subjects identify their own gender.
It's also easy to find statements where observers identify someone's gender, and in the case of transgender people, these identifications can even clash, such that the author who says "as a female, I think XYZ" may be described by certain observers as "male". When I think about it, however, this is probably a red herring, because it is also the case with other words: one person can say "I (X) am Russian", another person can say "X is Russian" or "X is Ukrainian".
One could expand the entry to explain that the identification can be done by either the person themselves or someone else ... i.e. "belonging to the feminine (social) gender; identifying one's gender as, or having one's gender identified as, feminine" ... but it may be best to shorten the definition instead, and just say "belonging to the feminine (social) gender", or perhaps "belonging to the feminine (social) gender, or having a feminine gender identity". (Compare the definitions of feminine and masculine.) I do think the link to gender identity should stick around, either in the {{qualifier}} after the sense or in the See also section, to help people who don't at first understand how sense 2 is different from sense 1. - -sche (discuss) 05:45, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
  • I think the sense should be removed as unattested. Quotations like "I am an airplane" should not be used as evidence of the word "airplane" being used to refer to humans. OneLook dictionaries do not support this craze, from what I can see. --Dan Polansky (talk) 20:28, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
    • I am an airplane and I feel offended by the above statement. What is wrong with "I am an airplane"? Keφr 04:33, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

indwelling vs. implanted

@CopperKettle: My own instincts says these are not inherently opposed. In addition the -ing ending is an indicator of progressive or continuous aspect, whereas the -ed ending indicates completion. There are a few uses, as below of both terms in series that suggest that these terms have independent meaning and can be simultaneously applied to the same object.
  • 2011, Brain Machine Interfaces, page 132:
    Nonetheless, one serious and nagging problem for many BMIs is failure of effective transduction, putatively due to the reactive tissue response to the indwelling implanted device.
That makes an inherent (rather than one that is strictly contextual) dichotomy harder for me to believe. DCDuring TALK 12:44, 25 May 2014 (UTC)

Locative of dno

At https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/dno it says the locative singular form of the Czech words "dno" is "dnu", as the Russian version states. In the French version of the Wiktionary, it says "dně ou dnu" (dně or dnu). Czech and German versions agree with a Czech friend of mine in stating it is only dně. Could we coordinate the various language versions of this entry that have the declension of this word so that they agree on this form and show the correct one? Also, for the plural, all the mentioned versions agree to "dnech", while the French version has "dnách". Could we investigate this matter?

Dan Polansky should know the answer to this. —Stephen (Talk) 14:43, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
I have set the locative singular to "dně" in dno; an example is in "na dně oceánu". As for the locative plural, "dnech" sound correct to me but I do not have an example sentence or phrase. You can also check here: http://prirucka.ujc.cas.cz/?slovo=dno. --Dan Polansky (talk) 19:56, 1 June 2014 (UTC)


I would again request some help from the community for translation of a Finnish term, this time knoppi. It means "insignificant item of unimportant information, especially one assumed useful for passing an exam". I've not found it in any fi-en dictionaries, but I believe triviality and detail are at least close in meaning. I would appreciate any feedback you can give, like which word did you use for this kind of data when you were in school? --Hekaheka (talk) 08:51, 25 May 2014 (UTC)

will#Etymology 2

I'd like to add things like "Will you marry me?" and "Will you come swimming with us tomorrow?" as example sentences, but I'm not sure which sense they belong to. Sense 4 ("To choose to (do something), used to express intention but without any temporal connotations") seems close, but the example sentences do seem to have temporal connotations, namely that the events haven't happened yet. Sense 5 ("Used to express the future tense, formerly with some implication of volition when used in first person") also seems close, except that the implication of volition is not obsolete in these example sentences, and they're in the second person, not the first person. Are we missing a sense? Does one of our existing sense require tweaking? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:09, 25 May 2014 (UTC)

I don't think the "will you come" example is a separate sense, but more an additional use of the future tense. Compare for example "Are you coming swimming?" which doesn't even use will, but simply uses the present tense as future. The same kind of construction is common in Dutch too ("Kom je morgen met ons zwemmen?") and is a holdover from the time when Germanic languages had no explicit future tense.
As for "will you marry me", it's a kind of formulaic phrase, so it's possible it retains the original sense of will as "want to". In Dutch, where willen has no future meaning, the same verb is used in this case: "Wil je met me trouwen?" So that might be some indication too. —CodeCat 14:27, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
The question was inspired by this XKCD comic, where the humor derives from someone misinterpreting "Will you marry me?" as a question about a future state of affairs rather than about volition. But then it occurred to me that "Will you come swimming with us tomorrow?" is also a question about volition, not a question about a future (or expected future) state of affairs like "Will it rain tomorrow?" I do think "Will you come swimming..." has different implications from "Are you coming swimming..." What you said about Dutch is true about German too ("Willst du mich heiraten?"), and I would translate "Will you come swimming..." with "Willst du mitkommen..." and "Are you coming swimming..." with "Kommst du mit...". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:00, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
I wouldn't make that same distinction when translating into Dutch. —CodeCat 15:05, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
As CodeCat suggests "Will you marry me?" is too much a set phrase to be a good indication of current meaning. It's also a speech act, a proposal (of marriage) and should thereby be included in the lexicon - not merely as a helpful phrase for a phrasebook.
As to the general question, the ambiguity between volition and futurity accounts for why a verb indicating volition has become grammaticized to indicate futurity to begin with. It would be hard to find cases where, absent context, both readings are not possible (ie, inherently ambiguous), except for unnatural ones involving volition about the past ("I will that I never had met her.") or events or states which are otherwise beyond the reach of one's volition ("I will a coronal mass ejection that takes out some of these infernal satellites.") DCDuring TALK 15:14, 25 May 2014 (UTC)
Would has an analogous sense, but without the complication of the future-tense construction. As for CodeCat's example, I wouldn't interpret "Are you coming swimming?" as a request, but as a question about someone's plans- though such a question can be used, indirectly, as a request. But then, most of the ways I can think of to make a request (rather than an order) have some level of indirectness: "will you?", "would you?", "would you like to?", "do you think you might like to?", "can you?", "could you?", "any chance you might?", "Do you think you might?", "do you want to?", etc. The indirection seems to be a way to soften the request. Then there are the really indirect ways, such as "Might I ask you to?", "If I were to ask you to, what would be your answer?", "I was thinking, maybe we could...", "Could I prevail upon you to?" etc. I think "will you?" as a question of fact (except for constructions such as "will you be") is fading out of modern usage, and the request sense is becoming dominant- so I think it should be included. Chuck Entz (talk) 16:08, 25 May 2014 (UTC)


The example given for the Latin "mihimet" is incorrectly translated.

Neque, ita me di ament, credebam primo mihimet Sosiae.

The translation given is "And so I may love the gods, I would not have believed it myself, me Sosia" but the first clause clearly has a plural verb and "me" (accusative case) rather than "ego," so it's more like "so the gods may love me"--with the implication (to my ear) we'd have in the contemporary English usage "as God is my witness" (i.e., implying that if we're wrong we're inviting God to point that out or to bring down judgment for it).

Thanks for pointing that out. I've edited the translation. Feel free to correct errors like this yourself, of course.—Mr. Granger (talkcontribs) 18:18, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

Antitauromachy or anti-tauromachy

In English how is the word antitauromachy or anti-tauromachy? It is a opposing to tauromachy. How is the word also anti-taurine or antitaurine? --Vivaelcelta (talk) 01:40, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

antibullfighting, anti-bullfighting, antibullfight, anti-bullfight. — Ungoliant (falai) 02:01, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

examples (not quotations)

What's the correct format to put in examples which don't appear in quotations? Specifically, I'd like to improve the third definition of collocation with a couple examples. Looking at the oxforddictionaries.com definition, the examples are very helpful (and the definition is also more clear IMHO): “strong coffee” and “heavy drinker” are typical English collocations. http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/collocation Nearwater (talk) 07:59, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

@Nearwater: We have a template {{examples-right}} that is intended for such things. It is simple and has some documentation. You can use <br> to aid in formatting. DCDuring TALK 16:03, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

A box spring isn't a box-spring?

Oddly, we define box spring and box-spring as different things (one being a part of the other). That seems implausible and Wikipedia doesn't seem to distinguish the two. Anyone know more? Equinox 15:40, 26 May 2014 (UTC)


Is it just me, or are we missing a very common sense? (such as in "are you messing with me?") --Fsojic (talk) 16:37, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

We have it at mess with. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:42, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
Indeed. From which sense in mess does this phrasal verb arise? --Fsojic (talk) 17:00, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
One from the verb section under Etymology 2. I've added two senses copied from Century, but MWOnline has several more, though mostly they are with particles up, around, and with. DCDuring TALK 01:40, 27 May 2014 (UTC)


Doesn't it have any sexual connotation at all? --Fsojic (talk) 16:59, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

I think in old-fashioned slang it used to mean "prostitute" or "slut", a meaning now preserved almost only in son of a bitch, which is intended to impugn the chastity, rather than the personality, of the mother of the person receiving that appellation. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:17, 26 May 2014 (UTC)
It could also be argued that SOB is an indirect way of calling someone a dog. Chuck Entz (talk) 00:14, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

I should think so in modern slang, yes.-- 22:32, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

Etymology added at son of a bitch for perspective Leasnam (talk) 00:34, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

synapses pronunciation

synapses should have a pronunciation section- is it synapsiz or synapseez?

It's /ˈsɪnæpsɪz/ as the plural of synapse and /sɪˈnæpsiːz/ as the plural of synapsis. I'll add that info now if my stupid Internet connection will let me. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:06, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

hard bark

Anyone know if this idiom is widely understood and what exactly it means? From the film No Country for Old Men (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0477348/quotes):

  • El Paso Sheriff: Yea all that over at the Eagle Hotel? Huh, it's beyond everything.
  • Ed Tom Bell: Yea. Got some hard bark on him.
  • El Paso Sheriff: Well... , well that don't hardly say it. He shoots the desk clerk one day, walks right back in the next and shoots a retired army colonel.

From the above I would guess it's something like being thick-skinned or cold-blooded. Another quote from a western implies it's something closer to having a lot of gall (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0061770/quotes):

  • Grimes: Mister, you've got alot of hard bark on you walkin' down here like this. Now, I owe you. You put two holes in me.
  • John Russell: Usually enough for most of 'em.

Nearwater (talk) 05:48, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

I don't really think it is an idiom. I would view it as a live metaphor, but then I live very close to, and for some hours a day in, a well-treed park.
The meaning, judging from the component words and the context, is pretty clear: gall.
For anyone who doesn't spend all of his time in a treeless environment, the metaphor seems to me to be from the idea of the hard bark being some kind of strong protection against all possible opponents or adversity. DCDuring TALK 01:07, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

Origin of 'turnover' to mean 'revenue'?

If you think about it this is a really strange word for this concept and I can't find anywhere an explanation for why "turnover" is used to mean "money taken in by a business" – there is nothing specifically that gets flipped over as far as I can tell. —This comment was unsigned.

Don't remain focused on only the most literal possible reading of a word with as many extended meanings as turn#Verb or even turn over. Arguably what is "turned over" (ultimately into cash) in a business are its assets.
But I, too, found it a bit strange at first.
The word turnover in business is also applied to working capital and its components, such as inventory. For these assets turnover refers to the number of times the asset is converted to another asset (eg, accounts receivable and cash for inventory) in a time period, traditionally almost always a year. One can say that a business turns over its inventory 3.1 times a year. The idea is that there is a recurring cycle of such conversions, hence the idea of turning over.
I think the use of turnover to mean "revenue" (which itself derives from French and Latin words meaning "come back", "return", also suggesting a cycle) is just the idea that revenue/turnover is what comes back to the business from its application of all of its assets (property, cash, etc) over a period of time. DCDuring TALK 23:22, 27 May 2014 (UTC)


According to our article, dysbiosis seems to have a credible origin in Greek. But is that enough to qualify it to appear here?

In general, how important to Wiktionary is it whether a term is actually in use?

Thank you, CBHA (talk) 00:41, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

Very important. Fortunately, dysbiosis is indeed in actual use: see Google Books. —RuakhTALK 01:10, 28 May 2014 (UTC)
Thank you Ruakh. CBHA (talk) 01:26, 28 May 2014 (UTC)

French pris(e) > English prize

Where did the "z" come from? Why don't the other words have "z"? (The other words = enterprise, surprise, ...) (Forgive my English)--kc_kennylau (talk) 07:16, 29 May 2014 (UTC)

The z probably arose from the conscious effort made to differentiate prize from price. Curious thing though, but enterprize and surprize are both alternate/variant forms of these words. Leasnam (talk) 04:01, 30 May 2014 (UTC)

Just thought you might want to add Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream to the quotations: "The starry welkin cover thou anon/With drooping fog as black as Acheron" (3.2.356-57).


The term "photoplay" seems to exist in modern legal jargon, similar to definition number three. I'm currently watching a 1997 episode of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys (And Fancy Free), whose credits end (as many TV series do), with this line:

The characters and events depicted in this photoplay are fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

In this context, it's referring to an originally written television episode, not an adaption of a theatrical play nor a term for a theatrical motion picture.-- 00:52, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

I've generalized the last sense. In the most general sense, motion picture does include a TV episode, but someone might want to rephrase that.--Prosfilaes (talk) 01:13, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

Aussprache des Worts malte

Is the /a/ there long or short? --kc_kennylau (talk) 12:33, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

It's long. malen and mahlen are homophones, and as such the rhymes entry is wrong. -- Liliana 12:45, 31 May 2014 (UTC)
However, the boy's name Malte does have a short /a/. I've added a pronunciation section to both malte and Malte. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:40, 31 May 2014 (UTC)

Is there a verb : to minge ?

…probably with a meaning like "to minimize", comparable to adjective "mingy" that according to LEO shares meaning with "puny" ? My hardware dictionary (Langenscheidt) has not heard of it, LEO has no such entry, and I have no access to m-w.com nor OED.
I just heard Tim Wonnacott say that on BBC's Bargain Hunt. Sadly it can only be accessed online from UK-IPs, and I did not get to seeing it by using a proxy - maybe my outdated browser, maybe just me being thick.
It is maybe 40 to 45 min. into the show : the auctioneer examining the bought items, and Tim Wonnacott explaining to the auctioneer and the audience, that since the teapot in question was damaged during transport to the auction they are going to count it as if it sold for the auctioneer's high estimate for an uncracked specimen, biecause they would not want to appear trying to "minge" that team's profits. (maybe he used the form "mingeing"). The episode is online here. Now did I totally mishear, or is Tim Wonnacott known for inventing words now and then, or does the word actually exist ? And if the latter, is it (still) in use, or at least will it be understood within context ? Thanks. Fiiiisch! (talk) 12:51, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

It's not a verb: he said (around 48'10), "I'd rather do that than be mingy." Equinox 13:04, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
Ah, OK, thank you. Combined with some other incidences lately, I may really need to have my hearing tested. :( darn. Fiiiisch! (talk) 14:23, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
There actually is a verb: minge, which is a dialectal variant of ming though unrelated to the above. Leasnam (talk) 01:25, 3 June 2014 (UTC)
... and there's another obsolete one from post-classical Latin mingere (to urinate). I suspect that this is the true etymology of the British adjective mingy (hard g) (no entry?) from minging (why do we claim Scots?), but I've no proof. Dbfirs 08:41, 5 June 2014 (UTC)


Isn't the 3rd definition in wiktionary overly narrow?

  • wiktionary: A person who arranges immunity for defendants by tampering with the justice system via bribery or extortion, especially as a business endeavor for profit.
  • oxforddictionaries.com: A person who makes arrangements for other people, especially of an illicit or devious kind.
  • merriam-webster: a person who intervenes to enable someone to circumvent the law or obtain a political favor

Nearwater (talk) 16:53, 5 June 2014 (UTC)

June 2014


Latin is an obsolete language, thus I don't think the "archaic" tag makes much sense. --WikiTiki89 23:06, 1 June 2014 (UTC)

How about pre-Classical? — Ungoliant (falai) 23:21, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
If that is what was meant, then sure. The problem is it is not clear (at least to me) what was meant. --WikiTiki89 23:29, 1 June 2014 (UTC)
This might even be Old Latin, which we now consider a separate language (itc-ola). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:56, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

Also: Category:Latin archaic terms, Category:Latin archaic forms, Category:Latin terms with archaic senses, Category:Latin terms with obsolete senses. --WikiTiki89 14:05, 3 June 2014 (UTC)

deperdits - found the Paley quote

I just came across "deperdits" while reading Paley. I looked it up and landed here, where the wiki page was asking for a quote from Paley! I am not sure of the syntax for editing the page, so I will copy the quote here and ask someone to fix it.

"...we might have nations of human beings without nails upon their fingers, with more or fewer fingers and toes than ten... No reason can be given why, if these deperdits ever existed, they have now disappeared."

Paley, Natural Theology, Ch. 5, objection #4 https://archive.org/stream/naturaltheology00pale#page/n15/mode/2up

It's a very interesting quote, because it poses the question that Darwin's idea of Natural Selection answers. —This comment was unsigned.

Yes check.svg Done Added. Thanks. Equinox 17:27, 3 June 2014 (UTC)


The definition of katabasis includes "a trip from the interior of a country to the coast." But katabasis is given as an antonym for anabasis, and the most common use of this word is for Xenophon's work describing of a trip from the interior of the area we now call the Middle East to the coast of the Black Sea (at Trapezus [Trebizond], if I remember correctly). There seems to be a disconnect here. —This unsigned comment was added by Mzthguy (talkcontribs).

Anababasis in the title of the work refers to the first part of the trip—from Sardis into Babylonia. After defeat in Babylonia it was a katabasis, through Armenia to the coast of the Black Sea. --Vahag (talk) 22:38, 3 June 2014 (UTC)


I was looking up the Latin form 'foret' and it only gave me 'third-person singular present active subjunctive of forō', which I assume is there automatically, since it is a regular inflection of that word. However, in the text I'm translating (Ilias Latina), and probably a lot more frequently, it is a actually third-person singular imperfect active subjunctive of sum, which can only be found in the entry 'fore', and there only in the Etymology section ('old Latin has alternate present and imperfect subjunctive forms fuam and forem (for classical sim and essem)'). I didn't want to change anything, since I don't know whether there is any standard way of adding alternate or archaic forms to the standard inflections, and I don't know whether it's standard policy not to list such forms. If it isn't, however, someone who knows how to do it might want to change it. Sorry for weird sentences, English isn't my first language.

We actually treat Old Latin as a separate language from Latin (just as we treat Old English as a separate language from English, although there the differences are much greater than between Old Latin and Classical Latin), and our coverage of Old Latin is minimal at the moment. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:23, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
So the correct way of doing it would be adding an entry for Old Latin sum and then somehow adding alternate forms for that entry? — Blarkh (talk) 10:29, 4 June 2014 (UTC)


I'm pretty sure that this is 1st person singular PRESENT active subjunctive, not future active subjunctive.

Actually it should be both present active subjunctive and future active indicative. --Blarkh (talk) 12:52, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
Fixed. I just said "future" rather than "future indicative" since the future tense is always indicative in Latin. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:38, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

pussy-puller, pull some pussy

I'm not sure what these locutions mean. What sense of pull is used here? It seems close to 6, but when I read this from Urban Dictionary ("I can pull pussy from my GIRLFRIEND, not nasty hookers.") I don't know if it applies perfectly. --Fsojic (talk) 21:27, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

Perhaps sense 4? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:42, 4 June 2014 (UTC)
I read it as simply "get, obtain". Checking MWOnline shows that among the 28 senses that it has for pull (verb), none of which is restricted by region or register, are "extract" and "obtain, secure". The other subsenses with "extract" are more or less concrete, so "obtain, secure" would seem the closest, which fits my reading. DCDuring TALK 23:32, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

not know that

Would it be possible to mention somewhere the type of construction seen here or here? --Fsojic (talk) 23:05, 6 June 2014 (UTC)

If we had an appendix on w:Epistemic modality, especially w:Evidentiality, I would suggest a redirect to it. But I don't know that we will ever have such an appendix and I doubt that a redirect to the wikipedia article would be a sufficient service to Wiktionary users. A lexical entry using both {{&lit}} and {{n-g}} (non-gloss def.) that resembled Oxford's seems appropriate. Alternatively we could redirect to a suitable usage note at know#Verb or an appropriate sense of know.
Further, if this type of modal expression is not SoP entirely, isn't its use to express doubt limited to its use in the first person, almost always singular, but possibly plural. DCDuring TALK 23:25, 6 June 2014 (UTC)


I wonder what the proper noun is used to mean in Indian English. Are there any ideas about that? Is it related to Andhra Pradesh? --Lo Ximiendo (talk) 18:48, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

Seemandhra = సీమాంధ్ర (sīmāmdhra) in Telugu, from సీమ + ఆంధ్ర (Andhra region). Even though it is a Telugu state, the name Andhra Pradesh is Sanskrit, meaning Andhra country, country of the Andhra tribe. Seemandhra means Andhra region. —Stephen (Talk) 18:06, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
TY for answering, Stephen. --Lo Ximiendo (talk) 01:17, 2 July 2014 (UTC)


Someone told me that pushi means cat in Papiamento. There is no WT:RE:pap so this was the best place I could think of. Renard Migrant (talk) 20:18, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done. — Ungoliant (falai) 22:47, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

just so you know

Worth an entry? --Fsojic (talk) 22:29, 8 June 2014 (UTC)

As much as many. DCDuring TALK 01:00, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
I don't think so. --WikiTiki89 13:54, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
  • I don't think so either. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:47, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

humble abode

Surprised this was deleted. Any chance we can rethink this? (BTW it has an excellent translation in Chinese - 蝸居). ---> Tooironic (talk) 00:02, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

See the brief RfD discussion. DCDuring TALK 12:25, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
Where should we put translations for this then? —CodeCat 13:02, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
At abode, perhaps? This feels awfully SOP to me. It's a cliché, but not an idiom. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:47, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
But that's the problem with these kinds of fixed phrases. The translation of the phrase may not be the same as the translation of each part. In Dutch, the translation is nederig stulpje, but it's not at all obvious from any information that's currently on Wiktionary. It's also not obvious where it would be placed. Certainly putting it as a derived term of nederig and stulp is not going to help anyone looking for a translation of humble abode. I therefore continue to believe that English fixed phrases should have entries with transliteration tables, even if they consist of words that can be understood individually in context. —CodeCat 14:55, 9 June 2014 (UTC)
This exists in a grey area. It has a stronger claim of idiomaticity than a set phrase like "take a photograph", IMO, and it has a very different register / connotative meaning (it's informal) than "abode" has outside this phrase (it's obsolete / literary). On the other hand, it is possible to understand the denotative meaning of the phrase from [[humble]] and [[abode]]. The translations are similarly grey: nederig stulpje and bescheidene Hütte are just "humble [word for a kind of abode]", not really anything counter-intuitive enough that I would think [[humble abode]] needed to exist as a translation target. On a technical note, the standard place to request undeletion of things is WT:RFD (but I personally don't mind one way or the other, if we move this discussion or keep having it here). - -sche (discuss) 16:28, 9 June 2014 (UTC)

Ferris Wheel

No etymology given. —This unsigned comment was added by JohnWheater (talkcontribs).

We have got {{rfe}} for that. Keφr 09:20, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
The Ferris wheel was named after its designer, engineer George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr., in 1893 at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago. —Stephen (Talk) 18:45, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done Equinox 18:53, 11 June 2014 (UTC)


In "usage notes" for the Russian word тоже it says: "The word тоже (tože) can only be used when two different subjects share the same verb" - but I have seen many examples of it being used with two objects that share the same verb and subject: ("я хочу сок, воду... и пиво я тоже хочу"). Could someone with better knowledge of Russian clear this up? - Ryan White (talk) 19:44, 11 June 2014 (UTC)

I think that usage note is complete bogus. The real difference between тоже (tože) and также (takže) is that the former means "also/too/as well" and the latter means "likewise/in a similar manner". --WikiTiki89 21:56, 11 June 2014 (UTC)
There is no real difference between то́же (tóže) and та́кже (tákže). The former is more common and they have different etymologies - то́же (tóže): то́ же (tó že) (the same object, neutral), та́кже (tákže): та́к же (ták že) ("likewise, in a similar manner"), cognate with Polish także and Ukrainian тако́ж (takóž) with the same meaning. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 23:37, 11 June 2014 (UTC)

(the) other man

Surprised we don't have this since we already have (the) other woman. ---> Tooironic (talk) 00:34, 13 June 2014 (UTC)

Why don't you make it? --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 00:48, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
I don't think either of them are idiomatic, and additionally I have never heard the male version. --WikiTiki89 12:29, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
other woman is definitely idiomatic, and other man is probably attestable though rather rarer. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:09, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
Of course they're idiomatic. And "the other man" should be attestable on Google Books, though obviously not as common. ---> Tooironic (talk) 23:54, 13 June 2014 (UTC)
Added, attested from three titles, all of them found on WP. Choor monster (talk) 13:13, 25 June 2014 (UTC)


There's something about this word that we don't adequately cover (and it might possibly be specific to Britain), as in: "The exam sounds hard, but read such-and-such a book and you're laughing [i.e. in an advantageous position]." It only occurs in the -ing form so it is rather tempting to add it as an adjective, but then it also only occurs predicatively (never attributively); can we usefully document it, and how? Equinox 20:42, 14 June 2014 (UTC)

  • The lemma should be and you're laughing (and it is most definitely British or Commonwealth, and not really very old). I would suggest the phrase means something like "(after carrying out some operation) there will be no problems and everything will work to your advantage". SemperBlotto (talk) 09:24, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
    I don't see how the pronoun can be part of the lemma as other pronouns can work. It seems like progressive/continuative aspect. It could also be used with the present tense, at least the "historical present" and with a kind of "irrealis" in which someone is talking about an imagined situation. I could also imagine the futue progressive. I would put it at laugh, say that it was "usually" in the continuative, progressive form and "usually" UK/Commonwealth. Usage examples and sense-specific redirects might be appropriate from some of the particularly common forms. DCDuring TALK 17:23, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
Is this derived from laugh all the way to the bank or the source of it? DCDuring TALK 17:27, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

fuck you

On the talk page, an IP raises the IMO valid point that senses 1-3 all seem to mean the same thing and could be merged into sense 2. - -sche (discuss) 21:05, 14 June 2014 (UTC)

Absolutely. The interjection has very little intrinsic meaning beyond a very strong rejection of the person being spoken to. The shades of meaning all come from the context. It would be like breaking ow up into senses for "stop it, you're hurting me!", "I just stepped on something", and "touché- that argument hit home". Chuck Entz (talk) 22:09, 14 June 2014 (UTC)
Definitely merge 1 and 3. Perhaps 2 as well. Equinox 00:12, 15 June 2014 (UTC)


Funny that Chuck would mention "ow" (in the previous section), since we do split a number of senses of "ouch". I don't mind that, except that I don't think the last sense, "expressing surprise at a high price", is actually limited to the Commonwealth. Even Americans would say "ouch, that's almost enough to buy a house" if told a car cost 100 000 dollars, wouldn't they? - -sche (discuss) 02:26, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
It seems like a Borgesian listing of definitions. IMO 3, 4, and 5 should be combined. They are not a mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive list of all virtual or metaphorical pains or causes of virtual pain. Nor do they even span the range of possibilities. Sense 2 should include sympathetic reaction to another's virtual or metaphorical pain. DCDuring TALK 03:55, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
I would merge all five. --WikiTiki89 07:05, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
"An expression of pain caused by an (emotional or physical) injury, insult, disappointment or shock, or by sympathy for another's pain."? Hmm, that fits all of the current senses under its roof. It does seem a bit broad as a result. OTOH, other dictionaries only have one sense: oxforddictionaries.com "used to express pain", Merriam Webster "sudden pain", Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary "sudden pain", dictionary.com "sudden pain or dismay". - -sche (discuss) 15:21, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
The use of ouch to express sympathy seems to be a use that other dictionaries miss and that is different in kind from a use relating to one's own pain, whether physical or not. The same sound is used to both elicit and express sympathy. It seems as distinct as hello as a greeting and hello to draw attention to a surprise affecting another person. It is a kind of speech act which merits mention as much as the various loving differentiation we lavish or tolerate in other terms.
BTW, it looks as if ouch#Noun and ouch#Verb, both in this etymology, are attestable. DCDuring TALK 18:39, 15 June 2014 (UTC)

Nauruan definition

For the Nauruan word nga, English wiktionary lists the definition "I, me", whereas the Nauruan Wiktionary seems to indicate that the word means "moon". Are both definitions correct? Orthogonal (talk) 22:35, 14 June 2014 (UTC)

To confuse things more, there's this article at Nauruan Wiktionary Wikipedia, as well as the Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Database, that say the word for moon is maraman, which doesn't seem to be from the Proto=Oceanic root (*pulan) common to related languages. There is a Proto-Oceanic root *ŋau for I that shows up as ŋa for many of the Oceanic languages in Blust's Austronesian Comparative Dictionary, so our definition is at least plausible, though the Austronesian Basic Vocabulary Database gives a and aŋa. Chuck Entz (talk) 00:34, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
Whereas, if nga meant "moon", it would also (like maraman) seem to be a loanword, taken like nga#Vietnamese from Chinese.
This fellow on na.WP has tables of pronouns, said to be based on "Kayser’s Nauruan Grammar and other written sources", which have "nanga~naña" / "a~A" as the first person singular. Lisa M Johnson's Firstness of Secondness in Nauruan Morphology has some examples of Nauruan pronouns in sentences, including
  • a pudun
    1sing fall+Vn
    I fell
    a nuwawen
    1pers.sing. go+Vn
    I did go. (I left.)
    a kaiotien aem
    [1pers.sing.] [hear+Vn] [your words]
    I hear what you said.
    a nan imoren
    1pers.sing. FUT health+Vn
    I shall be cured (get better).
... which doesn't get us closer to determining what "nga" means, per se, but it confirms that "a" is a first-person pronoun.
- -sche (discuss) 02:04, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
FWIW, the simple expedient of searching google books:Nauruan nga moon turns up nothing, while google books:Nauruan nga pronoun turns up
  • 1978, Pacific Linguistics, issues 1-2 / 61, page 1081:
    [...] represent an early fusion of an 'emphatic' absolute pronoun prefix *ng(a) to a pre-PMC *a|. This prefix is found on all absolute pronouns in Gilbertese and on a set of emphatic/Subject proouns in Nauruan (a language not otherwise considered in this study). It might be noted that NAU ng- prefixes to all emphatic pronouns in that lanuage except anga 'I (absolute and emphatic/subject)'. Gilbertese ngngai 'I (absolute)' [...]
...while this confirms that "moon" is maraman. I'd say just move the content which is current at nga to a. - -sche (discuss) 02:17, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
It turns out that maraman has a perfectly respectable Proto-Oceanic pedigree: it comes from the root *ma-ramaR meaning "shine, shining, bright", which has a strong tendency to be substituted for the other root I mentioned above as a word for the moon: in Proto-Nuclear-Micronesian (*rama, *ma-rama), and even Hawaiian malama. I find it curious that the Austronesian Comparative Dictionary has only three Nauruan words, and the Micronesian Comparative Dictionary carefully avoids Nauruan altogether- even though Nauruan is generally classified as a Micronesian language. Apparently, Nauruan doesn't play well with comparativists...
At any rate, the answer to the OP's question: "Are both definitions correct?" would seem to be "no, neither is", except when a prefix is added to the real first-person pronoun, a. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:10, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
Okay, thanks! As per the suggestions, I've removed the definition from nga and added it to a.Orthogonal (talk) 03:14, 15 June 2014 (UTC)
Both nga and a appear to mean "I" in Nauruan. Don't think a hypothetical Nauruan nga ("moon") could have come from Chinese via Vietnamese (V. nga); if that is the case, one might as well argue for a Sino-Tibetan origin of Nauruan nga ("I") (V. ngã)... Wyang (talk) 00:30, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
The Nauruan Wiktionary entry is probably wrong. The same edit that added moon as its English translation added the Spanish translation lua, but that’s Portuguese. The IP is confusing languages. — Ungoliant (falai) 00:52, 18 June 2014 (UTC)

bring oneself to sth

Worth an entry? --Fsojic (talk) 12:42, 16 June 2014 (UTC)

Do you have usage examples? I think what you mean is bring oneself to do something: I can’t bring myself to break up with her. She could not bring herself to sell her dog. —Stephen (Talk) 14:30, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
Yes, I should have added "do". So, do you think "bring oneself to do sth" is idiomatic? --Fsojic (talk) 15:41, 19 June 2014 (UTC)
In my opinion, it is idiomatic. —Stephen (Talk) 15:48, 19 June 2014 (UTC)
I agree. —Mr. Granger (talkcontribs) 21:16, 19 June 2014 (UTC)
Me too, and it isn't covered by any current sense of bring as far as I can tell. But the lemma should be bring oneself to, without "do". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:23, 19 June 2014 (UTC)

am I right?

We have an entry for the rhetorical question "am I right or am I right". A plain "am I right" is also used as a rhetorical question. Is that worth a separate entry? Choor monster (talk) 14:17, 17 June 2014 (UTC)

I created "am I right or am I right" because "or" isn't generally used this way; it's humorous and unusual. "Am I right?" seems transparent in meaning to me. Equinox 17:31, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
I feel like it's actually a snowclone. You can say "Am I awesome or am I awesome?" --WikiTiki89 19:19, 17 June 2014 (UTC)
The rhetorical version is also humorous, if less unusual. Certainly if you google for "am I right" you will get endless examples that are ordinary questions. As evidence for this distinction, the rhetorical version alone has mutated into amirite. That is, the rhetorical version is inherently funny, worth emphasizing. There's nothing funny with the ordinary version, so nothing to emphasize. Choor monster (talk) 13:23, 18 June 2014 (UTC)
  • I went ahead and created the entry, with one citation from a famous work of literature and one from a famous politician. Choor monster (talk) 13:39, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

Sounding like sonding?

Am I crazy, or is this mistaken? The entry sounding gives separate UK (/ˈsaʊndɪŋ/) and US (/ˈsoʊndɪŋ/) pronunciations. I've never heard that supposed US pronunciation, and I lived in the US for much of my life. I note that sound doesn't have /soʊnd/, so maybe somebody just misunderstood IPA transcription? Cnilep (talk) 07:57, 18 June 2014 (UTC)

Yeah, it's just a mistake. The US line even included enPR: soundʹĭng, which means /ˈsaʊndɪŋ/, so I think someone was thrown off by the "ou" in the enPR transcription. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:36, 18 June 2014 (UTC)

Don't look a gift horse in the mouth.

There are references to the origin of "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth" as being found in the bible. I heard it also said to be from the Trojan horse story. It goes like this: The wooden horse was looked upon as a suspicious gift. Soldiers climbed a ladder to see inside its mouth and saw nothing to concern them. So: Don't look a gift horse in the mouth...look in it's belly. Jake Schur--Viboraojo (talk) 15:23, 20 June 2014 (UTC)

It's not in the Bible itself, as far as I know, but is said to have appeared in a Latin introduction written later. As for the Trojan Horse derivation: that seems like one of the stories people make up to explain phrases like this- it doesn't match the meaning of the phrase, nor does it seem to fit the story of the Trojan horse. Besides, looking in the mouth of a horse is something one would have done before buying a horse: there's a lot to learn about the horse's age by looking there. The expression makes perfect sense without resorting to questionable stories. Chuck Entz (talk) 22:48, 20 June 2014 (UTC)

Latin spelling

What is correct spelling of Latin words? by this I mean what are the rules of assimilation? because I saw that we have for an example obsideo and opsideo, one is spelled morphologically other phonologically. Are there similar cases and which is correct or at least considered more correct. This is sore interesting, for there are no examples of dual spellings in for example supscripsi or subscribsi, or nubta form nubo but only nupta. This is also seen in words like adpropero and appropero or similar words. So basically what I ask is if there are some principle or rule by someone or somewho that would decide or byput which spelling is more correct for upnow use in modern Latin. 21:51, 20 June 2014 (UTC)


The current entry reads:

dug (plural dugs)

(chiefly in the plural) Mammary gland on domestic mammal containing more than two breasts.
Apparently this has been a bit different in the past. An English-Dutch dictionary from 1648 by Hexham has:
een vrouwe die groote mammen heeft, A woman that hath great Duggs.

Jcwf (talk) 02:40, 22 June 2014 (UTC)

ethnic slurs

Americunt seems to be a good example; it has (slang, offensive, derogatory, ethnic slur). Why not just (ethnic slur), or at least (slang, ethnic slur)? Ethnic slurs is a subcategory of offensive terms, making this improper in categorization terms. As for derogatory and slang, aren't those also clear attributes of ethnic slurs?--Prosfilaes (talk) 10:29, 23 June 2014 (UTC)

I would definitely drop the "derogatory" label from anything that is already labelled a slur, because it's redundant. My inclination would be to keep "offensive", even if it is redundant, to make the offensiveness absolutely clear. (Compare this related thread from a couple of years ago where DCDuring also argued for retaining "offensive" on ethnic slurs.) I don't think "slang" is necessarily redundant; many ethnic slurs are slangy, but something like sense 1 of nigger was historically found even in legal, medical and scientific documents, and so doesn't seem to be "slang" even though it is an ethnic slur (whereas, something like "pizza nigger" for "Italian" is slangy). As to Americunt, is that even an ethnic slur? Our definition doesn't say it's restricted to any particular ethnicity. - -sche (discuss) 13:54, 23 June 2014 (UTC)
I think I tend to interpret "derogatory" as how the speaker intends it, and "offensive" as how the speaker listener interprets it. Since what is offensive to whom, when spoken by whom (see e.g. the reclamation of "nigga" by black gangsta rappers, and "faggot" by some gay people), is very variable, I suppose it will take a lot of thinking to do this properly, if it's even possible. Equinox 20:22, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
I assume you mean "[...] 'offensive' as the hearer interprets it." As DCDuring commented a couple years ago about 'pejorative', is there any derogatory term for people that isn't offensive to some people? (And is there any offensive term for people which is never used derogatorily?) If not, then "derogatory" seems unnecessary when "offensive" is present. And anyway, "derogatory" is redundant to "slur", so I maintain that "derogatory" can be dropped when "ethnic slur" is present. - -sche (discuss) 20:37, 24 June 2014 (UTC)
Wigger? Hinjew? Choor monster (talk) 12:51, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

crow's foot versus crow's feet

I added a citation from Jane Austen of crow's foot used in the singular to denote a wrinkle next to the eye. The OED cites two other singular instances. I'm not sure how the two entries should be synchronized: a simple crow's feet is the plural of crow's foot, all senses, or the plural's wrinkle sense left in place. Certainly the plural-only tag needs revision. Choor monster (talk) 12:35, 23 June 2014 (UTC)

body part

The current definition suggests that anything that is in the body, at least as a functional element of it, is a body part. Does this mean that things like blood, stomach acid, cells, DNA etc are also body parts? If not, then what term includes these? —CodeCat 23:22, 23 June 2014 (UTC)

I would say that things like blood, stomach acid, and DNA would not be considered 'body parts' albeit they are technically "parts" of the "body". Body parts encompass things like limbs (arms and legs), head, midriff, genitals, etc. and perhaps, in certain contexts, major internal organs (heart, liver, entrails, etc.) Leasnam (talk) 00:11, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
How would you incorporate such a distinction into a definition? DTLHS (talk) 00:45, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
sections or segments which make up the body, usually including bones, muscles, and organs? Leasnam (talk) 01:04, 25 June 2014 (UTC)


Can someone define steropoeic for me?

I think it may be a medical term from the context; the lady scientist is offering herself as a bribe for the technician's silence:

Tech: I felt my face relax in a brief smile.
Her eyes narrowed."Who (are) you going to tell?"
Tech: "Nobody , I guess I was ... reconsidering your offer." My own snicker sounded nervous.
Christie's face darkened and her eyes fell, clouding over with anger. Then she said,"I ... I'm not steropoeic."
Tech: Not ... I suddenly realize the magnitude of her bribe, what it might've cost her to make the offer.

Thank you PeteBB <email redacted> Include "Wiktionary" in the heading of Email.

This long thread wanders past several theories (including that it derives from the name of Sterope, a woman in Greek mythology who had sex, and thus that a woman who is not steropoeic is a virgin) before reaching the conclusion that "Having now read the story in full, I think "steropoeic" must mean 'making sterile'." At one point in the story, a woman is said to have a red dot indicating a "steropoeic implant" which makes her sterile. Being not steropoeic, this woman is potentially fertile. (And the technician apparently wants to have kids.) In any case, the word seems to have been made up by the author. - -sche (discuss) 05:54, 25 June 2014 (UTC)


Shouldn't the meanings of 'excessive talk' and 'excessive activity, trouble' be uncoupled in palaver? The word is sometimes used to describe activities that may proceed with no talk at all, as in this article:

"Nevertheless, male astronauts are still expected to leave their bus, unzip their suits and urinate on the back right hand tyre. Suit technicians then have to redo the palaver of zipping them all up again." (See also this definition).

--CopperKettle (talk) 08:34, 25 June 2014 (UTC)

They certainly are different. But I am not familiar with the talk-free use — not that I don't believe Longman's. DCDuring TALK 17:09, 25 June 2014 (UTC)
I also was surprised to see it used in this way in the article quoted above. But then scanned Google Books, Google News, and it seems it is used in a non-talk-related fashion sometimes. --CopperKettle (talk) 02:05, 26 June 2014 (UTC)
My understanding of "what a palaver!" is "what a lot of chaotic and mostly pointless effort!". Whether or not speech is involved, it makes me think of a lot of people going to a great deal of effort, which may or may not be relevant or useful, all at once, and mostly at cross purposes. A complicated mess.
  • 1986, Mohinder Singh Randhawa: Indian Paintings: Exploration, Research, and Publications [3] p.317
    I shall mail them to you at your camp office in Chandigarh, as I know what a palaver mail-delivery is out at the Garden House, and if I send them to you by name at your camp office, delivery should be prompter and safer.
  • 1999, Marc Millon, Creative Content for the Web [4] p.49
    But what a palaver, what an adventure just to get what TV can already deliver so effortlessly.
  • 2007, Javier Mar-As: Dance and Dream [5] p.107
    'What a palaver,' I thought, 'what a lot of minor complications, we men have it much easier'
  • 2009, Jack Dee: Thanks For Nothing [6] p.196
    What a palaver it was, poncing around with scones and Sachertorte.
--Catsidhe (verba, facta) 07:38, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

غسل کردن

What's the actual language of this "English" verb : غسل کردن ? Lmaltier (talk) 20:49, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

I think it's Persian. کردن is "to do" and غسل is Arabic for "washing" but could easily be a loanword in Persian. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:57, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

“slob” as a verb

The current definition of “slob” includes only the noun interpretation (“a slovenly person”). However, is its use as a verb, meaning “to be lazy/slovenly”, commonly accepted? I use it, partially influenced by the early series of w:Red Dwarf, where Rimmer frequently uses “slob” as both a noun and a verb (and also a noun derived from the verb, meaning “a session of slobbing”). People seem to understand. N4m3 (talk) 21:16, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

as a verb I've pretty much only ever heard it to mean slobber on, and only in a sexual connotation, as in "slob my knob" Leasnam (talk) 02:53, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
I've mostly heard it as the phrasal verb slob up, as in "don't slob up the living room- I just cleaned it". Chuck Entz (talk) 04:30, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
Okay, it looks unlikely that any description is widely accepted. But anyway, here's a use of the sense I'm talking about: q:Red_Dwarf#Future_Echoes (1988). Minor insults don't usually make it onto Wikiquote, but this one has. N4m3 (talk) 19:54, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
  • I'm a speaker of American English who hasn't seen much Red Dwarf, and I've heard "to slob about" from time to time. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 20:32, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
    I've never heard "to slob about", but it sounds natural and I can easily picture someone saying that; and its meaning is transparent to me. --WikiTiki89 21:06, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

Spelling variants "Souf Effrikan", etc for "South African"

It seems in various online forums I've seen "Souf Effrikan", "Souf Effriken", etc. and similar variants used as English imitations of phonologizing either Afrikaans or South African-English pronunciations of the country/nationality. Is there any good way to add these variants to en.wiktionary? MatthewVanitas (talk) 04:21, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

Yes, we can give them entries, if they're in actual use — perhaps with an "eye dialect" gloss. Compare Strine, New Zild, Engerland. Equinox 13:40, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

other sense to haiduc

I think there might be another sense to haiduc. That's because it seems out of place in Dragostea, as an outlaw (in my opinion) wouldn't normally boast about being one, as the guy in Dragostea evidently seems to, and because a Romanian friend of mine said it means something else, if I remember well "cool" or "good boy", and totally disagreed on the translation as "outlaw" when I asked her to help me understand Dragostea and told her about this translation. I tried the Discussion for that entry, at https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Talk:haiduc, but it seems to have drawn little or no attention, so I'm forced to double the question here. I don't like asking duplicate questions, but if it is necessary to get an answer, well, I do. So could we look into this and add a hypothetically present other sense to the article? Thx. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk).

One of the big differences between us and Wikipedia is that our discussion of terms happens almost entirely in discussion rooms like this one rather than on entries' own talk pages. That's because we have so many entries it's hardly possible for very many people to watchlist them all. So a comment on an entry's talk page may go months or years without being seen be anyone else. So bringing the issue here is the better option. As to your question, I don't know any Romanian, but I don't see anything intrinsically unlikely in someone in a song boasting about being an outlaw. (After all, Johnny Cash boasted about shooting a man in Reno just to watch him die.) —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:10, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
FWIW, the Romanian Wiktionary lists two senses:
  1. om care, răzvrătindu-se împotriva asupririi, își părăsea casa și trăia în păduri, singur sau în cete, jefuind pe bogați și ajutând pe săraci; haramin
    man who, rebelling against opression, left home and lived in the woods, alone or in a group, robbing the rich and helping the poor; haramin
  2. soldat mercenar
    mercenary soldier
- -sche (discuss) 15:28, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

OK. Well, I wouldn't see such a boast as nicely coupled with «primește fericirea» (accept happiness), as I would expect a decent police service to ultimately catch the outlaw and put him in jail, and I really don't see what happiness could derive from a partner in jail. In any case, even abandoning reason 1, there is my Romanian friend. Now she may have partly forgotten her language following her stay in Italy, she may have only known a dialectal variant, but I wouldn't expect a native to look at me with a question mark on her face when I gave her a translation of a Romanian term, which she did, nor to totally deny that translation and offer another one, which she also did. And the other sense seems more fit for boasting about, which is the real reason I ask this question for. The Romanian Wiktionary lists those two senses. Btw what is a haramin? Spanish Wiktionary says "forajido" (outlaw), Malagasy wiktionary has "faraidina", which the French wiktionary translates to "canaille", "rascal". Now "rascal" is definitely not something I would see nice in a boast. Anyway, I think we should investigate this, for the reasons above. And p.s. http://www.servidellagleba.it/~fabbrone/dragostea.html translates "haiduc" to "cavaliere", i.e. "knight", or "gentleman". Which fits in with my friend's explanation. Another translation (http://lyricstranslate.com/it/dragostea-din-tei-amore-sotto-il-tiglio.html) has "fuorilegge" (outlaw). http://musica.excite.it/haiducii-dragostea-din-tei-il-testo-N35747.html has "galantuomo", "gentleman". This (https://it.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081218051552AAEO7m8) may be a duplicate, but still it has "cavaliere" again. So statistically translations of this song disagree with the entry we have here. Also, https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragostea_din_tei seems to suggest "dragostea din tei" may be a set phrase with a different meaning from the literal translation, which is "love from the linden" or "love in the linden". It suggests it might mean "love at first sight". I think this may be an entry to create, also to explain the origin of this expression. See finally here www.dartagnan.ch/article.php?sid=2278, haiduc->knight. MGorrone (talk) 15:34, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

Unrelated to this: when you use initialisms, could you please link to entries explaining them? Today I have seen quite a few initialisms I did not know about, so I would appreciate having a link to an entry that explains them, rather than searching for it myself, hoping to find it directly: at least a link ensures I will find something. FWIW, for example, I just learnt about. Thx. I am not English. MGorrone (talk) 15:38, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

I don’t understand what you mean. The only example you mention is FWIW, and in FWIW there are definitions, and the definitions link to other entries that explain them. —Stephen (Talk) 19:18, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
He/she is asking for people to link the word when they use it in discussion. Equinox 19:33, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

It seems the translations at https://mg.wiktionary.org/wiki/faraidina should be organized into senses, since "ribaldo" and "tapino" are simply semantically unrelated, and the entry at https://mg.wiktionary.org/wiki/haiduc should include a sense distinction if all those translations are right. In any case, whichever sense was meant is not "outlaw" but "rascal" or similar, and not something to boast about at all. Also, the french entry for faraidina should be expanded to include the other senses. Perhaps I should put this in the French Tea Room. It carries more confusion about haiduc, so it is not totally out of place here. In any case, I will put this in the French Tea Room too, maybe they will do something about the french entry for faraidina. And besides, I don't know any Malagasy, so I hope someone who does will read this and edit the mentioned malagasy entries accordingly or bring up the issue in the Malagasy Tea Room. MGorrone (talk) 15:51, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

That is the Malagasy Wiktionary. This is the English Wiktionary. We at the English Wiktionary do not have any input or influence over the Malagasy Wiktionary. If you have questions for the Malagasy Wiktionary, you have to bring them up with the Malagasy editors on that Wiktionary. —Stephen (Talk) 19:18, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
Comment: take a look at the senses the English word hajduk has. Do any of them fit? I think it's entirely plausible that haiduc would have some of the same senses. - -sche (discuss) 19:20, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

@Stephen G. Brown: I see no reason whatsoever to assume the intersection between the set of editors of the English Wiktionary and that of the editors of the Malagasy one is empty. For example, I myself am an editor both to the English and French Wiktionary, and could be an editor to many more, as long as I knew the languages in which they are written. And I can't bring it up there because I suppose that would require writing in Malagasy which is completely unknown to me. In any case let's drop this discussion.

@-sche:, the last two senses seem to be somewhat close to what I remember my Romanian friend telling me about the meaning of "haiduc", but they would require an extension to adapt them to a modern song, because they both refer to historical realities that now – as far as I know – do not exist any longer. Somewhat like "cavaliere" in Italian, which from "knight" has come to mean "gentleman".

P.S. How do I "tag" users to notify them of my edit when it is addresed to something they previously wrote? MGorrone (talk) 21:04, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

Simply wikilinking to their username in a signed edit should work: User:MGorrone, though a lot of people are using the {{ping}} template, so {{ping|MGorrone}} produces @MGorrone:. I monitor the discussion forums pretty closely, so pinging me is pretty much useless, but others may appreciate it. Chuck Entz (talk) 21:44, 27 June 2014 (UTC)

Thanks for the tip Chuck. Anyway bringing up the Malagasy issue now makes more sense, as the translation given for haiduc is faraidina. See here: http://malagasyword.org/bins/teny2/faraidina. So "the poorest rank of people", huh? Nothing to do with "outlaw", or with "canaille" in any case. Which makes me wonder what "haiduc" actually means. Now Google translates it to "outlaw", and gives back-translations "haiduc, exilat, surghiunit" for "outlaw". So either haiduc has many meanings, or the Malagasy wiktionary is COMPLETELY wrong. MGorrone (talk) 09:41, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

The Malagasy Wiktionary is almost entirely bot-generated. I wouldn't believe anything I saw there, as little or none of it has been vetted by native Malagasy speakers. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:16, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

I asked my Romanian friend just now and she said «Normalmente haiduc significa un uomo che vive nelle montagne ma in quella canzone non ha un significato sono solo parole buttate lì» (Normally haiduc means a man who lives in the mountains but in that song [i.e. Dragostea] it doesn't have a meaning they're just words thrown there). For the meaning in Dragostea I guess I'll have to ask another friend :). However «man living in the mountains» matches none of the senses I have found, not directly, we have at least to suppose that historically there were outlaws who lived there, got that name, and then there was an extension of the meaning of haiduc to "outlaw". Could you enlighten me on that point? I'm ignorant in History, let alone that of Romania which is neither an important country in History nor my country. MGorrone (talk) 12:02, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

limited company vs. limited liability company

The way our entries for these two terms are formulated leads a reader to believe that they are not quite the same thing. The definitions do not explain the difference, however - if there's any. Also Wikipedia has separate articles for them but they are not very clear either. My understanding of this is that "limited company" is chiefly a British term which covers "public limited companies", called "corporations" in the US, and "private limited companies", called "limited liability companies" in the US. Is this correct? If it is, what is the US term corresponding to "limited company". --Hekaheka (talk) 06:43, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

Generally speaking, the US equivalent is a corporation. Equinox 12:20, 30 June 2014 (UTC)
To expand on that, the reason for this morass is that these forms are dictated by state law in the U.S. You might be surprised that, despite corporations having different federal tax liabilities in the U.S., there is no federal statute governing the form of corporations. This is unlike the UK which has generally had a national Companies Act. A "corporation" in Alabama will have very different shareholder obligations and structural limitations from one in Massachusetts. It is correct that "corporation" is very similar to "limited company", but entities correctly labeled as such will have certain specific characteristics dictated by their nation of origin.
As for the limited liability company, that is a U.S. innovation that is different from a corporation in that it strips away most of the safeguards required by corporations, such as a shareholder-elected board of directors, minimum notification periods before undergoing a substantial change, and legally enforceable duties against director self-dealing. Of course, an LLC can choose to impose such things on itself, but generally speaking state laws do not require them to. bd2412 T 12:31, 30 June 2014 (UTC)

July 2014

how's that for

Is how's that for and adverb? --Type56op9 (talk) 09:09, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

I see how it could be viewed that way functionally, but "Phrase" seems a better L3 header, though it is a misnomer for the headword, it needing an NP to itself be a phrase. DCDuring TALK 11:29, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

Polish section of minka

I added the Polish section to minka. The declension is wrong because I have little familiarity with templates and wiki markup, so could someone fix it and tell me how to fix it so next time I can do it myself? Also, I have a quotation I found on facebook: «Co taka smutna minka» (what a sad little face). MGorrone (talk) 16:45, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

Take a look at the changes I made. We do not accept Facebook quotations as attestation, but you could probably put it as a usage example (though I think it is not a very good one). Keφr 17:08, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

tool and machine

A hammer is a class three lever

According to the current definitions, these terms mean more or less the same. But that doesn't seem correct. According to Wikipedia, a tool is a specific kind of machine. —CodeCat 19:49, 2 July 2014 (UTC)

No, Wikipedia says, "A machine is a tool containing one or more parts that uses energy to perform an intended action", in other words, a machine is a specific kind of tool. Not all tools are machines. A hammer is a tool, but it's not a machine. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:03, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
A hammer is lever and a lever is a machine (according the scientific definition of machine, which is not the one in common use). --WikiTiki89 20:06, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
I think we're better off defining tool roughly as "something that helps complete a task" and a machine as "something that transfers force". Even though most tools and machines are likely to fit both of those descriptions, it is the implied meaning that matters and not the implied physical properties. --WikiTiki89 20:09, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
How is a hammer a lever? It has no fulcrum. Maybe the hammer together with the arm holding it function as a lever (with the fulcrum at the wrist, elbow, or shoulder), but I don't think the hammer alone is a lever. But it is a tool. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:10, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
The fulcrum is the location where the bottom of your hand is grasping the hammer, and the force is applied at the top of your hand and is thus amplified at the head of the hammer. --WikiTiki89 20:12, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
[I meant a machine is a specific kind of tool; I swapped it accidentally] The lever action is in the length of the hammer and the wrist of the hand holding it, but the lever only serves to increase the velocity of the head of the hammer, and the actual work is then done by the momentum it gains. —CodeCat 21:56, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
There are many levers involved in swinging a hammer, but there is only one that is on the hammer itself, which I drew in the diagram. I agree that the resistance force is none other than the inertia of the hammerhead. --WikiTiki89 14:03, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
For one thing, in probably its most common sense tool refers to something handheld. DCDuring TALK 20:29, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
So a table saw is not a tool? --WikiTiki89 20:33, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
First, I said "in its (probably) most common sense". Second, the various meanings of tool and machine are not disjunctive. Specifically, the abstract sense of tool as "means" clearly applies to machines, table and bench tools, and handheld tools. More specifically, I would expect usage like "the tools [include] ... a table saw ...." to be common, but usage like "table [be] a tool" somewhat less so. I suppose that might mean that a table saw is seen as a member of the class of tools, but is not a central member, typical of that class. DCDuring TALK 21:24, 2 July 2014 (UTC)
An example of a machine that is not a tool might be a machine that does nothing but turn itself off. It does not perform a useful function (which it needs to in order to be called a tool), but it is a machine nonetheless. Similar things might apply to other devices that are purely for "eye candy". —CodeCat 15:55, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
I think that a machine is something that is designed or intended to perform one or more actions on its own. Performing an action requires the use of energy, but there are lots of things that use energy without doing anything, and are not machines. Organisms are like machines, but they're not designed or created for a purpose (theology aside). A hammer's action is strictly that of the one who wields it, so it's not a machine. The same with a hand drill- but not with a power drill. I would call the hand drill a tool or device, but I would also call the power drill a machine. I wouldn't consider a circuit-breaker a machine, though I'm not completely sure why- perhaps because its action is determined solely by the characteristics of the current flowing through it. Chuck Entz (talk) 16:49, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
What about things like bicycles, hand-cranked meat grinders, handcars or even muscle-powered street organs? —CodeCat 17:04, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
@CodeCat: I take it that all this has to do with establishing a set of categories that meets some kind of criteria not here stated. Real-life categories are usually designed or selected to achieve purposes. What purposes are the intended categories to serve. DCDuring TALK 17:35, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz: A machine, such as a sewing machine that is powered by the operator, is nevertheless a machine in common parlance. The central type of machine is a mechanical device that is somewhat complicated in the sense of having multiple moving parts. Interestingly, prime movers (eg, electric motors (possibly with only a single moving part!), gas turbines, and internal combustion engines) are not usually referred to as machines, though by many definitions they are. DCDuring TALK 17:35, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
I think by one possible definition, a machine has moving parts that are not physically a single piece, but use some kind of mechanism for transferring force such as gears or pulleys. That would exclude hand drills which are usually one piece. —CodeCat 17:50, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
Computers are called machines too, and yet they have no visible moving parts. Keφr 17:58, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
No one said the moving parts need to be visible. I think that in common usage, the word machine denotes something too complicated for the average person to understand. Everyone knows how a table saw works (the saw wheel spins and cuts stuff), but most people don't understand what goes on inside a sewing machine. --WikiTiki89 18:03, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
…and those moving parts are inside hard disks (or removable drives), so they are not very significant anyway, definition-wise. So it is not just about visibility. But the "elaborate constructed device" idea I do like. Keφr 18:11, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
Ahem... --WikiTiki89 18:13, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
If you put it that way, then literally everything in the Universe has moving parts. Which makes the "moving part" term quite useless. And do not get me started on relativity and particle-wave duality… Keφr 18:20, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
Take the example of a waterbed. The water and the fancy floaty things inside it move around, but I wouldn't consider them to be "moving parts" because they do not accomplish anything with their movements. In a computer, the electrons are precisely what provides all of the functionality, just the way that levers, gears, and pulleys provide the functionality of a sewing machine. The functionality of a waterbed does not depend on the water moving. --WikiTiki89 19:34, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
So again it comes back to the idea of something that directs and controls movement in order to produce a useful effect. And in physical terms, movement is energy (not necessarily kinetic), so that comes down to manipulating forms of energy. —CodeCat 22:25, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

I've updated the definition at machine to reflect my "conclusion" above. I hope it's an improvement. —CodeCat 21:08, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

How could we show that all the parts of the definition are involved in a given use of the term? That is, is this a testable hypothesis about the way the term is actually used by the population at large? DCDuring TALK 22:19, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

Etymology of Farsi جنگ


Can anyone please tell me the origin of the word 'jang' in Farsi, meaning war? I heard it was from Chinese? Of so, what word and how did that come about? Thank you! Merci!

As far as I know, the origin of جنگ is unknown. I doubt that there is any relationship with Chinese. If Persian borrowed Chinese (zhàn), they would take it as ژان /ʒan/. جنگ is /dʒaŋg/. —Stephen (Talk) 16:25, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

Thanks, Stephen. I did find one source that claims it comes from Sanskit through Hindi and Pashtu, which makes sense, as they are all Indo-European languages. George

question of language

Question of language and respect.

According to Wiki sources, the English language has over 80 000 words which are of French origin, and which constitutes as much as 30% of the total. Yet there is not a remote possibility that the English language will ever be called Frenglish, Franco-English or Franglais.

Yet any argument against the culturally assimilating term Serbo-Croatian falls on deaf ears. And this despite the fact that no country from former Yugoslavia or elsewhere, uses such a designation in its constitution. You may verify if you wish. English versions of the constitutions of Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro are available on-line.

I would invite you to consult the original versions of the following - you may want/need to translate):

1 - Serbian Constitution, article 10, where the official language of Serbia is said to be Serbian using the Cyrillic writing.

2 - Croatian Constitution, article 12, where the official language of Croatia is said to be Croatian, using the Latin writing

3 - Amendment XXIX, to the Constitution Of the Federation of Bosnia & Herzegovina, states that the official languages of the federation are Bosnian, Croatian and Serbian, and both Latin and Cyrillic writing are official.

4 - Constitution of Montenegro, article 9 states that Montenegran is the official language of Montenegro, using ijekavian dialect, and both the latin and cyrillic writing are official.

So where is this hyphenated language written or spoken and by whom? Who is insisting on the hyphenation? Serbia and Croatia have distinct literary histories as well as cultural and religious differences, although they are thrown by the westerners into the same Balkan melting pot. To my best knowledge, both Serbian and Croatian are recognized by world linguists as two distinct languages. Even Bosnian is now an accepted designation, although all three nationalities can understand each other if effort and good will is present.

Those who insist on the melting pot approach of the hyphenation, refuse to acknowledge the situation on the ground. No difference is more apparent than the fact that one uses the Cyrillic and the other the Latin alphabet. If you want to be historically correct, the Serbs would be justified in designating their language as Serbo-Croatian since Vuk Karadzic in laying the foundations of Serbian grammar and dictionary, after 500 years of the Ottoman rule, borrowed over 200 000 words from the Croatian language. Yet the constitution of the Republic of Serbia rightly declares that Serbian is the official language of Serbia, not Serbo-Croatian; just like the English language can borrow words from other languages without losing its identity or getting a hyphenated designation. You may do your own research if interested in this point.

I don't think that there is the political will to dispose of the hyphenated creation of the culturally assimilating term Serbo-Croatian, even though the word 'respect' is used and abused on many politically correct events and billboards. In the background, the colonialist, imperialist mentality prevails and is being imposed on two peoples who have had, continue to have and will probably have in the future, bloody wars and battles. But in this, Serbs Croats and Bosnians are no different than nations in any other part of the world, and there are many examples that could be cited. One public official recently commented on the Serb-Croat situation by saying that not even the strongest glue could bond these two peoples together. So why insist? Why not give the new generations the right to their distinct and separate historic identities? Why not let them coexist on their own terms?

Allow me to conclude by saying that as much as Franglais or Frenglish would be an eye sore on Wiki website because it would reflect a blended fictitious reality, so does the designation Serbo-Croatian.

This type of readily available fact based rhetoric is often ignored since there are strong political lobbies, who for both political and financial reasons, even over 20 years later, refuse to accept the post-Yugoslavia reality and the results of the wars of the 1990's, and who still promote Slavic brotherhood and unity vestiges of the communist regime.

Hopefully the time will come when there will be enough courage, vision and mutual respect and the hyphen will be dropped; the linguistic designations as defined in official constitutions, and not in some scholar's biased, subjective, self-serving and slanted reality will be accepted as the norm.

Peace and order,


PS: It may be useful to suggest that since both languages have Slavic roots, if there is a need or a desire to hyphenate, then they can use the example of the English designations:Canadian English, Australian English, UK English, American English, and use terms such as Croatian Slavic, Bosnian Slavic or Serb Slavic. —This unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).

When merging the various Serbo-Croatian standard varieties together, we explicitly did so because we wanted to distance ourselves from political arguments about language status. Instead, we chose the linguistic view, which is that these are one language with multiple national standards, much as Catalan (with Valencian) and indeed English (British and American). I've read quite a few linguistic works about Slavic languages and their development and so far I haven't seen a single one that treated Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian and Montenegrin as separate languages. Instead they mostly use the common name "Serbo-Croatian" or the more politically correct "Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian/Montenegrin". —CodeCat 23:09, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
@Richard. If tomorrow Russian and Ukrainian nationalists declare they no longer belong to East Slavic languages but separate branches, we will still going to treat them as such. The more pressure there is to artificially separate Serbo-Croatian, the stronger Wiktionary policy will get to reflect the linguistic reality. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 23:38, 3 July 2014 (UTC)
I've recently encountered a related problem I wanted to bring up here. We have entries for Malay and Indonesian, which is plain illogical. AFAIK, Malay is the language of which Standard Malaysian (Bahasa Malaysia) and Standard Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia) are standardised registers that differ in lexicon and a few other details, but are almost 100% identical in grammar. Having separate entries for Malay and Indonesian is like having entries for English and American English: they are not even on the same level. We should treat all these cases analogically. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 00:02, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
This has been brought up before, but the attempt at unification ultimately failed to gain enough support. The same with merging Nynorsk and Bokmål into Norwegian. The difference between those and the successful Chinese and Serbo-Croatian unifications seems to be having strong support from regular editors in the affected languages, including help in working out the inevitable technical and conceptual challenges. I'd hazard a guess that, if we'd had a prolific Indonesian contributor willing to campaign hard for it and to come up with technical fixes, things might have been different- but we don't. Chuck Entz (talk) 00:33, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, it's al about the current set of current editors, isn't it? It's possible (technically) to unify Norwegian but editors haven't embraced the idea. Hindi and Urdu are much more different but they share, at least, a set of templates to allow smooth pairs of entries, even if they are not unified. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 00:39, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
(Before E/C) The process is somewhat reverse with Malay and Indonesian. Indonesian was standardised to match Malay spellings. Even though there is a trend to make them similar, they were more different in the past or rather Indonesia chose a standard, which is very much like Malaysian, although they have a huge number of languages and dialects. If we had some sufficient work going on with Malay and Indonesian, the need to merge them would be more important, to avoid duplications. However, there is no umbrella term for the two, AFAIK, and they were never treated as one language in the past. Even Hindi/Urdu (Hindustani) is different where Urdu was the original name for the two languages. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 00:25, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
The history you give is either irrelevant or wrong. w:Indonesian language is clear about Standard Indonesian being a standardised register of Malay. Sure there are many varieties of Malay, but Standard Indonesian and Standard Malaysian are both de facto based on only one of them (Malacca–Johor Malay), just like Standard Croatian, Serbian, Bosnian and Montenegrin are all based on the Eastern Herzegovinan Shtokavian sub-sub-subdialect of Serbo-Croatian and all written varieties of German are based on East Central German. That's a crucial fact that nationalists love to sweep under the carpet. It's a red herring to point to the huge dialectal variety of Malay, Serbo-Croatian etc. when the polycentric written language is based only on a single sub-sub-subdialect of the dialect continuum.
In any case, this still doesn't treat my original objection: Malay is not Malaysian! We do not have separate entries for "American English" or "Nigerian English" when there's already "English", or "Serbian" and "Montenegrin" when there's already "Serbo-Croatian". That's pure raving lunacy, for crying out loud. It's idiotic and makes not the least bit of sense. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 12:32, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
There was a vote to unify them in 2012, but it failed: Wiktionary:Votes/2012-12/Unified Malay. — Ungoliant (falai) 00:19, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks for reminding. It seemed we had only one side of the story there - the Malay side, no Indonesian involvement whatsoever. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 00:25, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
Why do you hate THE HYPHEN so much? How is SerboCroatian better than Serbo-Croatian? --Vahag (talk) 06:13, 4 July 2014 (UTC)


Just wondering, isn't googleable vs. unGoogleable kinda inconsistent? There's a cite for unGoogleable, so why not make the capital-G version the main entry?

Is there a difference in meaning in googleable vs. Googleable? Genericised trademark vs. specifically referring to Google's search engine? If so, it would be a better solution to separate the entries. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 23:49, 3 July 2014 (UTC)

bologna = lie?


Is it true that in North America, we can say bologna for lies? The English Wiktionary miss this meaning. Thanks — Automatik (talk) 09:19, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

"See also: baloney"
--Catsidhe (verba, facta) 09:23, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
Ok, so bolognalie I guess. — Automatik (talk) 10:00, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
I found a few examples of that sense and spelling when I searched Google Books for "lot of bologna", "it's all bologna", but (not being American) I don't know how common it is. Equinox 11:28, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
We also find this spelling in Urban Dictionary. — Automatik (talk) 11:34, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
Based on Equinox's cites and my own suspicions that both spellings have both senses ("sausage" and "nonsense"), I've added {{synonym of|baloney}} {{gloss|nonsense}} to bologna. - -sche (discuss) 13:19, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
Interesting. I had always thought that 'baloney' was just a variant of the sausage, used to mean "artificial, not real, not genuine" hence "faux, false, misleading" due to the fact that it was supplemental (I.e artificial) meat product pawned off for real...Leasnam (talk) 13:26, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
additionally I think of bullshit as a right synonym for the 'nonsense' usage. Saying something's "bologna" or someone's full of bologa is basically like saying its bullshit or someone's full of shit. Leasnam (talk) 13:33, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
This is the synonym proposed by Urban Dictionary. — Automatik (talk) 14:46, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
They must speak American there (@ UD). I agree that bullshit is more apt than lie as a synonym. DCDuring TALK 15:40, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
I suspect that the similarity of the first syllable as pronounced in normal speech is no coincidence- it may be at least partly a minced oath. Chuck Entz (talk) 16:01, 4 July 2014 (UTC)
I agree; it probably started as a way of sounding like you were about to say "bullshit", then switching to something innocent at the last second. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 16:13, 4 July 2014 (UTC)

When you guys have a minute

[Originally posted to SemperBlotto's talk page.]

Not sure where to go about this, but Kephir pointed me here. A user named Dan Polansky has apparently developed both a misunderstanding about copyright law (both in general and particularly the 1st edition OED’s status under it) and a hard-on for my more recent entries. Certainly this edit was uncalled for (as displayed by Ungoliant MMDCCLXIV's swift reversion of it).

My talk page now has an extended conversation covering his stance and my rationale w/r/t content from the OED. In short, he'd like to remind me that copyright violations are bad. While they certainly are, the 1st edition OED no longer qualifies and more recent ones are still fine to lift quotes from, provided they are emended, supplemented, &c. and not wholesale copying.

To the extent I have made mistakes or we need some quotes added to particular entries, kindly let me know. Dan's scattershot blanking and misuse of process (including attempts to claim "consensus" against my improvements to pecker while fellow editors were reverting his changes and going to the talk page) probably means someone should be checking his edits out or holding his hand til he's less destructive of other's attempts to flesh out our entries beyond the old Websters. — LlywelynII 17:17, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

Edit: His issues have now extended to spamming my talk page & removing quotes owing to punctuation. Admin got a minute? — LlywelynII 17:21, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

Yes, Dan Polansky can be quite annoying and persistent, but he often has a point. I'm not sure if copying the OED's definitions and quotes in large chunks with only some rewording to definitions constitutes actionable copyright infringement, but it certainly smells of plagiarism. I would rather not have Wiktionary become a copy of the OED with all the serial numbers filed off to avoid detection. Chuck Entz (talk) 17:34, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz: You call it plagiarism, I call it "standing on the shoulders of giants". In any event, there is a proud tradition of plagiarism in making dictionaries. For example our English entries depend on a vast number of entries taken word for word from Webster 1913. For a very low estimate {{Webster_1913}} is used on 29,269 pages. See Special:WhatLinksHere/Template:Webster_1913 for a tedious listing. Similarly Dan Polansky "plagiarized" many entries from the Century Dictionary. DCDuring TALK 18:28, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
Specifically, some volumes of the first edition of the OED are freely downloadable, indicating that prevailing knowledgeable opinion (ie, Google's and OUP's attorneys) holds them to be out of copyright. DCDuring TALK 18:36, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, it's certainly all right to use content from other dictionaries that are out of copyright- with attribution. I'm mostly concerned about taking someone else's work, fiddling with it here and there, and then slapping our own label on it as if we had just made it up from scratch. Is it legal? Probably. Should we be doing it? I would say not. At any rate, it's easily solved by citing the OED as a reference, and putting more thought into reworking things. Chuck Entz (talk) 19:47, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
That is a counsel of perfection, beyond what we can practically achieve, especially in the short run. It fits right in with having three citations and at least one image or example for every definition for which such are possible.
And it is not sufficient to indicate the scope of the appropriate credit. I sometimes insert references to other dictionaries even without actually using them as source material, so a reference without an inline link from the particular element (definition, etymology, synonyms, etc) of the entry for which we are beholden to the reference does not reliably indicate that we are so beholden. DCDuring TALK 20:33, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
Speaking directly to the charge, no, he has no point. (1) He is not correcting or improving any entry; he is reverting wholesale unquestionable improvements of content without any improved content of his own. That is unquestionably bad (2) unless there were actual copyright violations involved. There are not, both because the 1st edition definitions and quotes are in the public domain and because I am not simply plagiarizing the content. (3) Even if the considered opinion of other editors were that some phrasings are too similar (there are a limited number of ways to tersely express some ideas), the solution is further rephrasing, not blanking of valid definitions. (4) Your concern about taste only appertains to whether or not to emend my edits (that's fine, btw, and can be taken point by point, but I will stand firmly behind using the 1st edition OED in part and in toto before some of the terrible Webster's content we use now); it has no bearing on whether they deserve extirpation even where they are unquestionable improvements to the earlier entries (as at pecker). We should, for instance, always be including the OED’s first attestations except where they have turned out to have been wrong; their etymologies are usually more thorough, accurate, and authoritative than most of the American editions. I've tried to be mindful of noting the OED in every entry where I've used it, despite the fact we currently don't support the reflist template.
Beyond that, the reason I'm here is the editor's abusive and now rather obsessive treatment. It is fine to offer improvements and point out policies. It is terrible to have an unhinged editor following behind people based on misunderstandings of policy and law, forcing editors to then follow behind him to clean up a mess he shouldn't be making in the first place. I don't want protracted arguments and edit wars across the project with this person; I don't want other editors having to deal with him (as apparently Chuck has or has witnessed). Whom should I be talking to about (a) addressing his few valid concerns (as at radish) and (b) pulling him aside for a discussion about public domain and abuse of fellow editors? I've tried but at this point lost any patience that might've made the ordeal successful. — LlywelynII 03:07, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

pecker mill

The quotations currently in the entry do not contain "pecker mill" as a compound noun, so they should not be there as attesting quotations. If you agree with me, can you please remove the quotations? (I tried, but got reverted.) --Dan Polansky (talk) 17:27, 5 July 2014 (UTC)

While I can grant you the idea of a mill with a pecker in it can be confusing, the first quote most certainly does explicitly contain pecker mill as a compound noun. — LlywelynII 17:30, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
The head of an English lexical compound noun can be separated from the rest of it when it appears in a coordinate series of such nouns, eg "refrigerator and cattle cars"[7]. Thus the premise of your argument for removal of the quotation seems wrong. (Filling in the redlinked entry [See refrigerator car at OneLook Dictionary Search] seems a better use of time than debating.) DCDuring TALK 18:15, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
The quote "Rice mills, called pecker, cog, and water mills ..." seems good enough, which I originally did not realize. The second quotation got removed in diff by LlywelynII, without acknowledging that in an edit summary or here. --Dan Polansky (talk) 20:23, 5 July 2014 (UTC)
You shouldn't have to wait until your content-blanking edits are reverted before you realize your mistakes; make them in talk pages and policy conferences rather than letting them damage improved entries. As to my "acknowledgement", it's irrelevant to the entry itself but keep rereading the comment above until you see it. — LlywelynII 03:16, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

What does it mean for a seed to be "orthodox"?

Encountered quote: "The seeds are orthodox and can be stored for a year or more" This is in connection with storing seeds from stone fruits. \Mike (talk) 04:11, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

The first Google Books hit on my search for "seed+orthodox" was:
  • 1995, Lawrence O. Copeland, Principles of Seed Science and Technology, page 183:
    To distinguish between these types of long- and short-lived seeds, Roberts (1973) proposed the terms orthodox and recalcitrant seeds. Orthodox seeds are long-lived seeds.
-- DCDuring TALK 04:19, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks! The "explanation" I had at hand in the same book, was vague to say the least. \Mike (talk) 04:31, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
Apparently it applies at least to pollen, spores, and seeds. It is apparently not used in zoology. DCDuring TALK 04:41, 6 July 2014 (UTC)


I propose that the sense "Someone who or something that pecks, striking or piercing in the manner of a bird's beak or bill" is not made a supersense of which other senses are subsenses. It looks silly and is wrong, since at least the following are not hyponymic subsenses: An eater, a diner; A nose; spirits, nerve, courage; cock, dick, a penis; whitey; white trash; an aggressive or objectionable idiot. So I propose that the entry is reverted to this revision, which only differs from the current one in subsensing.

I know of no dictionary that does the subsenses for "pecker" in this way. I checked pecker at OneLook Dictionary Search dictionaries. I also checked an old edition of OED[8], which has the following: 1. one who or that which pecks; 2a. An implement for pecking; 2b. An obsolete sense for telegraphy; 2c. A shuttle-driver; 3. courage; resolution; 4. Pecker-mill. So even the old edition of the OED does not think that "courage, resolution" is a subsense of "Someone who or something that pecks", unlike what is done in the current revision. --Dan Polansky (talk) 07:53, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

In reference to an eater, "pecker" is precisely in reference to them pecking at food in the manner of birds; its reference to cocks, from their similar motion; the sense of nose (as noted) by extension from the sense of a bird's beak; the British senses of spirit (as noted) in turn derive from it. You could remove the "by extension" context template and nest them at further levels, but that seems unnecessary and doesn't change the overall structure. You may have a valid point with the last two: it doesn't change the structure of the definition at all (which is obviously your intent), but it may be valid to list them as etymologies 2 & 3 since they are directly derived by shortening other words and not immediately extensions of the primary meaning peck + er. I placed them where they are now because the compounds they are shortened from are (again) precisely derived from a cock's supposed resemblance to the motion of a bird's beak.
As an aside, I admit I am somewhere curious: you have on other occasions complained that the structure of definitions are under copyright and not to be duplicated; you then proceed to complain that our definitions differ (in simplification and improvement) from those in published dictionaries. What is it you think we should be doing? Do you really believe we have to copy precisely and only pre-1923 sources? I mean, obviously you are still wrong... but even on your take, the OED would still be preferable to the sources you continue to rely on... — LlywelynII 10:51, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
Since I do not have access to the modern OED: does the modern OED place "courage" as a subsense of "one who or that which pecks"? In particular, does the modern OED place all their senses as subsenses of a single supersense? --Dan Polansky (talk) 10:56, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
Subsenses are not about etymology, we have etymology headers for that. Since penis is not a subsense of one who pecks it should not be formatted as a subsense. Simple as that really. Renard Migrant (talk) 11:57, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
Fair enough w/r/t to nose (derived from beak, which is what is doing the pecking) and spirits (derived from nose), but again the "eater/diner" sense and "penis" senses do directly derive from "one who pecks/makes a pecking motion". What do you think about the placement of pecker (abbreviation of peckerhead and peckerwood)? Should they be additional senses below penis or separate etymology headings? — LlywelynII 05:58, 8 July 2014 (UTC)

pronunciation of a verdict

I was looking for what word to translate the act of announcing a verdict in a court of law, in order to translate Middle French pronunciation. I thought it was pronunciation of pronouncement but neither have such a sense. Am I wrong, otherwise is there a word that means 'the giving of a verdict' in a single word? Renard Migrant (talk) 11:37, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

google books:"pronouncement of a|the verdict" gets a lot more hits than google books:"pronunciation of a|the verdict". Renard Migrant (talk) 11:51, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
pronouncement is fine for this (see sense 1). I think pronunciation is fine too; in that case we are missing a sense (basically the "act of pronouncing").
pronunciation is not fine. There's a lot of English out there I can't speak for, but if I heard it, I would register it as the wrong choice of words. google books:"the pronouncing of the verdict" also gets a number of hits.--Prosfilaes (talk) 22:44, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, I've seen it used. Maybe it's old-fashioned. 1831: "The second part is the sentence, which is the judge's pronunciation upon a cause depending between two in controversy." Equinox 22:46, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
It may be a bit formal, but forms of pronounc* appears in BNC six times within 4 words of verdict, announc* appears seventeen times. Deliver* appears 24 times, but doesn't quite work with the same subjects. Results are similar at COCA. DCDuring TALK 00:31, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
I don't doubt pronounc*, or the rare or historical use of pronunciation, but I tend to think the meaning of pronunciation has got narrowed from what one might assume from the derivation from pronounce.--Prosfilaes (talk) 05:19, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
The existence of the doublet pronunciation and pronouncement has allowed the fairly sharp distinction that we experience in the nouns. But the verb encompasses both sets of meanings. DCDuring TALK 10:43, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

at one's fingertips

This definition doesn't sound 100 per cent right to me. In the developed world water is "readily available" for us, but it would be strange to say it is "at our fingertips", right? ---> Tooironic (talk) 22:31, 6 July 2014 (UTC)

Correct, unless if talking specifically in the context of using ones fingers or fingertips to access the water. Leasnam (talk) 23:46, 6 July 2014 (UTC)
Not all that strange:
  • 1998, Henry Harrison, Houses: The Illustrated Guide to Construction, Design and ..., page 98:
    To the U.S. homemaker, "running water" conjures up an image of the stainless- steel sink or a sparkling porcelain washer and dryer standing side by side in all their glory. The source of water is at one's fingertips.
-- DCDuring TALK 00:45, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
Right, in this particular context it's quite normal; but can you think of other instances (with air, electricity, food, assistance, grace, whatever..) where something is "readily available", but not necessarily "at one's fingertips"? Leasnam (talk) 12:42, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
Reading back over my statement above I think I have one--'God's grace'--it's "readily available", but not necessarily "at ones fingertips". Rather, it's 'just a prayer away' ;) Leasnam (talk) 12:49, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
I think the current definition should include some mention of apprehension or accessibility by finger or hand Leasnam (talk) 13:19, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
I think there is some immediacy in the accessibility. The reason water is not at our fingertips is because most people don't sit right beside fountains all day. --WikiTiki89 13:54, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
I agree. Abstract things such as information can be at one's fingertips without hands of fingers being involved. I think there's more to it, though- something like it being under one's control, though I haven't thought it through completely. Maybe it's something like "readily available for one's use". Chuck Entz (talk) 14:05, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
Well, actually, abstract things like 'information' are actually at one's fingertips literally...with the use of books, keypads, keyboards, mice, etc...'ideas', 'concepts', etc are not, as they cannot be accessed via handheld devices Leasnam (talk) 14:43, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
There is metonymy in this and other expressions, between the medium of information storage and the information itself. Perhaps the definition just needs a different adverb: "Immediately available." "For use" is redundant. I think 'immediacy' is close to the core of this expression. DCDuring TALK 16:48, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

beag#Old English

Would this not have been pronounced /bæːɑx/? --WikiTiki89 15:30, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

hmm, it has two forms: beag and beah--the latter of which would certainly be pronounced so, I would think. Difficult to say whether this is merely a spelling feature or representative of two different pronunciations. I favour the second, as /x/ was well understood to be written as h. Leasnam (talk) 16:00, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
Well I always thought the letter "g" (when not palatalized) was always a fricative and devoiced word-finally (except when following "n", when it is a voiced plosive). --WikiTiki89 16:04, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
Like a Dutch g? That might explain the variants with -g and -h Leasnam (talk) 17:17, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
Actually not like Dutch g, since I forgot to mention that word-initially it is a plosive. w:Old English phonology#Consonant allophones confirms most of this but does not mention the devoicing. There are other words that have equivalent alternative spellings (for example, burg/burh), which combined with the fact that s and þ/ð also devoice word-finally (and word-initially) leads me to believe that it was in fact devoiced. --WikiTiki89 17:34, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
In early Old English, the allophones of g still followed the Proto-Germanic/West Germanic distribution, with a plosive only after a nasal and when geminated, and a fricative in all other cases, including initially. Of course Old English palatalised these in some cases, but this didn't disrupt the allophony: fricative [ɣ] became [j] when palatalised, while plosive [ɡ] became [dʒ]. In late Old English, this was still the same, except for one point: plosive [ɡ] now appeared word-initially. This means that even late Old English still possessed [ɣ] non-word-initially, including in this word. But Old English also underwent occasional word-final devoicing of fricatives, which sometimes led to a [ɣ] > [x] change. —CodeCat 17:36, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
So do you agree that /bæːɑɡ/ for bēag is wrong and/or misleading? --WikiTiki89 17:38, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, it's wrong. I've corrected it to IPA(key): /bæːɑx/. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:11, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
I think that for the spelling in -g the voiced ɣ is more appropriate. —CodeCat 00:31, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
How sure are you that it was not regularly devoiced? Either way, I agree with CodeCat that /ɣ/ is better phonemically unless there is evidence that it was 100% always devoiced. --WikiTiki89 13:36, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
Old English had no voiced fricatives at the ends of words. None of [v ð z ɣ] could occur there; they appeared only between vowels. The first three were allophones of /f θ s/, but even though [ɣ] was an allophone of /ɡ/ rather than of /x/ (which disappeared with compensatory lengthening between vowels, rather than voicing to [ɣ]), the positional restriction against word-final voiced fricatives still held. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:27, 11 July 2014 (UTC)
The difference though, is that [v ð z] are allophones of /f θ s/, but with [ɣ], it's the other way around. I would even say that [g] is an allophone of /ɣ/, rather than the other way around. The way I see it, is that [x] is an allophone of both /h/ and /ɣ/, and I'm not entirely convinced that /ɣ/ either was or was not always devoiced word-finally (until I see some evidence or citations). --WikiTiki89 15:40, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

tickle someone's fancy

The current definition is "To amuse, entertain, or appeal to someone; to stimulate someone's imagination in a favorable manner." I think the words "amuse" and "entertain" are inaccurate and should be removed. --WikiTiki89 20:50, 7 July 2014 (UTC)

Why are you asking a group of mostly non-native speakers (at most a small number of native speakers) an essentially empirical question? Speaking as a data point, I think the definition is fine as is. DCDuring TALK 21:34, 7 July 2014 (UTC)
I think at least half of our active editors are native English speakers. --WikiTiki89 13:56, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
Who do you think should research the question via cites or sorting through [idiom dictionaries that have this]? DCDuring TALK 14:27, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
Well before asking this, I checked a few dictionaries and only found only this, which I agree with more. I think to "cause amusement" is completely different from "amuse" and "entertain". --WikiTiki89 14:56, 8 July 2014 (UTC)
IMO there is no major semantic or grammatical difference among the appropriate senses of cause amusement to someone, amuse someone, entertain someone, and tickle someone's fancy, so that they are effectively synonyms. I suppose that tickle suggests a shorter duration and that entertain suggests a longer duration and allows for "seriousness" of the entertainment. Recognizing and confirming such subtleties would make this a much more useful monolingual dictionary, but would, or should, require significant attestation effort and force many {{ttbc}}s. DCDuring TALK 15:02, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
Are you saying that you'd rather have an inaccurate definition than recheck a few translations? I suppose it is the duration that makes up the difference between tickle and entertain, but I think that is significant enough. --WikiTiki89 15:22, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
My preference is a lexicographically ordered one, with FL and translation considerations always being less than monolingual English dictionary considerations, what with this being the English-language Wiktionary. But I feel that English-language considerations are often given short shrift. The result is the poor rating of Wiktionary as a whole in the US (and Australia, NZ, and Canada) relative to WP and to other dictionary sites. I have a feeling that, as far as making Wiktionary an excellent English-language dictionary, that ship has sailed. I don't think we can catch up. We may have five or ten times the number of English terms freely available that MWOnline does, but the entries they do have contain about twice as many definitions and which definitions are rarely inferior to ours and often greatly superior. DCDuring TALK 18:09, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
I don't think there is any more negative attitude toward Wiktionary than there is to Wikipedia (percentagewise). --WikiTiki89 19:29, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
You should take a look at the free metrics at alexa for wiktionary.org and their ranking of top dictionary sites. Combing Wiktionary's low US (1069) and UK (759) rankings, but higher (670) ranking globally (specifically, eg, France (213), Germany (375), Poland(320)), MW's approximate parity with wiktionary globally, and MW's lack of non-English content, we must be far behind them in the US. I remember from previous inspections of the data that MW does poorly in the UK and Australia, where the indigenous dictionaries do well.
If you sign up you can do custom comparisons with other sites. DCDuring TALK 20:05, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
That doesn't mean people have low opinions of it. They might just prefer the thoroughness of professional dictionaries. --WikiTiki89 23:08, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
You have to have heard of something in order to have a low opinion of it. When I tell people in real life that I'm a contributor to (and even an admin at) Wikipedia, they're duly impressed. When I tell people in real life that I'm a contributor to (and even admin at) Wiktionary, I get blank stares or the question "What's that?". —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:34, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
I looked at the handful of "reviews" or listings of online dictionaries. We are not even mentioned in most of them. In contrast, MW and OneLook (!!!) are in almost all of them. Unfortunately that fits with my experience in telling people about Wiktionary. Except at the recent NYC Wiknic, I have NEVER had someone say "Cool" or something else that suggests they remember encountering the name previously, let alone using it. Globally, WP is #6 in website popularity and we are #670. DCDuring TALK 16:01, 10 July 2014 (UTC)


We're missing a sense of foncier, but I'm not 100% what its English equivalent would be. For example (from this article): un groupe professionnel ne peut atteindre des objectifs élevés s'il n'a pas effectué au préalable une préparation foncière de qualité. BigDom (tc) 08:25, 9 July 2014 (UTC)


The word svidaniya is a redlink on the page, do svidaniya, which is listed in this dictionary as an English word. Does it follow that svidaniya is an English word, and if so, how should we define it? bd2412 T 13:01, 9 July 2014 (UTC)

That's one of the side-effects of {{head}}'s new automatic word-linking feature. I've edited it to get rid of the redlink. It's certainly not an English word: like most English speakers, I had no idea before I started studying Russian that the "s" sound was on the second word- it sounds to me more like dos vidanija. Chuck Entz (talk) 13:20, 9 July 2014 (UTC)
Maybe {{only used in}} would be appropriate here? —CodeCat 00:30, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
I thought of doing it but DCDuring added head=, which fixed it. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 00:37, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, but I think both do and svidaniya would need entries that link to do svidaniya. —CodeCat 00:51, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
Like this: svidaniya? I only don't know if it's a correct PoS. "свидания" in Russian is an inflected form but what is "svidaniya" in English? --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 01:03, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
Once more the tail is trying to wag the dog. It obviously isn't a phrase. Nor does it fit any of the other PoSs. I don't care that we call the whole term English and that we don't call it a Russian transliteration. But I do care that we might let the "imperatives" of a template force an English entry that makes no sense and an English etymology section that make no sense. If we are really worried that someone will look up "svidaniya" we could make it a hard redirect to do svidaniya. I will RfV for the independent existence of the two components with whatever "meaning" the definer assigns them. DCDuring TALK 01:11, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
I support a hard redirect. I oppose linking to do svidaniya from do. --WikiTiki89 13:37, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
I would also support a hard redirect, since this is almost certainly the only form in which English speakers will encounter svidaniya. One would also be needed for svidanya. bd2412 T 18:29, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
English readers will see it in da svidaniya, dasvidaniya, do svidaniya, and dosvidaniya. There are also variations svidania and svidanya. It looks like it also sees a bit of use in French. A redirect page might not be appropriate.
Why is there such urgency to create an entry for something that is not an independent lexical unit? May as well create an entry for da svi-daniya, because a reader may see it at the top of the page following a hyphen break. There is literally a zillion text strings that are not words. Linking or searching for them already returns information on the 404 and search results pages.
The problem here is that the Wiktionary does not yet have an entry page is lacking. It should present search results at the bottom, instead of just a search field as the fifth bullet point.
Another problem is that the search results page has about 660 px of vertical space of confusing clutter above any search results. I wonder how many millions of searchers don’t even see their search results before giving up. Michael Z. 2014-07-11 14:48 z
The range of pages English readers will see it in is the set of alternative spellings of the most common English transliteration of the phrase. That is to say, if there are a half dozen minor variations of the word, we will still be providing the sole definition applicable to all of them if we redirect this to the most common spelling. bd2412 T 15:13, 11 July 2014 (UTC)


South Korean has mostly lost the initial (l/r) in writing and pronunciation, except for some new loanwords, e.g. (yuk) "six" (North Korean retained it: (ryuk)) but it does show in combination with preceding words. Like surname (I) (Yi, Li, Lee, Ri, etc. - North Korean spelling: (Ri)) or number (yuk). Is 십육 (sibyuk) actually pronounced as /ɕʰimɲjuk̚/, rather than /ɕʰibjuk̚/ as if it were written 십륙 (simnyuk) - the North Korean way? @Wyang:, @TAKASUGI Shinji:, please comment if you can and check if 십육 (sibyuk) needs any changes - pronunciation and transliteration, "sibyuk" is probably a wrong transliteration, since our Korean module uses a phonetic method. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 00:08, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

Please see my edit to the entry. Wyang (talk) 00:15, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
That was quick and easy, thanks :) So, the transliteration should be manual in this case? --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 00:17, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
Yes, since the Hangul spelling is non-phonetic. Wyang (talk) 00:18, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
Thanks again. I wonder why would they need to remove from the spelling, if it still pronounced in non-initial cases (as l, r or n) and is etymologically important. Just a thought. --Anatoli (обсудить/вклад) 00:37, 10 July 2014 (UTC)
They haven’t removed it; the North Koreans have added it for the phonological consistency. — TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 13:36, 12 July 2014 (UTC)


This is labelled as an "affix". I know nothing at all about Telugu, so I don't really know if this has a commonly understood meaning for Telugu, but we normally specify affixes according to type (prefix, suffix etc) so this seemed a bit odd. I'm bringing it up here in case someone knows more. —CodeCat 00:27, 10 July 2014 (UTC)

dyspepsia / dyspeptic

These two words have different etymologies in their respective entries. It seems to me that the one for "dyspeptic" is the better one (especially since the root listed for "dyspepsia" doesn't have an entry in Wiktionary). —This unsigned comment was added by AnthroMimus (talkcontribs).


The third definition (Prejudice or hostility towards adherents of Abrahamic religions.) just passed RFV with citations that use anti-Semitism against muslims. But if that is the meaning they are using, how come there is no google books:"anti-Semitism against Christians"? — Ungoliant (falai) 18:51, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

My guess is that the citations are using sense 2, and just equating Muslims with Arabs. The second citation seems to confirm this, because it speaks of "anti-Muslim racism". Using either sense 2 or sense 3 shows enough of a lack of understanding of the term anti-Semitism that I don't think it implausible that it would go hand in hand with a lack of understanding of the difference between Arab and Muslim. - -sche (discuss) 18:58, 11 July 2014 (UTC)

The whole set of "whole _" terms


  1. the whole nine yards
  2. the whole shooting match
  3. the whole shitting match
  4. whole package
  5. whole shebang
  6. whole ball of wax
  7. whole enchilada

As far as I can tell, "the" is usually included when all of these terms are used, so I don't see a reason for there to be inconsistency in how they are titled. Should we move the last four to incorporate "the" into their titles, or drop "the" from the first three titles? (There is also kit and caboodle, but its placement seems to be justified by the existence of citations like "a kit and caboodle of".) Whatever we do, we should make sure we have hard or soft redirects at the other titles, e.g. whole shooting match (currently a redlink). - -sche (discuss) 20:05, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

There's also the whole megillah, also currently redlinked. Chuck Entz (talk) 21:40, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
For some of these, the story is as you say (with exceptions that can be ignored), eg, the whole nine yards, the whole enchilada.
Based on COCA data, for none of these expressions involving whole is a or a determiner or a possessive a frequent (>5%) substitute for the.
For ball of wax whole does not seem an essential part of the idiom, though it occurs with very high relative frequency. whole ball of bax = whole + ball of wax, the "whole" form occurring for 24 of the 49 occurrences of ball of wax at COCA.
For whole shooting match (9 such occurrences) an adjective can be inserted (2 such) between whole and the rest.
For whole shebang (95 such) an adjective intervenes 11 times.
Based on my own colloquial experience, for all of them vulgar intensifiers (fucking, damn, bloody etc) readily intervene as well.
Further shooting match often means a contest (in the same way as ballgame, ie "the whole ballgame", so whole shooting match is often (usually?) about a contest or achievement.
Lastly whole package is usually not idiomatic. It might be idiomatic in "Not only is he a very talented ballplayer, but also he's a kid with a great mind, which is more important than skill. You've got to have the whole package." But it has a more specialized meaning. DCDuring TALK 22:01, 12 July 2014 (UTC)
I think the full monty belongs here as well. Chuck Entz (talk) 22:13, 12 July 2014 (UTC)

a rolling stone gathers no moss

"A person who does not keep active will grow mouldy." Really? Can't we word this a bit better? This, that and the other (talk) 06:36, 13 July 2014 (UTC)

lol, I am tempted to add that definition to WT:BJAODN. I've had a go at rewriting it to, among other things, use the same 'tense' (not sure what the right word is) as the original phrase. - -sche (discuss) 07:05, 13 July 2014 (UTC)
Side note, the translations need to be split by sense. - -sche (discuss) 07:06, 13 July 2014 (UTC)