Wiktionary:Tea room/2010/May

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Missing a childish sense: "You didn't!" "Did too." / "You aren't!" "I am too." Like French si. Equinox 21:24, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

yep. I'll create it tomorrow. And you're missing a childish sense too. prrp --Rising Sun talk? contributions 00:28, 2 May 2010 (UTC)


I think we are missing a sense here, as in "Many political ideologies inform these texts." A kind of critical theory usage. Not sure how to word that though... ---> Tooironic 01:03, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

  • Yes, now added. Ƿidsiþ 12:22, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

keep someone company

I can't decide if we should have an entry for it. Is it SoP? Should it be reworded? ---> Tooironic 06:29, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Definitely worth an entry. --Rising Sun talk? contributions 07:02, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
OK, I've added entries at keep company and keep someone company in order to differentiate the senses. Let me know what you think. Cheers. ---> Tooironic 08:35, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
they look fine to me --Rising Sun talk? contributions 10:47, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Lookin' good. Mglovesfun (talk) 11:19, 12 May 2010 (UTC)


Why does am not belong to the category "english verbs"?—This comment was unsigned.

It belongs to "English first-person singular forms" and "English auxiliary verb forms", which are subcategories of "English verbs". We don't include every -ing form of a word in "English verbs", and am is similar.​—msh210 18:19, 12 May 2010 (UTC)


We have the computer-security-breaker sense twice, under two different etymologies! What to do? Equinox 21:15, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

I got it. Michael Z. 2010-05-19 01:30 z
Check it out.[1] Michael Z. 2010-05-19 01:42 z

lecture theater

Sum of parts? Mglovesfun (talk) 17:14, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

Yes. Can be re-expressed as "lecture hall", "lecture building", etc. ---> Tooironic 21:41, 21 May 2010 (UTC)


I added erakko to the derived forms in erä. Then I noticed erakko has as etymology: "Originally from Ancient Greek ἐρῆμος (“‘uninhabited’”), cognate with eremite." I notice that etymology is present on the Finnish wikipedia.

Currently I have available only Suomen kielen äännehistorian luennot (1966, but compiled earlier) by Martti Rapola, where he says that trisyllabic derivations with earlier vowels e–ä–o have e–a–o in modern Finnish. Other examples than erakko' are eg. kesä ~ kesanto, elää ~ elanto and epä ~ epatto.

I'll check newer sources next week. ¦ hyark digyik 10:25, 1 May 2010 (UTC)

party horn

Strange. I was at a party tonight and we had these things, and when I got back home I found party horn. There's a couple more synonyms that we can't find. --Rising Sun talk? contributions 00:28, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

For starters, see noisemaker. DCDuring TALK 00:57, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
blowout, party blowout, party blower, blower. DCDuring TALK 01:07, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

one's mind is in the gutter

How should I word an entry for this common idiom? one's mind is in the gutter? one's brain is in the gutter? someone's mind is in the gutter? in the gutter? Or should we just add a new sense to gutter? ---> Tooironic 01:47, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

Most memorably for me, “get your mind out of the gutter,” but it doesn't just apply to minds. It's also seen in “living in the gutter,” gutter-rat or gutter-snipe, going for a gutter-crawl (I may not have that quite right), expressions like “from the board room to the gutter,” etc. Add a figurative sense to gutterMichael Z. 2010-05-02 02:06 z
I think that some form of mind in the gutter / mind out of the gutter is called for, because of the very particular relationship here between the two elements which looks to me almost like a set phrase of some sort. However, I'm at a loss as to how that ought to be handled. --EncycloPetey 02:09, 2 May 2010 (UTC
I agree. That's why I brought the question here, because I could not for the life me think of an appropriate lemma form. ---> Tooironic 07:53, 2 May 2010 (UTC)
It's a fine turn of phrase, but I don't see in it a particular lexical unit. Methinks gutter is simply a lovely idiom, and productive: gutter-bird, gutter-boy, gutter-brat, gutter-bred, gutter child, gutter-crawl, gutter-draggled, gutter-girl, gutter-gorge, gutter-grubbing, gutter-lane, gutter-lout, gutter-man, gutterman, gutter-master, gutter-mastership, gutter merchant, gutter-snippet, gutter-sparrow, gutter-sweeping, and maybe a dozen nautical terms I haven't mentioned. Michael Z. 2010-05-03 05:01 z
Note, though, that living in the gutter refers to literal filth, whereas having one's mind in the gutter refers to smut of another form.​—msh210 15:14, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
The gutter we're talking about is figurative. It has always referred to various vulgarity, often “low breeding” and slums, squalor, literal or figurative filth. But even associations of homelessness, begging or otherwise being “on the street” don't mean standing literally in the pooling mud and manure of the street gutter or farmyard sinkhole. A true thing out of the gutter of a false throat can hardly escape corrupting —Wm. Cornwallis, 1601. Michael Z. 2010-05-03 18:21 z
This seems to me to be a case for making sure that we have the expression in usage examples. In this case I think that the most common collocations (at least "in the gutter" and out of the gutter" might work as hard redirects to gutter. At the appropriate sense of gutter both collocations should be contained in usage examples. If redirects are unacceptable, perhaps we could have appendices of catchphrases, collocations, or turns of phrase (snowclones ?) that we think should be in usage examples and have links to the sections of entries that have them or should have them. DCDuring TALK 16:11, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Redirects sound good.​—msh210 18:27, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

hoo man

Is it really a unit, more deserving of an entry than (say) "hey man" or "whoa, man"? Equinox 10:06, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

No, I don't think so. We don't even include hey man. ---> Tooironic 04:55, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

Albanian from Albany?

Has anyone encountered this usage before? It's a bit difficult to look for citations. Nadando 03:42, 3 May 2010 (UTC)

Try this from google news. DCDuring TALK 04:00, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
I've heard this. See also google news archive:albanian "capital district" or albanian schenectady -albania.​—msh210 18:17, 6 May 2010 (UTC)


Consider that all forms of a putative verb shapen would be attestable in Modern English: shapens, shapening, and shapened. "To shapen" appears in Shakespeare. No OneLook reference has this except as we do, as an obsolete or alternative past participle of shape. Apart from Shakespeare, however, the overwhelming majority of cases are religious writings (intentionally archaic), translations, and works by authors for whom English seems likely not their first language. Does anyone have quick access to the OED for this? DCDuring TALK 01:04, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

The OED Online has two entries: one for a participial adjective meaning basically “shaped”,[2] and one for a verb meaning basically “to shape”.[3] I take it you mean only the latter? FWIW, the OED gives it as "rare" (but not as, say, "obsolete"). —RuakhTALK 02:14, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. It seems to run <1-2% of shape in various forms and corpora. Maybe that helps calibrate "rare". The adjective seemed more ccmmon, but mostly as a combining form. DCDuring TALK 04:53, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
  • Just to clarify, the archaic participle form (of to shape) is separate from the verb to shapen, which is formed from the noun shape in exactly the same way as verbs like threaten, strengthen, heighten etc. Ƿidsiþ 05:22, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
    Right. How would one tell whether shapen's etymology is shape +‎ -en or a different evolution of Middle English shapen? Both to shape and to shapen are weak verbs, though ME shapen was sometimes (?) conjugated with "o" or "mutated a" (???). (Forgive me if I've butchered or misused the terminology.) DCDuring TALK 15:10, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
As an aside, I recently entered this Appendix:Word formation verb -en noun -ness. I think I might add "shapen", as I missed that one. -- ALGRIF talk 16:46, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
The new verb section now says "rare". What facts support that? What criteria determine what "rare" means for us? There are some 750 raw bgc hits (including mentions, Middle English, scannos). In the absence of criteria, only onesies, aka hapax legomena, are incontrovertibly "rare". This is quite analogous to our lack of criteria for "common" in "common misspelling". DCDuring TALK 19:55, 5 May 2010 (UTC)


Is this an English word? Is it archaic? or obsolete?

I came across it being used in the last sentence of the Wikipedia article "Wagner Lamounier".

I believe in this context it could just be a typo and is actually referring to the word polyhedric, which could possibly mean the scientist has multiple skills? But again, I'm not sure, if it's really a word or a misspelling or what the author is trying to say with that word in that context. -- OlEnglish 14:55, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

I have entered it as an alternative spelling. Judging from the titles and names of authors of works in which it appears, I would guess that its use is influenced by languages that have no "h" in their closer-to-the-Greek translations of "polyhedron".
The usage meaning "many-sided", "versatile" saddens me a bit because, though differing a bit in denotation, it has denied "polytropic" (from πολύτροπος (polútropos, versatile, wily, shifty), resonant to me because it was embodied in Odysseus) its modest place in the sun. DCDuring TALK 15:35, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
FWIW I can assure you that I've seen -edron words in relatively modern (perhaps early 20th century?) English books. I don't recall this one specifically.​—msh210 16:11, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
I note that it was added in this edit, by an anonymous editor who doesn't seem to have been a native English speaker: the same edit adds the phrase applied statistic, with the apparent intended meaning “applied statistics”. —RuakhTALK 15:36, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

I ended up changing the word in the article to "polyhedric", meaning 'many-sided'. Thanks for the help. -- OlEnglish 07:29, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

The OED records this spelling, but the only cite is from 1793. I suspect that in modern usage it is just a mis-spelling. Dbfirs 19:46, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Our confusion about this and the absence of -edr(al/ic/on) forms at COCA suggest to me that it is obsolete, which is how I have marked it. DCDuring TALK 20:44, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

fair play

I was just reading [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/north_east/8660566.stm this news report, which includes the quote "They were so cheery it was unbelievable. The woman could hardly walk but fair play to them for making it back here.", where I suppose fair play is being used to mean something like "well done", a sense we don't have.

I've heard this quite a lot, principally from speakers in Wales - is this primarily a Welsh English usage or is it wider than that?

Also, there is at lease one other sense. I'm not sure how to define it, but it's seen in uses like the title of this thread (not durably archived for our purposes though), the second-last paragraph here, the second line of this message, near the end of this messagetoo. Some of them seem to mean something like "fair enough", but I'm not sure about all of them. Thryduulf 17:58, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

  • I'm really familiar with this, and I grew up in London/the southeast, so I think it's more widespread that you realise. ‘Fair play to them’ means roughly ‘give them their due’, but much more pleasantly colloquial. Ƿidsiþ 18:04, 6 May 2010 (UTC)
  • As a Leftpondian, I don't know this phrase at all, but all the quotes you, Thryduulf, link to look like they have the meaning you and Widsith ascribe to the first one AFAICT.​—msh210 18:09, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

So should this should be defined as something like:

  1. (colloquial, UK) fair enough; (with "to") give (someone) their dues

but I'm not certain what POS it should be given? Interjection? Thryduulf (talk) 08:56, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Looks like a ===Phrase=== to me. Could get a ====See also==== link to tip one's hat, which is a slightly dated equivalent. Maybe:
  1. (colloquial, UK) used to acknowledge or pay respect for something. --Rising Sun talk? contributions 09:04, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
I think that definition is nearly there, and the see also is a good idea. However I'm not sure either way about a phrase POS. Thryduulf (talk) 10:24, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
The meaning of "well done" is very common in Ireland also. I've added this to the definition.--Dmol 11:29, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
rom looking through to find some more cites, it wouldn't surprise me if this originated in Irish English, as a lot of the early ones have Irish context. Thryduulf (talk) 11:40, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
Many nouns and noun phrases (and other parts of speech) can be used as interjections. Would it make sense to add an appropriate definition as a noun and provide usage examples and suggest how it is used by means of a context tag "(often as interjection)" or in a usage note? DCDuring TALK 11:51, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
It doesn't feel like a noun to me, as it's not countable and isn't naming or refering to any thing or concept. It's closer possibly to an adjective, describing something, often an action, outcome or quality, (that may or may not be explicitly stated) as being worthy of positive recognition. Thryduulf (talk) 12:07, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
Though I wasn't familiar with this usage, it seems fairly consistent with the pattern of "kudos to ___", "props to ___", "congrats to ___", "a shout-out to ___", "hat-tip to ___" and so on, all of which take the form "<noun> to ___". (There's a major semantic difference, certainly, in that all of these the speaker is giving the <noun> to the ___, whereas in "fair play to ___" it seems that the speaker is merely recognizing the fair play that the ___ already has; but I don't think that's relevant to the choice of POS.) —RuakhTALK 13:17, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

[After edit conflict]

Some senses of play#Noun are uncountable. If "fair play" were a full-fledged adjective, it could be used after "become" and "too" or "very". To the extent it has an adjective feel, I would argue for attributive use of a noun. But the citations show it being used in "X to [person(s)]". I can think of some nouns that would fit: "kudos", "thanks", "nuts", "goodbye", and noun phrases "all praise", "good luck", "good riddance". All of these have interjectional usage.
As you must have noticed, I have been extirpating the Phrase header from English if there is another PoS that is arguably appropriate. Also, we tend to overuse Interjection IMO.
The sense now appearing as phrase, could be reworded to be a noun-like gloss (substitutable). If there is usage as an ordinary noun, so much the better. If not, it would still grammatically be a noun by its usage, though then it might as well certainly keep its current non-gloss definition. DCDuring TALK 13:43, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
I certainly agree with the removal of "Phrase" POS, and I don't think it fits here as there is only one component in the meaning, whereas to my mind a phrase should have several. As for usage, in my experience there are two patterns, "fair play to ___" where ___ is a person/group of people/organisation, and also "Fair play" as a stand alone sentence or clause - although this could just be an elision of "to ___", but it's massively harder to cite as uses in the "play that is fair" meaning are significantly more numerous. Thryduulf (talk) 16:19, 10 May 2010 (UTC)


On this page Wiki asked for help on etymology. I found the following url http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-one4.htm , but couldn't see how to add it correctly.

One-off comes from the British foundry industry where moulds were, and probably still are, used to make metal objects. Orders for the number of objects to be made would be in the form of, say, 20-off mould A, meaning twenty made. Then the mould would be changed to make differntly shaped objects.

So one-off means only one object would be made from the mould and then it would be changed.

Or as we say in the States, one of a kind.

Maybe one-off is becoming more popular in the Age of Txt bc of its brevity.

Plus it can be used by the cognoscenti to remind the rubes of their place.

I hope the Wiki techs can add this to the page. —This comment was unsigned.

Yes, the OED agrees, citing first use by the Institute of British Foundrymen in 1934. It also has a cite from the Washington Post in 2003. Dbfirs 19:20, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
When they get to it, OED may find earlier cites from the foundry industry such as the one now in our entry from c. 1905. The sense seems to have carried over into the plastic molded products business, eg, fiberglass boats in the 1950s. DCDuring TALK 20:53, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Well found! Dbfirs 09:42, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

This seems quite common to me in this part of Canada. CanOD doesn't apply any label, so maybe it's British and Canadian or chiefly BritishMichael Z. 2010-05-15 05:41 z

high loader, heavy loader

Aren't these words to describe motor vehicles? Yet neither we nor Wikipedia have entries for them. __meco 08:01, 7 May 2010 (UTC)


I found the word "yick" in a song text here, but I have no idea what it means. My only guess is that it's similar to gook. Does anyone knows about this word? Grey ghost 10:26, 7 May 2010 (UTC)


The quote is too complex for me to translate into English. I can be of help though, if someone doesn’t understand the German. H. (talk) 18:18, 7 May 2010 (UTC)

If you can post a crude translation on my talk page (and a link to this entry), I can probably turn it into meaningful English. I'm not all that adept in German, but that's largely a deficiency of my personal vocabulary, so a crude translation would save me some time looking up the words I don't know. However, I understand German morphology and word order pretty well. --EncycloPetey 02:06, 19 May 2010 (UTC)


I recently heard in a song: “weil die Engel insgemein selber Musikanten sein.” I cannot explain why it has specifically that form, I think it should rather be sind. Is this poetical freedom or a specific tense? Should this be mentioned somewhere in the entry? H. (talk) 19:19, 7 May 2010 (UTC)


  1. Websters 1913 showed almost every sense of this as obsolete. That usually means that the term had no use after Early Modern English and sometimes no use after Middle English. Which senses would belong in a Middle English section?
  2. Websters 1913 only showed the verb as intransitive. The two definitions we give have multiple one-word glosses some of which can be both transitive and intransitive. Is this only intransitive?

This needs the OED, IMO. DCDuring TALK 09:51, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

The OED has three nouns and two verbs. "A short time" is obsolete except in dialect (and the sense of exactly one hour is questionable, even in 1325). "A hard time, a time of trial or pain" is also obsolete (last used by Spenser in 1590). "A sharp pain, a pang; a fierce attack, a shock" is Scottish and Northern English, but last cite is 1878 (also possibly a thrill in Scottish). The sense of "Roar, violent noise" was last used by Carlyle in 1837. The Middle-English sense of a station or position is mentioned. Those were all the first noun! The second noun "A state of stupefaction or amazement" is classed as "now dialectal" and has cites from 1567 to 1859. The third noun, marked both dialect and obsolete, quotes Phillips (1706) "Vessel of Earth or Wood that stands on end". The verbs are also obsolete: "To remain, stay" and "To affect with a ‘stound’ or pang; to cause great pain to", except the intransitive sense "To be acutely painful; to smart, throb." in Scottish and Northern English. The final dialectal verb sense is "To stun as with a blow; to stupefy, benumb; to stupefy with astonishment, bewilder" (and the intransitive form "To be bewildered or at a loss" cited only from 1531). The only convincing etymology seems to be "Com. Teut. (wanting in Gothic): OE. stund fem. = OFris. stunde, OS. stunda (Du. stond), OHG. stunta space of time (MHG., mod.G. stunde hour), ON. stund (Sw., Da. stund):OTeut. *stund.", with the others being either derived from this or from a variation of "stand". I don't know whether this helps. Dbfirs 19:15, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. It does help, but how astonishingly (;-)) complicated! It seems that at most one of them can be hived off to Middle English. The obsolete tags can stay, but need some supplementation for the dialect usage. The transitive and intransitive clarification requires a little work.
As to the etymology, I take it that the complete etymology you kindly provided only applies to the time-related senses. For the others it would be "stand", what Webster 1913 said, or unknown. DCDuring TALK 21:10, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
I just added a quotation from 1819 illustrating the sense hurt, pain, smart. Its author, John Keats, was born in London (no Northern dialects). If the verb was in use in the 1820s in London, less than 200 years ago, is it justifiable to tag it as obsolete? The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 08:17, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
I would think not. Stound is not used in the way that, say, yclept or betwixt are--to evoke an archaic air or poetic style. If the meaning of the word is not readily known due to rarety or obscurity, that in itself should not make it obsolete. Otherwise pulchritude would be obsolete, which it isn't. Leasnam 22:18, 22 July 2010 (UTC)


Is this just a typo for rhyton? Equinox 17:42, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

Looks to me like alternative spellings (and, I suppose, pronunciations?) It is easy to find many sites about "rython" such as this. And our sister Pedia has Rhyton, but many other sources are easily found that support this spelling. But both refer to the same items. -- ALGRIF talk 08:41, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

lateral area

If first definition is correct, then we don't have the right sense of vertical. This seems dated at least. Our definition does not agree with this one, the only other one in a monolingual dictionary. DCDuring TALK 19:14, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

I think it does agree with that one. And if you read "lateral (vertical) faces" (in our definition of lateral area) not as saying vertical=lateral but merely as saying vertical faces=lateral faces then I think it's almost correct (a frustum need not have vertical faces but has lateral ones and, according to our entry on lateral area, has lateral area). Perhaps change "(vertical)" no "(non-horizontal)" or something.​—msh210 19:25, 10 May 2010 (UTC)


The following comment was left at the end of the translations section at dockworker:

Is there an Italian term with this approximate meaning [presumably "dockworker"] that could be the origin of the term grinder (the sandwich)

It doesn't mean much to me, but it might to others. Thryduulf (talk) 00:53, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Thanks. I'd forgotten about that year-old comment (mine). There was some folk etymology suggesting that somehow the term grinder came from an Italian term for dockworker or some other Italian term, possibly regional (Genovese, Venetian, Neapolitan, Sicilian ?) or slang. DCDuring TALK 01:16, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

On a separate question related to this entry, would you say stevedore is a synonym (as the definition at dockworker suggests) or a hyponym (as suggested by the definition at stevedore)? Thryduulf (talk) 01:44, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

dockworker and longshoreman are, I think almost perfect synonyms and more inclusive than stevedores, but there is a lot of usage of "longshoreman and stevedores" as if they were coordinate terms. I think stevedore might be older, even archaic. I think a stevedore is a packer/loader/stower, long on muscle. Much of the usage seems historical. The other terms don't specify activities. It wouldn't surprise me if there was a modern title stevedore that applied to something specific among dockworkers. DCDuring TALK 02:31, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
There is a chance that a stevedore is more likely to work on a ship than a longshoreman, based on the etymology and older definitions. DCDuring TALK 02:37, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
w:Stevedore suggests why there is some ambiguity and that the ship/shore distinction existed at some point. Geographic differences seem to figure in, too. DCDuring TALK 02:43, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
So should we mark the three terms as synonyms (maybe also docker?) and write a usage notes section? The usage notes explaining that at various times and in various places the words they have had more and less specific, sometimes conflicting, meanings so that it is clear they are not synonymous in all contexts, and pointing to the Wikipedia article for greater detail. I think explaining all the nuances here would require us to get quite encycloapedic and unnecessary duplicative of wp. Thryduulf (talk) 08:44, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
This is a bit maddening. If we said they were all synonymous (" ~ "), we would be going slightly farther than other dictionaries, who seem to say "dockworker" ~ "longshoreman" and "longshoreman" ~ "stevedore", but not "dockworker" ~ "stevedore". Personally, I don't really get why "longshoreman" is supposed to be synonymous with "stevedore". I would say that a careful user might look at the etymology of stevedore and use it more specifically, but users aren't that careful and we seem inclined to downgrade Etymology in out discussions of layout. Before I was chastised for violating WT:ELE by putting "See also" immediately after the several semantic relations headings, I would have put "stevedore" there on the entries for "dockworker" and "longshoreman", in accordance with Wiktionary:Semantic relations. The best I can think of is to include "stevedore" under the Coordinate terms header. A cautionary usage note about local and temporal variation might help too. DCDuring TALK 11:33, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
If we could cover all the nuances reliably, we should. (I've been struck by how much of some WP articles is devoted to etymology.) In this case, we can't pin down local and temporal variation, AFAICT.
This is a bit maddening. If we said they were all synonymous (" ~ "), we would be going slightly farther than other dictionaries, who seem to say "dockworker" ~ "longshoreman" and "longshoreman" ~ "stevedore", but not "dockworker" ~ "stevedore". Personally, I don't really get "longshoreman" ~ "stevedore". I would say that a careful user might look at the etymology of stevedore and use it more specifically, but users aren't that careful and we seem inclined to downgrade Etymology in out discussions of layout.
Before I was chastised for violating WT:ELE by putting "See also" immediately after the several semantic relations headings, I would have put "stevedore" there on the entries for "dockworker" and "longshoreman" (and both of them as CTs for "stevedore"), in accordance with Wiktionary:Semantic relations. The best I can think of is to include "stevedore" under the Coordinate terms header. A cautionary usage note about local and temporal variation might help too. DCDuring TALK 11:33, 10 May 2010 (UTC)


Surely a misspelling? Equinox 19:40, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Almost always a misspelling. At ~1% at Groups, less than 0.2% on the Web, and less in edited works, I wouldn't call it common.
Once in a great while used in reference to w:Dizzy Dean#Broadcasting, baseball pitcher and malaproping sportscaster. "He shouldn't hadn't ought-a swang!" and "slud" as past of slide are two of his. DCDuring TALK 23:11, 10 May 2010 (UTC)


Is it really pejorative? Equinox 21:49, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Not inherently a pejorative. Often used as a disclaimer. OTOH the definition is pejorative. I can't be sure that I ever heard guesstimation, though I've often heard guesstimate. Let me check on usage. DCDuring TALK 22:41, 10 May 2010 (UTC)
Much scholarly literature mentions it, sometimes as a way to select a starting point for iterative methods. I have inserted a definition. The "often" portion may not be dictionary-worthy. DCDuring TALK 22:54, 10 May 2010 (UTC)

Greek mythology

Moved from requests for verification by Mglovesfun (talk)

This entry was not created yet; I'd like to, but I'm in doubt on whether it would be sum-of-parts or not. --Daniel. 20:03, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

Me too. I'd tend to say yes, unfortunately. Mglovesfun (talk) 20:16, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
That is tricky. It certainly is sum of parts, as one could as easily say Incan mythology or Persian mythology, but I think that the average English-speaking person really only knows Greek mythology, and so "Greek" is the only word which one ever hears preceding mythology. Consequently, Greek mythology collocates much more easily than the two examples I've given. I'd say that this might merit existence, but can't be created until we get some more subtle inclusion policies. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 12:32, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Well, we have Latin script, Western astrology, Greek salad and Romanian alphabet, for comparison. I think a Wiktionary entry with a little explanation about that particular mythology could be helpful. --Daniel. 19:48, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Wikipedia explains mythologies. We explain words. This is two words, and putting them together creates no special meaning. (Of your examples, only Greek salad warrants inclusion, although it is certainly not defined by where the salad is liked.) Michael Z. 2010-05-15 05:37 z
I'd also not consider Greek salad defined by where it is liked; rather, by the set of components as it is considered in English. Therefore, I think that both Greek salad and Greek mythology warrant inclusion: Greek salad is a meal made with tomatoes, cucumber, olives, etc. and may conceivably be called as such in any place of the world; Greek mythology is the set of literature and religion that includes certain gods, titans, heroes, etc. also anywhere, including modern interpretations. For instance, there is the fact that modern people often consider Greek mythology and Roman mythology quite the same thing, going far as to name "Zeus" and "Hercules" as beings from the same universe; when, more precisely, Zeus/Herakles are Greek and Jupiter/Hercules are Roman. --Daniel. 06:30, 15 May 2010 (UTC)
Isn't Greek mythology the mythology of the Greeks? Greek salad does come from Greek cuisine, but in English it is defined at least as much by its recipe as its history (I would guess that other salads come from Greece too). Michael Z. 2010-05-15 06:36 z


Could someone who understands pronunciation straighten out nonce. There are three lines, the second and third indented under the first, and the first and second/third are using different conventions for formatting the pronunciation text. -- dougher 02:38, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

gay marriage, gay wedding

Aren't these really SoP? Mglovesfun (talk) 10:33, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Probably. BTW, I found this from 1858: "It was a gay wedding, a very gay one; perhaps a New-Englander might have called it too gay." Equinox 12:10, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I think so, though [[gay]] seems to be missing the relevant sense of gay. (Note that their entries define them wrongly — it's not a "gay marriage" when a gay man marries a gay woman, and conversely, it is a "gay marriage" when two bi men get married.) But gay marry is probably not. —RuakhTALK 15:09, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
I think gay marry is deliberately nonstandard, which makes it dictionary-worthy IMO. BTW Equinox, reading Anna Karenin your quote reminds me of such classic lines as "she placed her hand in her muff". Mglovesfun (talk) 15:23, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

smack one's lips

What do you do when you smack your lips? Do you always put your hand to your lips, or can it be without the hand? Is this the same as French clapper#French (French-French dictionary defines it as "produce a sharp sound with the tongue by bringing it sharply off the palate"? I assume it's a US term too --Rising Sun talk? contributions 10:46, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

No hands. I don't think clapper translates as smack one's lips. Does the sound for clapper occur when the tongue hits the bottom of the mouth? Does it involve creating a seal briefly between the palate and the tongue and produce a relatively deep and loud sound? I don't know of an English word for that.
To smack one's lips explicitly involves motion of the lips and doesn't involve the tongue as much. It is more or less a cross between an air kiss or smooch and the sound whose production I try to describe above. DCDuring TALK 11:11, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
I'm trying to find some videos of "clappement"s - it might be tutting, or maybe clicking (like the weird clicky African languages). Wikipedia:Palatal clicks looks pretty close to what TLFi defines it as, but I don't know anything about clicky African sounds. --Rising Sun talk? contributions 11:23, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
From the TLFi def, I'd say yes, it means to produce a click. The definition seems to define a palatal click (or perhaps a lateral click — English "to cluck (one's tongue)"), but the 1925 quotation talks about carps clapper-ing their fat lips, where I would definitely prefer "smack" to "cluck". —RuakhTALK 18:44, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
It's ʘ, no?​—msh210 17:38, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
I know that this is translated into Norwegian as smatte, which in Norwegian certainly does include tongue involvement. I know this, if anything, befuddles the issue, but I thought it relevant to mention. __meco 18:16, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Dictionaries that define this never mention the tongue or clicking sounds. Some just have the figurative sense of an expression of enjoyment of pleasurable anticipation. Also, see smack. DCDuring TALK 16:03, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
To smack one's lips is to press them together and open them quickly as if eating or tasting, thus producing the sound of eating, and is an extension smack meaning to taste. So smacking one's lips = tasting one's lips (in its original sense) Leasnam 15:01, 1 June 2010 (UTC).
I would have expected dictionaries to manage to express this if such were the case. DCDuring TALK 16:52, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Yes, and many do. Looking online at several, one being Merriam-Webster (" 1 : to close and open (lips) noisily and often in rapid succession especially in eating"); American Heritage says "1. To press together and open (the lips) quickly and noisily, as in eating or tasting." Leasnam 19:25, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
To clarify, those are definitions of smack. “smack one's lips” is descriptively redundant. Michael Z. 2010-06-07 18:27 z

make like, make like a

there's scope for such an entry. No idea how best to do it. What I mean to say is: let's make like an entry and define...hmmm --Rising Sun talk? contributions 11:07, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

"Let's make like a banana and split" Get it? (banana split). From WIWAL.
It is something like "act like" or "behave like". DCDuring TALK 11:20, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes, or even "do like" Leasnam 20:41, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

europhile, Europhile

Per previous debates on anglo-/Anglo-, what's the most common capitalization for all these euro- words? As pointed out ad nauseam, Google Book doesn't really bother with capitalization or diacritics, it just ignores them. Mglovesfun (talk) 11:18, 12 May 2010 (UTC)

Americancorpus.org and natcorp.ox.ac.uk have a very small sample, but it's all capitalized. Scan through the first few pages of Google books results for another randomish sample. If you see a trend, then it's your best evidence so far. OED's four citations are also capitalized.
Don't assume that other Euro- words are capitalized the same way (although it looks like a good bet that most are). Michael Z. 2010-06-01 21:42 z

cameth, comest

We have camest and cometh but not these two, which seem well attested. I'd probably screw up the tenses, so perhaps someone else would be good enough. Equinox 22:45, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Of note we have {{archaic-verb-form}} for this, if someone could be bothered adding it. Mglovesfun (talk) 16:54, 20 May 2010 (UTC)
Comest exists (eg. thou comest), but not cameth. The form of the third person singular past indicative of come was simply came (eg. he came), even in older forms of English like Middle English. I do see that it is attested in Google books, and looks to represent either an erroneous, (hypercorrect) attempt at an archaicism, or a scanno for cometh. Leasnam 19:19, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

on one's tod

This should be linked from tod but I don't know if it is a derived term (if so which etymology), or should it be a see also (for either etymology in particular?)? Thryduulf (talk) 23:29, 13 May 2010 (UTC)

Is it really used as meaning "alone". It is not "by one's own wits"? If the second, then the etymology would be clear. DCDuring TALK 15:55, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Compact OED says ety is rhyming slang after w:Tod Sloan (jockey. The WP article has the same story. DCDuring TALK 16:02, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
I can confirm that in BrE it definitely means "alone". 02:02, 27 May 2010 (UTC).

the wheels fell off

Also the wheels came off. This is a fairly common metaphor. Unfortunately for our presentation of it, it is not a set phrase (eg, "the wheels finally appear to be coming off", "keep the wheels from falling completely off", "The wheels were falling off the Bush administration"). It conjugates and may or may not take an object. Any recommendations or preferences? DCDuring TALK 15:52, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

This is lexically similar to the metaphor the shit hits the fan, which I wanted to add. I don't quite that definitions for shit and hit the fan are quite apt. Like During's example, having extra definitions for wheels and fall off doesn't quite seem right. --Rising Sun talk? contributions 19:31, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Can't we treat these as verbs? The shit hit the fan can be treated as an intransitive verb, with future (the shit will hit the fan), etc. I'm not saying we should list it as a ===Verb===, just that we should rediret it the way we do phrasal verbs: hard redirect from other forms.​—msh210 19:39, 14 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes. I guess we needn't feel compelled to show the incomplete "inflection" of such things.
I also dislike the "the", but use without "the" is probably rare. Omitting it would not have much effect on search results. OTOH the tense of the verb does. We should be able to omit auxiliaries and "not"/"'nt". Of course, under Wiktionary:Purpose#Users, if it's good enough for us, it's good enough for Wiktionary. DCDuring TALK 20:12, 14 May 2010 (UTC)

Is this a term or lexical unit in any sense? Have we started including metaphors, similes, analogies, in the dictionary? Doesn't Wikipedia already have a w: List of clichés? (Made you look.) Can someone provide a couple of citations so we can know what exactly this is? COCA has 6 instances, 5 of them literal; BNC has 2 literal ones. Michael Z. 2010-05-15 05:24 z

apéro géant

Been reading about a phenomenon sweeping France at the moment - the apéro géant (lit. giant aperitif). It's basically a flash mob where people meet up to drink in a public place. Is there an equivalent phrase in English? I'd translate it as public piss-up. To read more about it, here are some Anglophone publications' version of events. independent and france24. --Rising Sun talk? contributions 09:08, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

I am horny

This one has occurred to me when I was editing a list of terms that contained I am hungry, I am tired and I am thirsty. How useful would be a phrasebook entry to convey sexual arousal? It could increase world's population, perhaps. --Daniel. 23:31, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

There are many, many more Google hits for "I'm horny", and understandably so. I mean, who would say such an informal phrase without a contraction? As for whether such a phrase is really needed on Wiktionary, I'm not so sure. We seem to be opening the floodgates more and more to sentence translation whilst so many basic words and concepts still need work on. ---> Tooironic 01:45, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
Agreed; I'm horny is conceivably more common than I am horny. Similarly, perhaps I'm thirsty, I'm hungry and I'm tired would be better choices for English phrasebook entries than the current ones. --Daniel. 06:53, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
Do we need a context label for {{tasteless}} or {{hopeless pick-up line}}? Shouldn't the phrasebook stick to advisable phrases, or shall we add another entry, for I am unarmed and alone; where can I exchange these large amounts of cash? Michael Z. 2010-05-16 06:28 z
Nah, I am unarmed and alone; where can I exchange these large amounts of cash? is too complex. On the subject of phrases that pose threat to someone, my favourite possible phrasebook entry would probably be hands up! I think the context label for {{tasteless}} is a good idea, though, but it would often overlap {{vulgar}}. --Daniel. 06:53, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
  • I for one would be delighted to see us branch into sentence translation. It's another way of us kicking other online dictionaries in the balls. --Rising Sun talk? contributions 11:45, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
    Apparently, the creation and maintenance of sentence translations is already, though slowly, becoming a quite popular project, which I approve too. In my opinion, which is quite contrary to what Tooironic said on this subject, the apparent lack of basic entries or concepts is by no means an inherent reason to avoid full sentences and their translations. --Daniel. 12:17, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
    Phrasebook needs to be kept separate from dictionary. They aren't the same thing. Equinox 12:18, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
    Not exactly. "Phrasebook" is a considerably subjective criterion of inclusion for terms to the dictionary; it is a mixture of commonness, usefulness and simplicity. Anyway, it is part of the dictionary. --Daniel. 12:29, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
  • That line has worked for me. Perhaps it just needs {{intimate}}, a register category often used by linguistics. DCDuring TALK 12:09, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
    Good idea. --Daniel. 12:29, 16 May 2010 (UTC)
I just don't think it is common and basic enough to warrant a Phrasebook entry. Even the idea of "horniness" is not linguistically universal (unlike, "hungry", "thirsty", etc). If we accept I am horny, we accept something less common next time, then before you know it Wiktionary has become a sentence database. ---> Tooironic 08:06, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
What operational criteria should we have for phrasebook entries? No one has made a proposal AFAICT. DCDuring TALK 09:07, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
I think the idea of a "sentence database" is not bad, if it can follow certain guidelines; apparently, currently we have the general idiomaticity or the phrasebook's considerably subjective usefulness, simplicity, etc. which may be found at WT:PB. On the horniness issue, perhaps I'm aroused would fit better a definition of "linguistically universal" which includes "I'm thirsty" and "I'm hungry". --Daniel. 09:37, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Perhaps, if attested, with {{formal}}. DCDuring TALK 09:42, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes, except that this is a rather informal situation, as Tooironic pointed out. By the way, I created the I'm horny, with an "intimate" context label. --Daniel. 09:49, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
"I am aroused" is not something that I could imagine people actually saying. "Me so horny" would be more attestable for the kind of usage I think we are discussing. DCDuring TALK 10:11, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

face as an adjective (=favorite?)

I have seen face used as an adjective, and it is not in Wiktionary. For instance: "My face app is <some mobile application>" or "my face app ever" or "My face app at the moment and is free to download from App Store". I searched Google in association with "app", but I guess it applies to other things than applications too. Does it mean "favorite" ? Thanks! Nicolas1981 01:13, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

I could be wrong, but it looks as if a "face app" is an app that enables a user to play around with images of faces. An example is the now-banned Jesus face app (called Me So Holy) that enabled a user to insert the user's (or any) face into an iconic image of Jesus.
Just about any English noun can be used "attributively" is this way. We follow the practice of all dictionaries of not showing adjectival definitions that would repeat the noun definitions in slightly reworded form. Common examples of "face" being used attributively are "face powder", "face card", "face recognition", "face validity", "face mask", "face value", "face cream", "face paint", "face lotion", "face lift". DCDuring TALK 01:41, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
google:"my face app" pulls up some examples of what you mean, but it seems to be quite rare. I'm inclined to interpret it as a typo for "my fave app" (note that 'c' and 'v' are adjacent on the keyboard, and "face" is a much more common word than "fave"), but perhaps I'm wrong. But even if it is intentional, I really doubt it will meet our criteria for inclusion, which depend on durably archived uses over at least a year. Rare Internet-isms don't usually make the cut. —RuakhTALK 01:49, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
That makes sense of Nicholas's example 2. You are probably right. DCDuring TALK 03:24, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

spasmolytic and antispasmolytic

As far as I can make out - these two words mean the same thing. Is that possible? If so, is there a word that describes anti- terms that that have the same meaning as the apparent antonym? SemperBlotto 07:34, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

This doesn't exactly answer your question, but see category:Contranyms.​—msh210 17:11, 17 May 2010 (UTC)


Our ety says marmalade and pulverize. Is it likely that pulverize is the real origin of the -ize, and it isn't merely the typical suffix being added? Equinox 19:26, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

I'd got for marmalade +‎ -ize. Also, which since of to thrash? The way it's written, the two definitions could be the same. Mglovesfun (talk) 16:46, 20 May 2010 (UTC)


The noun and verb are shown as coming from different inflections of the same Middle English word. I'm guessing this means that the verb sense split from the noun sense (or vice versa) in Middle English and have since undergone the same transition into modern English where the vast reduction in inflections has resulted in the two having the same spelling.

Should the noun and verb therefore be given separate etymology sections rather than the combined treatment they currently receive? My inclination is that they should, but I'm not completely certain. Thryduulf (talk) 20:23, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

put to use

Does this merit its own entry? There are a few hits for it on OneLook. ---> Tooironic 23:46, 18 May 2010 (UTC)

Good find, IMO. RHU+McGraw-Hill Idioms+Wordnet. That's enough lemmings for me. (Wordnet alone is not enough for me.) A learner might even get the pronunciation wrong. Should it be put something to use? The usage examples or redirects should include "put it to good use", IMO.
On COCA 78 hits for "[put] * to use" (* = "it": 48; "them": 18); 46 for "[put] * to good use". DCDuring TALK 01:40, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
OK, added. Someone skillful add IPA. Cheers. ---> Tooironic 12:52, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

natural satellite

Is natural satellite sum-of-parts? I'm not sure about these particular English words; they seem an individual noun to me, although it may conceivably be defined as merely "A satellite that is natural." --Daniel. 00:32, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

Yup, sum-of-parts, in contrast to an artificial satelliteMichael Z. 2010-05-19 01:16 z
Natural [noun] can mean a [noun] that's found in nature (as natural sweetener) or a [noun] that naturally fits into the class expressed by the word [noun] (as natural athlete). (We should have these as two senses of natural, and I'll check after posting this.) Both senses collocate with many nouns, and we should not have those collocations.​—msh210 15:16, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
We don't have any sense of natural that works in "natural athlete", but actually I'm not sure how to word it, so am not now adding it. We do, incidentally, seem to have redundant senses: "Without artificial additives" and "Without, or prior to, modification or adjustment".​—msh210 15:23, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

frisbee trademark

The etymology of frisbee says that it is "A trademark of the 1950s." So it's still trademarked somewhere? Shouldn't this information be on that entry? Or it is too obvious, or perhaps outside the scope of Wiktionary? --Daniel. 07:21, 19 May 2010 (UTC)

I don't think we are capable of providing accurate information about the validity, currency, and scope of trademarks. DCDuring TALK 08:59, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
We try to note trademark status in a label or Usage section; one click from the entry to Wikipedia gives that information in paragraph 2, and a correct etymology. Michael Z. 2010-05-19 15:40 z
Why should we carry the water of possible trademark owners? I don't trust WP to give timely and accurate information of global applicability, not would I trust the owner or a purported representative of the owner of the alleged trademark. A user could follow the WP links to try to determine current trademark status in a jurisdiction of interest. It is much easier to say that a term is derived from a product, service or company name (which is a durable truth) than that the trademark is valid (a temporary truth). From what I see of our contributor base, no one seems likely to volunteer to validate 50 propositions of the form "X is a trademark". DCDuring TALK 16:49, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
I am surprised that you are taking a prescriptive stance with respect to purported trademarks. How are trademark prescriptions more worthy of respect than, say, international standards. DCDuring TALK 17:07, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
Good questions. I believe dictionaries identify trade names to help avoid lawsuits, which trademark holders might be obligated to pursue to protect their registered names. Should Wiktionary do the same, to stay out of US civil courts? Should Wiktionary inform its worldwide readers so they can steer clear of such problems? Are these important usage considerations? Michael Z. 2010-05-19 17:27 z
There's a clear difference in the status of zipper and Frisbee, for example. Michael Z. 2010-05-19 17:29 z
There are some lawsuits that the trademark holders have already lost and some that will be lost. I think the Frisbee folks are fighting a rear-guard action, visible in the dictionaries that have caved in. I never played Frisbee; I played frisbee, possibly using a Frisbee. We can document all the partial genericization that occurs in print (where is sometimes isn't caught by editors) and, even more so, on Usenet. (BTW looking at first 3 pages of google groups gives 18 lower-case, 4 upper-case, 8 indeterminate [titles, all caps, personal surnames, other names.) Perhaps we should make mandatory citation of brand-name-derived terms before an entry is made for them. That way we need never take our marching orders from intellectual-property attorneys. DCDuring TALK 22:40, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
I emailed the BIC corporation to ask them about biro, and they replied to confirm that it was a trademark. I think the template used there politely acknowledges the trademark's owner without making it sound like we are being forced into anything - but then I wrote the template :). Conrad.Irwin 22:45, 19 May 2010 (UTC)
I think we should try to mention current registered status for words which originate from the trademark, but there's no need to draw extra attention or be repetitive in this. (The template in biro looks good, although I would dispense with bold font in the trade name, because that needlessly draws the eye from across the page.) In others, the former history may constitute an interesting part of the etymology (e.g. zipper). We should not mark such terms with ™, ©, or ® – these are for the use of trademark owners to protect their own names. Michael Z. 2010-05-20 00:59 z

lemon platt

A nonce term, occurring only in the cited Joyce work. Our definition is "lemon-tasting sweets", which doesn't say that much. Don Gifford's notes explain further: "Candy made of plaited sticks of lemon-flavored barley sugar" (hence the platt, probably misspelled because the narrator is supposed to be a very young child). I wonder if we can improve the entry. Equinox 12:18, 20 May 2010 (UTC)


I believe the English entry childish may be improved. Currently, it contains the following definition:

According to my tests, if one follows links from immaturely to related definitions, he basically finds mature, maturity, immaturity, which links to themselves, back to childish and occasionaly also youth. These definitions would hardly enlighten someone, unless the reader also know what is childish; then, I have some questions to ask:

Should we provide information on what is expected from a childish person? I'd say this term is mostly derogatory, implying characteristics such as perhaps, dependant, indecise, whiner. Or would these characteristics be prescriptive if written in Wiktionary, since there are kids without them and there are different cultural perceptions of maturity? --Daniel. 13:11, 20 May 2010 (UTC)


My definition is frankly shit. Can anyone improve it? Equinox 19:03, 20 May 2010 (UTC)

don't shoot the messenger

This is the WOTD entry, and while researching the etymology on b.g.c, I found that I could not track down any uses prior to 1961 (The Eastern Economist 1961, and The Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, Volume 3, 1962). These earliest two citations seem both to be in the context of economics, which surprised me. Note that the 1962 use is a reference to the 1961 use, so the 1961 just might be the coinage of the expression. However, the b.g.c content for the 1961 item is restricted, so I can't get the quote myself. --EncycloPetey 04:17, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

I can find earlier cites for shoot the messenger and earlier yet for kill the messenger, but not for "don't kill/shoot the messenger". From the number of stories, being a messenger was not a good job, but there were moral and other sanctions that sometimes protected messengers. There may be sermons that build on the similar job experience of the prophets in Israel that use different forms (ie, a different set phrase or not a set phrase at all). DCDuring TALK 23:16, 21 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I can find the concept of punishing messengers as far back as Shakespeare. My point is this seems to have turned into a proverb comparatively recently. There is an amorphous phrase around prior to this proverb, but this form seems to have crystalized into a common expression whose development we may be able to elucidate. --EncycloPetey 01:39, 22 May 2010 (UTC)


I seem to have recall that to pack also used to mean being well-endowed, well-hung this perhaps back in the 70s when tight jeans would make the protuberance or the bulge much more visible in young men's pants. The expression in this meaning would be used to characterize someone with such a bulge. __meco 16:45, 21 May 2010 (UTC)

I should hasten to make clear that the use would be intransitive, i.e. "he's packin'". __meco 09:05, 22 May 2010 (UTC)


I think we are missing a sense here, as in, "He turned up late again - Figures!" I suppose this would be an interjection use? ---> Tooironic 01:41, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

I'm not sure. For me, it's just a shortened version of "it figures". Probably be better off with another definition at figure - # to make sense. --Rising Sun talk? contributions 09:09, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
IMHO it figures merits an entry. Cambridge Adv Lrns and McGrawHill have it as a separate entry. It is not clear to me that there is a sense of figure for the sense here that exists apart from this term (and also "that figures", which might be a useful redirect). I don't think that a normal noun phrase is common as subject with this sense of "figures". Consider: "That spoiled kid got a new car for graduation." / "A car! It figures!" (not *"A car figures!") DCDuring TALK 11:05, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
"That he got a new car figures" sounds right to me, but Google Web brings up no relevant hits for "did so figures" or "might have figures", so maybe that it sounds right to me just means I'm weird.​—msh210 15:11, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

all in

Looks to me like we don't have many poker players. My issues, as I see them

  1. The example of the adjective is adverbial, surely go all in, move all in and push all in are clearly adverbial
  2. The adjectival use of all in player is just the noun used attributively. Although come to think of it, I think all in can be qualified by an adverb (absolutely all in) so therefore It'd meet CFI right?
  3. Noun sense two, can anyone confirm that a person can be described as a all in? Mglovesfun (talk) 12:40, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree that there is adverbial usage, but there may also be predicate (adjectival) usage: "He was all in on that hand." DCDuring TALK 15:28, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I thought of that. Hence all three (adj, adv and noun) are valid, right? Mglovesfun (talk) 15:56, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
But I'm not sure how to define the adverb. It's a bit like our cricket terms hit wicket et al. (to be out hit wicket, to be out caught behind). Mglovesfun (talk) 15:59, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
In the absence of either personal experience or real usage examples, it is hard to come to a conclusion. DCDuring TALK 19:27, 22 May 2010 (UTC)
The main sort of collocations you'd get are:
  1. go all in
  2. move all in
  3. push all in
  4. shove all in
All meaning the same thing, to put all of one's chips in the middle of the table as a bet. Probably needs a 'non-gloss defintion'. Mglovesfun (talk) 20:45, 22 May 2010 (UTC)


This is shown as an English term. It is an obsolete taxonomic term. Should it be Translingual? Should it be categorized as a taxonomic name? DCDuring TALK 19:25, 22 May 2010 (UTC)

Yes, it's an obsolete order name, and so should be Translingual and capitalized as Abdominales. --EncycloPetey 19:29, 22 May 2010 (UTC)


Any ballerinas here fancy defining jete (some gay little jump)? And maybe grand jete (a super-gay jump) --Rising Sun talk? contributions 12:13, 23 May 2010 (UTC)


"A terrorist bomb attack on an airplane." Is this okay as a dict entry? Reminds me of things like "the Marilyn Monroes of the world". Equinox 19:28, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

And that's why we have Marilyn Monroe. :-) -- Visviva 19:53, 23 May 2010 (UTC)
This is an allusive common noun; it alludes to a specific event, but has no generic meaning in English. It only conveys information to those familiar with the event. It shouldn't be in the dictionary, no matter how many Equinoxes and Visvivas discuss it. Unfortunately, our guidelines are vague on the subject, and if I bring it to RFD or RFV, it will soon be “attested” by some Encyclopetey or other. Michael Z. 2010-05-24 16:24 z
It would help if you explained why you believe these don't belong in the dictionary. It seems to me that "only conveys information to those familiar with the concept" is a description of something that does belong in a dictionary. Occasional learned exceptions aside, terms are normally used in language because there is an assumption that the interlocutor will understand them. Dictionaries exist chiefly for the benefit of those not already initiated into that particular code. It is not obvious to me why this reasoning would apply less to bywords than to other words. Indeed, I would say that there is a stronger case that someone fluent enough to use an English-English dictionary would need to look up "Lockerbies" than that such a person would need to look up, e.g., "bombings". -- Visviva 18:19, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
I didn't write “the concept.” Lockerbie is not a concept, it is a specific event. The name, used here as a common noun, only has this meaning to people familiar with the event, the actual thing. (We see it quoted in one book, aimed at a specific audience in a specific time, in the preface of a book which explains what the thing is more than once, firstly on page 5.) It is not a “code,” but a name, and one can easily be initiated into it at google: Lockerbie, or w: Lockerbie.
Teapot Dome used to appear in dictionaries too, but it turned out that it wasn't an English word, either. Michael Z. 2010-05-25 05:23 z
I would prefer that these sorts of words be treated as proper nouns rather than common ones -- since, as you say, they are not really being used as generic terms -- but only if that does not become a pretext for their exclusion. -- Visviva 18:19, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
We had this debate before, and some good points against terms like this were raised. Can anyone remember what it was? Possibly the name of an American president? Equinox 19:14, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
Per wt: CFI#Names_of_specific_entities, the minimum requirement is 3 quotations, used as an attributive noun, and “with a widely understood meaning.” Unfortunately, the first bit is often misinterpreted as meaning “having meaning,” and the last bit is vaguely written and often misinterpreted as meaning “having meaning,” so if someone really wants this to appear in Wiktionary they can easily “attest” it and I am wasting keystrokes. Michael Z. 2010-05-25 05:23 z

good form and bad form

Though I created one of them, I'm tempted to delete both of them. They are probably sum of parts and certainly aren't fixed phrases. Moreover, they do mean more than we have defined so far. For instance, we are missing the sense of, "The athlete is in good form this year." - but this could easily be replaced by "top form", "great form", "terrific form", etc. Thus we should probably just ensure we have adequate definitions at form. Ideas? ---> Tooironic 23:26, 23 May 2010 (UTC)

Lemmings have these. We are also in need of many senses of form. Ours are missing even senses from Websters 1913. DCDuring TALK 01:32, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

on holiday/on vacation

is there scope for such entries? --Rising Sun talk? contributions 08:40, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

No. It's on + whatever.​—msh210 18:00, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

stroke of luck

Is this worthy of an entry or SoP? ---> Tooironic 12:56, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

Wait, probably not. Can be replaced by "stroke of misfortune", "stroke of insight", etc. ---> Tooironic 01:48, 30 May 2010 (UTC)


All of the derived terms given were not formed this way (e.g. putting -ishness on girl), but by -ish first (girlish) and then -ness on top of that. Should the entry remain? Equinox 19:12, 24 May 2010 (UTC)

It seems like an RfV thing. Someone would need to show that there are instances of it being applied as a unit, ie, without the intervening step. I wouldn't be surprised if there were, but I am suspicious of the particular unattested "derived terms" shown. DCDuring TALK 20:03, 24 May 2010 (UTC)
Is there any case where a form with -ish is rare but one with -ishness is common? If so, it is worth listing. A similar example is un- -able, which has no article yet. Unsinkable and untouchable are common but sinkable and touchable are rare. - TAKASUGI Shinji (talk) 09:49, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
You can add breakable/unbreakable to that list, as although the former isn't as rare as some, either fragile or delicate is used significantly preferentially. Thryduulf (talk) 16:13, 1 June 2010 (UTC)


Hm, how does this not meet CFI? Citations:protologism has enough, doesn't it? --Yair rand (talk) 01:06, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Different kinds of citation too. Some refer to WMF projects, some do not (or not overtly). Restored, it does say 'do not reenter without valid citations'. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:14, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Just for reference, the verification is at [4].​—msh210 16:48, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

Character confusion


Are these two characters completely identical in appearance, or am I missing something?


This confused the heck out of me, as I landed at the former, obscure meaning when, as I finally realised, I actually wanted the second, commonplace one. I think we should put a prominent cross-reference between these pages, but I'd rather someone who actually knew something about the subject did it, in case I am getting confused. 01:55, 25 May 2010 (UTC).

is indeed quite obscure, whilst mèi is commonplace, e.g., in 妹妹 mèimei. They are actually different characters though - has a longer line at the top. I think the see also tag at the top is suffice to show people they are two different characters. ---> Tooironic 03:10, 25 May 2010 (UTC)

Top-level domains

Entries like .uk and .aq seem wrongly named to me. The dot is not part of the top-level domain; it just happens to occur before it when used as part of a full site address. I would expect to see them at uk, aq, etc. Equinox 08:35, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

Redirects from the dotted forms might be workable. It sounds like a "bottable" task. Equinox 11:06, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
I disagree. Do you say an internet business is a com or a net? It's dot-com or dot-net, as spoken. The dots should remain. bd2412 T 11:55, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
I am talking about the country codes, not the special exception dotcom. Nor am I talking about nouns (a dotcom) but the abbreviations. In the address example.co.uk, the components are co and uk and the dots are merely separators. Equinox 11:59, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree with Equinox here. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:08, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
I wouldn't have thought that this was a matter of opinion. It seems simply empirical. DCDuring TALK 14:08, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
You mean by checking for usage? Yes, but good luck as I think Google searches will remove the . automatically. Mglovesfun (talk) 14:11, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Horses for courses: "a .com" appears 5 times and ".coms" once in COCA. As I don't see how speech provides any indication of the orthographic distinctions under discussion, I discount the two instances that are transcriptions of speech (television). DCDuring TALK 14:20, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Seems to me that everybody is right. If we're defining these as TLDs, without a requirement for citation, then per Equinox they should be without the dot. If we're defining them as actually used, then per DCD and BD, they should probably have the dot -- but we probably shouldn't have most of them at all, and certainly not as Translingual. At the moment most of these are simply defined as translingual TLDs, so the dot seems best dispensed with (though this is a case where redirects would be meritorious IMO). I don't see any particular problem with having a Translingual entry for the "com" TLD, and an English entry for the noun ".com" (qua alternative spelling). -- Visviva 15:29, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

I'm not crazy about the way these technical codes are just tossed in to the dictionary straight out of prescriptive references. Didn't we already have this talk about “terms” like ISO 3166-1? if you need a clue that there's a problem here, it's the big, fat Wikipedia-style “nav-box,” at the bottom of each entry, which has zip to do with lexicology. Don't make me come over there and RFV all of these!

Anyway, it's pretty obvious that the dot is part of the name. The domain is called dot com or .com, not com. If you think otherwise, show me the citations. Michael Z. 2010-06-01 00:43 z

sex on a stick

and sex on legs. These look more like adjectives to me. --Rising Sun talk? contributions 12:02, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

A bit of an odd construction. I'd go for an uncountable noun, a bit like "glass is sand", that wouldn't justify an adjective entry for sand. Good question though. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:07, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Does not seem adjectival to me. "How sex on a stick is she?" Equinox 12:12, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
Also, the term is headed by a noun. DCDuring TALK 14:07, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
[Trait] on a stick is used to mean an exemplar of [trait], as coolness on a stick. Of course, sex isn't a trait, so perhaps this isn't SOP: are there other examples like this?​—msh210 16:38, 26 May 2010 (UTC)
lol, the entry [[on a stick]] is terrible. FWIW, I've heard fit on a stick in discos before, meaning "very attractive", though I assume it has spitroast connotations. Google doesn't help much with that term though, so the question remains at hand--Rising Sun talk? contributions 23:41, 26 May 2010 (UTC)


What's the term for the science/art/process of finding a flaw in everything? Logically it'd be flawology, but that doesn't exist. --Rising Sun talk? contributions 23:43, 26 May 2010 (UTC)

Mmmm... hypercriticalness? ---> Tooironic 12:58, 27 May 2010 (UTC)
That'll do, thanks. nit-picking was also close the term, but I think there's another fancy idiom out there meaning "to excessively pick holes in an argument", with reference to a literal hole-maker. --Rising Sun talk? contributions 11:45, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Circular etymology

Hi there, I just noticed that etymology 1 at bags says "From bagsy", but the etymology at bagsy just refers back to bags. Unfortunately I cannot fix this as I do not know the proper etymology. 23:53, 26 May 2010 (UTC).


We should probably say what a Sulphur Recovery Unit is. --Rising Sun talk? contributions 23:55, 26 May 2010 (UTC)


Verb sense 3 is "to be misled in a jocular or teasing manner", but the example sentences seem to show "lend" functioning as a noun. It does not appear to make sense. I do not know this meaning at all, so I don't feel confident about trying to fix it. 02:29, 27 May 2010 (UTC).


Isn't this a misunderstanding of the trademark Fairtrade? It's in one or two books without the capital letter, but very few. Equinox 18:07, 27 May 2010 (UTC)


Native English speaker needed to control my translation of the quote. I think the English translation of this book is available somewhere on the net. H. (talk) 08:49, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

I suspect this entry really belongs under "philistine. That being said :
The word colorings may be culturally different, but I'll offer "from the homely, the pedantic, the philistine." In the US "home baked" has a generally positive connotation (better than mass produced goods), while "homespun" serves as our "negative" term (worse than as mass produced goods). Another option might be "half-baked" which carries the undertone of "inadequately considered" and might match well with the other terms... 17:58, 28 July 2010 (UTC)


The etymology section of this entry provides an excellent example of an apparently high-quality etymology. It also provides an example of why our presentation of such an in-depth etymology does not necessarily serve the most common needs of users, IMHO.

Does anyone have any ideas for improving this presentation within our existing practice?

  1. How should the elements now numbered appear?
  2. Should some of the cognates appear only at entries for the ancestor terms?
  3. Are there any parts that could appear "beneath" a "show/hide"?

-- DCDuring TALK 13:03, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

This is a little tricky. It would be simpler if we had an entry for the Old English etymon, in which case I would argue that the etymology should go to that entry, and then stop. It would also be simpler if we had an entry for the Proto-Germanic etymon, and the PIE as well. However, we don't. Unfortunately, the etymology, as it stands, while very informative, is an unparsable mess. Very, very few people would be able to look at that and glean much. I suppose what we could do is have the standard list "From late Middle English yanen, yonen, from Old English ġānian (“‘to yawn, gape’”), from Proto-Germanic *ʒānōjanan from Proto-Indo-European *g̑hih₁-nehₐ" displayed at first, with lists of cognates as additional, hidden information. This would probably make things a lot cleaner. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 00:16, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
On a more general point, we do seem to get a bit carried away with lists of cognates in some entries. I've been idly musing for some while about something like a the collapseable tans-tables for them. Organised possibly by the etymon through which (or with which) the words are cognate. Thryduulf (talk) 01:47, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Along those lines, what might be useful would be a template (or something) for cognates that enabled them to be displayed optionally. The advantage of such a thing is that it would allow the cognates to be displayed immediately following the etymon. Can templates be used to implement optional display of material as, say, a pop-up list with wikilinked elements?
Another possibility is for wikilinked terms within {{term}} to display etymological material from the entry for the term, probably the descendants, but possibly also glosses.
It is interesting that the user who elaborated the etymology seems to believe that we already have too much rigidity of format. Personally I think that we need consistency of format much more than we need to humor new editors, but it might be useful to think on how to facilitate learning our house style. DCDuring TALK 14:43, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Yes, it is most certainly possible, although it'll be a bit different from anything we've got so far. I finally figured out exactly how I want it to look last night, so give me a few days and I'll see if I can get it to work. As for our format, I've been scheming some grand schemes on that one. I think that we have two, mutually exacerbating, problems: Our code needs to become more complex, in order to handle all the information we really want to stuff into entries. Our code needs to become simpler, in order to make it easier to for folks to edit, and so we can stop being such slavedrivers and nagging everyone about formatting minutia. The solution, of course, is remove most editors from the code. Fruition on that will take rather longer. -Atelaes λάλει ἐμοί 21:02, 30 May 2010 (UTC)


Looking at the adverb, what's the different between 1. and 2.? Perhaps there is one, but the wording isn't helping IMO. Mglovesfun (talk) 16:17, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

It'd be wrong to say "if there were exclusively one more ticket" or "my heart is hers and no more than hers".​—msh210 15:16, 1 June 2010 (UTC)

sent down

Is the "etymology" reliable? Equinox 22:18, 29 May 2010 (UTC)

Totally wrong, it's just {{past of|send down}} and it's not only Irish. BTW do people use in the US and Canada? Mglovesfun (talk) 23:56, 29 May 2010 (UTC)
How could you know that the ety is wrong for "send down"? I could make an argument for the need for one etymology for each sense for this and for many other phrasal verbs. Alternatively, we could rely on corpora to provide early cites of each sense and dispense with an etymology section for these. DCDuring TALK 00:17, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
(Talking to me or to Equinox?) Well, I'm not disputing it's wrong for send down. By the looks of it, the person who was editing this thought they were editing send down and defined it as a verb (sents down, senting down, sented down). If the etymology were at send down, I wouldn't dispute it for a second. Mglovesfun (talk) 13:54, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

experience point / experience points

Don't you think it's weird to have the definition at the plural for what seems like no special reason? ---> Tooironic 00:06, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

No weirder than having the entry at all. DCDuring TALK 00:09, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
Well, it is at least a standard phrase for this kind of thing (hence the abbreviation XP). Equinox 21:04, 30 May 2010 (UTC)


The second 'definition' actually looks more like the exemplar passage for the first definition, or possibly the the translation of the following German passage?

Also, the usage notes for the present sense 3 (probably should be 2, see above) suggest that "dice" as a singular is more than just "colloquial", accepted as correct and standard by some authorities, just not universally so. Do we need a formality marking here or will the usage notes alone suffice? Thryduulf (talk) 01:59, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

I tried to fix the placement of the German original. See what you think...-- 22:39, 30 May 2010 (UTC)
The question of whether "a dice" is permissible for the older and more formal "a die" is confounded by the fact that many school text-books are pandering to popular usage and using "dice" for the singular. I think the battle is lost! Dbfirs 15:03, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
I'd say that's good enough evidence to remove the "colloquial" tag and leave it to the usage notes alone to convey the notes on usage. Any objections? Thryduulf (talk) 16:10, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Reluctantly, I have to agree. Do you need cites from text books in support? Dbfirs 19:36, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
They certainly wouldn't harm! Thryduulf (talk) 20:04, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
I've added some cites to a new citations page. I can find some more school text-books if necessary. I reduced my "correct English" comment to an aside when British text-books started using "dice" as the singular many years ago. Dbfirs 22:41, 8 June 2010 (UTC)


"To frown better than" probably isn't quite what this means. Is it to frown more deeply? Equinox 21:03, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

The current def. sounds about right. Can't you imagine two children competitively assessing each others' frowns: "That's not a real frown--I can outfrown you by a long shot."--
How about "to exceed in frowning"? I have added two modern quotes. There are a few older literary ones, including one from King Lear, apparently the earliest known. DCDuring TALK 00:30, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
There is also a potential temporal aspect, as in to outstare. Pingku 18:22, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
I think this is more of a "repeated coinage" based on several meanings of out- rather than a word which has a formal definition that immediately comes to mind (such as outlast or outrace), hence the difficulty of defining it. Circeus 20:56, 3 June 2010 (UTC)


This is glossed as a trademark. Can somebody confirm that it is a trademark, and not just a fan-made abbreviation? Equinox 23:11, 30 May 2010 (UTC)

According to Wikipedia, PSX is an unofficial (or temporary development) name for the Playstation. However, it is the name of another Sony product, a digital video recorder, but your entry is referring only to the Playstation. SpinningSpark 22:50, 31 May 2010 (UTC)


I believe the correct past for the skateboarding term is grinded. We should probably reshuffle the entry a bit.--Rising Sun talk? contributions 21:09, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Alphabetical order

In a paper dictionary, you can immediately look at adjacent words. This is a boon if you are unsure of spelling. The Farlex dictionary has a "word browser" at the foot of each entry. Could Wiktionary have some such facility? A reverse alpha search would be good too. And for crossword solvers, the ability to search by any arbitrary character position(s) would be the cherry on top. SpinningSpark 22:32, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

We have one. If you look in WT:PREFS you'll find how to do it --Rising Sun talk? contributions 22:39, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
Give me a clue what it's called. I can't find it. SpinningSpark 23:00, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
I think it is "Add links to previous and next pages." —Stephen 03:53, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I've tried that and it works, though it is not quite as good as the OED online adjacent entries. I suppose a "wildcard" search is not possible? Dbfirs 14:58, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
Has the time come to make this part of the default JS for the site? (And if so, then with which presentation: sidebar or sub-header? My preference is the latter, as that way things in the sidebar (below the previous/next links) are at a fixed height on all pages.)​—msh210 15:12, 1 June 2010 (UTC)
I wish there'd be a placeholder of the same size prior to the sub-header loading, though. I hate the whole page contents jumping down a line the moment it appears, and it often makes me click on the wrong thing. Equinox 12:27, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Right.​—msh210 16:56, 7 June 2010 (UTC)
It would be better at the bottom of the page. That would also allow more room to be taken (three columns of entries for instance). SpinningSpark 11:38, 11 June 2010 (UTC)
We also have Index:English, which allows one to see more than just the adjacent words, and which lists all words in English, but not words in other languages. --EncycloPetey 02:05, 4 June 2010 (UTC)
Why ever do these facilities not have more visibility. The index should be in the navigation box for goodness sake, it is almost the definition of a navigation tool. WT:PREFS is completely obscure, why is that not linked from "my preferences" where it can be found? On the wildcard searches, what is the procedure here for suggesting a development of a new feature? Does this need to go to Bugzilla for instance? SpinningSpark 11:38, 11 June 2010 (UTC)