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 +/-

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Oldest tagged RFTs


January 2015

cause and effect[edit]

I feel like we should have an entry for cause and effect, but for some reason I feel if I create it, it will unfortunately be deleted. Is it a keeper? --Enterloppd (talk) 23:13, 1 January 2015 (UTC)

I've given it a stab. ---> Tooironic (talk) 04:17, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
You've defined it as karma?! For example...? Equinox 06:51, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
I can imagine it happen, though probably only as a weakly metaphor-ish interjectional: "Why does this keep happening to me?" "You are nasty to people, they return the favour. Cause and effect.". But the other senses are quite SOPpy, and I doubt even this usage is common or standard. Ultimately this should be determined by citations, I think. Keφr 11:56, 2 January 2015 (UTC)

Appendix:Proto-Germanic/sibiz (Engl. sieve, German Sieb)[edit]

I'm just flagging an inconsistency here. The termination here is -iz, which would make the word masculine or feminine, but the gender stated is neuter. Is it *sibiz, feminine, matching the gender in Dutch; or is it *sibi, neuter, matching the gender in German. Given the comparative rarity of neuter i-stems (such as *mari, sea), I imagine the first alternative is more likely. Dave crowley (talk) 05:35, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

Let's move it. Leasnam (talk) 16:29, 8 January 2015 (UTC)


Are we missing the medical sense - i.e. "we found shadows on your X-ray"? ---> Tooironic (talk) 07:49, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

  • I've extended sense #1 a little. SemperBlotto (talk) 09:03, 4 January 2015 (UTC)


tidy-up and tidy up exist as separate entries, both claiming to be a verb. Is the former not a noun? Compare clean-up, clean up. —This comment was unsigned.

They are probably both found as nouns. I'm not so sure that all the inflected forms of tidy-up (especially tidied-up and tidies-up) exist. The gerund tidying-up might and the bare form tidy-up might, as the entry suggests. As a matter of style I would never write the hyphenated form for any inflection of the verb, but others seem to differ. DCDuring TALK 18:42, 3 January 2015 (UTC)


Can someone better qualified than I have a look at this? I believe the third 'noun' usage is in fact an adjective. There is, however, no section for use of the word as an adjective while we speak of landmark events in history and landmark rulings in law. Perhaps I'm missing something? Happy New Year to all S a g a C i t y (talk) 12:00, 4 January 2015 (UTC)

It's attributive usage, like "crisis point" or "tractor parts". You can't be "very landmark", or say "the event was landmark". It's not truly adjectival. Equinox 15:59, 4 January 2015 (UTC)
It's plausible as an adjective, "a very landmark ruling". I say plausible because I haven't checked for usage. Renard Migrant (talk) 16:03, 4 January 2015 (UTC)
google books:"very landmark" has enough citations without searching for more, including a couple from Jimmy Carter. google books:"quite landmark" gets 5 hits that I can see and google books:"the most landmark" gets hits as well. Renard Migrant (talk) 16:19, 4 January 2015 (UTC)


What is the specific, official, meaning of FLIFO. Any dictionary I can find, including here, only states it means flight information, but I am sure it has an official, more technical meaning. Thanks. --Dmol (talk) 22:26, 4 January 2015 (UTC)

in no small measure, in no small part[edit]

Are these worthy of entries, or should they be parsed as individual words? ---> Tooironic (talk) 04:43, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

Neither is in a OneLook reference. In no small measure seems to use measure in a sense, possibly archaic or even obsolete, and in a construction that is not common. In no small part uses the same construction, but a common and current definition of part. DCDuring TALK 14:32, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

Template problem[edit]

The pinyin at this page was wrong for the example 她借着闪烁的烛光读书, which is «tā jiè zhe shǎnshuò de zhúguāng dúshū» and used to be «tā jiè zhù shǎnshuò de 燭guāng dúshū». I tried to correct it, but the template doesn't let me fix it. Right now, the phrase is given only in simpl. characters with [trad. and simpl.] beside it, and the pinyin is only half corrected in that the character in the middle of the pinyin is now properly pinyin-ized, but the "zhe" (著|着) is transliterated to zhuó. How do I fix this? Also, see how Google perfectly transliterates «她借著閃爍的燭光讀書». Why does the template get things wrong? And the phrase is translated with the past tense, but could well be present tense without context, right?

The Pinyin is now fixed, all I needed was the tr= optional parameter. MGorrone (talk) 15:15, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

brick wall[edit]

How can we add the sense as in, "having a conversation with you is like talking to a brick wall"? ---> Tooironic (talk) 14:13, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

Well, I've had a try now. ---> Tooironic (talk) 14:15, 6 January 2015 (UTC)


If stopcock is 'UK', then what do Americans call their stopcocks? Thanks. Kaixinguo (talk) 18:00, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

To judge from the Wikipedia article on the stopcock, Americans don't have them. I'd guess residential water supply is set up differently in the U.S.  From my childhood in Texas I vaguely remember my father talking about turning the water off "at the mains" when work needed to be done on the pipes. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:19, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
"shutoff valve" DTLHS (talk) 19:27, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Huh. My wife and I are both US-East-Coast-born English speakers, and we both call the shutoff valve for a toilet a stopcock. Neither of us has spent any time living in the UK. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 19:56, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
shut-off valve. DCDuring TALK 20:48, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
By the Pawley they-call-it-an-X,-we-call-it-a-Y principle, we need an entry for shut-off valve. DCDuring TALK 20:50, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, everyone. I don't know who Pawley is. I think we can use 'shut-off valve' as well in the UK. https://www.google.co.uk/#q=%22water+off+at+the+shut-off+valve%22+site:.co.uk has only two result, but https://www.google.co.uk/#q=%22the+shut-off+valve%22+site:.co.uk does have some results; although it doesn't seem to refer to the 'stopcock in the road' (the water mains shut-off valve), it does have some more general usage as far as I can see.
Sadly, 'stopcock' is being usurped by 'stop tap', leading to one water board website to explain that 'stop tap' means the same thing as 'stopcock'. Kaixinguo (talk) 22:59, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

How about ballcock? Ball rooster :) ? Kaixinguo (talk) 23:00, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

  • @Kaixinguo: Andrew Pawley is a New Zealand linguist who wrote an interesting 20-page article ("Lexicalization", in Deborah Tannen and James E Alatis eds, Languages and Linguistics: The Interdependence of Theory, Data, and Application (GURT '85)) listing various types of evidence that support treating a collocation as part of the lexicon, ie, worth/requiring a dictionary entry. User:DCDuring/Pawley has a summary of the 1985 article that someone here prepared. DCDuring TALK 23:58, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
Ooh thanks, that sounds interesting. Kaixinguo (talk) 00:21, 7 January 2015 (UTC)
It is interesting, but it is a long way from providing us with what we need for speedier RfD discussions. DCDuring TALK 01:07, 7 January 2015 (UTC)

As an American and a chemist, I can assure you that we do have our "stopcocks" and I have used and heard that term frequently since Chem01. The usage may be unusual outside a lab, but it is quite common in reference to simple valves. Ur-Abraxas (talk) 01:29, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

  • shut-off valve and shutoff valve combined are more common than stopcock at COCA, but stopcock is more common than either individually. OTOH, 10 of the 13 uses of stopcock were in a medical or lab setting and one was a recollection of an Irish orphanage. FWIW, I would have use spigot for one of the other uses and valve for the other. DCDuring TALK 03:00, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

sort of, kind of[edit]

From my experience and intuition, sort of sounds to be more British and kind of more AmEn, maybe because sort of being direct borrow from French. Google Ngram suggest they're not, the only English dialect where they are close is BrEN2009 around year 1840. The rest of dialects are the same, in all kind of gaining momentum around 1940. In AmEn, % are higher. Any knowledge or idea? Sobreira (talk) 20:14, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

I only sorta, kinda get what you're tryna say. Wanna try again? DCDuring TALK 20:52, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
I am not positive (given your suspicion that sort of is more used in BrEn) is due to any association of the word sort being ultimately from an Old French word. The word sort has been in English for hundreds of years. It is no longer thought of as being connected at all to French, or France...that mindset may have existed in Mediaeval times in Middle English but it certainly doesnt exist today. In English, the two variations sort of and kind of (despite the ultimate origin of the two words sort and kind) are not representative of any Germanic-Latinate pair in the same way that cow and beef are. Both were created in English as variations because the words are synonyms. Leasnam (talk) 16:18, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
Merci Sobreira (talk) 10:41, 29 January 2015 (UTC)


Is it an alternative spelling of acquiescence, or a misspelling? — Ungoliant (falai) 22:21, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

I think it was originally entered as a typo, so presumably misspelling, but how common? Renard Migrant (talk) 23:10, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

fetherstane and the -d- of 4 in Germanic[edit]

On w:Crimean Gothic, an IP added the following text, talking about the presence of -d- in the word for 4 (Germanic *fedwōr): "However, one should not forget "fetherstane" (cromlech), from Old Northumbrian (Germanic) "four stone", which indicates a partial survival of this D in some dialects of West Germanic." Is it true that there are attestations of this word in Old English which preserve the original -d- intact? —CodeCat 20:58, 7 January 2015 (UTC)

Absolutely! But not as -d-, it has been modified to -ð-, as in the prefix fiþer- (four-, tetra-). Leasnam (talk) 06:34, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
So the IP was wrong, and this is not a remnant of the -d- of *fedwōr? —CodeCat 11:23, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
Well, it depends on how strict or exclusive you choose to be. Would I consider it to be a remnant? Yes. The prefix ultimately is tied to, if not derived from the numeral *fedwōr, so the Old English prefix fiþer- does preserve a reflex of the more original form of the word in regards to it containing a medial dental consonant. But I wouldnt say that it is a survival in the word for 'four', I have never seen a dental in any form or variation of Old English fēower. Leasnam (talk) 15:48, 8 January 2015 (UTC)


Should this not be a proper noun? I don't usually edit English entries so I am checking here. Kaixinguo (talk) 13:55, 10 January 2015 (UTC)

Maybe, but since there's no clear definition of the difference between a proper noun and a common noun, it's impossible to know for sure. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:25, 10 January 2015 (UTC)


Hello all,

I'm very new, indeed I joined to add this very word, but I'm also an avid dictionary enthusiast and I greatly appreciate the service done here for mankind, bravo!

So, when I searched online for this term, there are bloggers and individuals using it as I do, very few, it seems very new. It is of concern to me as the term fits me rather well. No "outrovert" was listed here, so I created it, and then signed up immediately afterwards. Since, checking for the term, brings up a false definition! At least it is not one I, or anyone else online, is using.

Outrovert is not just a pointless other term for extrovert, and here I'm a tad annoyed, I shall confess, extroverts already have so much attention and are assumed 'normal', introverts are my under-dog brethren, and "outrovert" is actually being used, in the wild, to mean, well as I already defined it in my entry, an introvert that takes to the outdoors for their solace and recharging time, rather than hiding indoors. It's such a positive term, and one empowering a minority of people to club together, I see it as rather a poor use, and even an injustice, to have it being a mere synonym of extrovert, as a silly quip from introvert. No no no.

Kindest regards, K

I've restored your preferred sense (reworded somewhat to be a suitable definition for a noun rather than an adjective and to be more concise) but left the "extrovert" sense as well, and I've started a request for verification for both senses so that we can see how the word is actually used in durably archived sources. It's possible, of course, that both senses are attested. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:31, 10 January 2015 (UTC)

Thanks Angr!

People who invent a word for their personality, and get upset about who uses it, tend to be making up words that nobody else uses. We will see how the RFV turns out. Equinox 01:23, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

foot loose and fancy free[edit]

Surprised we don't have this relatively common idiom. Still not exactly sure what it means though. Any ideas? ---> Tooironic (talk) 05:49, 11 January 2015 (UTC)


Is this really an eye dialect spelling? Isn't the pronunciation somewhat peculiar? --Fsojic (talk) 09:29, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

No, it's not eye dialect, though "goverment" would be. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:35, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
@Angr: If it isn't eye dialect, what is it? It certainly seems to me to be attestable as eye dialect, however else it may be used. DCDuring TALK 10:29, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
It's just a nonstandard form. It would only be eye dialect if the standard pronunciation of government were /ɡʌbmɪnt/. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:32, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
  1. I think we have a lot of use of {{eye dialect}} to clean up if we use that definition rather than "the use of misspellings to identify a colloquial or uneducated speaker" (AHD, WordNet and its followers). I don't think we have been using the term as the coiner intended. If we had been, we would/should have created {{pronunciation spelling}} to cover the spelling we now include and show as eye dialect.
  2. The spelling is certainly often used as a way of indicating something negative about those who purportedly use the "non-standard" pronunciation, which is implied as being one used by poorly educated speakers from "red" states. DCDuring TALK 11:44, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, people have long been misusing {{eye dialect}} here. I try to clean it up as I discover it. I've changed it now to:
{{nonstandard spelling of|government|nodot=1|lang=en}} {{i|used to reflect a nonstandard pronunciation}}
Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:49, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
We could also call it simply an alternative spelling of gubmint. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:51, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
The question is, should gubmint follow the same formatting as gub'mint? Or does it deserve a full entry? --Fsojic (talk) 14:45, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
They are both eye dialect by the definition of eye dialect that has been used here and seems to be the one most accepted, non-prescriptivist one. DCDuring TALK 16:30, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
The definition we have here isn't different from the one implied by Angr or the one we can find on wikipedia, it has just been misunderstood because it's incomplete, in that it doesn't say that the spelling is only suggestive and doesn't reflect an actual change in pronunciation. So this doesn't apply to gubmint. --Fsojic (talk) 17:30, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
  • I don't see why this would not be eye dialect. I disagree with Angr, and with their edit in gub'mint. Some definitions here: AHD[1]; Wiktionary in old revision before Angr changed it: this revision: "Nonstandard spellings, deliberately used by an author to indicate that the speaker uses a nonstandard or dialectal speech." --Dan Polansky (talk) 18:21, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
    Later: Angr may be right, and my diff wrong. We need to clarify that. I placed some quotations at Citations:eye dialect. Please let us collect more quotations, even mentions; I think mentions will be more helpful to clarify the various meanings in which "eye dialect" is used. --Dan Polansky (talk) 18:50, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
    The wikipedia article sums it up pretty well:
Eye dialect is the use of nonstandard spelling for speech to draw attention to an ironically standard pronunciation. The term was coined by George P. Krapp to refer to the literary technique of using nonstandard spelling that implies a pronunciation of the given word that is actually standard, such as wimmin for women; the spelling indicates that the character's speech overall is dialectal, foreign, or uneducated. This form of nonstandard spelling differs from others in that a difference in spelling does not indicate a difference in pronunciation of a word. That is, it is dialect to the eye rather than to the ear. It suggests that a character "would use a vulgar pronunciation if there were one" and "is at the level of ignorance where one misspells in this fashion, hence mispronounces as well."
The term is less commonly also used to refer to pronunciation spellings, that is, spellings of words that indicate that they are pronounced in a nonstandard way. For example, an author might write dat as an attempt at accurate transcription of a nonstandard pronunciation of that.
I think we should just stick to the former definition (as does, again, the article), and speak of "pronunciation spelling" in relevant cases. --Fsojic (talk) 19:16, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
You are proposing a change in our practice. I'll quote from Talk:eye dialect: "RFV-failed as sense in that entry (but kept as the definition of the term in our glossary, because it's how our entries and templates use it)." In sense definitions, it seems Wiktionary has been using "eye dialect" in the broader, AHD sense; you now want to change that. The current manner by which Wiktionary uses the term should be verifiable by the current content of Category:English eye dialect. --Dan Polansky (talk) 19:30, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
See also Appendix:Glossary#E, "eye dialect". --Dan Polansky (talk) 19:34, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
I do. Wiktionary is a linguistic work, and should be as accurate as possible. There is no reason for us to choose the broader meaning that encompasses two different concepts, especially when there is an appropriate terminology at hand. --Fsojic (talk) 19:58, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
You are implying that the broader meaning is inaccurate, which I do not think to be the case. "cat" originally used to refer only to the domestic animal, and now is used in a new sense to also refer to the likes of tiger, and being late on scene does not make the broader meaning of "cat" inaccurate. If the narrower meaning is much more widely used, a switch in Wiktionary practice may be advisable, though. Such a switch is much better suited for Beer parlour than to Tea room, which discusses individual words rather than changes in practice and policy. --Dan Polansky (talk) 20:08, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
The difference is that eye dialect is a technical term, and cat isn't. Eye dialect is more comparable to felid; it has a firm definition in its field, and although nonspecialists may sometimes use it imprecisely, a reference work like a dictionary should be careful to use it in its technically correct sense. So even if we find that eye dialect is sometimes used to mean nonstandard spellings that reflect a nonstandard pronunciation, we can add that definition (with an appropriate label like "loosely" or "by extension" or something), but we still shouldn't use the {{eye dialect}} tag in the nonspecialist sense. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:36, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
If eye dialect is a term with a technical sense and a more general sense closely connected with the component terms, the technical sense is totally inappropriate for use in a definiens in a general-purpose dictionary for the general population, as Wiktionary is. It seems that the better approach would be to rename or redirect {{eye dialect of}} to {{pronunciation spelling}} and then use hard categories or switches to add categories for finer distinctions. This particularly true as the history of our use of the template clearly uses a definition close to spelling pronunciation and not the narrow, original sense. Clearly we need to show a bit more respect to the work done in the past before wantonly attempting poorly thought-through unilateral reforms. DCDuring TALK 23:08, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
I don't feel any particular need to show respect to poorly researched work done in the past. People who don't know what eye dialect is shouldn't go around labeling things {{eye dialect of}}. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:56, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
Such an approach is not appropriate for a work funded by charitable donations and volunteer effort and intended to serve a broad population of users. It smacks of elitist prescriptivism. The use of technical definitions of terms that seem to have a surface meaning significantly different from the technical one is wrong for Wiktionary in all cases, as wrong as using obsolete, rare, and sesquipedalian words unnecessarily in entries. Non-academic published works try to find terms that allow better communication with normal folk.
It seems to me that the solution to the problem is to redirect {{eye dialect}} to {{pronunciation spelling}} immediately, bot-edit all uses of {{eye dialect}} to {{pronunciation spelling}} when convenient, and look for the relatively few instances of actual "eye dialect" and hard categorize them to subcategories of Category:eye dialect. The last thing we need to do is once more subject curious readers unnecessarily to the ambiguity of a term such as eye dialect. DCDuring TALK 21:20, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
Without getting into the question of which meaning of "eye dialect" is correct, my impression is that the number of entries which use it in the way DCDuring describes do dwarf the entries which use it in the way Angr describes. Hence, if we want to discontinue use of the term with the meaning DCDuring describes, his suggestion of bot-renaming all current uses is sound, and I would add that we should probably also discontinue {{eye-dialect of}}, lest new uses take us quickly back to the current lopsided ratio of DCDuring-like-uses to Angr-like-uses. However, I question if "pronunciation spelling" is the best replacement term; The American Heritage Guide to Contemporary Usage and Style suggests that it means the same thing as "pronunciation respelling" and refers to a nonstandard spelling used to more closely reflect a (standard) pronunciation. But perhaps if we included, by default, text along the lines of what is currently added by the optional from= parameter, it would work. I.e., by default the template would display "[whatever term we decide to use] of x, representing a dialectal pronunciation.", and by setting the from= parameter one could optionally specify which dialect. - -sche (discuss) 04:55, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
Symbol support vote.svg Support Sounds good to me, though I hypothesize that most folks wouldn't look up the term in The American Heritage Guide to Contemporary Usage and Style but rather in a reference such as those at pronunciation spelling at OneLook Dictionary Search, specifically RHU and AHD to find a more transparent meaning or construct the transparent meaning from the components. RHU uses pronunciation spelling to mark the entries we have been calling eye dialect. DCDuring TALK 11:45, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
Symbol support vote.svg SupportMr. Granger (talkcontribs) 15:52, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

judging by[edit]

Would "judging by" warrant an entry as a conjunction with the meaning of "according to"? E.g. Judging by the market reports, this sort of product sells well. ---> Tooironic (talk) 09:19, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

IMO no. Standard grammatical construct. Could also say "if we judge by __", "when judged by __" etc. which is not the case with "accord" ("*I hope it will accord to __"). Equinox 18:37, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
I see. Thanks. ---> Tooironic (talk) 02:22, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

I'm trying to find a meaning for Sabre[edit]

anyone knows what Sabre means??

I'm sure someone does. But I don't know what you mean: sabre, any of w:Sabre (disambiguation), or something else? DCDuring TALK 12:07, 12 January 2015 (UTC)


To which sense does the quotation belong? DTLHS (talk) 00:51, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

'eponymous' usage[edit]

I'm discussing the cocktail called the Ramos Gin Fizz. Its creator H.C. Ramos called it a New Orleans Fizz, but his name was ultimately the one that stuck. I'm tempted to say the following: The New Orleans Fizz first served by H.C. Ramos didn’t become eponymous with its creator until the early 1900s. I'm not sure this is acceptable, however, and I think I have two related concerns:

  • Can something become eponymous? (my guess is yes)
  • Can something be eponymous with someone? (I have no idea)

I do see some scattered usage in Google searches but nothing that's set my mind at ease. With thanks —JamesLucas (" " / +) 14:03, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

A quick look at COCA finds with to be the only preposition that heads a prepositional phrase complementing eponymous. But Google books search shows abundant use with of and to also. DCDuring TALK 18:28, 13 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for that source. I did see plenty of uses of "eponymous with" but none of them seemed particularly reputable. I think I'm going to scrap this. —JamesLucas (" " / +) 21:14, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

... has your name on it[edit]

Was just watching a TV show where one of the characters visits a fortune teller who says, "You will have some very interesting connections in Indonesia in the future. You’re coming and going, coming and going. Indonesia has got your name on it." Was wondering how we can cover this construction of "x has your name on it" on Wiktionary? ---> Tooironic (talk) 02:38, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

We have have one's name on it. Cassell's Dictionary of Slang has have one's name on.
Google "have|has|had|having|got my|your|his|their name|names on" (BooksGroupsScholarNews Archive) and Google "have|has|had|having|got my|your|his|their name|names on it" (BooksGroupsScholarNews Archive) show that the literal senses dominate. The extended, non-SoP meanings include "is owned by one" (nearly literal} and "is destined for one". Variant forms like "have one's name all over" and "have one's name written all over" will show a higher proportion of the extended meanings, I think. DCDuring TALK 03:58, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Wasn't the original form referring to a bullet "with ones name on it" - meaning one was certain to be shot? Maybe World War One? SemperBlotto (talk) 08:21, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
    I doubt that it was the original usage, but it certainly popularized the "destiny" sense of the term. DCDuring TALK 11:53, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
  • I've moved have one's name on it to have one's name on in line with the first usage example, which had her instead of it. Feel free to move it back, split the entry etc. It's just a suggestion. DCDuring TALK 12:05, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

affair and love affair[edit]

I think we have a problem here. An affair or love affair just means a romantic or sexual relationship between two people who are not married to each other right? It doesn't have to be adulterous as far as I know. ---> Tooironic (talk) 07:07, 14 January 2015 (UTC) What I mean is, it can refer to an adulterous relationship, but it can also refer to a non-adulterous one. ---> Tooironic (talk) 07:10, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

My understanding is that any two people can have a "love affair", but a plain "affair" in the context of the relationship of two people tends to imply that at least one of them is married to someone else. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 11:16, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
Or in a steady relationship. Usually talking about marriage, just not always. Renard Migrant (talk) 11:54, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
I think there is always an element of betrayal, that, for at least one partner, the affair is not with the person with whom one is in a more public, long-term committed relationship. DCDuring TALK 12:11, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

you never know[edit]

From my understanding, this phrase can have two meanings: 1) it's possible 2) it's not impossible. For example, if my friend says she will never accept a low-paying job, and I say, "you never know", what I mean is that she could actually find herself in a situation where she might accept a low-paying job, that the future is unpredictable. I am not, as the entry currently suggests, speculating about a slight possibility - I am actually expressing doubt about an impossibility. Right? ---> Tooironic (talk) 10:58, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

I interpret that as "actually, there is a slight possibility that you will accept a low-paying job". Equinox 11:34, 14 January 2015 (UTC)


Today's Guardian newspaper has a picture of these strange German things. There is no entry in the German Wiktionary but their Wikipedia has an entry for w:de:Silvesterklaus. My German is not good enough to add an entry here, and I don't know if it should be "Silvesterklaus", "Silvesterchlaus" or even "Silvesterkläuse". I don't know how to translate it as the English Wikipedia doesn't seem to have an entry. Any ideas? SemperBlotto (talk) 11:02, 14 January 2015 (UTC)

I think it's Silvesterklaus with the nominative plural Silvesterkläuse. I know that in France every day has a saint's name and the 31st of December it's Saint Sylvestre, so la Saint-Sylvestre is the most common name for New Year's Eve. Renard Migrant (talk) 11:52, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
Chlaus I think is an archaic form of Klaus. Also see Silvester which explains what I was saying about saints. Quite common in Europe it seems, but not whatsoever in the UK! Renard Migrant (talk) 11:53, 14 January 2015 (UTC)
Chlaus (IPA [xlaus]) would be a Swiss German form of Klaus and related to Nikolaus (called Chlaus in Switzerland as well). I've never heard of a Silvesterklaus or anything of this kind. It's probably restricted to Switzerland, or southern Germany at most.Kolmiel (talk) 16:47, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
Yeah. It's a Swiss thing, it seems even restricted to a certain part of Switzerland. (I hadn't seen the Wikipedia article you'd mentioned.)Kolmiel (talk) 16:52, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
It's true, of course, that Silvester (also spelt Sylvester) is the normal German word for New Year's Eve. (Actually the only word there is, I think.) But the chlaus-thing is not common at all. As I said I had never heard of it, even though I'm not uninterested in regional traditions.Kolmiel (talk) 17:00, 19 January 2015 (UTC)


I was wondering about this greek. This word basically means whole,everything or like the whole universe. Is this where peter pan got his name? I would certainly like to know the origin of the peter pan name and if it came from this word.

Peter Pan’s name comes from the Greek god Πάν. See the etymology on that page. —Stephen (Talk) 11:41, 15 January 2015 (UTC)


apparently truculence in French means vividness of style. This is rather different from the meaning in English. Only the English definition is currently available in Wiktionary. RP

translation needed from english to sanskrit[edit]

hi. i would like the below verse translated into sanskrit. Live every moment, Laugh everyday, Love beyond words, Accept Life.

Sorry, it is too complex and difficult. I would have to spend hours trying to understand the meaning of some of those lines. I usually allot only five minutes or so to a free Sanskrit translation. —Stephen (Talk) 11:37, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
You almost certainly mean "Laugh every day", not "Laugh everyday". 18:44, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

Capitalisation of venturi terms[edit]

venturi effect, venturi mask, venturi scrubber, venturi tube. From a glance in Google Books, I think for each of these terms the V is overwhelming or always capitalized. Not so sure about venturi itself. Equinox 15:35, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

A look at COCA suggests otherwise, but does not provide enough data to be relied on. I am afraid that each collocation needs to be looked at individually. Some attributive use of lower-case venturi seems to be attributive use in the sense "venturi tube". DCDuring TALK 15:47, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
venturi scrubber looks more common than Venturi scrubber in running text at Google Books, based on sample of 30. DCDuring TALK 15:55, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
None of the following suggests overwhelming capitalization: venturi scrubber,Venturi scrubber at Google Ngram Viewer, venturi effect,Venturi effect at Google Ngram Viewer, venturi tube, Venturi tube at Google Ngram Viewer. --Dan Polansky (talk) 16:11, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

pronunciation of etymology 2 of dam[edit]

Can someone check a definitive dictionary for the pronunciation of this? I've only ever seen it used in writing by Gilbert White, I don't know if it's an alternate spelling of the more common word, and has a diphthong, or if it comes from french damme, and has the same vowel as that one, or perhaps as the other sense of dam, the structure? edit: copied to tea room, I was confused about which section to use for these discussions —This comment was unsigned.

Out of curiosity, why wouldn't you "check a definitive dictionary"?
I would pronounce it like dame#French. I think that the dam spelling is intended to avoid pronouncing dame to rhyme with aim. DCDuring TALK 16:49, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
Are we talking about the English word? If so, etymology 2 is pronounced just like etymology 1, and they're both homophonous with damn and rhyme with ham and jam. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 00:13, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
I'd say the pronunciation of etymology 2 of dam is [vɛəɹiənt ʌv dæm]. Renard Migrant (talk) 00:26, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
Or [væɹiənt ʌv dæm], depending upon who you ask. ;) Tharthan (talk) 00:09, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

How to denote a noun that consists of two nouns joined by "and"?[edit]

I'm a bit unsure how to write the entry schering en inslag. These are two nouns, and the combined phrase acts grammatically like any other conjunction of two nouns. It can be compared to something like fire and water in English. Because it's two nouns, it doesn't really have grammatical gender, and plurals in Dutch have no gender. But this is not really a plural either because it doesn't require plural verb inflection, just like an English phrase would (both "fire and water is" and "fire and water are" can be used). So what is it? —CodeCat 23:42, 15 January 2015 (UTC)

dvandva ? --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 23:45, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
From what I can see, that term also has a semantic implication. It looks like a dvandva is something that uses two words to denote a semantic "boundary" where the combination includes everything in between. That wouldn't necessarily apply here, especially as this combination is an idiom with a totally different meaning. —CodeCat 23:51, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
The definition for dvandvas is how they behave syntactically, not what the resulting compound means. Idiomacity is just an additional semantic constraint that precludes exchangeability of the constituents. Wikipedia article is too biased in favor of grc/sa, a better overview can be found here. --Ivan Štambuk (talk) 21:33, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
Like fish and chips, clicks and mortar? We seem to class them as nouns, though "noun phrase" might be more accurate. Equinox 23:55, 15 January 2015 (UTC)
But in a language like Dutch, the gender is not clearly determined either, which makes it more difficult to call it a real noun. Unfortunately, gender inflection in Dutch adjectives is rather rudimentary, so it's not so easy to figure out what the gender of a combination like this is. I wonder how languages like Spanish handle it. —CodeCat 00:00, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
I would leave them genderless. Spanish, French, etc. would use the gender of both nouns, mixed genders being masculine. In Russian, it would only matter if they are animate or inanimate. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 00:08, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
If it's genderless, then it can't be a noun. Which kind of makes sense, because it's two nouns. Also, if such a phrase is used as the subject, does the verb inflect as singular, plural or either in those languages? If it can be singular, what gender does an adjective have? For example, if you say "X and Y is/are (adjective)"? —CodeCat 00:11, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
In German, they would either be a noun phrase in the plural and thus without gender (Feuer und Wasser sind, never *Feuer und Wasser ist). Or they would be nouns of their own right with a gender, most often neuter (e.g. das Hab und Gut, das Fish & Chips).Kolmiel (talk) 16:40, 19 January 2015 (UTC) --- (Or at least I can't think of any that are singular and do not have a gender. Of course, gender might sometimes vary, but speakers would give it a gender.)Kolmiel (talk) 16:45, 19 January 2015 (UTC)


Is this word attestable in English too? ---> Tooironic (talk) 11:20, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Indeed it is. Smurrayinchester (talk) 12:31, 16 January 2015 (UTC)
Many thanks. ---> Tooironic (talk) 15:59, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

Singular 'they' for animals/objects[edit]

There is a discussion if singular they can be used to refer to animals or objects at Talk:they#Singular_senses. We are thinking of combining senses for unknown gender singular and known gender singular if there are citations for singular with an animal or object as its referent. Timeraner (talk) 16:58, 16 January 2015 (UTC)


Years ago as a kid, I used to read those Commando war comics. One word that often came up was "kato". It was used by Japanese characters as an insult for the allies, as in "Die, you kato dog". But I could not find any evidence of it now. Anyone remember it, or able to find it.--Dmol (talk) 20:10, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

This was on WT:REE for some years. I searched a few times, but found nothing, so eventually removed it. Equinox 00:56, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
Japanese is such a bonkers language in terms of homophones, but one "kato" (actually "katō"), 下等, means something like "inferior" or "low-class". I wonder whether it could be that? 13:03, 17 January 2015 (UTC)


There is a sense missing. I mean the one that is often found in casual online forums or speech as in "someone farted "cough" brian". Can someone add that sense please? I would really appreciate that. Thank you. 00:55, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

I've taken a run at this, but the non-gloss definition could be improved (replaced?) and more usage examples added. DCDuring TALK 02:05, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
You don't think it would qualify as an interjection? DTLHS (talk) 02:57, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
I think hardly anything qualifies as an interjection except for words that are: 1, not derived homonyms of words of other word classes, 2, are expressions of emotion (broadly defined), and, 3, occur in grammatical isolation from the sentence(s) surrounding them. Others here classify anything that is in grammatical isolation as an interjection, which would included absolute expressions and prosentences if they were consistent. I have not seen a definition offered here that would include all and only what we include as interjections. DCDuring TALK 03:09, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

Letter "ⴻ" in Central Atlas Tamazight (and Tashelhit)[edit]

This letter, meaning the absence of vowal (and double following consonant), seems to be no more popular in modern Tifinagh writings. For example, my reference book (see here) do not use it, but notes the double consonant.

For example : ⴰⵎⴻⵍⴰⵍ => ⴰⵎⵍⵍⴰⵍ

Transliteration is the same (amellal). Pronounciation is /a.məl.'læl/

--Lucyin (talk) 17:57, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

I see both forms are in Wiktionary. So, it should be evidenced that it is the same word, with the same pronounciation, just differences in orthography conventions.

--Lucyin (talk) 18:01, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

I completed both articles with alternative forms and pronounciation. Is it right ?

--Lucyin (talk) 18:15, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

@Lucyin: Normally we would mark one as an alternative spelling of the other. See dramatize and dramatise for an example. It doesn't really matter which you pick to be the "main" form and which to be the alternative form. This, that and the other (talk) 08:40, 27 January 2015 (UTC)


Chuck Entz and I have a dispute on the wiktionary page for blasphemy. You can see my correction and his revert here. My attempt to resolve our disagreement can be read here.

A draft version, that I submit for comments to Tea room participants, can be seen here. Contrast it with the reverted version.

Reasons I favor the draft version:

  • While I am fine with including the definition of word as "insulting a deity", this is incomplete because these are not redundant. A God is a deity, but a deity is not necessarily a God. A deity can be demigod, non-god, natural object, etc.
  • Per WT:NPOV poilcy, wiktionary definition should express all significant meaning, viewpoint. The predominant use, most widespread meaning of blasphemy relates to "certain speech and action against God or a sacred entity". (See any major dictionary or encyclopedia; for exampe: Meriam Webster (2012), Blasphemy, Quote: "great disrespect shown to God or to something holy"; The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (2013), Quote: "Contemptuous or profane speech or action concerning God or a sacred entity."). The older/reverted version did not mention "God" anywhere, not even once.
  • The older version alleged the word to mean "irreverence to deities". But "blasphemy against deities" fails attestation, clearly widespread use, per WT:CFI policy.

Which version of blasphemy definition is more consistent with WT:NPOV and WT:CFI, and why?

RLoutfy (talk) 21:49, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

If blasphemy can't apply to any deity, but only to a god, then "deity" should be replaced. Otherwise, it is fine as it is, "god" is redundant as "deity" already encompasses it (see the definitions at deity). NPOV means that we should describe all meanings, so limiting it to just "God" is showing a preference to the monotheistic view of religion, which of course is definitely not neutral. —CodeCat 21:56, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
I think we should have both, monotheistic and polytheistic usage, to respect WT:NPOV. The current version is inadvertently pushing only the polytheistic angle, which is not the widespread sense of use of word blasphemy.
Can you attest, per WT:CFI guidelines, that the word blasphemy applies to "any deity" or "deities"? I find none for "deities", nor for "any deity" (universal sense). Yes, there is some historical usage for "deity" as well as "gods", but predominant usage is "God or sacred entity". RLoutfy (talk) 22:12, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
That's a slippery slope, though, because there are as many POVs as there are religions and gods. Are we to replace "deity" with "God, Jehovah, Allah, Brahma, Odin, Jupiter..."? We use the term "deity" because it encompasses all those things. That said, it's easy to find references of blaspheming against a variety of things. Just look for "blaspheme against (insert deity here)". —CodeCat 22:17, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
The context of any above is demi-god, natural objects, non-gods - all of which can be deities in various pagan traditions. My concern is that blasphemy doesn't apply to any deity, nor deities. Disrespect, criticism, cursing demigod deity, non-god deity, natural object deity was/is not blasphemy in some pagan traditions.
The word God, in English, includes the various contextual sense of words you list. On search you recommend, I have done that already (e.g. "blaspheme against deities") - a sense reflected on the current wiktionary page. I get two hits on google (one in a forum), none in any book, none in scholarly publications. The results for "blasphemy of deities" thus fail WT:CFI.
Why not include both poly- and mono- theistic versions of the definition? RLoutfy (talk) 22:40, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
It may not be blasphemy in some religions, but it is in others. For example, what an Ancient Greek might have considered blasphemy against Zeus is probably not considered blasphemy by modern-day Orthodox Christians. Recently, many people considered the publication of pictures of Mohammed blasphemy, but many others did not. This is the slippery slope. We can't possibly list every single sect's nuanced version of blasphemy. So the definition we have is general enough to include the overall aspects that these various definitions of each religion have in common.
And as for your search, have you tried searching for things like "blasphemy against Odin", "blasphemy against Artemis" or "blasphemy against Vishnu"? —CodeCat 22:57, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
"Blasphemy against Odin" etc are not mentioned on the wiktionary page. All it mentions is "deity" and "deities". That is what is relevant for WT:CFI.
Show me WT:CFI-compliant attested use of "blasphemy against deities", or "blasphemy against demi-god/nongod deity".
Once again, I am not saying "do not use deity" or "replace deity everywhere on the page with the term God" on blasphemy page. I am suggesting that include both "God" (widespread) and "deity" (fringe, historic) sense of meanings, for WT:NPOV. I am also suggesting that we remove "deities" per WT:CFI. RLoutfy (talk) 23:15, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
Um... but you realise Odin is a deity, right? Therefore, the definition fits. That's what's relevant for CFI. Furthermore, people still use the word "blasphemy" to refer to an act against a polytheistic god or other kind of deity. So that's a modern sense, modern utterances are still created with that meaning. And "fringe" is completely irrelevant for a dictionary entry. —CodeCat 23:20, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

Yes I know. And that would be covered by including the "blasphemy against deity" sense of meaning. The issue is that that is not the only, nor even widespread sense of the meaning. That creates WT:NPOV issue.

Your position ignores the fact that deity or deities do not mean God in Islam, for example. The Shahada (Arabic: الشهادة‎) of Islam states, "There is no god but God". Blasphemy in Islamic context isn't "Contemptuous or profane speech or action concerning deity or deities". Blasphemy in Islam, for example, is "Contemptuous or profane speech or action concerning God". For neutral point of view, the monotheistic version of the definition should be included. RLoutfy (talk) 23:29, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

Then it's the entry deity you want changed. It currently defines it as "a divine being; a god or goddess". This definition includes the Islamic god. But I get the feeling you're just trying to push your POV while calling it neutral. I already said that we can't include every single religious group's particular definition of what blasphemy is. The current general definition already includes the Islamic definition. Any act that is blasphemy by Islam is also blasphemy by the current definition in the entry, if I'm not mistaken. For example, insulting the Islamic god does fit the description "act of insulting or showing contempt or lack of reverence for any religion's deity or deities". If you don't understand that then I don't know what else to tell you. —CodeCat 23:36, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
Wow, did PaM hire a gang of Islam kooks to come and screw us up, after he got banned? Equinox 23:50, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
Codecat - Not at all. I do not want "deity" page changed. It matches the widespread meaning of that word.
My focus is the blasphemy page. I am saying include both definitions, monotheistic and polytheistic senses of definition. I gave three reasons above (God is deity, but a deity is not necessarily God; etc). I have even added references to help you verify attested use. Monotheistic concept of God is different than monotheistic concept of deity (god) - I have given you proof above. You are alleging that polytheistic definition covers the monotheistic definition, which is neither true nor have you provided evidence/attested-use to prove so.
I am open to constructive collaboration with you to improve the blasphemy page. While you accuse me of POV, I refuse to accuse you of anything. Let us assume good faith. RLoutfy (talk) 00:05, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
Would changing it to 'against a god' make you that much happier? In term of polytheismgoogle books:"blasphemy against Odin" google books:"blasphemy against Vishnu" both get a hit. You seem to be by your own admission, ardently arguing to replace one word with a synonym of that word. Renard Migrant (talk) 00:25, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
I am not seeking replacement of "deity" to "god". I am seeking that we add, "4. Disrespect, contemptuous or profane speech or action concerning God" with capital G. That is the widespread use, and attested in every major dictionary and encyclopedia I have checked (see two examples above). RLoutfy (talk) 00:34, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
But as I said, that sense is redundant to the existing one, because a capital God is a deity. —CodeCat 00:38, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
(edit conflict) The "God" is "a god", which is a deity. And which God is the God depends entirely upon who you ask. You are seeking to make a distinction without a difference, to include a specific example of a general term purely so that monotheists can feel fuzzy and included because they can then continue to make believe that their God is not somehow "a god", and that they are uniquely special, and the definition is written specifically for their God, and not for any of those heathen imposters who call themselves "God".
You are pushing a point of view (that "God" is somehow not "a god") which is semantically nonsensical, and you are pushing it in a passive-aggressive "I'm being nice and reasonable so you aren't allowed to call what I'm saying bullshit", "I'm being NPOV if I say I am" way. And I'd have a bit more respect for your position if this argument were not literally the only thing you've done on Wiktionary under this name. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 00:44, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
CodeCat - Not so. See: google books:"God is not a deity" for attested counter-examples. RLoutfy (talk) 00:47, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
Most of those examples are part of sentences which directly contradict you ("But the true God is not a Deity who can neither help nor injure men"... ie., God is a Deity), and even if not, the existence of a sentence does nothing to argue for the truth of that sentence. See: google books:"I am a teapot" for attested examples. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 00:55, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
Attestation doesn't make truth, google books:"Elvis Presley is alive" and so on. RLoutfy has made his point, it's been rejected, and we should all move on. Good day everyone. Renard Migrant (talk) 01:20, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

Catsidhe - See Pierson (ISBN 978-1490426334).

Quote - "The Pagan gods and goddesses of pre-Christian Europe like Odin, Thor, Mars, Aphrodite and Venus are deities. Deities are human like. God is not a deity."

If you want to go by "most of the examples", then most examples of attested use of "blasphemy" are with the word "God", not with the word "deity", never with the word "deities". The current blasphemy page never uses the word god or God even once. Once again, I am not asking to replace deity with god on that page. I am asking, why not include both polytheistic definition and monotheistic definition. I have already shown attested examples that it is not redundant - "God is not god" in some cases, "God is not deity" in some cases, and "deity is not God" in some cases. A WT:NPOV version would include all attested sense of meanings.

Folks - I am not going to edit the disputed page, if I fail to persuade you. I do appreciate your feedback here, and that I sense is the purpose of Tea House. I am going to sign off for now. I hope you will weigh the evidence on both sides, and revise if appropriate, or leave the page unchanged if appropriate. RLoutfy (talk) 01:27, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

Pushing your own point of view against majority wishes while citing WT:NPOV. That'll make you popular. Renard Migrant (talk) 01:31, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

Chiming in. My thoughts, after reading this through:

  • Checking this user's global contributions shows an odd focus on blasphemy.
  • The above arguments made by RLoutfy fail to follow logic, and fail to persuade. I can find no sense in the motion to change the blasphemy entry.

Keep unchanged. The context of this user's edits makes this whole thread seem like part of a broader obsession that I neither share nor understand. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 22:34, 18 January 2015 (UTC)


The entry says that "billiard" is an adjective but no examples are given. If it is referring to uses such as "billiard ball", I feel rather doubtful that it is a true adjective. 14:58, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

Now moved under the noun section. Equinox 15:22, 18 January 2015 (UTC)


Is this standard usage or is it a misrepresentation of summons as a plural? — Ungoliant (falai) 16:55, 18 January 2015 (UTC)

Not standard usage at all. As you know, the contributor who added that isn't a native speaker of English and tends to overlook a lot of details Chuck Entz (talk) 17:16, 18 January 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps it can be formatted like kudo, with a second etymology section. — Ungoliant (falai) 17:24, 18 January 2015 (UTC)


I've greatly expanded our entry on that, and although the usage notes may need more work, I think the senses are now pretty complete — as complete as what Century had and what Merriam-Webster has. There's just one use of the word that I'm not sure how to cover:

Merriam-Webster has this as pronoun 2 sense 2b, "according to what : to the extent of what — used after a negative", but that definition makes it sound more like a conjunction than a pronoun. - -sche (discuss) 04:52, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

  • I don't see why MWO def for conjunction 1a(4): "used as a function word to introduce a subordinate clause modifying an adverb or adverbial expression <will go anywhere that he is invited>", isn't sufficient for the usage example. Also couldn't one say, in response to "Was Simpson there?", "Twice that I saw."? Ie, not with a negative. How is the negative supposed to change the grammar, so that switches word class from conjunction to pronoun? DCDuring TALK 19:16, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
Good point re "twice that I saw". OK, I've added two usexes (one with a negative, one without) of this sort of usage to that sense. - -sche (discuss) 17:05, 22 January 2015 (UTC)


In the translations for the first sense: "Dutch: auto (nl) m, wagen (nl) m, automobiel (nl) m (deprecated)"

I had a bit of a chuckle at "deprecated" there. Seriously though, I think deprecated is an inappropriate word here. Is "automobiel" archaic? Obsolete? Just old-fashioned? This, that and the other (talk) 08:40, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

Probably just dated. People wouldn't use it. —CodeCat 16:57, 19 January 2015 (UTC)


The current definition of "manslaugter" seems to be wrong because it explicitly defines it as "unwillful" killing. It seems that manslaughter can be both "willful" and "unwillful". Wikipedia's w:manslaughter distinguishes between "voluntary manslaughter" and "involuntary manslaughter". ---- This is particularly relevant because we translate "manslaughter" with German Totschlag and Dutch doodslag, both of which are explicitly restricted to "voluntary manslaughter", i.e. killing with a will to kill but without prearrangement or premeditiation. ---- An alternative definition could be something like: A criminal act of killing a human being considered less culpable than murder, with legal definitions varying by jurisdiction (unless there is someone who could provide a more detailed definition fitting the situation in the "Anglo-Saxon" laws). What do you think?Kolmiel (talk) 16:33, 19 January 2015 (UTC)

AHD has: "The killing of a person without malice aforethought but with either the intention to commit an unlawful act that leads to an unintended death, or with an otherwise murderous intent that is extenuated by some partial defense, such as acting under the influence of an extreme emotional disturbance occasioned by a substantial provocation on the part of the victim."
Legal definitions are complicated and may differ by jurisdiction, eg, by country and, in the US, by state. In the absence of an ability to definitively analyze all laws for the jurisdictions, we either have to restrict our definition(s) to what we can cite or rely on authorities while avoiding copyright violations. DCDuring TALK 19:27, 19 January 2015 (UTC)
All right. Thanks. (And sorry for answering so late) ... Now what would you propose? At any rate the current definition is wrong, isn't it? We could probably use "malice aforethought". My English isn't good enough to give a perfect solution, just something along the lines of: "The crime of killing a person unlawfully, distinguished from murder by the lack of malice aforethought, and therefore considered less culpable. (Precise legal definitions vary by jurisdiction.)" Do you think you could make some edit of this kind? I mean what harm can it do if the current definition is explicitly wrong?Kolmiel (talk) 17:35, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
@Kolmiel: I have reworded using Webster 1913, which is copyright-free. I can't distinguish the substance from more modern definitions. DCDuring TALK 19:28, 25 January 2015 (UTC)
Okay. Thank you! It's certainly better now. The translations might still be wrong or misleading in some cases. I don't know, but they should be checked. I've adapted the German translations, they should be fine.Kolmiel (talk) 21:58, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

additives to hashish[edit]

When I was young in the 70's I didn't know what my peers were getting me high on. So I wonder now if I'm being a drug in my adult life what was Hashish mixed with in the 70's? Was in heroin, was it opium, was it cocaine? To ask what it really was is the very ignorance of my youth and it greatly concerns me today. All my mental illness may stem off of the drug I was taking and if it wasn't pure hashish then I'm concerned about what I'm to do about it today. What the question I ask is what are the additives they mixed with hashish back in the 70's to know what I can do about it in my adult life? This opinion only stems off of what drug we are when it comes to that we need to take notice it is how our mind works today. I can understand when we where just teens they would give us an unpure derivative of hashish for a cheaper price. Maybe none of us knew what it would do until they decided to get me high on the drug. How dumb of me when I trusted anyone and everyone I was with. It is time to concern ourselves in 2015 what is legal in the six states that cannabis is legal when it amounts to a pure extraction of marijuana.

Sorry, but this is a dictionary staffed by volunteers, not the Source Of All Knowledge. Even if one of us knew about that stuff, it wouldn't be ethical to discuss it here. The closest thing we have is definitions for slang terms for drugs, but I wouldn't stake my life or well-being on their accuracy. Chuck Entz (talk) 07:17, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

Soute (FR) - tasinko (FI)[edit]


I use Wiktionary too seldom to remember the knobs and buttons....

Could someone establish a link between "soulte" in French and "tasinko" in Finnish ? They are the same word in both languages It would be useful to create the English translation too (amount one has to pay to somebody in case of unequal shares in an inheritance)


--BeeJay (talk) 10:22, 21 January 2015 (UTC)


I just read this on the ManCity homepage: "Our live stream is available in all territories excluding those listed below, but you can watch the game courtesy of these alternative broadcasters."

However I don't quite understand the meaning of courtesy in that sentence, since English is not my native tongue. Could someone explain that to me? What is a game courtesy?-- 15:30, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

  • See the preposition courtesy of. (I've added your quote) SemperBlotto (talk) 15:38, 21 January 2015 (UTC)
  • (EC) In this case, it's part of the phrase "courtesy of", meaning "thanks to". Another way to write it would be "You can watch the game, thanks to these alternative broadcasters", or "These alternative broadcasters will let you watch the game". Smurrayinchester (talk) 15:40, 21 January 2015 (UTC)


"A feeble utterance or complaint. I don't want to hear a peep out of you!" That's not my understanding of the word. I think it means the smallest possible sound (along the lines of whit or jot for the smallest possible amount), so "not a peep" means not even the smallest sound — whereas our definition of "a feeble utterance or complaint" suggests something closer to "no dissent". Equinox 19:29, 21 January 2015 (UTC)

bicarbonate -- year coined[edit]

I just edited Wikipedia's article on "bicarbonate" to include the date (1814) on which the term was coined.

If you want to add that information to Wikitionary's article on "bicarbonate", here's the information:

The term "bicarbonate" was coined in 1814 by the English chemist William Hyde Wollaston.[1]

[1] William Hyde Wollaston (1814) "A synoptic scale of chemical equivalents," Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, 104 : 1-22. On page 11, Wollaston coins the term "bicarbonate": "The next question that occurs relates to the composition of this crystallized carbonate of potash, which I am induced to call bi-carbonate of potash, for the purpose of marking more decidedly the distinction between this salt and that which is commonly called a subcarbonate, and in order to refer at once to the double dose of carbonic acid contained in it."

VexorAbVikipædia (talk) 05:02, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

blackheart tree[edit]

Wirlu is a Martuthunira word that references gloss as "the blackheart tree". Related languages use wirlu to denote acacias, so the blackheart is probably an acacia. Can anyone figure out which one? The Lincoln Library of Essential Information (1962), page 1072, says "The Blackwood, or Blackheart, an Australian species (A. melanorylon), now grown in California", while Australian Dry-zone Acacias for Human Food (1992, ISBN 064310240X), page 62, lists it as a common name of Acacia coriacea. @DCDuring: since it's a taxonomic issue. - -sche (discuss) 19:35, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

  • I'm not finding blackheart as a vernacular for any species of Acacia. I searched for additional sources both at Google books, at the general taxonomy and plant taxonomy sites and some specialized Australian and acacia sites. No further joy for blackheart. A melanoxylon is usually called blackwood. It is native to the eastern parts of Australia from Tasmania to southern Queensland. There is also an Australian species called blackheart sassafras (Atherosperma moschatum), but it is only native to Tasmania and Victoria. But Martuthunira was spoken in Western Australia per WP. DCDuring TALK 23:38, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
    This search on a Western Australia database for acacia tree species native to the Pilbara found a long list that included A. coriacea. I'd go with that or get in touch with someone in language studies or botany at the University of Western Australia. HTH. DCDuring TALK 23:59, 22 January 2015 (UTC)
    That's a lot more information than I had been able to find! Thank you! - -sche (discuss) 03:00, 23 January 2015 (UTC)


The ety says "Used in English since the 14th century, and as a term of abuse since the 17th century." Yet we have no definition of "pork" as a term of abuse. Equinox 14:01, 23 January 2015 (UTC)

This looks like a job for the OED.
But, could it be that for "as a term of abuse" it should be "pejoratively" and refer to the sense we limit to US political slang? DCDuring TALK 16:51, 23 January 2015 (UTC)
probably related to the verb form, which possibly comes from "stab with a pork sword" 22:49, 5 March 2015 (UTC)


Discussion moved to Wiktionary:Etymology scriptorium/2015/January#forecastle.

Kanji/Hanzi etymology sources[edit]

It seems the source for an etymology was removed some time ago, also possibly on pages of other charaters to which I added etymologies from that site: * http://www.kanjinetworks.com/eng/kanji-dictionary/online-kanji-etymology-dictionary.cfm Habemus (talk) 17:38, 25 January 2015 (UTC)

bekommen sense 3 transitivity[edit]

german bekommen in sense 3 is marked intransitive, but the example shows otherwise. I want to simply change it but perhaps the example is ungrammatical?

It's considered intransitive because the object is in the dative rather than the accusative: Das Essen bekommt ihm (not ihn) nicht.Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:14, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Do transitive verbs have to take an accusative object? —CodeCat 20:17, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:39, 26 January 2015 (UTC)


It's probably not used in Mandarin at all, "nou5gian2" is not valid POJ and, it may be lô͘ -kiáⁿ. @Wyang, WikiWinters:. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 22:00, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Understandable. Are we sure that it doesn't have any Teochew usage? WikiWinters (talk) 22:25, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
It was added a long time ago as the Teochew translation of "child". I don't know if "nou5gian2" is a valid transliteration for Teochew and we currently don't have methods for handling this dialect. Only Mandarin, Cantonese, Min Nan, Min Dong, Wu, Hakka + Middle Chinese and Old Chinese. In order to make an entry work for any dialect not covered, some work may need to be done. If there is no reliable data available, then maybe we should just skip it, since Mandarin "nújiǎn" and Min Nan "lô͘ -kiáⁿ" readings may be non-existent and Teochew can't be added with confidence. Removing Pinyin and POJ readings will result in no PoS categories. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 23:26, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Just to clarify. I'm not saying "nou5gian2" is wrong but it's not a valid Min Nan (Hokkien) transliteration. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 23:28, 26 January 2015 (UTC)
Teochew added to Module:zh-pron. Wyang (talk) 01:35, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
Striking. Thanks! @Wyang: Teochew probably needs categories? --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 01:49, 27 January 2015 (UTC)


Is this a valid Asturian verb, or an invention of Wonderfool? See Special:WhatLinksHere/desendoldcar. - -sche (discuss) 02:38, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

Probably a typo for desendolcar. Unless Asturian is very strange, that looks phonotactically rather unlikely. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:08, 27 January 2015 (UTC)
I have deleted that crap. — Ungoliant (falai) 03:22, 27 January 2015 (UTC)


seco has the perfect secuī, but this verb has circumsecāvī. Is this correct? —CodeCat 16:11, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

Both Lewis & Short and the Oxford Latin Dictionary say circumseco has no perfect forms. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:25, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

Spanish Phrases: Etymology of "hasta luego"[edit]

Could we take a look and see if there's any documented etymology for this phrase? The verb "hasta" seems to take on a different meaning, typical for expressions, but the lack of history leaves me thinking we could find it. What do you think? Secretkeeper12 (talk) 18:58, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

  • hasta is an adverb, not a verb. Sobreira (talk) 10:44, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
    • Actually it's a preposition. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:47, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

child abuse[edit]

Does "child abuser" and "child abuser" have hypens between them?
How do I figure this stuff out?
Why is there a page for "rapists" but no page for "child abuser"

Because "child abuser" is SOP. A child abuser is one who abuses a child, whether sexually, mentally, or emotionally. Similarly a "dog abuser" would be one who abuses a dog, whether sexually, mentally, or emotionally. Ad infinitum. SOP. Tharthan (talk) 23:52, 27 January 2015 (UTC)

A nice graphic on Indo-European languages[edit]

This article from the Washington Post has a nice graphic, though the resolution is not high. The article itself holds no surprises for the linguists among us. DCDuring TALK 03:41, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

You can get higher resolution by clicking on the image. The only thing I disagree with is its implication that the Indo-European languages are split into two major groups, Indo-Iranian and European. That's a convenient way of thinking about it, maybe, but it has no linguistic basis. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:58, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
The enlarged image is not very high resolution, as I found when I printed it. Some of the labels are not legible to normal folks who do not have an internalized lexicon of language names to draw on. I still am or can remember being normal in that way.
I'm sure the author of the image would be happy to make a higher-resolution on available on some basis, though probably not a WMF-acceptable public license. DCDuring TALK 13:05, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
There's a higher resolution at io9, and also at the artists original comic, although that version is partly fictionalised according to the setting of her story (post-apocalyptic Iceland and Scandinavia). Smurrayinchester (talk) 13:28, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. The author's version is quite legible, the other a little less so. DCDuring TALK 13:46, 28 January 2015 (UTC)
Nice graphic indeed! - -sche (discuss) 18:29, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

Wiktionary in the press[edit]

As Ulmanor pointed out, we were mentioned, briefly, by American public radio. - -sche (discuss) 18:29, 28 January 2015 (UTC)

Wikipedia corpus at BYU[edit]

Joining BNC, COCA, COHA, Time magazine, and GloWBE at the BYU motherlode of free corpora is a compilation of all terms used in Wikipedia.

From the e-mail announcment:

"We have just recently released the BYU Wikipedia Corpus, which is composed of 1.9 billion words in 4.4 million articles. With this new corpus, you can now search Wikipedia in the same way that you can search the other corpora​ from BYU — by word and phrase, part of speech, variable strings, synonyms, comparisons of words, collocates, and concordance lines.
"Most importantly, however, with this interface you can quickly and easily create and then search personalized "virtual corpora" from the 4,400,000 web pages. For example, in just a few seconds you could create a corpus with 500-1000 pages (perhaps 500,000-1,000,000 words of text) related to microbiology, economics, basketball, Buddhism, or thousands of other topics. You can then modify any of these corpora -- adding, deleting, or moving texts; grouping corpora into categories, etc.
"Once you’ve created a virtual corpus, you can limit your search to just that portion of Wikipedia — for example, to see collocates or concordance lines. You can also compare the frequency of words and phrases across these different virtual corpora, or find which of the 4.4 million pages use a given word or phrase the most (and then create a virtual corpus from those results).
"And perhaps best of all, you can quickly and easily create keyword lists for these virtual corpora, including multi-word expressions. So if you are researching, teaching, or studying finance, for example, you can quickly create a "finance” corpus. You can then find keywords (e.g. nouns, verbs, or adjectives) related to this topic, and see many examples of these words or phrases in context from that virtual corpus.
"Hopefully you can see how powerful of a tool this corpus is. Rather than having to scour the Web to create your own corpus for a particular topic, just find the relevant pages from Wikipedia. And then use the data from Wikipedia to focus in on the words and phrases of that topic.
"We hope that this new corpus is of use to you in your teaching and research."

You should register. If you can legitimately claim to be affiliated with an academic institution and be engaged in language research, you can probably get better access than I get (Level 1). But level 1 allows a useful searching. I have not run up against any limits. DCDuring TALK 18:44, 28 January 2015 (UTC)


An IP suggests (see the entry's recent history) that this term is more offensive than our entry currently suggests. - -sche (discuss) 07:48, 29 January 2015 (UTC)


BTW, displaying the language

Talk pages of individual entries are not usually monitored by editors, and messages posted there may not be noticed and responded to. You may want to post your message to the Tea Room or Information desk instead.

implies, in std English, that the talk page is there just bcz your geeks haven't found a way to suppress display of the talk pages. And means that accumulating insights about an entry over the years and decades won't happen without additional effort. (Or has the geek locked in your steamer trunk created a facility to let a chosen few know when article-talk pages are edited, and you prefer hoi polloi not knowing such a facility exists)?
--Cranky Wikipediant 07:52, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

Wow you sound like a jerk. Anyway, see Talk:stealer for a response to your original query. Equinox 13:31, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

my word[edit]

Discussion moved to Wiktionary:Etymology scriptorium/2015/January#my word.

I should have remembered, in Latin[edit]

Should the first-person singular pluperfect subjunctive indicative of meminī be meminīssem or meminissem? --kc_kennylau (talk) 12:10, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure the i is short; it should be meminissem. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:26, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
@Angr, JohnC5: There is one source that suggests otherwise. --kc_kennylau (talk) 13:33, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Which source is that? I checked three different books on my bookshelf and they all give the ending of the pluperfect subjunctive as -issem, -issēs, -isset, -issēmus, -issētis, -issent; and they all do mark vowels that are long by nature before double consonants (something not all sources do), so the lack of a macron over the i really does indicate a short vowel. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:38, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
@Angr: http://www.cultus.hk/latin_lessons/conjugation/defective/memini.html --kc_kennylau (talk) 13:51, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
I trust print sources, which are more likely to have been proofread, over online sources. That link omits the macron over the final e of the 2nd person singular, and the implication that the i was short in the 1st and 2nd plural, but long in all the other persons, strikes me as especially suspect. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:34, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
@Kc kennylau, Angr: Allen and Greenough provide meminissem explicitly. —JohnC5 (Talk | contribs) 19:39, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

The Latin epithets you'll most likely find on the page[edit]

I've made yet another ranking of Latin epithets. This time I've ranked them by how many books they actually appear in, so the ranking is now much more reflective of how likely someone is to come across an epithet (if they read random Google books). I've automatically grouped the conjugations now (though it's not always perfect). Each entry gets up to 5 example species for reference (which are ordered how much they helped push the entry to the top of the list). This is pretty much the sort of thing I always wanted to do with the list but never had time to.

Thanks to the work of Wiktionary's editors, the majority of the top epithets already have entries, but here's some select missing ones (and the scientific names they're most likely to be found in):

  1. arundinaceus, arundinacea, arundinaceum,
    e.g. Phalaris arundinacea, Festuca arundinacea, Maranta arundinacea, Bambusa arundinacea, Acrocephalus arundinaceus
  2. junceus, juncea, junceum
    e.g. Brassica juncea, Crotalaria juncea, Spartium junceum, Chondrilla juncea, Solidago juncea
  3. carpio
    e.g. Cyprinus carpio, Carpiodes carpio, Floridichthys carpio, Salmo carpio
  4. leucocephalus, leucocephala, leucocephalum; leucocephalos
    e.g. Leucaena leucocephala, Haliaeetus leucocephalus, Oxyura leucocephala, Columba leucocephala, Amazona leucocephala
  5. dactylon; dactylus, dactyla, dactylum
    e.g. Cynodon dactylon, Panicum dactylon, Capriola dactylon; Grapholita dactyla, Lepanthes dactyla, Porroglossum dactylum
  6. papyrifer, papyrifera
    e.g. Betula papyrifera, Broussonetia papyrifera, Edgeworthia papyrifera, Boswellia papyrifera, Fatsia papyrifera
  7. cannabinus, cannabina, cannabinum
    e.g. Hibiscus cannabinus, Apocynum cannabinum, Eupatorium cannabinum, Carduelis cannabina, Sesbania cannabina
  8. leucopus
    e.g. Peromyscus leucopus, Saguinus leucopus, Lepilemur leucopus, Sminthopsis leucopus, Rattus leucopus

The full top 1250 is here. It's a long list. You can scan through for red-linked epithets. I'll try to make a condensed list just of the top missing ones another time (hopefully soon). Any feedback welcome. —Pengo (talk) 12:11, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

(the words next to the numbers were mostly redlinks when I posted this, in case anyone's wondering.) Nice work, DCDuring :) —21:22, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
It would be nice if we had automatic entry creation for the Latin inflected forms from the Latin inflection line templates. It would also be handy to wrap the epithets in {{l|la}} to make it more obvious which do not have Latin L2 sections.
I've been trying to make sure that we have the genus names, including obsolete ones, that are sometimes used as specific epithets, either in the nominative, eg, Bufo bufo or genitive Nonagria typhae (< Typha). DCDuring TALK 23:15, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Ok, I'm now listing any genera which sound similar to the epithets. Let me know if there's a general case where it's not grouping things together that it should. The stemmer which forms groups is based on some odd code that was originally designed only for Latin nouns, and it didn't seem to work that well even for that. I've tweaked it a bit to work more broadly. I'm not sure it handles all genitive forms, so let me know if you come across any common problem. I'm sure it's more broad than ideal, but I guess that's better than too narrow.
I've now included all species and synonyms from the Catalogue of Life, not just ones seen in books. Each species gets one free "point", as if it had been seen in a single book. This hopefully gives a more "complete" view.
I've made book/volume counts visible now so you can judge whether an epithet is something popular or anomalous so you can better judge how much time to spend on it and whether it warrants an entry or an inclusion as an alternative form or whatever. Making the numbers visible seemed necessary as adding all species adds a lot of noise to the data. The numbers also add a lot of visible clutter to the list, so let me know if they're useful or how to better format them. I was thinking of maybe hiding anything above a certain number, because it's probably more useful just to know which ones are rare. e.g. "cola (2)" generally means there are two species with the epithet "cola" and neither of them were seen in any book. "Cola (2270)" means that either that the genus Cola has a huge number of species, or Cola species are seen in a bunch of books. Most likely a combination of the two. But it's probably not that useful to know exactly how high the number is.
I've wrapped the epithets now in {{l|la}}. Does that do anything practical other than add #Latin to the links? I did {{l|mul}} for the genus links. Lemme know if you something else would be better. Sorry I've clobbered your edits, but hopefully the changes are worthwhile. Enjoy. Pengo (talk) 09:19, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
First of all, thanks. This makes it easier to work on.
Some of the generic names that serve as epithets are obsolete ones. I don't see a reasonable way of getting at them. Some are buried in Wikispecies synonyms, but getting them would probably be a long run for a short slide, as it would be a very incomplete list and many aren't ever used as epithets.
The practical value of enclosure in {{l|la}} is that it yields color-coding to differentiate links to Latin L2 sections from those to other L2s, which could be Translingual, English, Italian, or indeed almost any Roman-script language. I wouldn't have asked except I guessed it was relatively easy to execute. DCDuring TALK 10:33, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
Ahhh.. I just discovered the "OrangeLinks" preference. Awesome :)
I've hidden numbers larger than 100 now because it was getting too messy. (see here for the version with too many numbers). Now, basically, you can take any number as a caution that the entry might not be particularly significant, and otherwise assume that it's common enough.
There are a lot of synonyms that can show up in the list now, but it looks like you've found others. If you find another good source, let me know. At some point I might try scraping Wikipedia or Wikispecies but probably not soon. Pengo (talk) 11:32, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
I had forgotten about the substantial loading-performance penalty of so many instances of {{l}} (or any template). #Latin would be better for this purpose - or multiple subpages. DCDuring TALK 13:06, 30 January 2015 (UTC)
@DCDuring: Out of curiosity I made an obsolete genus list with the obsolete genera I found in the Catalogue of Life. There's 41,938. Don't know what specific use there might be for it (so I've made no attempt to format it). It's still from the same data source, so it's not going to contain anything new for the "epithets on the page" list. To be honest, I'm more interested in the obsolete genera that haven't made the list (e.g. Lamblia), as they're less well documented elsewhere. Pengo (talk) 20:18, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
@Pengo, Chuck Entz: There's a case to be made that obsolete taxa should be a class that has a higher priority than the class of taxa that are current but not often used and without any corresponding vernacular name. These names, when they do come up, are often hard to research. If we had external links to the bodies of old taxonomic literature that had them (like the Biodiversity Heritage Library), we would be providing a service. Better yet would be links to successor taxa if we could determine them. Those in Century 1911, Webster 1913, the old encyclopedias (Encyclopedia Britannica), or well-known natural histories of the 18th and 19th centuries would be a good set to start with. Within these taxa, genera and higher taxa are probably more valuable than species names (other than type species names). All that is conjectural. I am not all that familiar with the full range of relevant older taxonomic literature.
There must be some online sources that facilitate search for obsolete taxa, possibly specialized by groupings at the family level or higher (eg, The Plant List).
Of course. I continue to believe that those in current use or with a vernacular name in any language are the highest priority. DCDuring TALK 22:22, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
Not sure what you're thinking of around facilitating search for obsolete taxa. I can think of a few ways to generate lists of candidate obsolete/un-databased taxa. When I went through Google Books' 2-grams I searched only for exact matches of CoL's species. I was thinking I could re-run the search and make it more fuzzy to include anything which looks a bit like a binomial name. (E.g. a Latinate-looking genus and a previously seen epithet), and then I could sort these by how much they look like a binomial (while excluding already known ones of course). Another possibility would be to search texts (like the ones you suggested, or perhaps pubmed) for telling phrases along the lines of "the species Capitalized-word lowercase-word (Family ...iae)". However, even if one of these methods (or a combination) produced mostly good results (i.e. forgotten/obsolete species, missing from other databases), there'd still be a huge manual task of searching for and sorting through evidence and documenting each species and genus. Will be something I keep in mind for a future project though. Pengo (talk) 23:49, 31 January 2015 (UTC)
Can you think of a way to get the taxa entries from a late edition of Century c. 1911 or earlier? Those would include a good number of obsolete taxa, arguably some of the more important ones, and would have good out-of-copyright definitions to boot. DCDuring TALK 05:27, 1 February 2015 (UTC)
@DCDuring: How goes it? OK, so Ecphymotes, an obsolete lizard genus, is defined in Century, Volume 3 (1895) (the online search fails, so you'll likely have to download the PDF or another format and search that, or you can try any of the other scans of Volume 3 on archive.org and see if their search is broken too: 1897, 1897, 1904.) Other candidates in this volume are: Epenthesis, Eupagurus, and Exocephala. Century is pretty difficult to work with because no one's ever cleaned up the OCR (that I can find), so there's no way to even get a list of head words. See how you go with these. If you can make something from them, and you don't find it too tedious to work with, and you want to work on more of these, I'll have a go at making a larger list. Pengo (talk) 15:40, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
I got lucky with the first one I picked Ecphymotes and was able to make a substantive entry, relatively quickly (40 minutes). This is not low-hanging fruit. DCDuring TALK 20:00, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
@DCDuring: Ah well, it took quite a while to find just those examples. I thought the most useful part of the Century entry (or the quickest way to use it) would be to use the etymology and the definition, and mention it was obsolete. Though I just spent way too long trying to transcribe the Greek to add an etymology to Ecphymotes. To use the obvious cliché, it's Greek to me (and I have no idea which diacritics to use). ἑκφυμα or ὲκφυμα?, so I'm going to give up before I get to the further etymology which they have under "ecphyma". Pengo (talk) 05:24, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
The two sites I use that have the Century 1911 pages, but only the scans apparently, though they might have a list of headwords. One site is [global-language.com], the other is the one behind Ecphymotes in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911. DCDuring TALK 06:46, 21 February 2015 (UTC)


It is said that the English word egg was ultimately from Proto-Germanic ajją, but in the page for the Proto-Germanic word ajją, it says that in Old Saxon and Middle Low German, a form of the word "egg" is also spelled as "egg", does anyone have any evidence to prove that? was it actually a Norse or Old/Middle English borrowing? --Neptune Purple Heart 13:37, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

The native English word for egg was "ey", with the plural "eyren". However, that form died out AFAIK several hundred years ago, replaced by "egg", with the plural "eggs", from Old Norse. Nevertheless, both "egg" and "ey" are from the same Proto-Germanic root. Tharthan (talk) 14:22, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
That wasn't the question, though. The OP was asking about the Old Saxon and Middle Low German spelling egg. I don't know where that comes from, but if it's real, I suspect it's a borrowing from Old Norse, just like English egg is. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 14:37, 29 January 2015 (UTC)
Reading through the question again, I realise that I misread it before. Whoops. Tharthan (talk)


[[2]The bodycon page] does not give a definition, it only cites an off hand definition in one source. That definition is "body conscious". "Body conforming" might be better as it describes what it is as opposed to its effect. You can certainly be conscious of your body (or someone else's) without wearing skin tight clothes.

P.S. The link insertion feature on this tea room page seems to have some problems. When I first gave it a link it told me "the page does not exist". By careful editing I was able to compensate for this.

  • You need stronger glasses. The definition given is:- "figure-hugging, skintight, form-fitting". SemperBlotto (talk) 16:56, 29 January 2015 (UTC)

dèan coimeas air (gd) listed as a verb[edit]

There is a page that confuses me: dèan coimeas air, which says this phrase is a verb. I believe, at best, it is a (...n idiomatic) verbal phrase.

  • dèan is a verb meaning "do", or "make".
  • I believe that in this case, coimeas ("comparison") is a verbal noun of coimeas ("compare").
  • air ("of"/"for") in this phrase, I believe, is a preposition.

How do these elements combine to form a single verb? If it is a verb, how is it conjugated? I assume by conjugating the verb:

  • dèan (past rinn, future nì, verbal noun dèanamh, past participle dèanta)

Granted, I am fairly new to Wiktionary, but this seems a case of trying to force a square peg in a round hole. Kibi78704 (talk) 03:42, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

We usually list idiomatic verb phrases as verbs here. See kick the bucket for an English example. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 22:14, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

Etymology for Macbeth[edit]

On the Macbeth page there is no etymology. Does anyone know why shakespeare used this or is it unknown?

He took the name from a real Scottish king, Mac Bethad. bethad is equivalent to the modern Gaelic beatha, meaning "life". Macbeth (MacBheatha) means "son of life", which is a flattering way to refer to oneself. There's more information about the real Macbeth at the Wikipedia I linked. Smurrayinchester (talk) 09:15, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

Thank you!

There's actually a pattern in Old and Middle Irish of "Mac ..." names: Mac Laisre (Son of the Flame), Mac Coirbb, Mac Tire (son of the Land / Wolf), Mac Raith (Son of the Fortress), and so on. And we can tell that they were analysed in a unit as single names. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 01:02, 1 February 2015 (UTC)



For the English word "a" (indefinite article), it gives a stressed and an unstressed pronunciation. Could someone please make it clear that the unstressed version is the usual one? I don't know how to format entries myself and I don't want to mess it up. Thanks. --Money money tickle parsnip (talk) 21:43, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

I'm not sure how we would do this. I thought of changing "stressed" to "stressed for emphasis" (since you'd never pronounce a in a dog like the letter A, unless you were e.g. contrasting it with the dog), but then emphasis is the purpose of stress. I think it has to be taken as understood that function words are not generally stressed in English; a certainly isn't the only entry we'd have to change, otherwise. Equinox 22:41, 31 January 2015 (UTC)

February 2015

alpinus and a big list of just the missing epithets[edit]

User:Pengo/missing epithets:

  1. tuberculosis, tuberculosa, tuberculosus, tuberculosum (28) — Tuberculosa (4)
  2. pylori, pylorus (5), pylora (2)
  3. botulinumBotulina (1)
  4. typhi, typhae, typharum (14), typha (5), typhus (2), typhia (1) — Typha, Typhis (49)
  5. solani ( < Solanum), solana (55), solanus (7), solanum (3) ( < Solanum), solanii (1), solano (1), solanae (1) — Solanum
  6. lamblia ( < Lamblia)
  7. arundinacea, arundinaceus, arundinaceum, arundinaceae (2)
  8. tetani, tetanus (1) — Tetana (1)
  9. mulatta
  10. juncea, junceum, junceus, junceae (1), iunceus (1)
  11. pertussis
  12. stolonifera, stolonifer, stoloniferum, stoloniferus (16)
  13. stramonium, stramonii (1) — Stramonium (12)
  14. mariana, marianum, marianus, marianae (28), marianii (12), mariani (4), marianarum (3), marianiae (2), marjana (2), marianorum (1), marian (1) — Mariana (3)
  15. salar, salaris, salarius (8), salaria (4), salara (3), salarii (1) — Salaria (53), Salar (9), Salaris (2), Salarius (1)
  16. pennsylvanicus, pennsylvanica, pennsylvanicum
  17. papaya, papayae, papayas (1), papayum (1) — Papaya (88)
  18. helix, helixus (1) — Helix
  19. dactylon, dactyloni (4), dactylonii (1), dactylonis (1) — Dactylon (1)
  20. cereale, cerealis, cerealium, cerealia (3)
  21. alpina, alpinus, alpinum, alpiniae (22) ( <Alpinia), alpini (9) (mostly in two-part epithets such as polygoni-alpini)), alpinia (3) ( < Alpinia), alpinii (2), alpinae (1) ( < Alpina) — Alpinia, Alpina (16)
  22. more...

Here's just the epithets which are missing, from most common to least commonly found in books.

Only entries with either Latin or translingual sections are counted as "not missing". The list currently includes a lot of orange links (if you have them turned on in preferences), because there's a lot of them without Latin (or translingual) sections.

Items with numbers after them are less important but included for completeness (and someone might want to add them too all the same)

alpinus is in the list because it was moved to Alpinus at some point with just a redirect left behind. alpina and alpinum were not moved. Should probably be fixed up.

Might try to refresh this list semi-regularly if it gets used and if I can fix some speed/caching issues. The full list also includes the most common example species for each group of epithets. Pengo (talk) 04:22, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

Alpinia is a ringer- according to w:Alpinia, it's named after an Italian by the name of w:Prospero Alpini Chuck Entz (talk) 10:29, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
Alpina is a genus name in Geometridae (moths), not in Wikispecies, but in the Catalog of Life. It is possible that some instances of alpina and alpinae are of this genus, not of the Latin adjective. The only instances we are likely to detect are the genitives and those where alpina is used with a masculine or neuter genus name. DCDuring TALK 16:23, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
I think my conclusion is that we need to focus on the low-hanging fruit: those of the 1st/2nd declension (-us, -a, -um}, those 3rd with two or three endings, (usually -is, -e). For obsolete genera, the names of subgenera, sections, and subsections (marked, subg, sect, and subsect in botany etc and capitalized between a genus name and a specific epithet in geology) would be a good start. Stems of the higher taxa from subtribe to magnorder that have regular rank-indicating endings would be a good list. We can usually infer a single candidate generic name or a short list of candidate generic names from those stems, especially if we know the class (eg, Aves, Insecta, Mammalia) or phylum (eg, Mollusca, Nematoda, Porifera) of the higher taxon that is the source of the stem. DCDuring TALK 04:08, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
@DCDuring: I made a list now of the "low hanging fruit", candidates for first/second declension. Hopefully will be useful. Pengo (talk) 22:45, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
Ok. So although I've been putting together these lists, my understanding of Latin grammar is still pretty poor. I partially understand the alpinus/Alpinus explanation but I don't at all understand the steps that it takes to pick a declension and be confident about it. But I figure from my epithet lists now it should be relatively easy to pick out the 1st/2nd declension terms? Might be easier to create an example of how you imagine an entry to look than trying to describe it?
Would it do if I added other ranks to the epithet lists in much the same way Genus has been included? E.g. "bufo — Bufo — family:Bufonidae" (including Bufonidae because it shares a common stem, not because it's the family). Including phylum/class can be tricky, as none of the taxon bits listed are necessarily related. I know kingdoms have different naming rules, but can you clarify how you'd use this info? It would be easiest to add to the example species.
Subgenera and sections are tricky. I've just tried to extract them from CoL without success. Although the database is structured to allow for their inclusion, there are none in there at all. I'm probably not going to attempt to scrape other sources just yet. I'm only thinking about improving my current epithet lists, but I'm not sure if you're thinking of different kinds of queries?
So, the main things that should be relatively easy to do are (1) to add any other ranks which share the epithet's stem (ala the Bufonidae example above); (2) mark any obsolete taxon with a double dagger (‡) (epithet, species, genus, etc which only exists in synonyms); (3) list two-part epithets within the entries of their single-part counterparts. Pengo (talk) 11:09, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
I appreciate the effort involved in finding the best way to do this. In part, I'm thinking simpler is better for rapid addition of new entries. A list of all the stems where the forms were all in lower case and ended in -us, -a, and -um, having at least one instance of each ending would be a very good way of adding a lot of epithets quickly. Ordering them from most to least frequent is further assurance that the most important are added first. Additional information is not very helpful and may be a distraction for the core task. Another useful list would be similar for epithets ending in -is and -e.
Once we have these regular, common epithets covered we can work on the harder cases with more complex listings such as those you have produced. The double-dagger enhancement is useful. Adding the use of the stem in other taxa is distracting. I thought it might be useful to find more obsolete genus names, but mining Wikispecies would be much better. A two-part epithet will be much less common. The genitive endings of a compound epithet usually indicate that the species "X y" is a host for the species "Z X-y" of a parasite or symbiont. It is more helpful to have them on a separate list from which we would add the species, which is probably important economically or in research.
The Wikispecies dump might be the best source for subgenera, sections, and subsections, as well as for higher taxa. They explicitly label each taxon used in an entry and have a hierarchy of hyponyms in every entry. DCDuring TALK 13:51, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
By definition, specific epithets can only be nominative singular/plural or genitive singular/plural nouns or adjectives. The adjectives agree in gender and number with the generic name, but I've never heard of a plural generic name, so the adjectives should be all singular. The first and second declensions are easy, but the third depends on the ending of the stem and how it interacts with the inflectional endings (of which there are variants)- not that easy to code for. I've never worked with the 4th and 5th declension, but there are very few of them, which you can ignore. See w:Latin declension. Chuck Entz (talk) 10:29, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
I think you have the direction of the derivations wrong: higher-level taxa are usually named by taking the genitive of the type generic name and replacing the ending with the rank-specific ones. Thus the bird order Passeriformes is ultimately derived from Passer domesticus (genitive passeris), the English Sparrow, and the family Bufonidae gets its name from Bufo bufo ( genitive bufonis). For animal taxa in the "family group" and below, this is explicitly specified by the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, but above that, it's only a matter of relatively recent custom. In the case of plants, there are a few family names such as Leguminosae and Umbelliferae that have been grandathered in and coexist with the standard Fabaceae (dating from when Vicia faba was classified in the genus Faba) and Apiaceae from Apium graveolens. Chuck Entz (talk) 10:29, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
We're not trying to derive genus names, we're trying to infer them from higher taxa. We are doing this to get at obsolete/archaic genus names. Once we have a list of candidates we can attempt to determine whether such candidate names actually ever existed. We would have the reasonable assurance that such names were at one time at least the names were important enough to be the source of higher taxon names. The point of looking at infrageneric names at the rank of subgenus, section, and subsection is similarly because they are also candidates to have been genus names.
If you know of some reliable source of obsolete/archaic generic names, I am all ears. DCDuring TALK 13:54, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
Sadly, we're probably one of the leading sources, what with all of the Webster 1913 articles. I've been changing a lot of species names to use {{taxlink}} lately, and more often than not the links go to a page that says Wikispecies doesn't have a page for it. A good bit of that is due to Wikispecies only having a page for the genus, and often the specific epithet is obsolete- but there are a significant number where the generic name is out of date. Just comparing the contents of the {{taxlink}}-generated categories for genus and species with Wikispecies and Wikipedia would probably turn up more obsolete generic names than the above methods. For that matter, when I go looking for plant and animal names to categorize, I find lots of entries with taxonomic names either redlinked or hardcoded as italicized text. From that, I would infer that we haven't {{taxlink}}ed or created taxon pages to cover more than a fraction of the candidates. Do we have a list somewhere of entries with italicized binomials? Just checking for <space>''word<space>word''<space>, <space>''[[word]]<space>[[word]]''<space> and <space>''[[word<space>word]]''<space> would be extremely useful. As for converting old generic names to new ones: this is not a simple mechanical process. Yes, there are a good number of generic names that have been found to be invalid and replaced with new names, but species get moved around so much that a single old genus might easily have its former members in a dozen modern ones. Even extant ones get changed a lot. Think of all the common names based on generic names such as chrysanthemum, geranium and azalea. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:58, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
@Chuck Entz: We have only 123 members in :Category:Taxonomic names (obsolete).
It might be possible to find some unlinked taxonomic names using the capabilities of Cirrus search, by searching non-Translingual entries for "species" or "genus" and an absence of the template {{taxlink}}. I fear that the list you propose would generate many false positives, but it's worth a shot.
The process of generating candidate generic names would be mechanical, but validating them would not be.
I certainly don't think that we can recreate the history of membership of species in a genus. I'd be happy if we could reference some contemporary taxon, preferably a genus. Type species would be nice. DCDuring TALK 16:11, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
Century would be an even better source for obsolete/archaic taxa than Webster has been. DCDuring TALK 16:11, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
@DCDuring: @Chuck Entz: Thanks for the feedback and help. I've updated the common and missing lists to mark synonyms/obsolete taxa with a double dagger (which does seem quite helpful). I'm pretty happy with the lists now, although I haven't done a bunch of things on my to-do list (such as including other ranks; special treatment of two-part epithets; and highlighting possible 1st/2nd declensions). I'm going to leave obsolete taxa searching for another time too. I'm going to move on to other projects for a while, namely an audit of IUCN red list statuses (statī?) on Wikipedia, and some other personal projects. Hope the lists are useful for a while. Seems there's no shortage of things to do here regardless. Hopefully the alpinus/Alpinus thing can be sorted out soon too :) Pengo (talk) 10:21, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

ring road[edit]

If this is British English, what is it called outside Commonwealth countries (and China for that matter)? ---> Tooironic (talk) 23:12, 1 February 2015 (UTC)

In the US this corresponds to beltway. But beltways are limited-access roads. I don't think of ring roads (eg, Ringstrasse in Vienna) as being limited in access. circumferential highway is a (SoP?) hyponym that is more inclusive, but would still not include Ringstrasse, which is not a highway. See beltway at OneLook Dictionary Search and ring road at OneLook Dictionary Search. DCDuring TALK 00:44, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
I think German Ringstraße or Umgehungsstraße would still fit "beltway". Straße could also be various kinds of roads including "highway".--Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 00:55, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
I was specifically talking about the one in Vienna with does not fit in any definition of beltway that I can find.
The poor correspondence between the empirical membership in the categories corresponding to the terms ring road and beltway exemplifies the general problem of poor matches of words and concepts between cultures. It limits the utility of translations as we will never have both base English definitions that are useful to English speakers and definitions sufficiently atomic to allow all FL terms to correspond to a set of such definitions. DCDuring TALK 02:28, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
Re: mismatches - It's nothing new. There may be no perfect match but a close match. If a translation is too loose, a qualifier or a descriptive SoP translation can be used, especially when a concept/term is missing in a given FL. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 02:32, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
As for Austrian "Ringstraße" (spelled "Ringstrasse" in Switzerland and Liechtenstein, not Germany or Austria), it's a "circular road/street" but "ring road" is one of its senses. The US "beltway" has a narrower sense.--Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 02:37, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
Atlanta has something called the Perimeter, which is basically a beltway. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:55, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
In the UK, I think we only have one road similar to a beltway - the M25. That is described as the "London Orbital" - definitely not a ring road. SemperBlotto (talk) 07:45, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
There's (for example) the Manchester Inner Ring Road (a mixture of American-style elevated motorway and standard A-roads) and the Manchester Outer Ring Road (fully separated motorway). This might be less an issue of language, and more of different approaches to road planning on different continents. There are quite a lot of American books that refer to "ring roads" in a US context, both to mean beltway and to refer to a non-freeway solution to circulatory roads (mostly in New England, it seems, where dense population and historical city centres make the beltway a poor solution). Notably, the city of Providence used to have a system that was officially referred to as a ring road. Smurrayinchester (talk) 10:05, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
Melbourne, Australia, has the Western Ring Road (and that's its official name). Its definition here is a freeway or highway which runs around a city, instead of radially out from the center. Sydney has the Sydney Orbital Network (a system of ring roads), Perth has the ring road made up in part by the Roe Highway, and Brisbane is building one now. In all cases they are described as "ring roads". --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 11:28, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
It's a lot like terms for stages in schooling: in the US we have preschool, kindergarten, elementary/grade school, middle school/junior high, high school, with grades from 1 to 12 that overlap with some of those (and k-12 schools that have kindergarten, elementary and junior high in one school). They can be hard to convert to school systems in other countries, regardless of language. Chuck Entz (talk) 14:55, 2 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Many thanks to everyone who replied. The entry looks great now. ---> Tooironic (talk) 23:58, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

Are you a noun if you feel like yourself?[edit]

Yourself has a noun section with the definition "Your usual, normal, or true self", with the usex "feel like yourself". Myself with the more opaque definition "that being which is oneself", with the same usex. None of the other pronouns have noun sections, although they can all be used in exactly the same way ("feel like himself/herself/ourselves/etc"). Are the noun sections unnecessary (do the plural sections cover "feel like _self"-type usage)? Or should noun sections be added to the other pronoun entries?
This is part of the more general issue that our pronoun entries are quite inconsistently formatted.
- -sche (discuss) 04:30, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

It's not only -self, since you could say "I feel like them" (i.e. like they do). Equinox 16:14, 2 February 2015 (UTC)


What does this mean? "(countable, in translation of Chinese) The sweet osmanthus (O. fragrans)"

Can it be said more clearly, so normal folks could understand? DCDuring TALK 16:53, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

My guess is that it means there is a Chinese word, which properly refers to the 'sweet osmanthus', which is commonly translated as 'cassia' instead of as 'sweet osmanthus', for reasons. Whether it is true that there is such a word, I don't know. (RFV?) - -sche (discuss) 02:23, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
As I understand it, both cassia (the type of cinnamon) and sweet osmanthus were originally referred to by the same single-character term, , with the compound terms 桂花 (桂 flower) and 肉桂 (meat 桂) emerging to remove the ambiguity. There's also 木樨 that refers to sweet osmanthus as well. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:00, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
If one knew that, then the label would make sense. But how does the label begin to convey that to someone who doesn't know the underlying situation. It would seem to be merely a canard to someone using the entry. DCDuring TALK 03:12, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
I think it would be better to have a usage note saying that cassia and sweet osmanthus are often confused by translators of Chinese. For one thing, I would imagine it would be possible for references to cassia to be mistranslated as sweet osmanthus, too. Older translations of all sorts of works are rife with mistranslations. We do have similar senses for biblical mistranslations at cony and fitch, though. The entry at tare has a sense that also comes from a biblical mistranslation, but is deceptive because it doesn't mention the fact. It quotes the biblical passage that's the original mistranslation, but also quotes another that's obviously an indirect allusion to the biblical passage. Just off the top of my head, the word rose as used in Bible translations is definitely wrong, as are references to hyssop and most (maybe all) references to lilies. I know there are similar issues with many other works, but biblical translation is the area I've studied in greatest depth and therefore the easiest for me to come up with examples for without research. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:39, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

force of will[edit]

Would the term "force of will" pass CFI? It seems idiomatic. There are also some idiomatic translations, e.g. Chinese 精神力 (jīngshénlì), Japanese 精神力 (せいしんりょく, seishinryoku), Korean 정신력 (jeongsillyeok). . --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 01:48, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

force of will is the fourth most common term of the type force of [noun], after force of nature, force of gravity, force of arms and ahead of force of law and force of habit. We join other references (force of nature at OneLook Dictionary Search and force of habit at OneLook Dictionary Search) in what we include (and exclude). It is not a set phrase, as possessive and adjectival modifiers may be inserted. Both of the included force phrase have definitions and application that makes them idiomatic. Force of will does not. It's definition would be something like "power of one's one's own strongly felt intention and choice", which is pretty much "willpower" or "force of will". DCDuring TALK 02:11, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
OK, thanks. Since OneLook dictionary is often used for references, it could be a candidate for Lemming tests, no? --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 02:32, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
There is no force of lemmings in Wiktionary policy, just as there is no force of will at OneLook Dictionary Search. DCDuring TALK 03:27, 3 February 2015 (UTC)


Some etymological references mention this as a medieval Latin noun meaning "mesh"; for instance, it is the posited etymon of mascle. Is it attested? Homography with the adjective masculus/mascula makes it hard to search for. (Incidentally, I've just found one reference that derives mascula from macula; the other references I've seen derive it from Germanic and relate it to mesh.) - -sche (discuss) 02:32, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

Pinging User:I'm so meta even this acronym and User:Metaknowledge, who are familiar with Latin. - -sche (discuss) 19:15, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
@-sche: It wouldn't be too surprising if mascula (mesh) occurred at some point as a variant spelling of macula (which exists in a “mesh” sense; see sense 2.2), but it isn't recorded by Niermeyer, and the Old High German māsca is also a plausible cognate, if not an etymon. Johann Jacob Hofmann has an entry for Mascula (a city of Numidia), but it reads merely "MASCULA, urbs Numidiæ, Antonin. & D. Auguſt.", which is of course irrelevant. That's as much as I know. — I.S.M.E.T.A. 21:09, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

capital works, capital construction[edit]

What does "capital" mean in capital works/capital construction? ---> Tooironic (talk) 02:42, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

I don't know, but according to one .gov.uk website, "Capital works are works to the structure and exterior of your flat and building, and to any other premises that your lease grants you the right to use". According to the Australian Taxpayers' Guide 2013 (ISBN 0730307263), "The term 'capital works' includes buildings, structural improvements and environmental protection earthworks that are used for an income-producing purpose". And Tax For Australians For Dummies (ISBN 1118551206) says "Ordinarily, you can't claim a tax deduction in respect of the purchase of a building. This rule applies because the outlay is considered to be capital in nature and not tax deductible under the general deduction provisions [] However, you may be able to claim a tax deduction under the capital works provisions, which allow you to write off certain construction costs of a building over a period of time." The Dictionary of Property and Construction Law (ISBN 1135801177) defines "capital improvement" as "Capital works undertaken on an asset with a view to enhancing its value. It does not include repairs or maintenance." Is any of that helpful? - -sche (discuss) 03:24, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
Maybe it's just sense 1 of capital, in that "capital works"/improvements/etc are improvements to "Already-produced durable goods ... such as ... structures"? - -sche (discuss) 03:26, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
I can tell you not to bother with w:Capital (economics), a "vital" article, rated C- by their economics project. DCDuring TALK 03:46, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

Talk:över-, Talk:huvud-[edit]

Someone questioned (ages ago) whether these were really Swedish prefixes. Discussion went nowhere. Are they prefixes or not? sv.Wikt has an entry for the first one but not the second one. - -sche (discuss) 07:55, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

I would say över- is prefix but huvud- is not. I don't know if there are any clear criteria but at least this would be analogous with our English entries: "over-" is considered a prefix but "head-" is not. Also, this line would be in agreement with sv-Wiktionary. However, sv-Wikipedia has a list of Swedish prefixes (förled in Swedish), but över- is not included. --Hekaheka (talk) 20:52, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
huvud- seems like a prefix to me, comparable to hoofd-, haupt-, pää-. —CodeCat 20:56, 14 February 2015 (UTC)



It is indeed a great pleasure for me to participate in the magnificent endeavor that is Wikipedia!

I am creating a new page, using Sandbox, since I am a new user - - - I do posses programming skills and have a diploma in computer science. ...also fluent in 6 languages; ...which means I intend to create these pages in other languages.

The pages are about one of Canada's best musicians, known world-wide; I have about many.. virtually thousands newspaper and magazine articles, media, etc. to choose from. So I will be working very hard to encapsulate this celebrated 45 year international career, in due encyclopedic form of course.

I tried creating in Draft mode, inadvertently broke some rules, and the page was deleted. So now I work in Sandbox and I copy my code every day, just in case.

So my questions are:

1) might my Sandbox page also be deleted. 2) I am wondering what to expect when I click "Submit your draft for Review"; I am hoping I will have a chance to correct whatever is required.

Many thanks, and of course I appreciate any feedback.

very best wishes, Michael —This unsigned comment was added by Mlaucke (talkcontribs) at 06:58, February 3, 2015‎.

That seems like a Wikipedia article, not a dictionary article. Wiktionary is a dictionary. DCDuring TALK 13:42, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

tomate de colgar[edit]

The original user (WF) translated this is "hanging tomato", although there doesn't seem to be much evidence of that name being used. Any ideas what was going through his head at the time of creating? --Type56op9 (talk) 14:37, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

A Google Image search for "tomate de colgar" turns up bunches of tomatoes hanging on vines like grapes. In some cases, they seem to have been strung onto artificial vines (for storage?). - -sche (discuss) 17:44, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
It is a tomato varietal grown around Alcalà de Xivert, Province of Valencia, Catalonia, and Majorca. In English, garland tomato. —Stephen (Talk) 07:21, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

depict pronunciation[edit]

currently the first vowel is given as [ɪ], based on my own pronunciation I believe it is more accurately [ɨ]. (in english linguistics this is used to represent a vowel in free variation between [ɪ] and [ə].) Can someone check a definitive dictionary about this?

It's your ass[edit]

I'm wondering about expressions like "If anyone finds out, it's your ass". I think they are idiomatic and reasonably common, and don't seem to be explained by ass. Should there be an entry for be someone's ass? Siuenti (talk) 21:44, 3 February 2015 (UTC)

Never heard it. Is this an elliptical form of "it's your ass on the line", or "it's your ass that's going to get kicked", or some such? Equinox 21:45, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
I don't think so. I would have said it's the same as "be fucked", dictionary.com has a less vulgar definition under it's one's ass [3]. These quotes might help:
"Tell him to do what ever it takes to close that loan or it's his ass" [4]
"There is a lot of deterrents for a QB to override the last play of the super bowl, even if the called play is dumb. If things don't pan out, it's his ass." [5]
" He’s stuck on the shitty missions, in all of the danger, and if something happens, it’s his ass, because he’s not worth saving in their eyes" [6]
Siuenti (talk) 22:46, 3 February 2015 (UTC)
I'd say it certainly came from something like "it's your ass on the line". Of course can be pluralized, used with many possessives, and with any tense of be, eg. "It would have been the whole team's asses had it failed". DCDuring TALK 00:02, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
We have a sense at ass for "one's self or person". That seems close to what this phrase is saying: i.e. it's you, it's your problem, or your responsibility, or your whatever. Equinox 00:05, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
I thinks it's a bit more specific than that. We should add a sense to ass#Etymology 2 like "responsibility; jeopardy".
If we were to add a phrasal idiom I conclude that it would be be one's ass with lots of redirects thereto. DCDuring TALK 00:13, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
In a related question, how should we categorize the similar phrase "to have someone's ass," as in "They'll have my ass if I don't get this report in on time"? Do we think that this form came from a transitivization of the phrase "It's my ass" or from a different usage? JohnC5 01:44, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
Possibly a vulgar modification of "they'll have your head" (on a spear, on a platter, etc.). Sometimes people just change a word for a rude word, as in "can't be fucked" for "can't be bothered". Equinox 01:46, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
That makes a lot of sense. JohnC5 01:52, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

science questions[edit]

Q.1. what is fungi ?

Q.2. what is algae?

Q.4. why did potato regarding modified stem ?

Q.5. what is perculation ?Italic text--Anjalikumari090 (talk) 06:01, 4 February 2015 (UTC)anjali

fungi — any of a large group of eukaryotic, unicellular, multicellular, or syncytial spore-producing organisms that feed on organic matter, including molds, yeast, mushrooms, and toadstools.
algae — any of a large group of simple eukaryotic nonflowering plants that includes the seaweeds and many single celled forms. Algae contain chlorophyll but lack true stems, roots, leaves, and vascular tissue.
why did potato regarding modified stem (incomprehensible; it is not English)
percolation is the process of a liquid passing slowly through a filter. —Stephen (Talk) 06:58, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

Talk:on the defensive[edit]

Linking to a question on Talk:on the defensive. Someone left a frustrated message on Wiktionary:Feedback#Talk:on_the_defensive --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 06:04, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

I have to admit, this message of yours amused me (though I’m still depressed). --Romanophile (talk) 06:26, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
@Romanophile: Why did it amuse you? Were you the one who left the message in Wiktionary:Feedback? I only copied the question to a better location, where it has a better chance to be answered. I have no opinion (or interest, sorry) on the substance of the question. It's up to you to follow it up or expand the topic. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 23:43, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
It's a prepositional phrase. Almost all of them can be used both adverbially or after some copulative verbs, almost always after forms of be. "Prepositional phrase" is a better L3 header. DCDuring TALK 23:59, 4 February 2015 (UTC)


The entry for "primally" lists it under the heading "Adjective" even though it is clearly an adverb. However, the hot links at the bottom of the entry include "English Adverbs" rather than "English Adjectives" -- the entire entry needs to be reconfigured somehow. Also, the entry for "primal" lacks a link to "primally."

Fixed. It was only the "Adjective" header that was wrong: the entry was created that way, apparently as an absent-minded error that no one else noticed. Thanks for letting us know. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:29, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

battle of the bulge[edit]

Should we include "battle of the bulge" under battle of the bulge or just at bulge? ---> Tooironic (talk) 01:09, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

Depends. Do we consider "battle" to be idiomatic? Purplebackpack89 04:37, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
Wasn't it a WWII term? I think it is used now in cases where someone has too much around their middle, and would like to get rid of it. I could consider it to be an idiomatic term in today's usage. Donnanz (talk) 19:24, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
I would consider it idiomatic. It is used to reference a back-and-forth effort at weight loss, but named for a World War II battle that is increasingly obsolete to modern youth. bd2412 T 19:52, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
It's a cliche already. It must be idiomatic. We should memorialize so someone unfamiliar with the allusion to Battle of the Bulge will understand it as dated or soon to become so. DCDuring TALK 20:02, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
I'm not familiar with its origin. Perhaps someone could help me create an entry for it? ---> Tooironic (talk) 21:48, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
I've given it a go Purplebackpack89 22:35, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Well done, but it may need some fine tuning, especially the plural. Donnanz (talk) 22:39, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

shower tea[edit]

Neenish tart is said to have originated when someone was preparing for "an unexpected shower tea". What is a shower tea? All I can come up with is "a tea-time taken while in the shower", but that seems implausible both in context and, for that matter, out of context. - -sche (discuss) 09:01, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

Seems to be Australian term for what Americans would call a bridal shower. 1 2 3 Smurrayinchester (talk) 10:13, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
Aha! Thank you both for the explanation. - -sche (discuss) 19:16, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

storm in a teacup[edit]

Why has it been redirected to storm in a tea-kettle? (a term I'm not familiar with). I think it may be a British term, and should be treated accordingly. Donnanz (talk) 18:24, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

Huh. I woulda thought it should be redirected to tempest in a teapot. Purplebackpack89 18:29, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
Whoever did it was rather naughty to say the least. I think there should be a separate entry, saying it's a British term, THEN refer it to wherever. Too much of this goes on, it's upsetting the natives. Donnanz (talk) 18:40, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

Hmm, there's no entry for upset the natives either. Donnanz (talk) 18:54, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

In my experience, only variants of long idioms and verb-based idioms (couldn't punch one's way out of a paper bag) get hard-redirected; variants of short nounal idioms like this (and like e.g. give a rat's ass) get soft-redirected. So, yes, this shouldn't be a hard redirect. But sorting things out is made complicated by the fact that there are two entries to which various forms are redirecting; ugh. - -sche (discuss) 03:59, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
So how do you undo the dirty work? I think it's beyond my powers. Donnanz (talk) 09:45, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Maybe hard redirects should be banned / outlawed altogether, or is that a subject for the Beer Parlour? Donnanz (talk) 11:11, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
To "undo" a hard redirect, you just go to it (and get redirected to another page, but then click the small "redirected from" link at the top of the page to get back to the redirect...which admittedly seems to have become slightly more difficult after one of the recent software changes) and replace the "#REDIRECT" text with some other text. (Or you go to the redirect using this format: https://en.wiktionary.org/w/index.php?title=forget,_when_up_to_one%27s_neck_in_alligators,_that_the_mission_is_to_drain_the_swamp&redirect=no)
Hard redirects are "mostly banned" already; the two circumstances where there seems to be agreement that they're good are, as I mentioned, long idioms (forget, when up to one's eyes in alligators, that the mission is to drain the swampforget, when up to one's neck in alligators, that the mission is to drain the swamp) and verbal idioms with pronoun and tense and object changes (burn his fingersburn one's fingers, ). In my experience most existing hard redirects date from 4+ years ago, like this one did. - -sche (discuss) 18:37, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
@-ische: I didn't realise that you'd already undone the hard redirect (while I was tucked up in my bed). Many thanks!! Donnanz (talk) 19:09, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

Declension of ales in Romanian[edit]


I am not 100% sure, but I think I detected a mistake in the declension table of the word "ales" in Romanian. According to http://dexonline.ro/definitie/ales the feminine indefinite singular should be aleasă (not alesă). Now... I don't know how to change this on the wiktionary page, because it is not a table but a template.

Thank you.

number one[edit]

Is a sense missing here - e.g. as in "enemy number one"? --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 22:43, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

Isn't that covered by def #2, the one who is at the top of a ranking? Purplebackpack89 23:02, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
No, I think it's not. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 23:06, 5 February 2015 (UTC)
It seems to be either noun def 2, or an adjective(?) version of noun def 2. (But perhaps the definition could be worded better.) It doesn't seem substantively different from "he's our number one suspect", "prior to 2011, bin Laden was fugitive number one", "X was our number one informant", "neenish tarts are Australia's number one export", etc. - -sche (discuss) 03:50, 6 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, probably adjective section is needed. From Google: (adjective sense, here with a hyphen): most important or prevalent; foremost: "a number-one priority". --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 03:58, 6 February 2015 (UTC)


Noyau is in Wiktionary but the entry carries only a definition that refers to a liqueur. Noyau is French for "core" and is a scientific term for "a social structure in which a male's territory overlaps the smaller territories of several females," according to http://pin.primate.wisc.edu/factsheets/glossary#N.

Thanks! I've added that to the page. Smurrayinchester (talk) 08:49, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

Definitions of redact are sorted oddly, new definition[edit]

I had thought that dictionary definitions are supposed to be sorted by popularity of use. The first six definitions of redact are all labeled as obsolete, the seventh is (I believe) bordering on obsolete, the eighth is labeled as rare, and the last two (#9 and #10) are the only forms of the word that are at all common.

Those are close to the definition I was trying to link; as a security professional, sometimes it is necessary for me to redact a malicious link. One common form of that would be e.g. hxxp://evil.example.com, which should not be interpreted as a link (thus you cannot accidentally click on it and get infected). This is a somewhat common practice; just search for "hxxp".

I am requesting a reordering of the definitions (something like 9,10,7,8,1,2,3,4,5,6) and the addition of the security usage. I'm not performing the edits myself because I'm not sure my understanding of ordering is correct, and I'm not decided on whether my new definition should be a part of #9 or #10 or whether all three should be merged since the principle is the same: content removed to protect some interest, such as censorship, privacy, legal protections, or security threats. (Another example that doesn't fit into the existing definitions: some Jews redact "God" as "G-d") Adam KatzΔ 19:35, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

Most (although not all!) users here agree that it's not very user-friendly to put obsolete terms at the top. I've reordered the page, and made the definitions slightly more general so that they should cover the computer security and the religious case as well. Smurrayinchester (talk) 09:00, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks, that will do, even though it's still rather specific about the usage (which doesn't cover security threats). Adam KatzΔ 23:00, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

working committee[edit]

What does "working" mean in the term "working committee"? Seems we don't have this sense of working on Wiktionary. ---> Tooironic (talk) 06:40, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

A committee which is working on a particular matter? Governments seem to use them a lot. Donnanz (talk) 14:52, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
It could be in more than one ordinary sense of 'working'. Inn that it contrasts with standing committee which uses standing in the archaic sense of "permanent". DCDuring TALK 18:44, 7 February 2015 (UTC)


I would regard it as a suffix, rather than a postpositive adjective. Donnanz (talk) 14:47, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

That's probably a better characterization of what it has become. Formerly it was a preposition phrase, sometimes used as if a sentence adverb, as well as otherwise as if an adjective or adverb.
Incidentally it is productive, as evidenced by such terms as dog-in-law and others to be found here at OneLook, some only at Urban Dictionary. Apparently "Related by marriage" has now been generalized to mean "Associated indirectly by marriage, a sexual relationship, or otherwise." in some of these cases, while retaining its narrower, traditional meaning for most speakers. One can find similar generalizations such as granddog "dog belonging to one's child". DCDuring TALK 18:28, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps the most bizarre in that list is "urinal-in-law". Anyway, shall I change it? It occurred to me that a list of words suffixed with -in-law would also be useful, as I have done with sviger- in Norwegian. Donnanz (talk) 10:42, 8 February 2015 (UTC)


This entry was altered from Schwieger- last year by a Japanese user. I have read the reference left in the history, but this is only used with nouns, so was this a useful change or not? My Duden is no help. Donnanz (talk) 15:17, 7 February 2015 (UTC)

Well, schwieger- is found on adjectives like schwiegermütterlich (mother-in-lawish) (even though it's pretty clearly Schwiegermutter + -lich, not schwieger- + mütterlich), so it can be lower-case. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 15:24, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
Hmm, OK, that's not shown in Duden either. I only found schwieger- when adding to the translations for -in-law. I don't think it should have been altered without leaving a redirect; it wasn't very joined-up thinking. Donnanz (talk) 15:33, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
Apparently Schwieger (feminine noun), which is shown in Duden Online, is an outdated term for Schwiegermütter. Donnanz (talk) 15:55, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
It should be lowercase, for reasons outlined on Talk:ur-. Namely, compounds like Schwiegermutter are not Schwieger- + mutter(!), they're schwieger- + Mutter + (rule that the first letter of a noun is capitalised, and not other letters). - -sche (discuss) 18:34, 7 February 2015 (UTC)
R-right, but bearing in mind case sensitivity versus user friendliness I feel a redirect from Schwieger- is also desirable. However not all German -in-law words use schwieger-, see Schwägerin for instance. Donnanz (talk) 10:56, 8 February 2015 (UTC)
I don't think it's necessary. Searching for Schwieger- will find schwieger-, and people are far more likely to search for the whole words than for the prefix anyway. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 13:00, 8 February 2015 (UTC)
OK, you're right. I had to alter the etymology for "sviger-" though. Donnanz (talk) 13:22, 8 February 2015 (UTC)


Is it just me, or do the first two senses have the same meaning? Also, if the second sense is countable, why is the example given ("experience has taught me...") uncountable? ---> Tooironic (talk) 05:36, 8 February 2015 (UTC)

It isn't just you, but MW Online has eight definitions to our four:
"1a : direct observation of or participation in events as a basis of knowledge
"1b : the fact or state of having been affected by or gained knowledge through direct observation or participation
"2a : practical knowledge, skill, or practice derived from direct observation of or participation in events or in a particular activity
"2b : the length of such participation <has 10 years' experience in the job>
"3a : the conscious events that make up an individual life
"3b : the events that make up the conscious past of a community or nation or humankind generally
"4 : something personally encountered, undergone, or lived through
"5 : the act or process of directly perceiving events or reality"
4 is the only one that seems clearly countable to me, perhaps 5 as well.
I don't think that the edit adding the countable/uncountable labels and adding indefinite articles was good, not that I'm sure the entry before the edit was in good shape. There needed to be usage examples, if not actual citations, to illustrate each usage. And there probably weren't enough definitions. The entry needs revision. DCDuring TALK 11:20, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
I was hoping you could help with this. After all, "experience" is one of the commonest words in the English language. We really should get this entry right. ---> Tooironic (talk) 23:50, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
How, according to measurable evidence, is "experience" one of the commonest words in English? Equinox 23:52, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
  • We should get every entry right for all wordterms in all languages for all users in everybody's opinion now. 03:05, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Call me crazy, but I consider it a very common word. Surely you're not arguing it's rare or uncommon. ---> Tooironic (talk) 05:17, 13 February 2015 (UTC)


Nothing about the Baltimore gender-neutral slang pronoun? A comment on this article makes an interesting observation about the Haitian Creole pronoun yo meaning "they". Makes you wonder if perhaps the similarity just might be more than an accident. See also Language Log. Has there been any follow-up research on it? Perhaps there are sentences where yo is truly ambiguous between interjection and pronoun, providing a possible pivot. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 00:59, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

It's right there, sense 2 under pronoun. I find the Haitian derivation a bit dubious - Baltimore doesn't seem to have a very large Haitian population, compared to other cities in the Northeast or Florida. It's not unheard of for pronouns to jump around in terms of case, person and number (e.g. the royal/editorial we, the Scouse us, the singular they), so it seems at least plausible that a pronoun might go from second person to third person (although not quite the same, the Irish your man is a similar sort of development). Smurrayinchester (talk) 11:04, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
It makes more sense to me as a derivative from the look-at-me attention-getting sense via look-at-that-one. But that's just an untested hypothesis. The borrowing of Haitian into AAVE seems implausible for social reasons even if there were a Haitian population in Baltimore. DCDuring TALK 11:26, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

spare wheel, spare tire, spare tyre[edit]

Spare tyre is an acknowledged misnomer for spare wheel, so should the translations be moved to spare wheel (a more neutral term anyway), just leaving the ones for extra fat behind? Donnanz (talk) 10:46, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

If spare tyre and spare tire were not misnomers for spare wheel, they would be SoP, as spare wheel is. DCDuring TALK 11:32, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
With all due respect, that doesn't answer the question. I don't think there is any doubt that all these terms should be kept. Are you trying to say "No, it's not feasible"? I am disinclined to enter translations for spare wheel under spare tyre. Donnanz (talk) 15:21, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
I am saying that we shouldn't have spare wheel as it is absolutely transparent. It is also vastly less common than spare tire in US usage when referring to a wheel carried as a spare in a car (172:2 at COCA). At BNC spare tyre and spare wheel are roughly equal. What have your researches found? DCDuring TALK 15:38, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
I must admit that the only research I have done is in Oxford (both Br. and Am. sides), and Cambridge; they both list spare tyre and spare tire but ignore spare wheel, which doesn't help my cause. I'm retired now, but spent many years in the motor trade (a British term?), and I think both terms are used interchangeably, but I personally prefer spare wheel. When a wheel is taken off a vehicle and replaced by the spare wheel, the removed wheel automatically becomes the spare wheel, even if it needs a new tyre. Because spare wheel isn't used much in Am. English, it isn't grounds for deletion, I think all three terms should be kept for the sake of completeness, regardless of soppiness. This policy regarding SoP terms can be Wiktionary's worst enemy if taken too far. And what about spare part? A spare part once it is fitted is no longer a spare part, unlike a spare wheel, which remains the same even if it's a different wheel than before (as long as there is a spare wheel, manufacturers are trying to do away with them). On a different subject, I entered trolley jack today after some deliberation, as it doesn't meet the normal concept of trolley, and is just one of the many meanings for jack. Donnanz (talk) 18:13, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
If, in someone's native language the word for what I would call a spare tire is a single word that is composed of morphemes for spare and wheel and they find "spare wheel" as the definition in Wiktionary, they may be surprised, even mystified, when they subsequently encounter spare tire or spare tyre.
Compare spare tire at OneLook Dictionary Search and spare tyre at OneLook Dictionary Search with spare wheel at OneLook Dictionary Search. Many dictionaries have a full entry for spare tire. Only Collins has a full entry for spare wheel. BTW, we are already doing the world a service by being explicit about spare tire/spare tyre normally including the wheel. Surprisingly few of the OneLook dictionaries make that clear. Also, given your years in the car/auto/automobile racket/game/business/industry you might want to make this industry glossary a favorite in your browser. (It's one of the OneLook references too.) It is one of the best industry-specific glossaries I've seen.
One good reason to keep spare wheel is its widespread use in UK usage where the US would have the misnomer (with few exceptions). If large groups of people allegedly speaking the same language are in the position of saying "They call it 'X', but we call it 'Y'.", there's a good case for including both 'X' and 'Y' in Wiktionary, even if one is SoP. DCDuring TALK 21:03, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

empirical evidence[edit]

Where is the entry for empirical evidence? There is a corresponding entry for anecdotal evidence. I came here from the wikipedia entry, but found only a special page. --Ancheta Wis (talk) 13:56, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

A dictionary is focused on words, not concepts that cannot be defined in one- or two-line definitions. Would it be handy for users such as you if a search for a term with multiple words did not yield an exact match generated something that provided links to the component terms, ie, to empirical and evidence. DCDuring TALK 14:11, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
I have split the interwiki link at w:Empirical evidence to interwiki links to [[empirical]] and [[evidence]]. DCDuring TALK 14:14, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

Sports definition of bib[edit]

Looking at the page here: bib

I see there is no definition for "bib" that includes the use of a "bib number" in sports. Where a contestant at an event is expected to wear a "bib number" or "bib" to identify them separately from the other contestants. 14:37, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

for the love of god[edit]

someone help me out with this guy [7] [8] Equinox 16:57, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

I've RFVed enough things lately, and enough things by this user, that I'd like to leave RFVing this to someone else, but...is this even attested? I'm not seeing any uses on Google Books or Groups or Issuu. (Btw, the only significant page on it I've found, this non-durable one, confirms it's an adjective.) - -sche (discuss) 19:26, 9 February 2015 (UTC)


Sense 1 bothers me:

  1. A person who carries the professional title of sniper.

It seems bad form to use a word to define itself. “Sniper means a person called a sniper.” The tautology is problematic. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 21:22, 9 February 2015 (UTC)

  • Yes, It needs to be deleted - but you then have to figure out the translation sections. SemperBlotto (talk) 21:29, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
I think it refers to people who are members of a team or squadron of snipers, but is not a sniper himself, such as a spotter. If kept, it definitely needs rewording and to be moved after the other senses. — Ungoliant (falai) 21:49, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
We can do for the entry what Writer's Cramp, for some reason, failed to do: RfV the questionable senses or build a full entry by looking at the full range of uses in some corpera. It is a topical word, worth some effort. DCDuring TALK 22:05, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
I've deleted the recursive sense and sorted its translations into the appropriate tables. - -sche (discuss) 22:06, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
  • I think we would do justice to the term by having its sense evolution in English. I haven't yet attested all the senses, but candidates would be: "One who hunts snipes", "A marksman", "one who shoots at persons from a concealed position, especially one so trained in combat or in police service", "one who snipes ('criticizes')". DCDuring TALK 22:19, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
    Also, "an w:auction sniper" and/or "a w:bid sniper". DCDuring TALK 22:25, 9 February 2015 (UTC)
    sniper in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911 (Supplement) has a couple more. DCDuring TALK 22:31, 9 February 2015 (UTC)


The etymology of аскер (asker) is wrongly attributed to Latin Exercitus instead of Turkish (Asker) which is derived from Arabic (Askar) which is derived from Persian (Lashkar). See Ottoman Askar at @ عسكر (asker). -- —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 13:44, 2015 February 9‎.

You are right. I have updated the etymology with a reference. PS. In the future such comments belong in WT:ES. --Vahag (talk) 07:57, 10 February 2015 (UTC)


This descendant tree is suspect. Could someone look over that (and probably remove all the arrows as well)? ObsequiousNewt (ἔβαζα|ἐτλέλεσα) 17:18, 10 February 2015 (UTC)

Why do you think it’s suspect? — Ungoliant (falai) 18:50, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
Yes, why do you? I have added references. --Vahag (talk) 19:28, 10 February 2015 (UTC)
The tree isn't "suspect" to me (although it is very interesting); the arrows are a bit suss though. What do they mean, I wonder? This, that and the other (talk) 10:38, 11 February 2015 (UTC)
Arrows mean "borrowed", as apposed to "inherited". This practice is unofficial. We can make it official or devise something better. --Vahag (talk) 11:06, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

Monosyllabic meus, tuus, suus?[edit]

In some of the Romance languages, the accusative forms of these pronouns preserve the final -m: French mon, ton, son, Catalan mon, ton, son (alongside meu, teu, seu). The Strasbourg oaths attest the early form meon, which still preserves the diphthong. I would imagine that this is only possible if the words were monosyllabic originally, as in this case the -m was preserved as a normal consonant rather than becoming a nasal vowel. Compare for example rien < rem. So is there anything that is known about this? —CodeCat 18:11, 10 February 2015 (UTC)

pronunciation of ogin - the sea[edit]

My father was in submarines in royal navy and pronounced this like. log in. without the L

I dimly recall the three simple rules of sailing

1. keep the crew in 2. keep the ogin out 3. don't bump into anything

can't remember origin of rules

Thanks, I've added that pronunciation to ogin. Smurrayinchester (talk) 16:24, 11 February 2015 (UTC)


I am having trouble with this entry. As I see it the definitions are all worded as if the verb is intransitive. But by simply inserting parentheses around the word "something" in the definition the definitions could be read as being transitive. There are no usage labels, usage examples, or citations to help clarify. As best I can determine, the word is almost exclusively used in academic works, especially in philosophy and philosophical theology. It seems to only have to do with the content of conscious thought or of discussion.

Does anyone have some familiarity with the term who can clear this up? The problem I'm having with the entry doesn't fit what RfC is supposed to do. DCDuring TALK 18:12, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

I have taken a run at two new definitions, but I don't think I've capture the full range of use. DCDuring TALK 22:09, 11 February 2015 (UTC)

-@: the suffix[edit]

So, when I was creating the entries for Chicano studies and Chicana studies, I noticed that Chican@ studies is an alternative name for the discipline. So that got me thinking, "is -@ a gender-neutral suffix?" And in what language? English? Spanish? Inter? Purplebackpack89 17:28, 12 February 2015 (UTC)

It's not a suffix because you don't form Chican@ by adding @ to "Chican". It's a blend of a and o, supposed to highlight gender-neutrality. There's also Latin@ (again, Latina/Latino). Equinox 17:33, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
But, by that logic, -o and -a are also not suffixes... Purplebackpack89
You have to think about how the word is formed. A suffix is a morpheme added at the end of an existing word. @ isn't used that way for the reason I gave. The words Chicano, Latina, etc. were borrowed into English from Spanish, as entire existing words, so that suggests -a and -o are not suffixes in English (though they might be in Spanish; I don't speak it). Equinox 17:40, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
Many morphologists distinguish between suffixes and endings; suffixes alter the meaning of the root, while endings don't (instead they mark grammatical functions like case, gender, number, person, etc.). By that definition, Spanish -a and -o are endings, not suffixes. However, we don't seem to make that distinction here, as we have a fair number of ===Suffix=== entries for endings in various languages, not to mention various categories "Fooish words suffixed with -blah" where -blah is an ending. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:20, 12 February 2015 (UTC)
Part of that is due to all the affix templates: they make it too easy to make morphology-based etymologies without thinking about/understanding the nature of the morphemes. I work a lot with Special:WantedCategories, and I prefer to stay away from the "<Language> words <affix>ed with -foo" redlinks- more often than not they're bogus, but it's not always obvious how to fix them. Chuck Entz (talk) 04:00, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

advance person[edit]

How can this be considered a politically correct term? ---> Tooironic (talk) 05:15, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

Some people think that any use of person where one might use man is political correctness. Chuck Entz (talk) 07:39, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
Would we feel better if we put this in a category called gender-neutral, linked to the current category? DCDuring TALK 13:24, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
This is certainly not "politically correct", and "politically correct" is itself a POV (pejorative) term, so I question if it's appropriate to have a "politically correct" category at all, particularly without references to support the claim that the terms in the category are "politically correct".
Putting this term in a category for gender-neutral terms would be preferable to leaving it where it is now, although simply removing the category might be the best option, and is what I've done. (I remember Equinox having to remove "grandparent" from the "PC terms" category!) A category for gender-neutral terms would be hard to name, define, and maintain in such a way that anons wouldn't add terms like doctor and armadillo and most other words for people and animals to it. - -sche (discuss) 18:43, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

white vinegar[edit]

Should we include this term on Wiktionary? It's arguably more than just vinegar that looks white/clear, right? ---> Tooironic (talk) 05:47, 13 February 2015 (UTC)

Yes, we should. White vinegar is not white, it’s clear, and it is a particular type of vinegar, with its own flavor and uses. —Stephen (Talk) 06:34, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
Added a quick definition. Feel free to improve. SemperBlotto (talk) 07:06, 13 February 2015 (UTC)
Many thanks! Still amazes me after so many years of hard work you still from time to time come across simple, every day words we haven't got entries for. ---> Tooironic (talk) 02:47, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
Actually, it's not so surprising: people tend to concentrate on the interesting terms, and don't bother with the plain old ordinary ones. There's also an element of what was referred to in the old quote: "We don’t know who it was discovered water, but we’re pretty sure it wasn’t a fish". Chuck Entz (talk) 03:18, 18 February 2015 (UTC)


Two separate etymologies, but several overlapping and duplicated meanings. Equinox 03:32, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

The first three sense of etymology 1 look like they should be merged into etymology 2, which lacks the box-for-tea sense that the Online Ety. Dict. says it should have. As no definition will actually be deleted, I don't think even those here who are legalistically inclined can validly object. DCDuring TALK 04:25, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

About parallelogramma[edit]

On the article about parallelogramma it says the plural is "parallelogramme". It also says the form "parallelogrammo" is a variant. Now, both Treccani and my Devoto-Oli vocabulary seem to think "parallelogramma" is the variant and "parallelogrammo" is more correct. This is consistent with the etymology: "parallelogrammum" gives "parallelogrammo", whereas "parallelogramma" must be a misuse of the plural form. I for one have been taught to say "parallelogrammo", not "parallelogramma". The etimo.it Etymological Dictionary doesn't even 'have' the form "parallelogramma", whereas it has "parallelogrammo". This seems to confirm the idea that the "-a" form should be marked as a variant of the "-o" form, not vice versa, as is now. Also, both me and my brother, who are mother-tongue in Italian, sort of started when we heard the form "parallelogramme" as the plural of "parallelogramma", since we never heard it once, and though we know of the variant in the singular, the plural never exhibited this variation as far as we heard. Neither Treccani nor the Devoto-Oli report this form. It is my impression that this for is either an invention of the Wiktionary, or an incredibly rare and non-standard form, perhaps even incorrect. I therefore ask if someone could verify how much of what I think is correct and edit the articles accordingly, replying here to notify me, in particular, about the plural form. MGorrone (talk) 09:45, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

Parallelogrammo seems to be almost twice as common as parallelogramma, so I support making it the main entry. — Ungoliant (falai) 15:00, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
Fixed. SemperBlotto (talk) 15:12, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

strap or loop for hanging a towel[edit]

How do you call in English the little strap or loop that is often sewn in the corner or edge of a towel for hanging it up on a peg? Is a similar loop in a jacket etc. called the same? --Hekaheka (talk) 11:12, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

It's just called a hanging loop. Same for a jacket. Equinox 14:54, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
Our definition at hanging loop was overly specific. A pendant, a picture frame, a hammer can have one.
An appropriately generalized definition starts to look SoP, only justified by translations. Normal practice for determining the meaning of a noun phrase like this is to determine which of a limited set of relationships is possible between the components, ie, "a loop that hangs", "a loop for hanging (object under discussion)", "a loop for hanging (execution)", "a loop (circuit) inventing by Han-ging", "a loop has a process hung up (ie, infinite loop)", etc. What makes this definition special lexicographically? It's not in hanging loop at OneLook Dictionary Search. DCDuring TALK 16:17, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
Mm, the construction is similar to "walking shoes" or "cooking ingredients" (i.e. Y intending for Xing — not Y that Xes, as in "a walking man"). Equinox 21:52, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
At least this sort of entries will help the learners of English. This is an example of a simple everyday item, the name of which is self-evident for the native speakers and grammatically a SOP, yet very difficult for a non-native to deduce or guess. Another example of such term is spare wheel, which is being discussed a few lines up. If I had to guess, I would probably call it "reserve tire". When using it, I would probably be understood, but might collect a few questioning looks. --Hekaheka (talk) 21:59, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
For the record, I wasn't aware of the term "hanging loop" when I read your initial query, and had to use search engines to verify the term that people use for it! Equinox 22:02, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
I was unaware of any term for it, either. As for spare wheel: I've never heard one called that, though, strictly speaking, that's what they are. I've only heard them referred to as spare tires, and I doubt anyone outside of automotive professions would call them spare wheels. I think it's just one more example of technically-incorrect usage overwhelming attempts to "correct" it. Chuck Entz (talk) 22:36, 14 February 2015 (UTC)
I can only speak for US usage, though- elsewhere, it may be different. Chuck Entz (talk) 22:41, 14 February 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for your kind comments. I'll use "hanging loop" as translation for raksi. --Hekaheka (talk) 05:39, 21 February 2015 (UTC)


A poem by Walt Whitman mentions "the red cedar festoon'd with tylandria". What is that? A Google search only seems to turn up Tylandria as an African-American female name. Equinox 06:03, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

spanish moss, according to this[9]Pengo (talk) 07:34, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
As to where the term came from, I can't find a trace of it in the usual botanical sources- or much of anywhere, really. The term does sound vaguely like the real taxonomic name (Tillandsia usneoides), so it's conceivable that w:Frederick Law Olmstead misremembered it, and Whitman used the name from the descriptions of southern scenery in Olmstead's newspaper dispatches- but that's just an unsupported hunch. Chuck Entz (talk) 08:38, 15 February 2015 (UTC)


What's the word for when the police scour an area looking for clues? Is there a noun for that? --Type56op9 (talk) 11:42, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

comb, search, examine minutely, go through with a fine-tooth comb. The noun could be search: following the search, the suspect was arrested. —Stephen (Talk) 12:06, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
Are you thinking of a stakeout, maybe? Where they snoop and sleuth about for clues? Tharthan (talk) 15:38, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
In the UK, this is a fingertip search - American English doesn't appear to have an equivalent. Smurrayinchester (talk) 15:42, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
It exists where I live, but it doesn't have any name as far as I am aware. Police investigators go in and scan the crime scene. Again, no name that I am aware of. Tharthan (talk) 01:28, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
American crime serials tend to use the word canvass as in "The police canvassed the neighborhood." JohnC5 01:39, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
That refers to interviewing people, not to searching. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:20, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
Oh yeah, duh. JohnC5 02:28, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

Serbian љ analogy to "ll" Spanish is not accurate[edit]

Hello, good day, I just wanted to ask for a review. The content is not true. I am a native Spanish speaker, I am living in Serbia and this is not the sound that we have in "ll". That sound does not exist in Spanish and the sound of "ll" in my language sounds more like Serbian "ђ" letter. 17:57, 15 February 2015 (UTC)Juan Carlos Martínez

It depends what dialect of Spanish you speak. There are certainly some Spanish speakers who pronounce words like llave with a sound very much like Serbian љ, although that pronunciation seems to be losing ground in both Spain and the Americas. We'd probably be better off comparing Serbian љ to Italian gl, since the sound is much more robust in Italian than it seems to be in Spanish. What page did you find the comparison to Spanish on? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:29, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
љ. — Ungoliant (falai) 19:53, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
The correct pronunciation of Spanish ll is only losing ground if one speaks a weak idiolect of Spanish. c and z being /θ/ and /ð/, as well as ll being /ʎ/ are still the right ways to pronounce those sounds (although Rioplantense isn't too bad either with certain sounds. I could go for that if necessary [not that I'm any linguistic authority or anything. This is just my personal opinion]). Tharthan (talk) 15:43, 19 February 2015 (UTC)


Can anyone work out the specific meaning(s) of this verb? See google books:"Jesused" and google books:"Jesusing" (there also seem to be quite a few derivations, like re-Jesus and un-Jesus).

  • I've heard it used in the context of sports, e.g. "they trailed by twenty points until the last two minutes, then Jesused (or Jesused out) a win", where it seems to mean something like "to accomplish (by) miracles in the manner of Jesus", but I'm not sure if that sense is attested (maybe on Usenet?).
  • "in class rooms across America each and every year ... there is always one child being Jesused" seems to mean "subjected to Jesus / Christian teachings" or (based on the following sentence) "made to suffer like Jesus".
  • "He didn't seem to be all Jesused out anymore — alcohol was once again his crutch of choice" maybe means "religiously Christian"?

- -sche (discuss) 18:37, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

I suspect that your third example is really Jesus out, and is probably somewhat parallel to phrases like max out. Chuck Entz (talk) 03:23, 18 February 2015 (UTC)

horseshoes and hand-grenades[edit]

I think there should be an entry to explain sayings along the lines of "close only counts in horseshoes and hand-grenades". Siuenti (talk) 23:18, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

We have close only counts in horseshoes. Purplebackpack89 04:45, 16 February 2015 (UTC)


The use of the word "wode" that is most familiar to me is as the name (one name, also "woad") of the blue dye with which British aborignes painted themselves when going to battle. But reference to that appears nowhere in the Wiktionary entry for "wode". Why? Andyvphil (talk) 19:09, 16 February 2015 (UTC)

  • Because Wiktionary awaits contributions from folks like you. Yes check.svg Done DCDuring TALK 20:00, 16 February 2015 (UTC)

What is a "downward dog"? Do we care?[edit]

I was puzzled by the phrase used in this BBC News article 'Yoga pants': Are leggings and other tight trousers indecent?, in the context of leggings recalled by their manufacturer in 2013 "because wear over time led to sheerness (and subsequently awkward downward dogs)."

I don't remember ever hearing of "downward dogs", though I accept that I tend to glaze over when people start discussing fashion (or indeed yoga), and it doesn't seem to fit with any definitions we already have. I've thought of several possibilities:

  • It is a misprint -- but I can't think what it should have been.
  • It's a nonce abusage of the English language, which we can ignore, particularly as it's more opaque than the leggings.
  • The "sheerness", appearing at awkward times, was a similar shape to laddering of tights, and is being likened to frankfurters (or even wieners).
  • Dog means "penis" (or is that my imagination -- we don't include it yet) and men are (strangely) being turned off in the bedroom by patches of "sheerness"
  • Dog can now mean a furtive glance.
  • Downward can now be an adjective meaning "below the waist", complemented by dogs meaning "people unpleasant to look at", who are therefore embarrassed.
  • Or just possibly, downward dog is a phrase which has been used for years, with a meaning too NSoP for me to guess, and is therefore a phrase we should include.

Any ideas? --Enginear 01:16, 18 February 2015 (UTC)

  • It is the technical term for a yoga pose, being to place ones hands and feet on the ground, and make a Lamda shape with one's bottom in the air. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 01:24, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks -- I must have miss-keyed when searching for downward dog the first time. It seems to fall into my last category, and indeed we already have it -- and it falls into the category of yoga-speak which, when I know the context, causes me to "switch off". Oh well! --Enginear 01:29, 18 February 2015 (UTC)
Perhaps you knew it better under its "English" synonym adho mukha shvanasana. Why would we call this English? I'm glad it's still a redlink. It's more grist for the Romanized Sanskrit mill. DCDuring TALK 01:57, 18 February 2015 (UTC)


The pronunciation given seems rather implausible: I'm finding it hard to imagine any speaker of contemporary English (even a conservative RP speaker) producing "/gju:/", and if they did, I doubt they'd follow it up with a short "/æ/". Is this a valid pronunciation anywhere? Smurrayinchester (talk) 09:13, 18 February 2015 (UTC)

Looks like a simple, albeit strange, error for /ˈɡu.læɡ/ (maybe someone assumed all /Cu/s optionally have /j/?), which some dictionaries list as an alternative to /ˈɡu.lɑg/. - -sche (discuss) 16:00, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! Smurrayinchester (talk) 09:57, 20 February 2015 (UTC)

Emotionless/Neutral Face[edit]

What is another way of saying a "neutral" or "emotionless" face that doesn't sound cold (emotionless is a bit of a cold word)?

Expressionless, maybe? Tharthan (talk) 15:34, 19 February 2015 (UTC)


"A boy with qualities that are allegedly girl-like, especially squeamishness."
I get that people sometimes derogatorily call boys "girls", but I dispute that that's actually a separate sense — it seems to mean that the people are, well, calling the boys "girls" in that word's usual sense. Compare all the American movies that depict drill sergeants calling male recruits "ladies", "women", etc. Thoughts? - -sche (discuss) 23:34, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

I agree with you. It is not a separate sense. It is a usage point relating to the ordinary sense. 01:29, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
  • I'd tend to agree - it's just sarcastic, like calling a stupid person Einstein or Sherlock. Doesn't literally mean that Einstein and Sherlock mean "stupid person". Smurrayinchester (talk) 09:17, 20 February 2015 (UTC)
    Me too. DCDuring TALK 04:56, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for your input. I've removed the sense in question. - -sche (discuss) 08:54, 21 February 2015 (UTC)


I imagine this entry was generated by an algorithm, this seems really silly though. Has anyone ever seen this word before? I suggest it be removed, it's really excessive. —This unsigned comment was added by Telmac (talkcontribs) at 16:39, 2015 February 19.


Its part of speech is given as "Numeral", so there is no link to millions, which is a "Noun". How to resolve? Equinox 00:53, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

Good question. Maybe it needs to have both a noun section and a numeral section? Ten does, although not in the way I would expect — I would have expected a noun sense to cover uses like "tens of people attended the rally". Or perhaps the numeral template needs to allow a plural form to be set, to cover uses like the one in millions? google books:"threes of", google books:"sevens of" suggests that many numbers can be pluralized while still referring to a quantity. Small numbers can also be pluralized while referring to glyphs (e.g. "she drew her nines like gs"). - -sche (discuss) 05:41, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

Newspaper poster, headline poster or what?[edit]

Löpsedlar från 31 juli 2007 om Ingmar Bergmans död.

How do you call a poster that promotes a particular issue of a newspaper at newsstands (see pic)? Google searches for "newspaper poster" and "headline poster" produce right-looking hits, but they do not seem to be as directly to the point as Finnish lööppi, and the number of hits looks modest as well. --Hekaheka (talk) 05:35, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

Maybe broadside. DCDuring TALK 07:17, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
 Newspaper posters on Wikimedia Commons. Wikimedia Commons: Newspaper posters DCDuring TALK 07:32, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
Majority of the pictures here are not ads for individual issues of a newspaper but for the newspaper as a whole. --Hekaheka (talk) 05:50, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
"Headline poster" seems to be the dominant term. I'm now disappointed that we don't have a better word for it in English (and also that lööppi doesn't have an entry, so I can't look up its etymology). Pengo (talk) 04:47, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
Lööppi is now added. According to the Swedish Wikipedia the UK term is "newspaper billboard poster", or "newspaper billboard", which gets support from the BBC [10]. Further, the Swedish Wikipedia states that this type of billboards are used only in a relatively small number of countries and in most countries the front page of the newspaper would double as an ad. --Hekaheka (talk) 16:18, 25 February 2015 (UTC)


aintno dim/plural! 06:46, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

Why should there be? It's the name of a dialect. --Hekaheka (talk) 06:49, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

sur-pl.luk@theprompt[i/daENTRYimade[nitsmynativLANGUAG[dad=y.iteluppl2talk~LECTSsigh163.32.124.124 07:26, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

Note that a native speaker of Dutch has tagged Brabans for speedy deletion as a misspelling of Brabants. I assume the question of whether or not it has a plural applies as much to the spelling Brabants as to Brabans. What does our other Dutch speaker, @CodeCat:, think? - -sche (discuss) 03:19, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
I deleted it. It's a misspelling, at least for Dutch. It might be a Brabantian spelling, but we don't recognise that as a language, nor is there any standard or written tradition for it. —CodeCat 14:23, 22 February 2015 (UTC)


http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/wijf#Dutch <usag-ex


IFso,thenpartofmyeditnedsundon+theusagnotmovdbelo http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Brabantian#English anothrpairofeyes'db.gud:) 07:51, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

k,ifelthishascontradictni/it n


Mike, United Nations

proper noun (plural proper nouns)

   A noun denoting a particular person, place, organization, ship, animal, event, or other individual entity.

Usage notes Main appendix: English proper nouns <MISPLACED??

In English, a proper noun normally is not preceded by an article or limiting modifier and is written with an initial capital letter. NOARTICL,THENaBrabantian=noproper1,buthenWICHPARTICULRPERSON[S[c.def=PROPERNOUNS??[ilukd@history+bergarden,thistopik[proprnoun]dunsemclear/diverginopinions..acivildiscusion+[re]solutn'db.nice[nimightlearnsth.myslfofkors:) 08:11, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

k,dad=mybestshot[c.history,othrppl.welkom! 08:27, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
WTF? SemperBlotto (talk) 16:25, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
I think the user is asking why the "person from Brabant" sense of "Brabantian" is not a proper noun? Or perhaps why the language sense is a proper noun? "Person from Brabant" is a common noun because it's clearly very countable; just ask the Brabantians (any two Brabantians, your nearest Brabantian, etc). The language, in turn, is labelled a proper noun because Wiktionary currently labels languages proper nouns, but see Wiktionary:Beer parlour#Languages_-_are_they_proper_nouns_or_not.3F for discussion of this. - -sche (discuss) 18:06, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

scatophagous vs coprophagous[edit]

It seems to me that these two words are functionally equivalent in technical usage certainly. I have checked and found that there never since the early 19th century has been a time when scatophag-- and its derivatives came anywhere close to the frequency of coprophag-- derived terms. In fact one really has to search for functional instances in most periods; in modern times a google search records it mainly in dictionaries and similar philological works! Henceforth I shall make a personal point of not using scato when copro is a reasonable alternative, but I see that the Wiktionary entry for scatophagous links to coprophagous without comment or further definition.

Now, that is not unreasonable and I have no intention of meddling, and I do not propose this in the spirit of imposing "correct" or "approved" usage, but it seems to me that it would be a service in such a case to include a remark to the effect that the usage is unusual and unhelpful in technical works at least.

Comments? Policies? Thanks if so. JonRichfield (talk) 16:22, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

There are no explicit policies that make a positive recommendation. I agree that in English there are many occasions where some synonyms become so uncommon in use that it seems a disservice to a user to not indicate that in our entry. I recently had occasion to change the use of subterraneous to subterranean in our definitions and to amend the entry for subterraneous to reflect its relatively uncommon use in current English. I doubt that anyone would object to your undertaking the same kind of thing with the words in question. One very useful tool to make sure that you have the facts is Google n-gram viewer. DCDuring TALK 17:01, 21 February 2015 (UTC)


What we actually know about "KTV"[edit]

  • We know it did not arise in an English speaking country.
  • We know it was not preceded by a long-form phrase "karaoke television" or "karaoke TV".
  • It evolved in Taiwan circa 1988 as a modification of its immediate ancestor "MTV".
  • "MTV" was appropriated from English in the early 1980s taken from the cable TV network of the same name, "Music Television" or "Music TV".
  • The cable channel "MTV" was not available in Taiwan at that time.
  • In Taiwan the term "MTV" had either or both meanings "music video" or "cafe playing music videos".
  • "MTV" soon acquired a novel meaning "movie television" or "movie TV" in Taiwan due to an entrepreneurial innovation.
  • The innovation was to set up multiple TVs and VCRs (or videodisc players) in a space, partitioned for private viewing of pirated movies. Apparently VCRs were scarce in Taiwan at this time and IP laws were lax. MTV establishments evolved into having private rooms which were rented out separately to persons or groups.
  • In 1988 the US moved to stop this practice and protect the IP of its movie industry. This was the Uruguay round of GATT.
  • Most MTVs were forced to close. Some increased their prices and apparently a couple still exist in Taiwan.
  • Another entrepreneurial innovation was to convert MTVs from private rooms for viewing movies with your friends into private rooms for doing karaoke with your friends.
  • It has been stated that MTV establishments merely changed one letter in their signs and thus became "KTVs".
  • So far I don't know for sure when the first KTV opened. It may have been conceived before GATT 1988 but it took off from GATT 1988.
  • Karaoke already existed in Taiwan before this. It didn't come from an English speaking country. It came straight from Japan.
  • Apparently some karaokes used the Japanese katakana spelling "カラオケ" and then the hybrid Chinese/Latin transliteration 卡拉OK was devised in Taiwan and caught on.
  • At this time karaoke establishments were of a similar kind to what we had in the west, having come to Taiwan in 1976. One machine in a public space. Some Chinese speakers still claim this to be a distinction between a 卡拉OK and a KTV.
  • So the "K" of "KTV" comes from Chinese "卡拉OK", which came from Japanese "カラオケ" while the "TV" in "KTV" came from "MTV" (movie TV) which came from "MTV" (music TV).
  • The evolution did not stop with "MTV" -> "KTV". Further innovations include "RTV" (R for "restaurant"), "DTV" (D for "disco"), "BTV" (B for "barber[shop] TV). All natively devised in Taiwan.
  • "KTV" seems to have recently been borrowed into English to a very limited degree from Taiwan and/or China. It's restricted to people of Chinese and Taiwanese descent and people familiar with those cultures. This includes Chinese and Taiwanese expats in English-speaking countries, English speaking former expats and exchange students who lived in China or Taiwan, Chinatowns, English speakers travelling in China or Taiwan, or returned from those places.
  • The Korean term "noraebang" has a similar usage pattern in English and seems to get more search engine hits than "KTV". (The Japanese term "karaoke" is of course already well established in English.)
  • The descendent terms "RTV", "DTV", "BTV" have not been borrowed into English as far as I can tell.


  1. SINO-PLATONIC PAPERS Number 45 May, 1994 The Sino-Alphabet: The Assimilation of Roman Letters into the Chinese Writing System by Mark Hansell [11]
  3. Taiwan Info The KTV Craze Jeudi 1er juillet 1993 [13]
  4. Volume Title: Regionalism versus Multilateral Trade Arrangements, NBER-EASE Volume 6 Takatoshi Ito and Anne O. Krueger, Eds. January 1997 [14]
  5. China: An International Journal Volume 06, Issue 01, March 2008 James FARRER Play and Power in Chinese Nightlife Spaces [15]
  6. Consumption in Asia: Lifestyle and Identities edited by Beng-Huat Chua 2002 [16]

Are English-looking terms invented in non English speaking countries and not used in English still English terms?[edit]

  • So we know "KTV" arose in Taiwan and spread from Taiwan to China.
  • Is there such a thing as "Chinese English" or "Taiwanese English"?
  • English-looking terms invented in German such as "Handy" and "Beamer" are counted as pseudo-English. They are counted as German words and not counted as English words.

Counterevidence or other commentary from the Chinese contributors[edit]

@WikiWinters: * @Atitarev:

I invite your evidence showing one or more of the above to be false or to back up one or more of the following hypotheses if the evidence is true but "KTV" is not to be admitted as a Chinese word:

  • "KTV" was coined not in Taiwan, but in an English-speaking country.
  • "KTV" was used in English before it was used in Chinese.
  • "Karaoke TV" or "Karaoke television" was used in English and afterwards became abbreviated to "KTV".
  • "KTV" was coined in a Chinese speaking country but only used in English.
  • Chinese speakers do not have the ability to coin terms to use in their language that look like English terms.
  • Chinese speakers do have the ability to coin terms in languages other than Chinese.
  • When Chinese speakers coin English looking terms they become English words and may never become Chinese words *but* when German speakers coin English looking words they become German words and do not also become English words.
  • Chinese English, China English, Taiwanese English, or Taiwan English is a variety of English as far as the English Wiktionary is concerned.
  • This list is open in case I've left out a potential hypothesis.

Stuff moved here from the Chinese requested entries page[edit]

Discussion moved from Chinese requested entries page:

I'm staying out of this one, but just for another opinion, here is a previous message from @Atitarev: "KTV request removed, pls don't restore. Citations are unnecessary, Chinese texts use a lot of English abbreviations in a Chinese texts. They don't need Chinese entries, if an English entry exists. See archived discussions. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 06:22, 19 February 2015 (UTC)" --WikiWinters (talk) 16:52, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
@Hippietrail: What are you trying to achieve by forcing the abbreviation "KTV" as a Chinese term? What sort of lexicographical research is required? In any case, it's a wrong place for such a discussion. We had an RFV, which resulted in an English entry. I think that's enough. You can restart an RFT, RFV or RFV discussion but I see no point, really. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 17:05, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
What are others trying to achieve by forcing out the term "KTV" as a Chinese term? The sort of lexicographical research required is the same as per any term. Investigating its origins and usage patterns. It's origin is Taiwan in the 1980s, it's mainly used in China, it's barely known to English speakers since it's recently introduced from Chinese culture. All of the quotations in the English entry clearly indicate the references to Chinese culture. There is so far zero evidence to support the theory that "karaoke television" began in English, got shortened to "KTV" in English, and has since been used in Chinese without even being borrowed. All I can tell is that some people don't like foreign words or script being used in Chinese and have prescriptivist objections.
What's more disturbing is the summary dismissals on strawman arguments such as citations not being necessary to decide such things! Such as use a lot of English abbreviations in a Chinese texts means all uses remain Chinese. Despite OK having a Chinese entry here. Despite KTV originating in Taiwan.
When did checking the citations become unnecessary in lexicography? When did finding citations from earlier in history become unnecessary in lexicography?
I'll try to figure out the current official way to restart the RFT/RFV to move this discussion there. In the meantime please do not delete lexicographical evidence without investigating. — hippietrail (talk) 00:37, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
@WikiWinters: Yet you deleted the lexicographical evidence without checking and in direct opposition to your statement "I'm staying out of this one". Bad form. Unprofessional. Dishonest. )-: — hippietrail (talk) 14:03, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
The Chinese term: http://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%8D%A1%E6%8B%89OK 22:29, 22 February 2015 (UTC)
@ The English term: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/karaoke - are you trying to make a point that Chinese doesn't have synonyms? That would be incorrect.
What are you talking about? I never removed any evidence. Unless, of course, you're referring to my removing the entire discussion itself, as, at that time, it had already been moved to the Tea room. If there was lexicographical evidence contained in the text that I removed that hadn't also been moved to the Tea room, then I apologize. I assumed the evidence was moved with it. You added a Tea room direct template that messed up the page, as that template is for specific entries' pages, and so that, along with the fact that it had already be presumably moved in its entirety to the Tea room, or at least should have been, was the reason for which I removed the text. If you're not talking about that, then I don't know what. --WikiWinters (talk) 20:15, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
I moved the entire discussion. I left the request since it is a genuine request. I left a link to the Tea Room because that's what it looked like I was advised to do. I find all these Wiktionary protocols very murky so I read the docs I can find and do as best I can. I imagine it's very difficult for most people. It's always best when deleting any information to check your assumptions before acting hastily. I can accept your apology but a better way is to help people with the tricky protocols when you understand them better. Maybe this is an opportunity to clarify this "template is for specific entries' pages" part of the documentation. — hippietrail (talk) 06:58, 25 February 2015 (UTC)

And Here are the attestations of early use in Chinese context which was just summarily deleted from the requests page without consideration and without being moved here, by a member of the Wiktionary Chinese clique who claimed to be "staying out of this one"! — hippietrail (talk) 01:31, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

  • 大衆傳播與資訊..由於開放報禁,報紙出版之家數增加,而張數也大幅增加,各類型理財與休閒雜誌也大量出現。此外 MTV 、 KTV 與衛星直播電視的興起,使得資訊不易再被壟斷與歪曲。 6 .生活素質..由於國民所得增加,民間消費型態,行與育樂全部消費額的 - 國立台灣師範大學敎育心理學系., 1987
  • ... 例如: PUB 〔註二〕、 KTV 〔註三〕、 MTV 〔註四〕、卡拉 OK 、 GO 〔註五〕 康 V.S. 康寧祥〔註八〕。( 2 22 3 )你時作天有去台南嗎? - 世界華文敎育協進會, 1989
  • 註一、載:在台北一般人稱「我載你去火車站」之用法,正式國語應說成「我途你去火車站。」註二、 PUB 酒廊註三、 KTV 卡拉 OK 配合電視情景與歌詞字幕註四、 MTV 音樂電視註五、 GO 地中海俱樂部團隊領隊註六、 DIY (Doityourself)註七、 PV 人工跑道 - 世界華文敎育協進會, 1989
  • ... 許多人都喜歡下班後喝杯雞尾酒,綺子解工作 娛樂場所除了 MTV ,進展至 KTV 、 DTV 71 「上班族」、「火車族」(指常坐火車的人)、「香腸族」、「火腿族」(指夜間使用. - 世界華文敎育協進會, 1989
  • 曾從事「宗教活助」舌計 7 祁萬人或 53 . 16 % .即半故以上之國人具有宗教信仰.常利用休閒時間從事信仰性之活功.致其排名位居第八。反視最近流行之熱門休閒活劫- . KTV 、 MTV 與卡拉 OK 等,制位有 459 萬 7 千人或 32 . 37 %國人曾從事過該項活劫, ... - Xing zheng yuan zhu ji chu, 1990
It is not my responsibility to make sure that your evidence remains intact. I removed the entire discussion because you added a Tea room template, which wasn't even meant to be placed on such a page, saying that the discussion had been moved. The assumption is that the entire discussion is moved. If I am in the wrong in this case, then I apologize, but I'm not so sure about that. Also, you can always just go to the revision history and pull out your evidence. I didn't "destroy" it or anything of the like, so please do not be hostile. I am neutral in this issue and continue to be. --WikiWinters (talk) 20:15, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
I removed the entire discussion. I left the request and the link. You removed the request and the link. I welcome your neutrality and accept your apology. I interpreted hostility and replied defensively because I have several times found my contributions on Chinese summarily reverted though never before by you I believe. At this point I have no idea whether it's OK to reinstate the request or if that too will be interpreted as a hostile act! — hippietrail (talk) 06:58, 25 February 2015 (UTC)


The sense "One who performs menial or tedious work; a drudge." seems like it would be a better fit to the bee etymology, but I can see how the second etymology might work (the drone on a bagpipe just plays the same note constantly without rhythm or melody, and a drone worker just does the same work constantly without variation). Does anyone know which of the two roots this sense evolved from? Smurrayinchester (talk) 09:42, 22 February 2015 (UTC)


Should it be "posttraumatic stress disorder" or "post-traumatic stress disorder?" See Wikipedia:Posttraumatic stress disorder#Terminology. --WikiWinters (talk) 13:22, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

gratulieren: is intransitive, not transitive, right?[edit]

German wiktionary points out gratulieren is intransitive. English one claims it is transitive, and I guess needs to be fixed. (I haven't seen an example of transitive usage, but I also haven't researched as well as I could have. In the future I'll research more thoroughly and be bold in making corrections myself, are there people that would notice and correct me if I make mistakes? :) --Hugovdm (talk) 21:07, 22 February 2015 (UTC)

  • Out of curiosity, I had a look at google:"ich gratuliere dich" vs. google:"ich gratuliere dir". A number of the top hits are pages that discuss (in German) which form is correct, suggesting that there is some question about this even in the German-speaking community. Granted, that discussion might be along the lines of "only non-native speakers get confused by this", but it's still a topic of some conversation. google books:"ich gratuliere dich" generates sufficient hits for citation purposes to show transitive use. That said, given the greater preponderance of hits at google books:"ich gratuliere dir" (38.8K vs. only 44 for the transitive), and the discussions online, it probably makes sense to add a {{context|rare}} or even {{context|proscribed}} notice to the transitive sense. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 23:28, 22 February 2015
Looking at the discussions. I've only found two of them. One is some person who said they were discussing it with someone (for whatever reason, probably hypercorrection), but they state that they themself had never heard "gratuliere dich". The other one specifically says that it is the son (who may be rather young) who said "dich" was correct (and the mother probably just opened the discussion to quiet the son)... And the hits from google books! Please look at them a bit: They are all, without exception, either deliberate non-standard usage, or texts written by non-native speakers, and/or very old. Many are even in books called "Common mistakes by Russian learners of German", "The influence of English on Nataler German", and so on.
Long story short: I'm a native speaker of German who is always interested in non-standard usage and indeed fond of it, but gratulieren + accusative is just not common in native German speech, I assure you. There are regions (today the Ruhrgebiet in particular, but at least historically the whole of northern Germany, and remember that many of those areas also had strong Slavic populations) where dative/accusative distinction has always been a problem, and you will get non-standard usage for just any verb. "Gratulieren" is by no means particularly likely to arouse such "mistakes" (if we want to call it that). — Therefore: let's make it an intransitive verb and everything is fine.Kolmiel (talk) 01:47, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
  • Kolmiel, we aim to describe how terms are used, not prescribe how terms should be used. If transitive use of gratulieren can be shown in a way to meet our criteria for inclusion, then we have grounds for creating such an entry. If such use is rare, we mark it as {{context|rare}}. If such use is broadly regarded as incorrect, we mark it as {{context|nonstandard}} or even {{context|proscribed}} (and ideally add a usage note with more explanation). We definitely do not remove entries on the grounds that a term is regarded as “wrong”. By way of example, have a look at the English terms brung (for brought), or thunk (for thought), or taked (for taken). ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 02:01, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
Please look at my talk page where I say that I am "fighting" against prescriptivism. Don't lecture me about that, please. --- I think a non-standard usage in this dictionary should be common. And if I have a text written in the 18th century by someone who obviously not a native speaker of German, then I don't regard that as a valid usage. But please go ahead. But then add each and every verb with a dative construction to that list.Kolmiel (talk) 02:08, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
By the way, maybe it is possible to find some citations from the 18th/19th century that are from native speakers. There are one or two between your citations on google books. In that case we could tag it "obsolete". See, I'm not against "proscribed" because it is nonstandard. (Again, the contrary is true. I spend much of my time here adding nonstandard usages.) I'm against it because no-one proscribes it because no-one uses it. It just doesn't exist. (Except in speakers who, because of their dialect background, do not distinguished dative and accusative at all. And as I said, you can't include these unless you want to add the same note to each and every dative verb.)Kolmiel (talk) 02:20, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
  • It was late last night. I think I may not have made my point clear enough. Let’s go step by step.
(1.) Of course you are able to give a limited number of citations for gratulieren + accusative. You will able to do that for any verb that usually takes dative (cf. ich helfe dich, ich folge dich, ich vertraue dich, etc. etc.). The reason for this is (a.) that non-native speakers find this distinction particularly difficult; and (b.) that there are many traditional dialects (including a majority of Low German and a minority of High German) in which dative/accusative distinction does not exist at all.
(2.) Given 1, what would justify making a special note in the lemma gratulieren would be that there might be a special tendency to use accusative among those users of German who, in general, correctly distinguish the two cases (as there is indeed with e.g. the verb kündigen). I’ve tried to show you that such a tendency doesn’t exist: (a.) from my position as a native-speaker, who – given their extensive work on nonstandard German on wiktionary – is, I think, beyond the suspicion of holding back nonstandard usages for ideological reasons; (b.) by stressing the fact that in the two (quite relevant) internet discussions you found the persons who ask have both never heard the accusative use, that is, they are not in doubt themselves, they are just fighting a claim someone seems to have made (who in one case is likely a child); (c.) by showing that there are no contemporary printed sources using the accusative case and that even the old ones are mostly written by non-native speakers.
(3.) It is possible that the verb was (to a limited degree) used with accusative case by users of standard German in the 18th/19th century. We could – although I’m not necessarily in favour of it – add this usage as “obsolete”. It is, again, not part of contemporary standard German in any form.
(4.) If you want to add a special note about the fact that some users of German may construe gratulieren with accusative, you will consistently have to do the same thing with literally every verb that takes a traditional dative. I don’t think you want to go there. At any rate it would be against wiktionary’s normal policy: You don’t have a note in every single English verb that speakers from northern England and Scotland may use the s-form for the 3rd person plural. You don’t have a note in every single English verb that speakers from the southern U.S. may use the endingless form for the 3rd person singular. These are general grammatical features of these dialects, and not particular to any one verb.Kolmiel (talk) 10:31, 24 February 2015 (UTC)
I agree with what Kolmiel has said. Use of the accusative is a fairly general phenomenon, not specific to this verb. - -sche (discuss) 23:09, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
I have gone ahead and changed "transitive" to "intransitive". It also says "+ Dative" though, which I should probably remove now? On my own flash cards for learning German, the important details are that it is intransitive, and that it takes "zu" with Dative - but I don't think this is common to show explicitly in Wiktionary: it mostly shows up in examples, when I find it here. --Hugovdm (talk) 19:15, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
Well, "intransitive" is right but when I just looked the "+ dative" was gone. I have put it back on, because it is of course used with dative. A verb that takes a dative object is intransitive (at least according to German terminology; I'm supposing English as well.) Only accusative verbs are transitive. Only they can form a direct passive.
What you mean is another thing that should be added in a usage note. English "I congratulate you on your birthday" is German "Ich gratuliere dir [you] zu [on] deinem Geburtstag." I'm making edit just now. Kolmiel (talk) 01:05, 8 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks a bunch! I've learned from your edits, I might be bold enough to add "+ dative" to verbs in the future. :) (My removal of "+ dative" was on the theory that it meant "this verb could be used in transitive fashion as well as with dative", I trusted someone would revert if inappropriate, and I'd learn from that.) --Hugovdm (talk) 00:32, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
You're welcome. If you have questions about another word some time, feel free to leave a note on my talk page, too. I think it a very important task to provide lemmas with notes about grammatical construction, frequency of synonyms, formal vs. colloquial usage, etc. So it would quite all right if you gave some inspiration. Cheers! Kolmiel (talk) 18:40, 10 March 2015 (UTC)

socio-economy, social economy[edit]

Do these words exist in English? I'm just checking to see if they are Chinglish, or just very academic English. ---> Tooironic (talk) 22:56, 23 February 2015 (UTC)

Social Economy is an entire field of study. Socio-economy also has more than a few attestations. Yes, they both exist, and not just as Chinglish. --Catsidhe (verba, facta) 23:01, 23 February 2015 (UTC)


Would "cringeworthy" count as a slang definition? (痛い子, 痛車(?) etc) —umbreon126 02:39, 24 February 2015 (UTC)

I would like to add a noun, Akpagher. It is a village in Benue State of Nigeria


I notice that the word swatch: http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/swatch Does not include the definition that refers to a patch work of sewn together swatches or a collection of swatches bound together with, say, a ring. Despite being made of many swatches I believe it is still acceptable to refer to it as simply "a swatch". 17:55, 24 February 2015 (UTC)


The entry for entfernen has this, to me, poor translation:

   Der Flug MH-370 entfernte sich auf mysteriöse Weise vom Weg.
   Flight MH-370 went off the way mysteriously.

Leaving aside whether it's necessary to mention an actual flight that has disappeared, would someone with better German agree that something involving "departed from its route" would be better? So should sense 2 have "to depart" added?

First: I also think that no actual flights should be named. Second: While the English translation seems to be poor, the original is also poor German to me: a) "auf mysteriöse Weise" sounds like the style of a high school kid (or possibly that of a tabloid journalist, which may be the same); b) an airplane doesn't usually have a Weg, it has a Route or a Kurs; c) it is idiomatic to say vom Kurs abweichen, not sich vom Kurs entfernen. We could make it into: Das Flugzeug entfernte sich auf unerklärliche Weise von seinem Kurs. But I would prefer to make a different phrase altogether.
Then I don't know if it was you also who proposed to delete senses 3 and 4. I agree to delete sense 4, which is the same as 2 (just with a person as subject and with a different preposition, but the preposition is dependent on what follows it, not the verb). I wouldn't delete sense 3 because sich von der Truppe entfernen and similar constructions are idiomatic; they mean to desert, to leave without permission. Kolmiel (talk) 02:38, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, and we must add a sense, the literal one actually. I don't know a proper English word, but "to (gradually) become further away from something". For example: Der Planet entfernt sich von der Sonne. (“The planet [gradually] becomes further away from the sun.”) Die beiden Sprachen haben sich immer weiter voneinander entfernt. (“The two languages have become further and further away from each other [linguistically speaking].” And so on. Maybe you could help with a translation :-) Kolmiel (talk) 02:52, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
I'm the original asker; I didn't suggest the deletions of senses 3 and 4. But if you don't like 2 and think 4 is the same sense, why not just get rid of 2? 22:24, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
My attempts at translations of your new phrases: “The planet (gradually) retreats from the sun (Sun?).” and “The two languages have increasingly diverged from one another.” 22:39, 28 February 2015 (UTC)
Thank you. That helps. Yeah, I'm editing the lemma now. Can't make it much worse I suppose :) Now I'm thinking sense 4 should be kept, however. It is different; it's just not the preposition that makes it different but the sense of "to leave a place".Kolmiel (talk) 11:31, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
Done. Feel free to have a look and make some changes in the translations if you want!Kolmiel (talk) 11:52, 1 March 2015 (UTC)
Cheers. I was tempted to replace "has deliberately gone absent from" with "has deliberately absented himself from", but decided it was perhaps overly formal. But that said, would sich entfernen be used to translate a sentence such as: "For legal reasons, he has absented himself from this meeting." ? 11:23, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
Err... I'm not quite sure what your sentence means. I'm understanding that someone left the meeting? But why for legal reasons? I'm sorry, my English is rather okay, I suppose, but really not perfect... Kolmiel (talk) 23:46, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
When a decision-maker has a conflict of interest regarding an item being discussed, they may need to recuse themselves. In such cases, it's better that they leave the meeting entirely until the discussion is over so that they don't appear to be influencing the discussion. By the way: we need to fix the definition for recuse, because judges aren't the only ones who are recused- it can be anyone with authority to act or vote on something. I've seen prosecutors recusing themselves from an investigation or a case being prosecuted, board members or commissioners recusing themselves from voting on items being decided by bodies they're voting members of, etc. Chuck Entz (talk) 02:05, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
I see. Thus I can say that entfernen is definitely not used for that. Possibly sich zurückziehen...? I'm supposing there's no perfect match. The concept of recusing for a judge is covered by German Befangenheit (unability to judge because of personal involvement of some kind). Kolmiel (talk) 01:14, 8 March 2015 (UTC)

有る page claims there is information on ある page which doesn't seem to appear[edit]

On the 有る page, it says "有る is usually written in hiragana. Please see the article for ある for more information."

I can't seem to find any information about ある being written as hiragana on the ある page.


Our definition says:

  1. Made or prepared in advance of need.

I find this confusing. If I prepare a dinner or whatever directly from raw materials for immediate consumption, it is not ready-made. But if I put the same dinner into fridge to wait for tomorrow, it's clearly made or prepared in advance of need. Does it thus become ready-made or is there another condition required for "ready-madeness"? --Hekaheka (talk) 05:42, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

I like to think of "ready-made" as a shortening of "already made". The meaning and usage is quite similar. So on the day I make the dinner, I wouldn't call it "ready-made". I might say I'm making this dinner to have tomorrow, but not *I'm making a ready-made dinner for tomorrow. Then, the day after, I could say This is a ready-made meal I prepared yesterday. (I should note that for me, ready-made meal gives the impression of a commercially-available "freezer meal" that you just need to put in the microwave or oven for a little while, then serve up.)
It also appears we are missing a sense: one along the lines of "a product, item, etc. that is mass-produced, instead of being made to order". For example, ready-made clothing and ready-made curtains. This, that and the other (talk) 09:01, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

志气: loop of redirections[edit]

IMHO one should ALWAYS make two pages for the traditional and simplified form of a word instead of redirecting from one to the other. When however the redirections make an infinite loop, someone really should do something about it. This is the case with 志气: both the simplified form and the traditional form have no definition but only a redirection to the other form. Now I am not good enough with Chinese to go straightening this evident error by myself, so I ask you other editors to fix this. As soon as possible. Also, I strongly suggest you add the link to the Chinese article in the simplified form. The traditional form has no corresponding Chinese article. MGorrone (talk) 10:07, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing this out. In this case, someone had mistakenly marked a traditional form as simplified. Smurrayinchester (talk) 10:50, 27 February 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. Only we use "Chinese", not "Mandarin" L2 header now, which allows housing readings for various Chinese lects. Fixed 志氣. --Anatoli T. (обсудить/вклад) 19:25, 27 February 2015 (UTC)

March 2015

whole shebang[edit]

How is sense 2 used? Is it distinct from sense 1? - -sche (discuss) 03:32, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

I don't think it's distinct. People often use it for houses, but they also use it for cars, etc. --WikiWinters (talk) 12:51, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

red book[edit]

Shouldn't it be capitalized? It had a proper noun header before I replaced it with a common one. --WikiWinters (talk) 12:49, 1 March 2015 (UTC)

see also - https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Red_Book_(audio_CD_standard) 22:32, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
I would have thought so, but all but one of the citations are lower case. The first sense, I suppose, could be lower case if one was talking about red books in general, but specific instances of a red book might be upper case. The second sense, the Devil's red book, I personally would certainly have written upper case, but all three of the four citations are lower case even here. SpinningSpark 00:17, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

Quaker terminology[edit]

As a member of the Society of Friends, I notice that there is a gaping hole in Quaker terminology. I have filled in some entries for terms that do not have a more generic use (such as using "elder" as a verb), but I am not sure where to draw the line. Should I be adding entries for terms like "monthly meeting", "quarterly meeting", and "yearly meeting", which are organizational groupings, or is the additional sense of "meeting" as a Quaker unit of administration sufficient? Similarly, the phrases "meeting for business" (a term for the Quaker form of consensual decision making that is seen as a special form of worship) and "meeting for worship" (the standard Quaker religious service) are used by Quakers as standard phrases, but can certainly be seen as simple extensions of their consituent parts. What about standard Quaker officers such as "recording clerk"?

Don't add entries for things whose names make their nature obvious (e.g. monthly meeting = a meeting that is monthly). Equinox 01:23, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
Well that right there tells me I should probably add monthly meeting, because that is not what monthly meeting means.
If a "monthly meeting" is not a meeting that is monthly then please add it. Quakers must be lunatics. Gold plate it up! Equinox 01:56, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for the guidance, I think I have a sense of what to do, and I am trying to be conservative about it - adding material to usage notes rather than entirely new entries. BTW - you do realise that you just insulted my religion. Good thing I am not touchy about it. Kiwima (talk) 05:01, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

evaluative diversity[edit]

Erm so what does it actually mean. The "usage notes" sound like a political manifesto. Equinox 03:16, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

It looks like it means "diversity of evaluations". DCDuring TALK 13:12, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
Yeah. The Wikipedia article seems to been created for promotional reasons (see w:Wikipedia:Articles for deletion/Evaluative diversity), and the editing pattern of this user doesn't exactly fill me with confidence either. These entries seem to stem from an attempt to generalize all the different isms under a single umbrella (slightly ironic, given that one of the key concepts behind the actual philosophical concept of evaluativism is that differences between worldviews are fundamental and that there exists no objective underlying pattern to nature). Smurrayinchester (talk) 13:31, 2 March 2015 (UTC)


Not too convinced by the "influence" sense. The citations are mostly using the words together, e.g. "inflow and influence", suggesting that they are not the same thing, just a collocation. I believe this sense is mistaken and is just the usual "flowing inward" sense. Equinox 04:23, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

None of the citations unambiguously support the "influence" definition. DCDuring TALK 13:09, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
Seems like Anglish-cruft to me. The fact that a rare Germanic cognate of a common Latinate term has only 21st century citations is odd - I would expect this word to be more common pre-1750 or so, but I can't find much evidence of its use. I did find one "citation" (as a verb) - Hobbes' Leviathan quotes an English translation of a Latin text as "The first cause does not necessarily inflow any thing into the second, by force of the essential subordination of the second causes, by which it may help it to work" (Causam primam nihil necessario influere in secundam, ex vi subordinationis causae secundae ad primam, quo illam ad agendum juvet). However, this is a deliberately bad translation by Hobbes as a caricature of verbose theologians, and in the context of the mangled sentence conveys no meaning. There's a possible citation in wikisource:Summa Theologiae/Supplement to the Third Part/Question 27, but I don't understand enough theology to parse the sentences it occurs in. Smurrayinchester (talk) 15:09, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
The Summa Theologica noun usage appears to me to be an intentionally literal translation of influus, influxus, or influxio, probably being used in a Medieval/Ecclesiastical sense diverging from classical Latin. If the exact interpretation of the word was in doubt in 1917, at least in the view of the 'Fathers of the English Dominican Province', responsible for the translation, an intentionally awkward translation would have forced a reader who was concerned about the exact meaning to go to hermeneutical literature.
This tends to confirm my general preference to avoid religious literature, as also poetry, whenever possible as a source on unambiguous citations of words supposedly in general use. If this were the citation that made a difference between inclusion and exclusion of a definition, it might be worth the effort to investigate further, but even then .... DCDuring TALK 16:22, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
I suspect most citations will be literal translations of influus (or cognates like Einfluss). Smurrayinchester (talk) 16:54, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

What Means "Silverside"?[edit]

"Now, you've turned into an old silverside! Why, you even dress like an old silverside!" What does Mary Skinner mean by this in 19th century New York?

Do you mean the Mary Skinner played by Elizabeth Taylor in Life with Father?
Given that it is from a movie made in 1947, or the 1939 play, or the earlier popular autobiographical work by Clarence Day, or the TV sitcom, I'd look for a shallow meaning, easily read by a movie audience. I assume that it just means a late middle-aged male, of conservative habits. DCDuring TALK 12:26, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
The word probably isn't meant to carry intrinsic meaning, it's probably just intended to carry tone of voice or sentiment. If it does hold meaning it's probably 'silver' in reference to hair colour implying age & keeping to age related fashions. Try https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silverside for actual meanings independent of context. 09:40, 5 March 2015 (UTC)


Is there any reason to believe that Etymology 2 (currently marked {{rfe}}) isn't just the same as Etymology 1? Smurrayinchester (talk) 13:01, 2 March 2015 (UTC)

The usually reliable Online Etymology Dictionary splits them. I think one or two defs in Ety 1 belong in Ety 2. DCDuring TALK 13:06, 2 March 2015 (UTC)
Ultimately the two are the selfsame word, it's just that Etym 2 developed from the verb (esp. in a causative sense "to bring to a halt; cause to come to a halt or standstill"), and then developed deverbal noun senses of its own Leasnam (talk) 05:12, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

sex goddess[edit]

How is meaning #2 different from #1?

Look again. Definition 2 was only there for 11 minutes until User:Equinox reverted the edits that added it. By the time you posted this, it was already gone. Timing can be funny, sometimes ... Chuck Entz (talk) 02:39, 3 March 2015 (UTC)


Would it be correct to describe this as an alternative past participle of come/go? For example:

"Could you go to the shops?" "I've already been to the shops."

Currently, we have this in "be" as "(intransitive, without predicate) elliptical form of "be here", "go to and return from" or similar. ", but this doesn't sound right to me. As far as I can tell, it only applies to "been". For any other tense form in Standard English, it fails:

*"I will be to the shops."
*"I am to the shops."
*"I was to the shops."
*"Are you to the shops?"

The usage examples at be would then be:

"The postman has been today, but my tickets have still not yet come." > "The postman has come today"/"The postman came today"
"I have been to Spain many times." > "I have gone to Spain many times."

It seems to odd to have such a definition for the most irregular verb in the English language when only one of its many conjugations has such a meaning. Should we move or change this definition?

In terms of lemmings, Chambers says "in past tense to go", Collins says "(used in the perfect or past perfect tenses only) to pay a visit; go", American Heritage has "To go or come: Have you ever been to Italy? Have you been home recently?", Merriam-Webster has "to come or go <has already been and gone> <has never been to the circus>", and Oxford UK English has "Come; go; visit: ‘he’s from Missouri’ ‘I have just been to Thailand’ ‘the doctor’s been twice today’". The Oxford one is the only one to hint at any use of inflected forms other than "been", but that example doesn't imply movement the way the others do. To me it's just the standard is (has such a state) + from (having as a source). Smurrayinchester (talk) 10:36, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

I think some folks do use it in other tenses. It would be a bit of research project to confirm this and determine the scope of usage.
I would make it "especially in the past and perfect". Even in my idiolect I could say "I will have been to the store and back by then." [future (tense) perfect (aspect)]). DCDuring TALK 15:37, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
de.Wikt, which has a remarkably good entry for be, has this as sense 12, "als been, mit Formen von have: besuchen" = "(as "been", with forms of "have") to visit". I do think it's appropriate to keep the sense at be, since it doesn't seem like a past tense of go per se but a (merely) somewhat specialized use of be: "I have already been to the shops." → "I have already been at the shops." → "I have already (existed, had presence, etc — the usual sense of be) at the shops." - -sche (discuss) 21:46, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
This came up before, and someone made the interesting point that "went" is actually a completely different verb, yet is accepted as the past tense of "go", so why cannot "been" be accepted as a past participle of "go"? I still wasn't convinced though. As far as the tenses with which it is used are concerned, rather than listing these, would it not be clearer to say "only as past participle 'been'"? 03:30, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
I always understood the difference to involve the current condition of the subject of the verb. "He has gone to France" implies he is still in France. Whereas, "He has been to France" implies he is no longer in France. -- ALGRIF talk 10:54, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
went is the past tense of go: I go, I will go, I went. In Modern English it is the same verb with a different root. In the past (Middle English and earlier) they were two different verbs but over time merged to become one. It is the same case with to be: I am, I will be, I was, showing three different roots. Note in the original example you could say Could you go to the shops? I've already gone to the shops. Here been can replace gone with the same meaning but that doesn't make it the same verb. Danielklein (talk) 01:11, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

Imperfect questions[edit]

Many thanks and well done for our clever Wiktionary. I've put in You makes something and takes a choice, and the dictionary has given me the right expression:: you pays your money and you takes your choice! Well done! 14:29, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

That's a great example of what our new search engine is supposed to do. I'm happy but a bit surprised that it managed make the connection. DCDuring TALK 16:25, 3 March 2015 (UTC)


I think this entry needs a new definition for the West Asian fruit drink (also spelled sharbat). Or is it already covered by sense 1? Wikipedia doesn't have an atricle for the milk-containing juice (since it is the US version of sorbet), while the Asian beverage has a separate article under the name sharbat. The Persian, Arabic, Marathi etc. translations of sherbet/sharbat are now under sense 1. By the way a fourth definition is probably needed too: Sharbat#In Central Asia.

Einstein2 (talk) 16:26, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

Straightening out the entries for sorbet, sherbert, and sherbet and recording the etymology seems quite worthwhile. Minor regional difference in the recipes could be ignored. sharbat would benefit from attestation, but see sharbat in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911. DCDuring TALK 16:51, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
I added a third definition to sherbet with quotations. Thanks for creating sharbat—after a quick search, it doesn't seem obsolete: [18], [19], [20] etc. Einstein2 (talk) 17:54, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
I had added a non-obsolete definition, too, limited to the Middle-Eastern confection/drink. The cites you give are in italics, which is an indication that the word had not fully become English in the opinion of the author. But there do seem to be enough unambiguous cites to support a definition such as the one I added. DCDuring TALK 21:15, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
I've seen it, but doesn't sharbat only mean the Middle Eastern drink? If so, the two senses don't differ so they should be merged. In The Century Dictionary, sharbat redirects to the entry sherbet which says "A favorite cooling drink of the East, made of fruit-juices diluted with water, and variously sweetened and flavored." — that's why I think that the obsolete sense and the one you added are the same. Einstein2 (talk) 15:12, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
Could be. DCDuring TALK 17:27, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
I merged the definitions, please have a look at it. Einstein2 (talk) 19:11, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
Whoever tackles this - here in New Zealand, Sorbet can refer to a non-frozen fruit desert made with gelatin and often egg whites - similar to the current definition of sorbet, but not requiring the frozen part.
Yes, it will require some work. You could add the definition you are sure about with a label limiting it NZ. Otherwise anything distinctive about NZ usage might be neglected. DCDuring TALK 05:23, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

showed as a past participle[edit]

Is it nonstandard, regional, colloquial or something? — Ungoliant (falai) 21:49, 3 March 2015 (UTC)

I added usage examples and usage notes to showed and shown. We could probably use a similar note in an appendix on irregular English verbs, for many of which the same preferences apply. DCDuring TALK 22:09, 3 March 2015 (UTC)
Appendix:English irregular verbs lacks such a note, but it would not be easy to write a correct and helpful one. DCDuring TALK 22:15, 3 March 2015 (UTC)


I added references and a more general definition. Since I'm new to editing on Wiktionary, I started an {{rft}} suggested discussion here. —BoBoMisiu (talk) 01:44, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

American and British cakes, cookies, crackers, biscuits and wafers[edit]

Based on our entries and Wikipedia's, this is my understanding of how cake, cookie, cracker, biscuit and wafer are used in North America and the UK:

  • cake: in both North America and the UK: A rich, sweet dessert food, typically made of flour, sugar and eggs and baked in an oven, and often covered in icing. This thing and the thing which this is a slice of.
  • cookie:
    • North America: A small, flat, baked cake which is either crisp or soft but firm (often with chocolate chips, candies or nuts mixed in). One of these.
    • UK: "A specifically American-style biscuit." (What does this mean? That Brits refer to the thing on the left (not the right) of this picture as a cookie? Or that they only refer to American-style things like this as cookies? If the latter, then (a) the use of the word "biscuit" in the definition is confusing and should be dropped in favour of something clearer, like an explicit reference to the preceding sense, and (b) what distinguishes an American-style cookie from a non-American-style cookie? Can someone provide some images to clarify what is and isn't included in this sense?)
    • UK: A sweet baked cake (as in the previous sense) which has chocolate chips, fruit, nuts etc. baked into it.
    • Wikipedia says these things can also be called cookies, but in which variety of English? What else could they be called?
  • cracker: in both North America and the UK: A dry, thin, crispy, and usually salty or savoury baked bread. This thing and also this thing.
  • biscuit:
    • North America: A small, usually soft and flaky bread, generally made with baking soda, which is similar in texture to a scone but which is usually not sweet. The thing on the left of this picture.
    • UK: A small, flat, baked cake which is either crisp or soft but firm. The thing on the right of this picture. (Is such a biscuit always sweet, or can it be not sweet? If it's always sweet, it would seem to correspond to what American English calls a cookie.)
    • UK, alternatively: A cracker. (The entry has the usex cheese and biscuits. Is this redundant to the previous sense? The things on the right of this picture, which are supposedly biscuits in the previous sense, looks like what American English would call crackers.)
  • wafer: in both North America and the UK: A light, thin, flat biscuit/cookie. This thing and also this thing.

Am I missing anything, or getting anything wrong? How are these terms used in Australia and New Zealand? I'd like to draft a (better) usage note explaining these terms. - -sche (discuss) 19:36, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

In US graham crackers and animal crackers, at least, are sweet, not savory. Otherwise, the US looks good to me. DCDuring TALK 21:06, 4 March 2015 (UTC)
The definition does say "usually salty or savoury". I'll move the words around a bit and add "(but sometimes sweet, as in the case of graham crackers and animal crackers)", since the rest of the definition ("dry, thin, crispy ... baked bread") seems to describe those things well enough that I don't think another sense is needed. - -sche (discuss) 19:08, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
Although in the US (and many other places) sugar finds its way into many foods, including savory crackers, a look at the "crackers" Amazon offers shows that, among top selling items, only graham crackers and animal crackers are basically sweet, cookie-like. I suppose that is a justification for having [[graham cracker]] (made from graham flour) and [[animal cracker]] (shaped like animal cartoons) as entries. DCDuring TALK 19:46, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
I can speak to New Zealand usage, and suspect from the above that UK is similar. Cake is fine. As for biscuits and cookies - the term "biscuit" is more general, and includes everything that is called a cookie in the US. The term "cookie" can also be used, but is more limited in scope, referring to something that is round and sweet. Thus, your picture of two biscuits does not include anything that would be called a cookie, but the chocolate chip cookie picture could be called either a biscuit or a cookie. I do not think your biscuit picture includes anything that would be called a cracker in either the US or New Zealand, because the things on the right are chocolate and presumably sweet. I think the "American style biscuit" means that it is round, very sweet, and chewier. If it is no sweeter than a graham cracker or animal cracker, then it is a biscuit even if it is round. Thus, your wafer pictures are biscuits, but not cookies (the nilla wafers are borderline). Kiwima (talk) 03:22, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
@Kiwima: Does sense 1 of biscuit cover how the term is used in New Zealand, or is New Zealand usage even broader? - -sche (discuss) 19:32, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
Yes, sense 1 of biscuit covers the term used in New Zealand.Kiwima (talk) 22:23, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
In the UK a "biscuit" is usually a US cookie (i.e. a crunchy baked sweetish thing). Due to US influence, such as "cookies and cream" ice-cream, there are some kinds that we would probably call "cookies", esp the ones that aren't brown and plain and boring (so an Oreo might be a "cookie", but a digestive biscuit would not be. Equinox 03:39, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
By the way, -sche, you are correct about "cheese and biscuits", but that's something of a set phrase: I get the feeling that, shown a 'cheese biscuit' and asked to name it, most Brits would say "cracker". A biscuit is almost always the sweetish cookie snack thing. Equinox 03:48, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
Based on the comments below, it seems there are a few other set phrases where biscuit means "cracker". Do you think the sense is OK as it is, or should it include a context tag like "now chiefly in set phrases"? - -sche (discuss) 19:32, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
One British friend told me that in order to be a cookie, it has to have chocolate chips in it, so these are cookies but nothing here is one. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 09:05, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
(EC) I've tried to clean up cookie a bit. As you say, it was very misleading - almost backwards, in fact. A British cookie is a flat biscuit with chocolate chips, fruit etc baked into it. An American cookie is anything small, flat, sweet and firm - an Oreo is a cookie to Americans, but not to Brits. I think a British biscuit is not necessarily sweet (water biscuits and ship biscuits are crackers, and digestive biscuits and Hovis biscuits contain sugar, but their salt and wholemeal grain content makes them taste fairly savoury), but if you just said "I'm going to get some biscuits", you'd always be referring to the sweeter half of the cookie-cracker spectrum. Smurrayinchester (talk) 09:26, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
(By the way, the brown biscuits on the right-hand side of this image are certainly not crackers! They're Bourbon biscuits and are very sweet and chocolately (more-or-less the British version of Oreos, but crumblier and a bit less sickly sweet). They only look like crackers because there's so much sugar on them that it looks like crystalized salt.) Smurrayinchester (talk) 09:36, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
  • By the way, while American-ish usage of cookie has been spreading to Britain, it's possible there's also been a bit of influence in the other direction: judging from various stores' websites, it seems that Americans buy tins of fancy sweets which include things like this that are sometimes labelled (and therefore potentially sometimes referred to in speech as) biscuits. Flat, crisp-not-chewy, chocolate-covered rather than chip-containing things. - -sche (discuss) 10:06, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
    • Yeah, that's probably a result of the common American perception of anything British as automatically sophisticated. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:54, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
      • It's the good side of Americans' perception of the British. DCDuring TALK 13:11, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
        • Poking around on Google Books for "biscuits" + various American English spellings, I find enough hits that I've changed the "UK" label to "chiefly UK, rare in the US". (I'll try to explain the matter in more detail in a usage note.) - -sche (discuss) 19:34, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
So, Brits: would you ever refer to Oreos as "cookies", or only as "biscuits"? Equinox says "an Oreo might be a 'cookie'", but Smurray edited [[cookie]] to say Oreos are only called cookies in the US. In general, could you refer to a creme-filled [cookie/biscuit] as a "cookie", or are biscuits only called "cookies" if they contain chocolate (or presumably other flavoured) chips or fruit? - -sche (discuss) 19:40, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
In Australia, which I imagine is similar, you'd generally call an Oreo a biscuit. You'd only call it a cookie if you were reading it off the packaging, which does say "cookie"[21]; contrast with one image of an Oreo pack (I think from Europe) referring to them as "sandwich biscuits"[22]. I feel like the word cookie in Australia is largely defined by cookie monster,[23] and so still sounds like an American word, and would mostly be used in set phrases like "choc chip cookie", "cookies and cream", "that's the way the cookie crumbles", "browser cookie", "tough cookie", "smart cookie". Pengo (talk) 22:53, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
I am from England; I have never heard of "Oreos", but from the images I see in Google image search I would never call those "cookies". The only type of biscuit that I would call a cookie is something like this or this or this (the last illustrating that they do not always have to have bits of stuff in them). I do not agree with the present UK definition of cookie as "A specifically American-style sweet baked cake, with chocolate chips, fruit, nuts etc. baked into it". I have no perception that the type of biscuits that I would call cookies are "American-style". Also, in the UK they specifically are not "cakes". Cakes are different altogether. Finally, as illustrated earlier, they do not necessarily have things baked into them. Thus the definition is wrong on almost every point. 03:01, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
I reworded the definition a bit and removed "American style", since it indeed makes no sense to say that in British English "cookie" refers only to American-style biscuits, as if those formed a subset of all possible biscuits/cookies, when in fact "cookie" refers to more things in American English than in British English.
What's an example of something a British person would call a "cookie" that doesn't have something baked into it? A peanut butter cookie? - -sche (discuss) 03:20, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
An example would be the third picture linked above -- basically think of a chocolate-chip cookie without the chocolate chips. This would be a "plain cookie". I still do not agree with the use of the word "cake" in the definition. 03:34, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
From a British perspective, a cookie is defined as a particular type of biscuit. The UK definition at biscuit as "A cracker" is quite wrong from a British perspective, by the way. Over here a "cracker" is, again, a particular type of biscuit. 03:40, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
I'd agree that "cake" sounds odd in the definition - in the UK at least, cakes and biscuits are thought of as different things (see w:Jaffa Cakes#Categorisation as cake or biscuit for VAT). "small, flat, baked good" or "food made from small, flat pieces of baked dough" would probably be better. Smurrayinchester (talk) 08:45, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
Regarding the point about chocolate chips: one popular UK choc-chip brand, "Maryland" [24], is advertised and packaged as a "cookie". Of course the brand name is supposed to suggest USA. Equinox 19:14, 6 March 2015 (UTC)
Australian usage:
  • cake - Sweet round or square dessert usually made of a baked batter of flour, eggs, sugar, often milk and other ingredients for flavouring (e.g. cocoa, chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, etc.) often iced or frosted. May be elaborately decorated. May be cut into any other shape desired before being decorated (cartoon character shape, fire engine, etc.). A cake usually has a height of 5 cm or more, a width of 20 cm or more and has many small air-holes from cooking which can give it a light, fluffy texture. Other heavier cakes are possible too, e.g. fruit cake. There are also cheesecakes and ice-cream cakes which are cake-shaped (high, round or square or shaped) and are used for celebrations (birthdays, etc.) in lieu of a traditional cake. Despite not being baked these are often just called cakes
  • cookie - American word for sweet biscuit. If you want to buy biscuits at McDonalds (a kid's dessert item) you order cookies since the restaurant chain decided not to use the locally preferred word. As mentioned above also seen in choc-chip cookie, etc. A computer cookie is always a cookie, however. You definitely can't call it a browser biscuit! Due to American influence cookie is gradually supplanting biscuit as the word of choice for a sweet biscuit
  • cracker - Usually called a dry biscuit. May be salted or plain or contain flavoured ingredients mixed into the dough such as cracked (black) pepper or poppy seeds. Usually eaten with savoury toppings such as cheese, although sweet toppings are possible. May be made of flours other than wheat such as rye, etc. Often has holes or indentations on the surface. Water cracker is a name for a specific small round variety (approx. 4-5 cm across) with small holes punched through them. A major manufacturer of biscuits in Australia - Arnott's - also calls some varieties crispbread. Something which a lot of Australians do is butter two slices of crispbread, add a thin layer of Vegemite and then squeeze the two biscuits together, producing "worms" through the holes in the surface of both sides (search for Vegemite worms for images!)
  • biscuit - A small (2 to 5 cm) sweet or dry/savoury flat bread (less than 1 cm in height). Some varieties of sweet biscuit are crème filled - actually two biscuits with a layer of crème pressed between them, e.g. Oreo (a recent addition to Aussie supermarket shelves). May also be chocolate coated e.g. Tim Tams. Savoury biscuits can include crackers or a biscuit baked with powdered toppings. Some plain dry biscuits have whole grains baked into them
  • wafer - The inside of a Kit Kat. Similar to a very flat, unsweetened waffle. Usually no more than 1 mm thick. Has a grid pattern on it. Wedge shaped wafers may be used to decorate fancy ice cream dishes
In fact, the Arnott's website is quite educational in terms of the language they use. They use the terms chocolate biscuit, sweet biscuit, savoury biscuit, as well as cookie and cracker. However, they seem to use cookie as a sub-type of sweet biscuit and cracker as a sub-type of savoury biscuit. Biscuits (including cookies, crackers and wafers) are usually crumbly/crunchy (either hard crunchy (Ginger Nut, Butternut Snap) or soft crunchy (Scotch Finger, Teddy Bear)) when fresh although the texture may change when stale to be soft or tough/chewy. Cakes are always soft, even when heavy. Danielklein (talk) 02:30, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

Misspelling of page name, can't move due to me creating it already with the right spelling.[edit]

So, I accidentally made this page https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/kjälva which is a misspelling. Could anyone remove it?

Yes check.svg Done. - -sche (discuss) 20:52, 4 March 2015 (UTC)

preferred meaning of "rout"[edit]

I had met only one meaning of "rout" until I came here -- this: noun 3.3 or this: verb 3.1 -- and I found it very strange for it to be so far down.
Is there any way of suggesting where these alternatives are used?
I live in and have travelled extensively in England & Wales and spent some time in Scotland yet have only obviously met the single meaning. The term is used in the Press in the same sense. 09:44, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

Thanks. Many of our multi-etymology entries are in more-or-less chronological order, as are many definitions within an Etymology. In this case it is particularly hard to believe that this is good for normal users. It might be good for some of those with specialized interests, but I'm not so sure that they couldn't live with another ordering. DCDuring TALK 03:33, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

Structure of existing theosoph and new theosophe[edit]

How do you structure therelationship between existing theosoph and new theosophe?

OED Online shows the word theosophe as the earliest attestation of the entry theosoph. Knowing that, do I create an Alternative forms section in theosoph entry with a link to theosophe entry and use {{obsolete spelling of|theosoph|lang=en}} in theosophe? Or since both are attested to 1820s (theosophe) and 1830s (theosoph) do they both just point to the same modern lemma? Is the etymology included in both,or since etymologies in dictionaries show that French théosophe is a cognate of theosoph does theosophe show French théosophe as the first part of its etymology? —BoBoMisiu (talk) 23:43, 5 March 2015 (UTC)


I did this, but then got a bit nervous about it. Is it in the right place? This, that and the other (talk) 10:30, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

Looks like the right place to me. 17:02, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

morbidly obese[edit]

Surprised to see three senses here (though an anon just merged two of them, which made me notice it): "1. Possessing a state of obesity deemed to be life-threatening. 2. Having excessive body fat. 3. Having a body mass index greater than 39.99 kg/m2." Are these really not just different ways of saying the same thing? i.e. #3 means #1, and is just putting a (temporary, subject to future change) specific measurement on it. Equinox 19:12, 6 March 2015 (UTC)

Go down to one. The third sense is I assume specific to some medical body. That could plausibly go in the usage notes if we find out which body it is. Perhaps even better than that would be 'see Wikipedia' which we've used for complicated sports rules, like a balk in baseball which is awfully complicated and a full definition could go on for several paragraphs. 16:19, 8 March 2015 (UTC)
'Having excessive body fat' is just plain wrong. That's being overweight. 16:23, 8 March 2015 (UTC)
Done (q.v.). 16:32, 8 March 2015 (UTC)


Once again we have some noun-sense duplication between etymologies 1 and 2. (As a matter of usability, I've noticed that many users don't scroll down far enough to find a second ety, and assume some basic sense is missing, and re-add it under the earliest part-of-speech section that fits.) Equinox 00:26, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

You should put a hidden comment in the entry itself, so that when the next person comes along, he can see your comment warning them of the two etymologies and so not to change, or add an entry incorrectly. -- ALGRIF talk 10:20, 15 March 2015 (UTC)


I know that are not supposed to use acronyms etc as parts of speech these days, but these three are defined as phrases. There are manifestly not (no words separated by spaces). How should we describe them? SemperBlotto (talk) 11:50, 7 March 2015 (UTC)

This has been discussed before in the Beer Parlour and 'phrase' was received favourably. I've searched for it but I can't find it. 11:57, 7 March 2015 (UTC)
Also, the caps matter, if you say BODMAS is a phrase you understand it means that the letters stand for words and the words make up a phrase. 'The phrase BODMAS' sounds right. 16:16, 8 March 2015 (UTC)

Kitsch - problem with text of definition.[edit]

Under the ETYMOLOGY section for "KITSCH", the following is written: " - the word and concept were popularized in the 1930s by several critics who opposed it to avant garde art". The sentence structure of this does not make sense, the part, "who opposed it to avant garde art", does not seem to be grammatically correct and seems to have the word that describes what the statement is talking about missing. I can't tell if "to avant garde" is supposed to be an infinitive verb form, or what it is supposed to be. I never heard of people going around "avant garding art". This needs to be corrected with a more complete description in terms that are easier to understand and less grammatically awkward. Linstrum (talk) 03:47, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

The grammar is all right: to oppose is to set in contrast or balance, so "to oppose X to Y" means "to contrast X with Y", or to set up X and Y as opposites. Equinox 04:06, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
I think this use of "oppose" is so unusual that the sentence would appear to be an error to many people. I think it would be advisable to reword the sentence so as to make it more reader-friendly. 14:21, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

selling short[edit]

Good evening.

My bad english is pretty good, but my english is pretty bad, so I need help.

Would you be kind explaining to me what does exactly mean the sentence

You might be selling the sign-maker short.

in last xkcd "what if" (link) ?

Thanks for your work. --ArséniureDeGallium (talk) 19:44, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

Thanks for asking. We didn't have the appropriate entry. See sell short or sell something short in a few minutes. DCDuring TALK 20:04, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
sell oneself short. Equinox 20:02, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
Thank you Equinox, even if belittle is not a word I understand as now, I think the Wiktionary is providing sufficient information for me to understand the meaning.
I will try to create all these words on French Wiktionary, as so French-speaking people can understand that. --ArséniureDeGallium (talk) 20:12, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
And thanks to DCDuring, of course. --ArséniureDeGallium (talk) 20:15, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
It seems like we're still missing the phenomenon Arséniure de Gallium asked most directly about, sell someone short. And isn't sell oneself short just a reflexive use of that, and don't both phrases in turn have the same basic meaning as sell something short? In other words, couldn't we centralize things on sell short? - -sche 17:01, 10 March 2015 (forgot to sign)
Whether the entry is at sell short or sell something short, the meaning is "to underestimate or undervalue something". The usual convention in English is that persons are included when "something" is used as a placeholder. We sometimes use a headword with a placeholder in cases where the object usually occurs between the other parts of the headword. DCDuring TALK 17:43, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
sell short = mésestimer
but in finance, sell short = vendre à découvert (i.e., sale of a security that is not owned by the seller, but only on loan, with the goal of repurchasing it at an advantageous price, then returning the security to the owner and pocketing the profit) —Stephen (Talk) 18:02, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
Right. That's why there are two senses at [[sell something short]]. DCDuring TALK 22:22, 10 March 2015 (UTC)

oral sex[edit]

The entry and the definition ignore anilingus, which is considered a form of oral sex, including by the project itself. So the definition could be more accurate. (Unless people seriously consider the anus a genital.) --Romanophile (talk) 21:49, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

Hmm. Chambers' definition is very similar to ours (i.e. stimulation of genitals), and personally I probably wouldn't consider anilingus to count as "oral sex", any more than French kissing (it's oral, but not sex). We should compare some more sources. Equinox 21:51, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
Do you think that anal sex is a contradiction? --Romanophile (talk) 23:35, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
Anal sex, when it involves at least one genital penis is. However the lines get blurred and it gets easy to think of the anus as a "genital" since it is used in lieu of one when actually it's the penis that makes it sex; not the anus. So, technically it is not oral sex, no more than licking your palm or sucking a finger would be considered "oral sex" Leasnam (talk) 23:48, 9 March 2015 (UTC)
I thought that Wiktionary was concerned with how a word is attestably used. One's opinions about that is worth less than one citation. DCDuring TALK 02:14, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
You had me on the first part of that...yet the second part sounds a little, well, opiniony Leasnam (talk) 13:40, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
So ‘lesbian sex’ is an oxymoron. Good to know. --Romanophile (talk) 02:13, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
There are always two things to consider, the technical aspect and the usage aspect. Technically, by standard definitions, sex involves a genital (penis or vagina, so lesbian sex is sex, "technically"). If it becomes standard through attestable sources that the definition has changed, then let it be so, no sweat. Words, terms, and meanings always evolve over time we can't dispute that Leasnam (talk) 13:40, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
The oxymoron claim reminds me of people complaining about "PIN number", because it expands to "personal identification number number" and is thus redundant. Maybe, but (i) people still say it, and (ii) everyone knows what it means. If you expect language to be totally logical you will always be disappointed. Equinox 22:34, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
I believe you mean that PIN number is a tautology, not an oxymoron. Unless the meaning of oxymoron has changed from use... :-P Danielklein (talk) 00:05, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

punch list[edit]

Is this term used outside the US? If not, is there an equivalent? DCDuring TALK 22:12, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

Apparently the UK/Irish name for it is a "snagging list". Smurrayinchester (talk) 14:43, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. That sounds like it might work in Australia and NZ, but perhaps not Canada. DCDuring TALK 16:29, 10 March 2015 (UTC)
I'm Australian and I've never heard either punch list or snagging list before. Possibly industry specific terms not in general use? Danielklein (talk) 23:54, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
Homeowners who hire contractors use it in the US. DCDuring TALK 00:44, 19 March 2015 (UTC)


Here in New Zealand, the term "gib" is used for gypsum plaster (also called drywall), and also used as a verb for installing the stuff. I am not sure of the etymology, although I suspect it is from a product name, since GIB is the most common brand. However, it is now used similarly to the way "xerox" and "hoover" have evolved into words (see, e.g. http://www.jaxhamilton.co.nz/part-2-birth-eve/). Should this be added to the topic? I can find lots and lots of examples of the usage, but in fairly transient sources such as real estate ads. Kiwima (talk) 20:24, 10 March 2015 (UTC)


I notice that all the example sentances for meanings other than the first use the word "magnetic" rather than "magnetical". What's up with that?

Well spotted. That will be because the entry is based on the old Webster dictionary from 1913, which merged similar words together (so the heading would have been Magnetic, Magnetical). We should fix it up. Equinox 23:51, 10 March 2015 (UTC)

prejudge, postjudge?[edit]

We have prejudge, can we attest postjudge as well? ---> Tooironic (talk) 03:06, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

Seems barely attestable. If someone can scrape together enough for an entry, it needs some "rare" or "nonstandard" gloss. Just not a word that people use. Equinox 03:10, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
Would it mean "to judge when it no longer made any difference"? All normal judging is after the fact, so it would be unlikely to have merely temporal meaning. It would be likely only used in contrast with prejudge. DCDuring TALK 12:42, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
I found attestation for the contrastive use, not the other. The attestation is for strict contrast with prejudge. It seems also to be used for implicit contrast without use of prejudge in the preceding text. DCDuring TALK 13:12, 11 March 2015 (UTC)
Many thanks. ---> Tooironic (talk) 14:09, 11 March 2015 (UTC)

prodrome, postdrome?[edit]

New Scientist (7th March 2015): a feature on migraines uses prodrome which Wiktionary states is probably by analogy with syndrome, and also postdrome which Wiktionary doesn't list. A visitor: 14:28, 11 March 2015 (UTC)


  • A software developer; a person or company who creates or modifies computer software

Having seen Wiktionary:Tea_room/2012/February#programmer_and_developer, I would say that somebody who plans/designs software without typesetting any code is a software developer, too. Does such a person create the software, or should planning/designing be added to the definition? --Uwe Lück (talk) 15:11, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

I've never heard of a software developer who didn't program. Try searching job-finder sites and look at the requirements for such posts. Equinox 16:53, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
What about systems analysts? Can they be called developers? DCDuring TALK 17:00, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
Not as far as I know. It's literally a synonym for "programmer", though some low-level programmers might get snobby about it and consider "developers" to be the higher-level enterprisey kind. Equinox 17:19, 14 March 2015 (UTC)


I've split out some senses at should, but I'm not sure about the current sense 4. Should this be merged into another sense, moved to should have, or kept where it is? Smurrayinchester (talk) 15:27, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

No, this does not need a separate entry. It is simply a modal past, similarly could have, must have, will have, etc etc. which do not have or need entries. ("must have" is actually a re-direct). IMO nº4 should be eliminated (should = advice / personal opinion). In the future I might state that IMO nº4 should have been eliminated (should still = advice / personal opinion, but now talking about a past time frame). -- Using the example in the entry -- When they press the button, the building should blow up (present time frame) When they pressed the button, the building should have blown up (past time frame). --
I would suggest that to better organize this entry, there are 4 modes --
  1. Subjunctive future -- If I should be late, go without me.
  2. Mild obligation / strong advice. Speaker has no authority to enforce. -- You should wear a seat belt, You shouldn't drink and drive
  3. Simple advice / personal opinion. Speaker believes that an action is correct, beneficial or desirable. -- You should brush your teeth every day.
  4. Possibility / probability. Speaker believes that an action is likely to happen, or become. -- When you press this button, the pilot flame should ignite., You should be warm enough with this coat.
    -- ALGRIF talk 15:11, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

boost and car batteries[edit]

I'm a brand-new Wiktionary editor, although I've contributed to Wikipedia & Wikivoyage. I was inspired to join today when I couldn't find any online dictionary which included a very common Canadian / North American usage of boost. However, I realize it won't stand without some examples, citations, etc. but I don't have enough experience to put them in without making a mess. Perhaps some kind soul could help? Here are some examples:

"Your battery is dead and you need a boost..." (followed by detailed instructions on how to jump start a car). From Wheels.ca http://www.wheels.ca/guides/heres-how-to-safely-jump-start-a-dead-battery/
"How to boost a car battery" (again, followed by detailed instructions) From the Globe & Mail newspaper's website http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-drive/culture/commuting/how-to-boost-a-car-battery/article1212493/
"We’ll help with any roadside emergency, whether you’ve run out of gas on the side of the road, locked your keys in the car, or you need a tow or boost." Alberta Motor Association website: https://ama.ab.ca/auto-and-driving/roadside-assistance/
Bisset, Alex (editor). Canadian Oxford Paperback Dictionary, ISBN 0-19-541453-5, copyright 2000. "Boost. vtr. 5. Boost: N Amer recharge (a car battery). n. 4. N Amer. the action of recharging a car battery." p. 104.
"Are you in need of an emergency jump start? Let the pros at Swift Towing help give your battery a boost to have you on your way in no time!" From towing company website: http://towing-calgary.ca/jump-start/
This Canadian Tire video showing how to jump start a car is titled "Battery Boosting - Car To Car". The description says "The video will show you how to jump start a car using a booster cable. It also provides some safety tips to consider when using jumper cables to boost your battery from car to car." http://video.canadiantire.ca/v/11032/battery-boosting-car-to-car-booster-cables-motomaster/
"Boosting a dead battery the safe and effective way". Again, followed by detailed instructions. The Weather Network: http://www.theweathernetwork.com/news/articles/boosting-a-dead-battery-the-safe-and-effective-way/43137/
"Boosting a dead battery"- article in October 1980 Popular Mechanics magazine, found through Google Books: https://books.google.ca/books?id=RtQDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA152&dq=boost+car+battery&hl=en&sa=X&ei=s8MBVbehB8GryASczIHIDw&ved=0CC8Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=boost%20car%20battery&f=false

There are lots more examples using the search terms

boost car battery

in a Google Books search, but I think examples going from 1980 to 2000 to today should be sufficient. I'd be very grateful for help or even just a pointer to helpful Wiktionary pages so that I can get a quick handle on how to do this myself.--Cornata (talk) 16:58, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

I'm relieved that we at least have the right definition for the verb, though it is not just Canadian, being used in the US as well. I don't know about UK, Australia, India, etc.
Of the citations above, the one from Popular Mechanics is the only one certain to be accepted, as it is "durably archived" and is a use, not a mention (See use-mention distinction.). The Canadian Oxford Dictionary citation confirms the meaning and may be useful as a reference, but does not count toward attestation, as it is a mention, not a use of boost. For now, add the appropriate definition and the Popular Mechanics citation. If someone challenges the definition in WT:RfV, we can find additional citations valid for attestation. DCDuring TALK 18:07, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks very much for the feedback, very helpful. I see that Equinox has plunged in and added some other examples.Cornata (talk) 21:20, 12 March 2015 (UTC)
In Australia we seem to prefer terms using jump: jumper cable, jump-start, etc. We would certainly understand if someone said boost in relation to a car, however. Danielklein (talk) 23:49, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
In the US we use those same terms, probably more than boost terms. I've never heard of a booster cable, for example. DCDuring TALK 00:47, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

elide 3rd definition ("merge or join")[edit]

This definition is spurious. The cited example of its usage is erroneous, probably involving the author's confusing 'elide' with similar sounding word 'align'. 02:57, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

I respectfully disagree. Though you are correct that "elide" tends to reference a removal, the result in language is often a merger, or at least a connection. In the phrase "Mark's shoe", for example, one of the sibilants is typically elided (few would enunciate both in speech) and the result is a slurring together of the words, effectively merging them. Though I would never personally use the word for a merger, the quote about the interests being elided makes sense if this sort of merger is meant and intervening obstacles were removed. Ur-Abraxas (talk) 01:40, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

crystallized ginger[edit]

Often refers to ginger that is candied, not crystallized. Is this idiomatic, or do we just need a new sense under crystallize? --Tropylium (talk) 12:39, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

Existing definitions: crystallize = "to coat something with crystals, especially with sugar"; candy = "To cook in, or coat with, sugar syrup". What's missing? Equinox 13:53, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
The current culinary sense of crystallize does not cover "to cook in sugar", only "to coat with sugar". "Crystallized ginger" is however always cooked, yet does not necessarily have an additional sugar coating. See e.g. [25], [26].
I get the impression that the term has been reanalyzed as "ginger that has been turned into crystalline-ish form" (i.e. pieced and then candied), rather than "ginger that has been covered in (sugar) crystals". The current definition #2 of crystallize fits loosely for this meaning — but since crystallized ginger is not actually a crystal, it might need some kind of adjustment. --Tropylium (talk) 15:31, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
Something like "To make to resemble crystal"? Normal humans (and even engineers and laboratory scientists) often settle for much less than perfect conformity to idealized definitions in using a word for their purposes. Often our definitions focus on the idealized at the neglect of normal usage. DCDuring TALK 16:21, 14 March 2015 (UTC)
Crystallised/candied ginger is often slightly crunchy and has a texture as if made of coarse, soft crystals compressed together. It may or may not have an additional coating of sugar (either fine like icing sugar or coarse crystals) depending on the recipe. Candied ginger and crystallised ginger are generally used interchangeably. Danielklein (talk) 00:22, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
Crystallized ginger is made from ginger root, something that will never form crystals, "soft" or otherwise. If the root seems crunchy, it is because sugar has been pressed into it. The sugar coating is usually on the outside. Though the term is somewhat inaccurate, it is in use and companies are free to call their products what they choose.Ur-Abraxas (talk) 01:49, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

expat and expatriate[edit]

This article might make one re-think the definition to reflect the reality of the way these words are actually used: White only expats -- ALGRIF talk 09:50, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

How different from immigrant/emigrant? DCDuring TALK 15:21, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
The Guardian’s selling point is to make everyone look like a racist (except themselves). I wouldn’t use that article as evidence of anything. — Ungoliant (falai) 15:28, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
  • There is a difference in usage (at least in the UK) between expatriate and immigrant, but I think it's incorrect to try to divide it along racial lines (no-one talks about Polish expats or Romanian expats, even those these are both white-majority countries, while "expat groups" that I've been to have included African-American and black and Asian British members). I think it's more correct to say that expatriate simply has a more positive valence than immigrant.
I'd imagine there are several reasons for this. The most obvious one is that in most English-speaking countries, people moving into the country is seen as a threat, while people moving out is not (currently), which has led to immigrants becoming tabloid hate figures, and the word immigrant becoming an easy political buzzword to make people angry (and has to some extent replaced migrant as a deixis-free term for anyone who moves across a border). The difficulties in distinguishing immigrant and emigrant (especially in speech) seem to be driving emigrant out of use as immigrant becomes more popular, which means that expatriate has had to fill the gap. Because immigrants tend to be stigmatized*, expatriate also seems to have been taken on by migrants as the chosen term for referencing themselves (as an immigrant/expatriate myself, I see a lot of internet adverts for "expat social events" and "expat tax advice", but I can't remember ever seeing ads for "immigrant social events" or "immigrant tax advice"), which naturally means that it will take on a more positive tinge. Because expats describe themselves that way even when talking in the context of their new country, the word seems to have undergone a shift in meaning from emigrant to simply migrant. I think we should have a usage note, but just one along the lines of:
"In many English-speaking areas, the terms immigrant and migrant can have negative connotations. The term expatriate is generally more positive, and is especially used by migrants to refer to themselves. The term emigrant is no longer widely used, due to confusion with immigrant."
Those are the facts of usage, as far as I see it. Smurrayinchester (talk) 10:11, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
(*)and also to avoid the cognitive dissonance that comes from disliking immigration while being an immigrant oneself, as is fairly common among British retirees who've decided to live out their sunset years on the Mediterranean coast and the newspaper columnists who decry the state of Britain while writing from their Florida mansions
The Macquarie Dictionary defines an expat as someone who has given up their native country or has been evicted from it. An emigrant is some someone who is living in a country other than their native country, whether or not they still retain ties to their motherland. So someone who has been naturalised (but is not a dual citizen) is an expat while an emigrant or immigrant may or may not be depending on their relationship with their motherland. Yes, I know this is more prescriptive than descriptive, however, it does reflect the way I've always understood and used these words. The words may have different connotations outside of Australia. Danielklein (talk) 00:41, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

central business district[edit]

My London friend claims that this term is never used in the UK. In Australia though it's very common. Any ideas? ---> Tooironic (talk) 10:57, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

My (British) geography teacher used the term in secondary-school geography class. I've never heard it since. Equinox 15:29, 15 March 2015 (UTC)
It's in use in the US and the abbreviation CBD also. DCDuring TALK 20:16, 15 March 2015 (UTC)


Quell - spelling? A topical, rather toxic, medical product meant to kill lice. (It is applied to the hair and scalp in a uniform manner to kill all the lice on the head and then washed out some time later. A certain number of applications may be needed.)

2601:7:9600:78E:C097:7C45:B4C4:D5B8 15:24, 15 March 2015 (UTC)Greg Alan z.

That's a brand name, and it's Kwell. Equinox 15:31, 15 March 2015 (UTC)

shopping mall[edit]

I know this is supposed to be an Americanism, but I hear it in Australia all the time. What about in the UK? ---> Tooironic (talk) 01:41, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

I don't know about the UK, but it is common here in New Zealand as well. —This unsigned comment was added by Kiwima (talkcontribs).
It may be creeping in amongst the "yoof", but normal people say "shopping centre" in the UK. SemperBlotto (talk) 08:08, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
Do you mean yutes? DCDuring TALK 17:48, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
In the U.S. we have both shopping malls and shopping centers. They are not the same. Malls have everything under one roof (and surrounded by a vast parking lot). Shopping centers are multiple separate stores that share a single large parking lot. —Stephen (Talk) 16:58, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
They seem to be the same in the UK - see, as an example, the "Shopping Centre" section of Brent Cross. SemperBlotto (talk) 17:04, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
Hm, what Stephen's calling a shopping center is what I would call a shopping plaza or a strip mall. I'm not sure I would use the term shopping center in en-US at all. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:13, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
shopping center is old-fashioned and not used so much anymore. It was very popular in the 1940s–70s, but in the 1970s the malls came into their own. As the malls became so popular, businesses did not want to be associated with old-fashioned "shopping centers" anymore. Today we even have the term strip mall, which is hardly a mall at all, but a shopping center with the stores arranged in a row along a block or more of a street or highway. —Stephen (Talk) 20:33, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
I don't offer these as definitions, but there are some characteristics that differentiate various (mostly) post-WWII retail venues:
shopping center, anchored by a grocery store or, possibly, a drug store, with complementary everyday retail, with relatively abundant parking.
shopping mall, usually (mostly, less so in warm and dry climates) under one roof, anchored by one or more department stores, with complementary specialty retail, surrounded by abundant parking.
strip mall, row or stores, no obvious anchor, sufficient off-street parking.
outlet mall, large aggregation of stores, not indoors, offering brand name goods, often seconds, overstocks, out-of-fashion items, at relatively low prices.
big-box stores, many type of stores, sometimes category-killers , but stand-alone.
We should have something for these. DCDuring TALK 20:42, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
I'd call it a "shopping centre" but I might think "mall". I literally don't know how to pronounce that word though, so I never say it. I don't think many people in the UK say it. Equinox 20:47, 17 March 2015 (UTC)
Homophonic with maul in the US. DCDuring TALK 21:25, 17 March 2015 (UTC)


What sense of accept are fabric labels like these using? "Wash in the warmest water the fabric will accept", "if a fabric will accept a low-heat iron,...", etc. All of the senses in our entry which have usexes show usage with humans or human organizations as subjects; the same can be said of all of Dictionary.com's senses except 12 "to receive or contain" (which has a usex about a socket accepting a certain kind of plug). Merriam-Webster has "1b: to be able or designed to take or hold (something applied or added) a surface that will not accept ink". - -sche (discuss) 17:18, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

The fabric uses seem like "to tolerate/accommodate without (noticeable?) damage/impairment". Because of the qualification it doesn't seem quite the same as either the Dictionary.com or MW definitions. Perhaps it could be a subsense of a definition like MW's. DCDuring TALK 17:43, 16 March 2015 (UTC)


Should we add a grammatical sense to this adjective (as opposed to continuous)? --Fsojic (talk) 10:48, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

"Simple" isn't always contrasted with "continuous", though. It generally means "formed by inflection" and is opposed to periphrastic. The simple present in English (which is contrasted with the continuous or progressive present) is one example, but there are others, e.g. the simple past in French in German (il alla/er ging), which is contrasted with the perfect (il est allé/er ist gegangen). —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:32, 17 March 2015 (UTC)


Are these citations sufficient to recreate the entry, or does anyone think that there is a problem with any of them? —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 07:48, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

The top one is not a genuine use, but an invented example for a dictionary. The middle example is a bit iffy - it's from a section of a book about how the word was coined. The bottom seems fine. Smurrayinchester (talk) 12:29, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
Well, I'm aware of the context, but I'm not sure how whether it's "genuine" factors into the CFI. A usage example in a dictionary is still a use, not a mention. —Μετάknowledgediscuss/deeds 16:02, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
No, it isn't. As I commented on the 2011 RFV of crocklet, WT:CFI says "[the requirement that words be shown to be] Conveying meaning [...] filters out [...] made-up examples of how a word might be used". - -sche (discuss) 18:08, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

it never rains but it pours[edit]

Are there any phrases similar to this but with neutral or positive valence? For example, if a person has had nothing to do for a long time, and suddenly has a great many things that need to be done (some of them positive and enjoyable, some stressful and burdensome). - -sche (discuss) 08:42, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

British English has a snowclone "You wait ages for a [X] and then three come along at one". The standard form is the lament "You wait ages for a bus, and then three come along at once", but the phrase is very versatile (eg 1, 2, 3, 4). Maybe not Wiktionary material though, since its meaning is always transparent. Smurrayinchester (talk) 09:44, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
I wouldn't say it never rains but it pours necessarily has a negative valence. It can be said of good things that happen in rapid succession after a long period of nothing good happening, can't it? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 12:14, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
That's what I thought, too, but our definition suggests otherwise. Can we find citations of positive use? The first hit for google books:"never rains but it" joy clearly thinks it's negative: "We have a proverb about trouble: 'It never rains, but it pours.' But that is the philosophy of pessimism." On the other hand, the next hit is "But, he added, 'it never rains but it pours,' and at the present meeting they had had brought before them not only Mr. Joy's valve gear but also two other excellent substitutes for the link motion." - -sche (discuss) 18:13, 18 March 2015 (UTC)
This quote from Anne of Green Gables is about never getting a marriage proposal until one is past forty, and then getting three at once. (The woman in question picked the wrong suitor to say yes to, which was negative, but the saying itself was referring to the presumably positive experience of being proposed to.) —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 19:43, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

Skip (noun)[edit]

In the United Kingdom "skip" is used to designate a large rubbish bin. Reference: http://www.rbkc.gov.uk/pressrelease/pressreleasepage.aspx?id=6635

I did not want to edit the existing entries, because I was not sure how to append the documentation.

This is already in there: "(Australia, New Zealand, UK) A large open-topped rubbish bin, designed to be lifted onto the back of a truck to take away both bin and contents; called a dumpster in North America (where "skip" is completely unknown and incomprehensible). " Smurrayinchester (talk) 16:13, 18 March 2015 (UTC)


It looks to me as if Etymology 1 and Etymology 4 should be merged:

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English ditten, dütten, from Old English dyttan (to stop up, close)...


  1. (UK dialectal, Northern England) To stop up; block (an opening); close.

Etymology 4[edit]

Old English dyttan...


  1. (obsolete) To close up.

Would an expert please review this entry? Danielklein (talk) 23:24, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

Go for it. DCDuring TALK 15:09, 19 March 2015 (UTC)


Why would this term be considered non-standard? My Oxford doesn't claim as such. ---> Tooironic (talk) 10:34, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

I don't think it's non-standard but it is only used in certain situations, e.g. academic papers. If I were talking conversationally about the effects in a film I'd just watched, I might say "cinematic" but not "filmic". Equinox 15:00, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
I don't think it's non-standard either. I just heard someone use it in a conversation, so I don't think it's restricted to academic papers. ---> Tooironic (talk) 06:03, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

as far as one is concerned[edit]

Why don't we have this? We have in one's opinion. ---> Tooironic (talk) 12:09, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

as far as one is concerned at OneLook Dictionary Search DCDuring TALK 14:57, 19 March 2015 (UTC)
Why not? I think as far as someone is concerned is better, but not without adding redirects for at least present and past tenses and seven different personal pronouns + something for a total of 16 hard redirects. That omits perfect aspect, future tense, modals, but I think they are very unlikely to be used in the search box. DCDuring TALK 15:08, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

potlatch: meaning "similar to" potluck?[edit]

I have a comment /slash question. I was almost going to add it ) to the "Talk:" page for the word "potlatch", -- [as the first section of a new Talk: page!] -- but a little birdie there recommended to post it here instead.

In the entry for the word "potlatch", I noticed that definition no. 2 said: << "A communal meal to which guests bring dishes to share." >>

Isn't that similar to (or, the same as) the meaning of "potluck"? Could there be some (perhaps misguided) 'folk etymology' taking place, here? Perhaps "by way of" some inadvertent malapropism?

Maybe not. Maybe "potlatch" can mean << "A communal meal to which guests bring dishes to share." >>, without any hint of contamination from (and maybe even without any shared etymology with) the word "potluck".

I do not know the answer. I am just asking the question.

Thanks! --Mike Schwartz (talk) 20:05, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

Did you read the Etymology section of potluck? —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 21:02, 19 March 2015 (UTC)

breaking of the waters[edit]

We don't seem to have either a noun or a verb entry for the rupturing of the membranes at the end of pregnancy. I can't decide on the best combination of words. Feel free to add them. SemperBlotto (talk) 16:25, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

The dictionary lemma for the verb would be presumably be "one's waters break", but that's borderline gibberish even if grammatically it's equivalent to "her waters broke". Do we have any similar entries for this sort of verb phrase? waters is also horribly deficient, and there's nothing at break either. Smurrayinchester (talk) 16:35, 20 March 2015 (UTC)
In US English we would say "her water broke", I think (confirmed by Cambridge Adv. Learners Dict).
Wouldn't entry and links at bag of waters, appropriate definitions and usage examples at water, waters, and break address the concern by putting the appropriate enrties at the top of a failed-search listing. It could be supplemented by hard redirects to {{senseid}}ed definitions. DCDuring TALK 17:12, 20 March 2015 (UTC)

cataloging of german colloquial first singular present dropping -e[edit]

In german, colloquially, the first person singular present final schwa is often dropped, but these versions are not cataloged in wiktionary (as far as I can tell). I think one is meant to use an apostrophe to mark this in poetry or song lyrics or whatever, but this is often not respected and wiktionary should be cataloging it regardless.

We do have some e-less first-person singular forms marked as such, e.g. komm, trink, and sag. The prescriptive rules of German call for an apostrophe on apocopated verb forms only if the form would be difficult to read or understand, otherwise not: examples from Duden are daran zweifl’ ich nicht (where zweifl without an apostrophe would look funny) vs. Das hör ich gern and Ich lass das nicht zu, where hör and lass are easy to read and understand without an apostrophe. The same rules apply to the second-person singular imperative, by the way. In spite of the official rules, though, the apostrophe is widespread in actual use, and if someone wanted to created pages like komm', trink', sag', hör', and lass', they would probably be verifiable. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:52, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
In that case, what is the policy? Should I start adding them by hand now as I feel it's appropriate?Telmac (talk) 20:16, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
If you like, but keep verifiability in mind. Verbs commonly used in the spoken language are much more likely to have e-less forms than verbs like pharyngalisieren. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 20:21, 24 March 2015 (UTC)


There seem to be many problems with this entry. First, the usage of the term has changed greatly over a couple decades. A Japanese prime minister has even identified himself as one, as have over 42% of surveyed Japanese persons (in one form or another). The usage used to be negative but now is more mainstream and somewhat comically self-deprecatory. It's usage as "geek" is far from the mark and generally has come to mean anyone who is deeply involved in any topic, and more specifically, anime, manga, idol-worship, comics, movies, pop music, or another subcultural element.

It's meaning as "home" is also somewhat inaccurate as it formerly referred to another person's home rather than one's own.

In any case, its present usage is almost never as "home" of any type, and the assumed meaning that was ascribed as "geek" has now become its chief meaning, no longer "rare". Ur-Abraxas (talk) 00:18, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

  • What entry are you talking about? Neither the English entry at otaku nor the Japanese entry at おたく has any "rare" label. If you're referring to the Japanese entry at お宅, the "rare" label is intended to convey that the geek sense is rare for that spelling. A usage note would help clarify that ambiguity. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 00:28, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
It is the "geek" sense that is incorrect (there never was a "geek" usage, though someone arguing a very broad definition of "geek" may debate that - a person obsessed with or focused on some aspect of subculture would hardly be called a "geek"), as well as the main definition now that the "geek" sense has become mainstream.Ur-Abraxas (talk) 02:44, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Re: geek, where are you from? I ask out of curiosity. The sense of "someone obsessed with a particular subject" is commonly expressed as "[SUBJECT] geek" in the idiolects I'm familiar with, as someone who grew up on the US east coast.
About the Japanese entries, おたく or オタク is the more common spelling for this sense. As far as I've seen, the rare tag is still appropriate for the お宅 spelling. ‑‑ Eiríkr Útlendi │ Tala við mig 09:02, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

four-year college[edit]

Does this has a specific meaning in American English? If so, it seems idiomatic. ---> Tooironic (talk) 00:54, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

The name comes from the assumed minimum time it takes to get a degree: we have two-year colleges, such as community colleges, and four-year colleges, which are universities. I'm not so sure the whole phrase is idiomatic: you can talk about two/four-year schools, two/four-year institutions of higher learning, etc. There are also two-year and four-year degrees. My personal case demonstrates why these terms aren't strictly SOP: being a bit of a professional student, I took a number of years to get a two-year degree at a two-year college, but also took university-transferrable classes, so that when I finally transferred to a four-year college, I was able to graduate with a four-year degree in two years. Chuck Entz (talk) 01:53, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
It is a contrast to a two-year college, aka junior college (usually private) or community college (publicly funded). Two-year college is a convenient term to include both junior college and community colleges. Junior colleges leading to an a associate degree in two years (of full-time study) were an innovation of the second half of the nineteenth century. I think of four-year as a polite equivalent to real. DCDuring TALK 02:02, 21 March 2015 (UTC)
Not all four-year colleges are universities, though. A college that offers a Bachelor's degree is a four-year college; a university has to offer some graduate degree such as a Master's. I think four-year college is idiomatic for the reason Chuck mentioned; also, a student who earns a lot of credit through placement tests could get a Bachelor's in only three years. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 18:39, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

feel-good factor[edit]

Can this term be used outside the context of an election? ---> Tooironic (talk) 02:32, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

Sure. About the morale of a workforce, about an audience for a speech or a TV show, or an ad, about self-congratulation generally. DCDuring TALK 03:04, 21 March 2015 (UTC)


Re-engage to me is to repeat some activity with the thought of an advanced achievement. Reengage to me would be like trying to put your transmission back in gear again. Would this be correct?

I don't think the hyphen would affect the meaning. Either one can mean "engage again" in any sense of engage, as far as I know. Equinox 14:45, 21 March 2015 (UTC)

false marriage[edit]

Should we have an entry for false marriage, i.e. a marriage into which the parties enter for some other reson than for sharing their lives? Such reason could e.g. be assistance in obtaining a residence permit. It seems to be at least a semi-legal term as the UK and Canadian immigrations, and perhaps others too, have guidelines for such conduct. --Hekaheka (talk) 09:56, 22 March 2015 (UTC)

I just realised that we have sham marriage. The entry lists fake marriage, false marriage, fictitious marriage and mock marriage as synonyms, but the question remains - should we have them? We also have marriage of convenience. --Hekaheka (talk) 12:26, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
marriage of convenience seems entryworthy as a euphemism. Some of others don't seem to belong in the same synset, based on the differences in meaning of the adjectives. We could also have marriage for show, fraudulent marriage and others, but these, sham marriage, and the ones listed there as synonyms don't seem to have any real meaning beyond that of their components. DCDuring TALK 15:58, 22 March 2015 (UTC)


On the page for the word Roman, there is no definition of the adjective meaning to do with the verb 'Romans', meaning the civilization.

Is this not good enough: "Of or from the Roman Empire"? Equinox 14:16, 22 March 2015 (UTC)


The example sentance under the verb form does not strike me as very useful, and I suspect it was added as an act of vandalism. However, it has been there since it was added by an anonymous user in 2012, so perhaps I am missing something here.

Ha, I think that will be an in-jokey reference to our own User:Dick Laurent (formerly known as Ric). Equinox 19:08, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
By Wonderfool in one of his IP phases. Do we really need an example sentence in a form-of entry? Chuck Entz (talk) 20:46, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
Not really. I try to keep them at the lemma form, unless the inflected form is so weird that it might otherwise be challenged. Equinox 20:52, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
Removed. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 22:21, 22 March 2015 (UTC)
"Do we really need an example sentence in a form-of entry?" Maybe not for English. Lithuanian? Definitely. But either way: who cares? Is there not enough room for them? Are they hurting anyone or anything?
The way people get offended by harmless little example sentences that demonstrate perfectly the nature of the off-color words they're being used to illustrate... is amazing. Come let us not wallow in the reality of human existence, but let us elevate ourselves to such unspeakable idiocy as this -- "The noble king went in, saw his wife the young queen basking in the soft light of her ornate lamps, and spoke softly to her saying, my dear, I wish to bang you immediately." Fucking seriously. — [Ric Laurent] — 08:14, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
  • Yeah, it was from WF in fact. I must say it was quite funny at the time. It's pleasant to see that such humour has not become stale after 4 years. "I wish to bang you immediately", indeed --Type56op9 (talk) 12:31, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

elisi as a Finnish word[edit]

A claim is made that elisi is a Kotus class 53 word (like muistaa), and it is

   Third-person singular conditional present form of elää.
   Conditional present connegative form of elää.

When looking at a conjugation table, the corresponding form is /eläisi/ in both accounts. Now my own linguistic head says elisi is incorrect. But it is less apparently incorrect verb inflection than e.g. helkkisi or muistisi (which'd be a correct noun inflection). 18:52, 23 March 2015 (UTC)

You are right. The correct form is eläisi. I have erased the Finnish section of "elisi". --Hekaheka (talk) 21:30, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
BTW, I checked the page history, and the erroneous form has been there since Oct. 2007. Good work, Anon. --Hekaheka (talk) 21:35, 23 March 2015 (UTC)
I found some usage after all, rolled back my deletion and added tag "rare, nonstandard". --Hekaheka (talk) 05:41, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

so help me God[edit]

What does this phrase actually mean? I don't think our definition is right. For some reason, we've defined it as a noun. ---> Tooironic (talk) 07:29, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Converted to a non-gloss definition. The pre-existing definition might have tempted a particularly naive learner to substitute the word oath for the phrase. DCDuring TALK 11:36, 24 March 2015 (UTC)


I noticed this sense, which I thought a bit strange: a place where a corporation is established. Is this an Americanism? ---> Tooironic (talk) 09:57, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Isn't it a Britishism too? DCDuring TALK 11:25, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
In England how does one refer to corporations residing in other countries, such as Scotland or Jersey. In the US corporations (which are "persons") reside in states. It may be that the terms extends to sole proprietorships, partnerships, LLCs, etc. DCDuring TALK 11:31, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

on-campus, off-campus[edit]

Are these really only used in American English? ---> Tooironic (talk) 10:09, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

  • Nope. I've removed the US tag --Type56op9 (talk) 12:31, 24 March 2015 (UTC)


The page "suppa" claims that the word suppa can be an adjective meaning "Narrow" in Finnish. I haven't been able to verify such a sense. Kielitoimiston sanakirja gives only a noun meaning (http://www.kielitoimistonsanakirja.fi/netmot.exe?ListWord=suppa&SearchWord=suppa&dic=1&page=results&UI=fi80&Opt=1), Urbaani sanakirja does not have such an entry (http://urbaanisanakirja.com/search/?q=suppa) and I as a native Finnish speaker don't recognize such a meaning for the word "suppa". Timo Nurmi's dictionary "Uusi suomen kielen sanakirja" (1998) doesn't have such an entry at all. Perhaps suppa means narrow in another language and the person who added that meaning forgot to tell what language it was? Someone who knows please fix this. 13:50, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

It's an error; suppea means "narrow". --Hekaheka (talk) 15:28, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

intransitive build in computer science[edit]

There exists another sense of build, which means 'to compile successfully'. For example: "the docs built yesterday without any trouble". This sense is somewhat informal, though technical. Telmac (talk) 20:12, 24 March 2015 (UTC)

Thanks. DCDuring TALK 20:14, 24 March 2015 (UTC)
I tried to improve the definition. 09:42, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks again. DCDuring TALK 13:38, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
Doesn't it need the word compile, at least in a usage example, to be intelligible? DCDuring TALK 13:39, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
It's usually transitive (now added); and yes, I think "compile" is necessary (also now added): even though you can build things other than executables (e.g. Windows Help files) it's still a process of compilation. Equinox 22:07, 25 March 2015 (UTC)


Sense 3 is "a German". Dated, or even obsolete? 09:52, 25 March 2015 (UTC)

Dated seems appropriate, or archaic. DCDuring TALK 13:40, 25 March 2015 (UTC)
Archaic, I'd say. - -sche (discuss) 20:26, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
google books:"stubborn Dutchman" shows some use referring to German descent in relatively current fiction, but, though my (Germanic) parents used it that way, I haven't heard people of even my generation use it. DCDuring TALK 21:32, 26 March 2015 (UTC)


Isn't a sense like "circle of friends, companions; group of people meeting socially" missing here? Einstein2 (talk) 15:21, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

Is that different from sense 4, "social visitors or companions"? - -sche (discuss) 20:25, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

Which Inflection-table?[edit]

Which Ancient Greek noun inflection-table do I add for νόσημα, ατος, τό? —BoBoMisiu (talk) 19:03, 26 March 2015 (UTC)

{{grc-decl-3rd-N-dn-prx}}. See ὄνομα#Inflection for an illustration of how it works. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 22:03, 26 March 2015 (UTC)
TVM, could someone verify I did it right (i.e. someone skilled in Greek)? —BoBoMisiu (talk) 01:40, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
It looks right to me. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 10:30, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

Concerned about Donnanz's misguided crusade against non-British spellings[edit]

I am concerned about Donnanz's misguided crusade against non-British spellings. He is now tackling e.g. sulf/sulph for sulfur compounds, e.g. [27]: this is not a simple BrE/AmE issue since the official scientific rules prefer sulf (Blotto can back me up, I expect) regardless of country. And in the other areas Donnanz has been tackling, he seems to show a blindness to language change and evolution, and a pigheaded insistence on separate US and UK forms, whereas there is actually a wide continuum even within a single country, let alone in Hong Kong, Trinidad, and countless other English-speaking areas. Can we stop him?! Equinox 02:14, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

Before he has a go at me, I'm British, and pretty damn literate. Equinox 02:15, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
I share your concern. If you think it's bad enough, he could be blocked. I think it is rather important for someone intending to be a constructive participant here to be essentially descriptive and fact-oriented. The worst thing of all is to be chauvinistic or focused on one's own idiolect, believing that one's own subset of the language is more than one of many clouds of data points.
If he doesn't outgrow his pathology, we should block him. DCDuring TALK 04:46, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
I can back up Equinox on sulfur/sulphur. Chemical terms (and, I assume drugs containing the term) are spelled with an "f" throughout the scientific community, just as aluminium is spelled with an "i". They should not be labelled as American or British (etc). The general populace spells these words with an f/ph, and with or without an "i", depending on their country of origin. SemperBlotto (talk) 08:40, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
Please stop Donnanz. Thank you very much for this post in Beer parlour. Oops, it's Tea room; oh well. --Dan Polansky (talk) 19:46, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
  • If it's put politely, I can stop quite readily, and there is no need for a block. Is it just sulf- / sulph- you're mainly concerned about? I was using Oxford for guidance, but I know it's not as cut and dried as all that with those. There shouldn't be any question about the -ph- spellings, but I won't argue about the -f- spellings. I wasn't planning to do any more of those anyway. With other non-sulphur-related words I realise that it can vary, but that can be catered for. There are categories for American, British and Canadian spellings, but I don't know of any others. Commonwealth countries usually follow British practice, but there can be variations of course. A crusade, huh? Donnanz (talk) 20:16, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
    By "Oxford for guidance", you mean http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/, right? --Dan Polansky (talk) 20:25, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
I have been using my hard copy, which is virtually the same, though the online version may be more up to date than my 2005 edition. Donnanz (talk) 20:35, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
Luckily enough, we go by evidence whenever we can, not by reference. --Dan Polansky (talk) 20:39, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

I thought that the rule was not to include etymologies in alternative forms. --Romanophile (talk) 20:57, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

I feel that etymology should be included in both forms, but I have been concentrating on the British etymologies. In a lot of cases nobody has got round to putting them in under either spelling. Donnanz (talk) 21:10, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
In addition to that, the "alternative form" is not consistently British. I guess it depends on which spelling was entered first. Well before my time. Donnanz (talk) 22:04, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
@User:Equinox: what do you think e.g. of sulfide? The frequency picture in GNV shows that while sulfide ‎is on par with sulphide in the British corpus after 2000, in 20th century sulphide was predominant. Here, removing American label is not so unequivocal action as in some other cases, such as sulfamethoxazole (GNV, British corpus). --Dan Polansky (talk) 21:24, 27 March 2015 (UTC)


It looks to me as if the many definitions of college could use a bit of a cleanup. Unfortunately, I don't feel I am up to the task, because I am only familiar with American and New Zealand usage, and this is a term where each country seems to define it differently.

Here in New Zealand, it refers to a secondary school, not a tertiary institution (with the exception of a specialized division - definition 10 - such as College of Engineering or College of Law). At the very least, that makes definition 5 (an institution of higher education) wrong.Kiwima (talk) 04:35, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

Education has some tricky differences between countries; I've mainly only encountered the UK/US/Canada ones, where "school", "college", and "public/private school" can vary quite widely. I just glanced at College#New_Zealand and it does mention secondary school (among other things). Please add the sense! Our editors represent a pretty biased cross-section of world Englishes, as I was complaining earlier (hah), and I think that one area where we need work is in Aussie vs. NZ English. Equinox 04:44, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
You could start by labeling as "NZ" the usages you know are New Zealand uses and similarly for "US". I wonder whether any of the definitions are shared among all Anglophone areas. DCDuring TALK 04:46, 27 March 2015 (UTC)
They were secondary schools in the 1960s; schools were in three stages - primary, intermediate and secondary. I never went to intermediate school as I lived outside the nearest city which had one {Invercargill), going straight from primary school to secondary in Invercargill. But of course a lot has changed since the 1960s. Donnanz (talk) 21:26, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

OK, I have done what I could to clean it up. Kiwima (talk) 18:13, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

"shaded it"[edit]

This BBC News article uses the phrase "shaded it" a couple of times. What does this mean? Does it fall under any of the senses at shade#Verb? This, that and the other (talk) 10:45, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

  • It is an unusual meaning of the verb shade that we are missing, and corresponds to the sense #6 of the noun (that also had no definition!). It means to be ahead by a small amount. SemperBlotto (talk) 10:51, 27 March 2015 (UTC)

Lithuanian nagas[edit]

@Viskonsas, エリック・キィ: I think that term has been neglected for a long, long time. Who wants to give it some attention? --Lo Ximiendo (talk) 14:16, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

Thank you for notification. I have added basic information there. Maybe its stress pattern is 4, though I should confirm it precisely. --Eryk Kij (talk) 17:41, 28 March 2015 (UTC)


What, exactly, is the difference in meaning between predominantly and predominately? Are they synonyms? Is one more "correct" than the other? Is there some subtle difference in usage that should be noted (like the often-confused size and mass)? bd2412 T 15:27, 28 March 2015 (UTC)

  • IMHO predominantly is "correct" and predominately is just a misspelling that may have become an alternative spelling over time. The same goes for the two underlying adjectives. SemperBlotto (talk) 09:09, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
    The usually sound World Wide Words has something to say on this. DCDuring TALK 09:31, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
    This Google N-gram shows that predominantly is much more common, but that predominately is gaining ground. Other dictionaries define predominately as meaning "predominantly". DCDuring TALK 09:40, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
    Thanks. I have adapted the usage note from predominately to also note this relationship in predominantly. bd2412 T 17:13, 29 March 2015 (UTC)


The carajo is the basket high up in the mast of old sailing ships, where sailors were put on the outlook for land or pirate ships. This basket is called 'crow nest' in English and 'kraaienest' in Dutch. This was the most uncomfortable place on these ships, where there was much movement and usually a cold wind. There is an old saying in Castilian "Cuando el grajo vuele abajo hace frio de carajo" When the crow flies low it is cold like (in the) crow nest. Nothing rude about that. To be put on guard in the crow nest was often a punishment dealt out by the captain. If you were sent to the crow nest it was like being sent to hell. 'Vete al carajo' became to mean something like 'Go to hell'. This curse also came to be used in the hinterland, where the meaning of the word 'carajo' was not understood and where it obtained its vulgar connotation. A black espresso with cognac is widely known as a 'carajillo' (little crow nest). Probably because such drink would give you warmth and strength to go on guard in the crow nest.

Meaning of Affix[edit]

Affix is simply "translated" as affix. But which meanings does it actually have?
E.g. Meyers (1905) and Brockhaus (1911) only have it as "prefix or suffix". duden.de has a similar meaning, though it could maybe be understand to include other -fixes as well. "Affixum" has the general meaning of "That which is affixed" and suffix, but that's another word.
So, does Affix also mean "That which is affixed" and "suffix"? -22:25, 28 March 2015 (UTC), comment added by IP.

This is a general problem with many definitions but it also arises from the way Wiktionary is built up over time. Perhaps, when the entry Affix was first created, affix only had one sense. Then someone added more senses to affix, which now made not just Affix, but any other entry using that term as a definition, ambiguous. I don't really know what way this could be solved, because there will always be cases where an English entry is edited, but all the non-English entries that refer to it are not. And it's not likely that that will change, as it would be a pain. —CodeCat 22:32, 28 March 2015 (UTC)


Question: Please let me know if using the word pruse in the following sentence is acceptable. My husband and I were prusing through you cookbook last night enjoying your recipe titles. —This comment was unsigned.

You must mean peruse. I would say "My husband and I were perusing your cookbook....". The through is not wrong, but is not necessary and could be considered redundant. DCDuring TALK 03:22, 29 March 2015 (UTC)


I have two questions regarding guild. First: What about the MMORPG usage of this word? Although named for the "group of tradespeople" sense, I feel like the usage is distinct enough to warrant its own entry. The word clan does have an entry for its video game sense. In games, and especially MMORPGs, the sense is that of a group of players who regularly play together, similar to a (video game) clan. The key difference is that while clans are usually not formalised within the game mechanics, guilds always are. Second: Where did the 'u' in the spelling come from? Did a particular author or dictionary popularise it? Is there any known or hypothesised reason for it, such as perceived etymology, influence from other words, or avoiding confusion with gild? 03:58, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done Added the gaming sense. Not sure about the spelling but it doesn't seem unique (guilt, guide, guise...); anyone? Equinox 04:00, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
In general, words with "gui" are mostly from some historical stage of French, and they tend to be from a Germanic source, with the "gui" replacing an original "wi". That doesn't seem to be the case here, though. One reason for the "u" is shared with (maybe borrowed from?) French: it ensures that the "g" is pronounced hard, as in guilt, rather than soft, as in gist. It may be that the "u" was added by analogy of "gu" words of French origin. Chuck Entz (talk) 05:22, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
I also think it's a French influence. It was used alongside gui-words for quite a while without a 'u', and there were also numerous spellings that suggested a pronunciation with a non-hard g (with y or yogh). Perhaps as the hard-g pronunciation spread, so did the relatively unambiguous "gui" spelling borrowed from French. In the absence of resources that chronicle the spellings of that particular word through time and space, I'll have to be content with guesses. Thank you! 15:26, 29 March 2015 (UTC)


According to “forthwith” in Douglas Harper, Online Etymology Dictionary (2001). forthwith was a preposition before it was an adverb. That helps explain the curious etymology, but we lack a preposition section (or a link in the entry to any differently spelled Middle English version) and we lack Old English forð mid, the precursor. It would be nice to see an example of the preposition in use in Modern English, Middle English, and Old English. DCDuring TALK 10:03, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

rudern: auxiliary "haben" or "sein"[edit]

rudern currently says the auxiliary is "haben". It could be "haben" or "sein". I looked at Template:de-verb-weak/documentation but could not figure out how to make it say "haben or sein"? Should documentation be improved? Or what should I be reading to more easily know how to contribute? --Hugovdm (talk) 11:40, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

The documentation should definitely be improved. This is how to fix it. —Aɴɢʀ (talk) 11:50, 29 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks! FWIW I've gone ahead and mentioned this on de-conj-weak and de-verb-weak... though it should clearly be mentioned on many more templates. --Hugovdm (talk) 12:29, 29 March 2015 (UTC)

private school[edit]

The definition of private school is specific to US, Canada, and Australia. I know the term is used in the UK as well - does it have a different meaning there? If it is the same, perhaps we should remove the contextualisation. Otherwise, can someone who knows add a definition for the UK?

  • A private school in the UK is a school not run by a local authority (borough or district within a county), and fees are paid for education. A public school such as Eton, despite the name, is in the same category. Public schools are a cut above private schools, and the parents have to be quite wealthy to send their children to a public school. Donnanz (talk) 15:18, 30 March 2015 (UTC)


I would love it if a smarty pants could add a usage note explaining the difference between "conform to" and "conform with". Thanks. ---> Tooironic (talk) 01:24, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

Looking through the uses out there in the literature, they appear to be interchangable. In my own personal usage, I tend to use "to" with a plural (conform to the rules) and "with" with a singular (conform with the standard), but I find plenty of examples that go the other way. Kiwima (talk) 04:12, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
In my idiolect conform to implies that the target of the conformity is more rigid, geometric, etc than would be the target of conform with. It would be interesting to compare conform to at OneLook Dictionary Search, conform with at OneLook Dictionary Search, and conform at OneLook Dictionary Search to see how real lexicographers treat this. DCDuring TALK 12:23, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
At least one dictionary has usage examples of "conform with a plan" contrasted with "conform to a rule", which conforms with my idiolect. DCDuring TALK 12:26, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
Fowler objected to conform with, but few others seem to, not even the picky Garner's Modern American Usage. DCDuring TALK 12:32, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
And, lastly, conform to is about 11 times more common at COCA and 7-8 times more common at BNC than conform with. DCDuring TALK 12:39, 30 March 2015 (UTC)
  • I am reasonably sure that the usage qualifications (thing vs person) on the two transitive definitions are less important than those that lead to a different choice of following preposition. Probably the definitions should be changed as well, but I don't want to force the translations to conform to definitions that don't conform with the idiolects of our native speakers. DCDuring TALK 12:52, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

body electric[edit]

Does this term have a meaning of its own? ---> Tooironic (talk) 11:43, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

This may help: [28] Equinox 18:51, 30 March 2015 (UTC)

-ible/-able redundancy[edit]

Some adjectives are well attested in both -ible and -able forms; an example would be reflectible and reflectable. This extends to attested derivations like reflectibility and reflectability. Do we have any kind of order of precedence by which to determine that one is the alternative spelling of the other? Does it matter which one is more widely used, or which one was the first to be used? Do we just present them as two distinct words? bd2412 T 17:13, 31 March 2015 (UTC)