Wiktionary:Tea room/2011/February

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February 2011

break one's heart

Anyone feeling like defining break one's heart? A phrase like "she broke my heart" suggests to me the rather specific case of one dating partner leaving the another one. A related entry: brokenhearted. --Dan Polansky 13:11, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

That would be break someone's heart, you don't often break your own heart. Mglovesfun (talk) 13:12, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

what is the meaning of the words "Swains" and "Errours"? [1]

what is the meaning of the words "Swains" and "Errours"? [2]thanks

thank you i just wasnt sure its the meaning.-- 09:13, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

come on along

This is a fairly common expression that is almost exclusively used in the imperative. It seems to be an ellipsis of "come on along with me/us". Does along normally means "along with us" outside of this expression? Is this sense of "come on" in come on#Interjection. I don't find it at come on#Verb. It seems like it might be a set phrase. DCDuring TALK 20:06, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

Is it different from come along? Along in come along means "with the speaker" whereas in bring along or take along it means "with oneself". I'm not sure it's a different meaning, though: it might just mean "with (some obvious reference point)".​—msh210 (talk) 19:22, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
It is obviously lexically distinct. As it is used mostly in the imperative it seemed to me to be a specialization of come on#Interjection by a sense of along#Adverb that roughly corresponds to one of ours that needs work. On reflection, "come on out", "come on down", "come on up", "come on over", "come on in", etc. are all "come on#Interjection" (distinct from senses of verb, AFAICT) + "[adverb]". DCDuring TALK 22:10, 2 February 2011 (UTC)


This is a paragraph from w:History of brassieres:

"The association between "bra-burning" and the feminist movement has led to somewhat of a misrepresentation of the movement and the actual purpose of the "freedom trash can." By being associated with an act like bra-burning, feminists may be seen, by those less knowledgeable of the movement, as law-breaking radicals, eager to shock the public. For obvious reasons, this is not good for the movement, and promotes the efforts of those against feminism to invalidate the movement.[62] Since then anti-feminists have used "bra burning" and "braless"[63] as derogatory and trivializing terms for the feminist movement.[50]"

It describes two senses that Wiktionary doesn't define yet, of bra burning and braless. I'd appreciate if someone confirmed and created them. Thanks. --Daniel. 14:26, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Perhaps bra-burning, yes. We already have braless which AFAICT doesn't need another sense. Mglovesfun (talk) 15:06, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
We do have bra burner. When I did a skim through Google Books I didn't find anything for "bra burning" that had this derogatory meaning, but maybe I missed something? Equinox 21:04, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

naked as the day one was born

Do we allow common similes? If so, I can think of a few hundred. (As) smooth as silk, like shit through a goose, like piss through a tin horn are some we don't have. Category:English similes has some of those we have. DCDuring TALK 16:57, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

I definitely think we should have smooth as silk (extremely smooth (in any sense)). Dunno about the other two. —RuakhTALK 18:07, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Smooth as silk is used for a smooth operator, who cannot be said to be like silk in any literal sense. By some rule or other, that should be inclusible. OTOH, AFAIK naked as the day he was born means exactly what it says, so is SOP and noninclusible.​—msh210 (talk) 19:27, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
You may wish to look through google books:"naked as the day it was born". That said, such sense-bending uses are ultimately puns — someone who doesn't drink alcohol is "dry", so someone who drinks only a little might be "damp"; someone who's suave is "smooth", so someone who's extremely smooth might be "smooth as silk"; and so on — so I think we need to apply the same sort of subjective does-it-feel-like-a-set-phrase reasoning to these that we do to {{figurative}} senses. —RuakhTALK 19:40, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Re cites: I stand corrected.​—msh210 (talk) 22:20, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
I don't see any lexical or semantic difference in the structure of the simile between (as) smooth as silk, like shit through a goose. The latter means "quickly, easily" and is used mostly figuratively, applied to things not literally ingestible. Does the structure of the phrase containing the simile matter? DCDuring TALK 22:17, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
Is that directed at me? The difference for me is that I'm very familiar with smooth as silk, but had never heard of the other two. —RuakhTALK 22:20, 2 February 2011 (UTC)


The past tense of bear (children) varies depending on passive/active voice, i.e. "three children were born" but "she has borne three children". What other English verbs, if any, have this curious property? Equinox 21:07, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

Move to WT:ID or WT:TR. Also: This is not an answer to your question, but see [[given her head]].​—msh210 (talk) 21:16, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
I don't think that really counts. The horse sense (haha, horse sense) is just a normal past of give as in any phrase, e.g. "I gave him his hat"; "given his hat, he was ready to leave". Equinox 21:21, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
You mean past participle, but regardless, I'm not sure that's completely true. IMHO "to bear" is to carry in the womb (and then give birth), whereas "to be born" is just to be given birth to. Something like "bore you for nine months" is fine, as is "was borne for nine months", but something like "was born for nine months" does not make much sense. —RuakhTALK 21:22, 2 February 2011 (UTC)
It is interesting that the different forms became associated with different meanings. I can think of one slightly-similar case: hang has two past participles, hung and hanged, but usage often dictates that the latter is used for people and the former for inanimate objects. There are other verbs with alternative past participles (got for example) but they don't have any real difference in meaning. Ƿidsiþ 09:54, 3 February 2011 (UTC)


"Shortened form of kazaam." What's that, and therefore what's this? Equinox 22:30, 2 February 2011 (UTC)

I think kazaam is used by magicians to conjure up something. --Plowman 12:08, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
I think kazaam is a shortened form of alakazam. Matryoshka words! - -sche 21:03, 16 February 2011 (UTC)


The usage note (from Websters 1913) makes a distinction between approbation and the similar sense of approval. Is that true in current usage? If we have nothing to say about it in current usage, perhaps the usage note should be tagged as "dated, US". DCDuring TALK 19:58, 3 February 2011 (UTC)

sound of hooves of a gallopping horse

I woild like to know if there is a word for the sound of hooves of a gallopping horse. —This unsigned comment was added by Riadridul (talkcontribs) at 02:05, 5 February 2011 (UTC).

Clop. —RuakhTALK 02:46, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
Well, clip-clop is the sound of a horse moving slowly. Galloping horses make a louder noise. You can use whatever simile or metaphor you want (thunder has been used a lot). SemperBlotto 08:15, 5 February 2011 (UTC)


Is the following image a good image to convey bark#Etymology 2? Secondarily, should it be at the verb? Lastly, is it offensive to dogs? I have rarely found that static images convey verb senses.

A military dog barking.

DCDuring TALK 12:15, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

How about this audio file. It is already used at simple:bark and simple:dog. It could be argued that sound files are a much better way of showing sound than pictures. It is still a little offensive to dogs, and people from Barking, though. --Plowman 12:24, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, a sound file would be good, I'll try it inside {{examples-right}}. DCDuring TALK 12:32, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
I think my problem is that the picture could be of a dog about to silently bite. It could more aptly illustrate menace. DCDuring TALK 17:10, 6 February 2011 (UTC)


Why is this (Modern) Greek number shown under the heading "Translingual"? The same question applies to all of the Greek numbers. In what languages is this system used? DCDuring TALK 17:54, 5 February 2011 (UTC)

Aside from Greek dialects, it was used in the ancient Bactrian language. -- Prince Kassad 18:05, 5 February 2011 (UTC)
Is this principally ancient or modern (Byzantine?) Greek? DCDuring TALK 21:01, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
The names in the Appendix are Modern Greek. Did the Bactrians use the apostrophes? DCDuring TALK 21:10, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
The apostrophe can be found in modern reprints of Bactrian texts, but I cannot tell whether they had been used in original Bactrian texts. -- Prince Kassad 16:37, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
Would it make sense to have Greek and Bactrian sections, instead of a Translingual section? - -sche 21:29, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
Probably not. Consider Greek dialects like Tsakonian. -- Prince Kassad 21:48, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

put out feelers

I think this would be better under a different header. The entry as it stands does not take any account of phrases such as "to get one's feelers out" and other similar examples. What would be a better header? -- ALGRIF talk 16:09, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

I think feeler. Sense 3 is the figurative sense. This common collocation would be a good usage example there as well as a redirect. Some of the similar types of entries in Category:English predicates (also Category:English light verb constructions) merit such treatment. DCDuring TALK 17:17, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

4-0 down

Are there any definitions of down that fit the sport quote "Newcastle produced a stunning comeback from 4-0 down to earn a draw that shocked title hopefuls Arsenal."? --Plowman 18:50, 6 February 2011 (UTC)

Yes, a previously missing one. See down#Adjective sense 3. I think i've got it right. Thanks for asking. There are many missing senses in some of the most common words. DCDuring TALK 20:58, 6 February 2011 (UTC)
thanks Dennis --Plowman 22:39, 6 February 2011 (UTC)


This shold probably be split according to etymology, at the moment it is suggested that each defn of tear can be either a noun or verb. --Plowman 22:39, 6 February 2011 (UTC)


Has anyone here ever played the card game seven-up? Can they gimme a better definition? --Plowman 08:14, 7 February 2011 (UTC)


Definition 4 is currently "defining one word in terms of another that is itself defined in terms of the first word". While this is obviously correct, I think it's more a specific example of something more general and I don't think we currently have that more general definition. For example, I recently fixed some circular redirects on Wikipedia (Page A -> Page B -> Page A), and not long ago was involved in a debate there where someone used a circular argument. Thryduulf (talk) 01:30, 11 February 2011 (UTC)

Perhaps, which is recursive, which ultimately refers back to itself through a sequence of like things and we could have subsenses for the word as it refers to arguments, definitions, etc. —Internoob (DiscCont) 04:06, 11 February 2011 (UTC)
That would seem like a good definition. Perhaps we should also mark the two words as synonyms on the entries. Thryduulf (talk) 17:09, 11 February 2011 (UTC)


This should be a proper noun, right? --L8491DD 18:34, 12 February 2011 (UTC)

Some of them are, some of them aren't. It needs a split, God only knows how we've missed this until now. Mglovesfun (talk) 18:46, 12 February 2011 (UTC)


Are the two definitions really proper nouns? It sounds like you could say He's very patriotic; his Filipino is very prominent.Internoob (DiscCont) 04:00, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

Word: Perceptualize

Is this a real word? Here is it's use in my sentence: "We are meant to perceptualize the story as it is happening."

Yes. I've added it at [[perceptualize]].​—msh210 (talk) 16:21, 14 February 2011 (UTC)


Our entry says autogas is "automotive gasoline", which is currently a redlink. Does it mean just automotive gasoline? If so, our definition vastly differs from WP's, which says autogas isn't gasoline at all.​—msh210 (talk) 19:57, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

Yes, our current definition is definitely wrong in the UK. Autogas is just LPG as a replacement for gasoline (petrol). Will you change it, or shall I? Is there any evidence for retaining the current definition as a rare alternative meaning? I can't find any. Dbfirs 10:27, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
DCDuring has added cites for the "automotive gasoline" meaning. I'll not add the LPG meaning.​—msh210 (talk) 17:15, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
Ah, yes, I should have guessed that this was a regional distinction. The word in the UK derives from a trade name, but now seems to be used uncapitalised as a common noun, so may I add this sense for readers on this side of the pond? Dbfirs 23:05, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Why not? DCDuring TALK 23:37, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. I've added the entry with three cites illustrating the use as a common noun. I was concerned about the trade name, but "autogas" now seems to be manufactured by different companies. Dbfirs 00:04, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

Request for Action/Comments

TO: WiktComm Wiktionary Community FROM: Geof Bard CC: Admin RE: Request for Action/Comments regading w:Game Game/The Game gaming the system.

Feb 14, 2011

I request overide of the redirect from Game->game in that the proper name "Game" rises to a level of notability to warrant inclusions. Below is the text I posted at "The Game". Please note that Jaseon changed his stage name from "The Game" to "Game"; if this all seems confusing, that rather proves the point that a Wiktionary entry is urgently required to straighten this out.

Imagine, for instance, a horrified inner-city substitue English teacher caught in the throes of high school disciplinary and academic turmoil, at a loss for what her wards are talking about. He or she fires up the Mac, surfs over to Wiktionary, in the expectation of quality information. But alas, the case-sensitive moniker of "Rap's MVP" is subordinated to a slew of case-inappriate entries. By the time she arrives at the "correct" entry, which is actually incorrectly punctuated and as far as I know not properly punctuatable under the current Wiktionary protocol, the classroom has descended into chaos reminiscent of the infamous novel "Blackboard Jungle", and our poor sub is sent packing.

My earlier remarks follow.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this request.

Geoffery "Geof" Bard

ATTACHMENT: User page/ The Game Discussion Ordinarily I would not wiktionarize proper names except for those who attain a high standard of notability, which level Jaseon probably does reach. But as one of the sharpest rappers in the game (p.i., pun intended) he has gamed the culture by playing these clever games with his name, Game, formerly The Game. Hence, his name has notability of its own, irrespective of his underlying fame, which is itself considerable. For those not in the know, Fifty, is of course the rapper from Jamaica New York, and the quote is from a rap in which Game, or The Game, at the time, chided Fifty...punning, of course, on both his own name and that of his adversary.

                Thank you for your kind attention to this matter.
                             Geof  Bard

—This unsigned comment was added by Geofferybard (talkcontribs) at 20:47, 14 February 2011 (UTC).

Your statement that this person's "name has notability of its own, irrespective of his underlying fame", even if true, hardly justifies a dictionary entry for said name. —RuakhTALK 21:13, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
? Geof Bard 01:53, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
  • Am I to understand this gentleman is part of some popular beat combo, that I might perhaps hear on the hit parade? Ƿidsiþ 10:29, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
    • Are you square or something? SemperBlotto 10:33, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
      • It's an American thing, you wouldn't understand.Geof Bard 06:25, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
        • Don't tell him what he will and won't understand. Mglovesfun (talk) 06:31, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
          • "Actually It's a BLANK thing, you wouldn't understand" is an idiomatic American expression which, apparently, you do not understand. It is not, on this side of the pond, taken as offensive to the degree that would warrant a third party defense nor is it a direct edict such as "Don't tell him what he will..."

Even if you, also from the UK, do not "get" certain American idioms, you should be able to distinguish between a statement that "you wouldn't" and trying to "tell him" what he "will". There are grammatical distinctions which Brits, of all people, should be able to make between a subjunctive future case... oh, but then subjunctive is a Spanish thing, perhaps you do understand.

Aside from that, it was a play upon words which, given the fact that Game is black American, Game would understand. There is a common expression "it's a black thing you wouldn't understand". Wiktionary seems to be slanted towards UK rather than American English, and it is rather ironic that an American idiom coming from the black American experience is being interpreted outside of its idiomatic context, in this manner of wounded Brit sense of decorum. Spare me. Geof Bard 21:30, 16 February 2011 (UTC) Geof Bard 21:30, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

The names of rap artists simply do not belong in a dictionary. Why not read our policies and the documents that someone helpfully linked from your talk page, instead of just arriving one day and immediately posting a load of bragging essays and whinings? We could do without your racism, too. Equinox 21:32, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Actually I figured out a long time ago that (1) The Game/ Game was not up for discussion , (2) that in itself doesn't really matter, and (3) wiktionary is not going to want to be the exhaustive internet source of all definitions. All of this "posting" that you are complainting about it at this point consisting of a series of barbed insults that seem to be of more interest to the Old Guard than in actually getting on with the work. Oh - incidentally, names of artists may or may not "belong" in a dictionary; it is a discretionary call that the director(s) can make. In wiki culture, those decisions are supposed to be made by consensus after open and mutually respectful dialogue. The posts I have been receiving from the high-volume posters here read as a case study in WP:BITE. It would be funny if the integrity of the English language wasn't jeopardized by process which is unduly adversarial and guarded against novel or minoritarian viewpoints. Geof Bard 00:27, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Geof Bard 00:27, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
If you took just 3 minutes, as repeatedly asked, to read WT:CFI you would see that there isn't the kind of manic paranoid politics that you have totally made up, but we rely on a set of fairly simple rules and some criteria for inclusion. But apparently you'd rather write huge swathes of legalese about nothing. Equinox 00:32, 17 February 2011 (UTC)
Shh, Equinox! Doesn't the cabal make you sign a non-disclosure agreement, not to reveal to newcomers our lack of backroom laws and cabals? - -sche 01:44, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

grocery - plural

Although I recoiled at the prospect of adding one quotation from Thomas Carlyle’s eminent works next to one from A. Smith’s, I endeavoured it in order to demonstrate that the use of groceries in the first sense is current in British English. Carlyle, being a Scottish writer, was not subject to US influence and is fairly repræsentative of British English. Therefore, one may consider removing the Usage notes altogether. What are the thoughts of native speakers (of British English)? Are there any usage notes in reputable dictionaries such as OED which dissuade the readers from using groceries to refer to the food products? The uſer hight Bogorm converſation 09:26, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Yes, this sense is common in British English. The first recorded use of the plural in the OED is from 1740 (Woodroofe in Hanway's Hist. Acct. Brit. Trade Caspian Sea (1762) I. ii. xvii. 75). Like you, I was surprised to see the "especially US" note. Groceries are the goods sold by grocers here in the UK, though "grocery" on its own as a noun is less common. I think the singular "grocery" meaning a store is the US usage and very rare in the UK where we would say "grocers" (shop) (with or without the infamous apostrophe). Dbfirs 10:20, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes, in the UK groceries are what you buy in a grocer's. SemperBlotto 10:25, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
Although, UK and US use does differ. In the US, groceries are what you get from the supermarket (I think??), whereas in the UK groceries come from the grocer's and food from the supermarket is just called shopping. But now I've written this down I've confused myself. Ƿidsiþ 10:32, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I'm living in the past. When did I last see a grocer's? (well, there's one selling overpriced fancy stuff in Hitchin) But yes, of course we all buy our groceries in the supermarket these days - where clothing, CDs etc are called "non-grocery items". SemperBlotto 10:36, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
Something I found on moving to St. Louis, but which still strikes me as odd, is that people here call a supermarket a "grocery".​—msh210 (talk) 17:11, 15 February 2011 (UTC)
To me it sounds utterly wrong unless calling it the "grocery store". Seriously. It makes me wretch, but my background is the coasts and the Rocky Mountains. Missouri is a loooong way from all of those places.Geof Bard 06:27, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
I (a Michigander/Ohioan) find "grocery store" quite normal, but bare singular "grocery" quite odd. (I might refer to the profession as "grocery" — say, "He works in grocery" — but that doesn't come up very often.) —RuakhTALK 20:53, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Actually I have no problem with "grocer" when it refers to a small sole proprietorship. And also, with "grocery" if it is a small corner store operated by a "grocer". But a supermarket or corporate owned, to me, is not a "grocery", it is a store, a "grocery store".

Geof Bard 00:30, 17 February 2011 (UTC)

and, here in the UK, where we don't usually call food shops "stores", the building is a supermarket, but it will have a grocery section (as stated above by others). Dbfirs 16:59, 18 March 2011 (UTC)


One sense of this word is given as: "A difficult circumstance or problem". This is not a strict use of the term and one many would avoid. The sense now was a "disputed" tag and a usage note. Why not eliminate the usage note and change the context tag to "loosely"? DCDuring TALK 16:47, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

Is guerrilla an adjective?

I think the examples on the Citations:guerrilla page show that guerrilla is sometimes used as an adjective. In light of that, should we consider "guerrilla warfare" two nouns or one adjective and one noun? - -sche 23:09, 16 February 2011 (UTC)

See Wiktionary:English adjectives. I'd be happy to further clarify and add extra tests and/or explanation. We go through some trouble to avoid unnecessary adjective senses because almost any English noun can be used attributively. Thus the adjective section under a noun would almost always be at least as long as the noun section. So we don't treat attributive use alone as warranting a separate adjective sense unless there is a sense in attributive use that is novel relative to the noun senses. DCDuring TALK 23:44, 16 February 2011 (UTC)
Do these quotations mean we should have an adjective section, though? - -sche 06:03, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
That looks like sufficient evidence for an adjective section for both current senses. It even looks comparable. I added two cites for a figurative adjective sense. Now that we have the adjective section, I'm not so sure that there is any use of the noun that is figurative. DCDuring TALK 11:50, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

if one does

Pure Prairie League's song "Amie" includes the lyrics "Amie, what you wanna do? / I think I could stay with you / for a while, maybe longer if I do." (unofficial transcription). What does if I do mean there? It sounds from the context like it may mean "if I want".

Then there's another song, which goes "can you see any bedbugs on me? If you do, take a few" (and variants). While if you do might be interpretable as meaning "if you do so see", I think that "if you want" might make more sense as its meaning in that song.

So... can if one does mean "if one wants/wishes"? I'm not sure what collocates to use in searching for cites of such a sense.​—msh210 (talk) 05:36, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

Here's another possible if you do, though I think it more likely means "if you do publish the article".​—msh210 (talk) 05:59, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
I don't see either case as meaning "want". I would read it as "if I do (stay)" and "if you do (see bedbugs on me)". In the first case, staying implies wanting to stay. In the second, I take it as "take some bedbugs, please". DCDuring TALK 11:16, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
Likewise. Ƿidsiþ 11:46, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
"I could stay with you / for a while, maybe longer if I do [stay with you]"? Could be. Sounds very strange. But certainly the other sources I mentioned make sense meaning simply "do [the previously mentioned action]". All right, never mind.​—msh210 (talk) 20:58, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps many songs lyrics place more emphasis on rhyme and rhythm than on meaning? Dbfirs 10:02, 20 February 2011 (UTC)


Take a look at my edits. If I am wrong you can have my resignation.Geof Bard 07:47, 18 February 2011 (UTC)

Wrong in what sense? You put the etymology before the definition instead of under the ===Etymology=== header, and you deleted the definition and replaced it with, well, usage notes. Wrong in that sense, yes. Factually wrong, well, I have no idea. Mglovesfun (talk) 23:35, 19 February 2011 (UTC)


Etymology 2 is totally wrong AFAIK. This sense of bad isn't from "better" (of all things) it's just by extension of the first etymology and corresponding meaning. Same as wicked which now often is used with positive connotations. AFAICT the inflection is correct so it needs a separate header from the senses above, but it is the same etymology.

NB was not sure whether to list this here, the talk page (best place, but will probably be ignored) or the Tearoom. Mglovesfun (talk) 17:50, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

Discussion moved from WT:RFM#bad.
Yes, the OED records two nuances of this meaning (one dating back to 1897, but mainly from the jazz world with an African-American origin) under the same etymology as many other senses. I'm not convinced by the claim of a verb in Gloucestershire dialect because I can't find any confirmation, but I'm not from Gloucestershire so it might be common there. I would have guessed that "badding" was just a variant of "bedding", but I can't prove this. There are other more common senses missing, including the colloquial sense of difficult (as in bad to turn) and rarer senses such as the English Midlands sense of in arrears. Dbfirs 21:55, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

More hard-to-define poker terms

The two terms are:

  1. up as in aces up - a pair of aces with a second, smaller pair. Always two pair. Thus 'three up' would be a pair of threes and a pair of twos
  2. full as in aces full - three aces with another pair to make a full house. Thus as above, 'threes full' would be three threes with any other pair

Don't seem like true adjectives, I can't imagine someone says 'aces are full'. Mglovesfun (talk) 23:31, 19 February 2011 (UTC)

See also user:msh210/Sandbox#a quotation with a lot of possible poker terms for which I hope someone knows definitions.​—msh210 (talk) 04:43, 20 February 2011 (UTC)
Context helps. How are these used in full sentences in the poker context? Ideally, the quotes would mostly have normal-English terms. The Rex Stout quote verges on being in an FL. DCDuring TALK 14:12, 21 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm assuming four ladies refers to quad queens. Draw to is SoP draw + to (draw noun and verb in poker) and the rest we either have or may be so colloquial so I can't cite any of it. Mglovesfun (talk) 14:19, 21 February 2011 (UTC)
Try some Google Book searches like google books:"aces full" and google books:"kings full". Have added the poker senses to aces, kings, queens (etc.) Mglovesfun (talk) 14:37, 21 February 2011 (UTC)
From usage and lexical lookup one could probably infer the context-specific grammar of poker, eg, formation of names for hands, common ellipses, etc. It would be another way to help users and might eliminate the need for some repetitive entries. For example, aces full could be an {{only in}} directing users to a section of an appendix on poker rather than either up or aces, at which entries users might find themselves lost. I suppose that such an appendix might be harder to write than an entry. it might not be feasible for anyone except someone who knew both poker and grammar. DCDuring TALK 15:15, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

épater la bourgeoisie

Isn't this sufficiently absorbed into literary English to warrant an entry? Consider, for example, the following:

  • 1997, Stephen Davies, Art and its messages: meaning, morality, and society, page 82:
    It is one thing to epater la bourgeoisie for epatering's sake; it is another for a work to epater when it doesn't mean to, or to epater so crassly that whatever else is said is simply not heard at all.

-- DCDuring TALK 14:06, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

It looks like one of those French phrases that isn't used in French but is kept in English (there is a Wikipedia page). Like double entendre. Dakdada 13:24, 22 February 2011 (UTC)
I remember seeing this phrase used somewhere recently (Slate.com or a similar website) and having to look it up... It's definitely used in English, whether facetiously or not.

Keep/Create. Yes I see that used enough and have for a long time. Geof Bard 19:31, 26 February 2011 (UTC)

Serbo-croat words of foreign origin

Moved to WT:ID.​—msh210 (talk) 17:57, 21 February 2011 (UTC)


Am I the only one that finds definitions #2 and #3 ambiguous at the very least? I think the second sense is the same as the first one, just figurative, as in 'strengthen someone's resolve'. Mglovesfun (talk) 14:22, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

As with all of the Webster 1913 definitions it needs work. You should feel free to have at it. I find that I have to really work at it just to understand such definitions. Usage examples help, especially real citations. Sometimes distinctions that may have been appropriate 100 years ago seem very subtle, almost meaningless to us. I'd be inclined to label them as obsolete or archaic rather than allow our cultural assumptions suppress the meanings that obtained then. DCDuring TALK 17:38, 23 February 2011 (UTC)


Sense 4: (intransitive) To give warning.

This has four quotations, each of which has the verb followed by "that [something will or should or may occur]". Doesn't that make it transitive? (I'm not saying it's redundant to the other senses. It's not. I'm merely disputing the "(intransitive)" tag.)​—msh210 (talk) 20:02, 23 February 2011 (UTC)

  • Yes and no. Transitive verbs followed by that-clauses are quite hard to tell apart from intransitive verbs, which can also be followed by that-clauses. However here I think it is actually intransitive, because traditionally transitive use of this verb requires you to warn someone or something; whereas this usage is felt as being without such an object. But perhaps someone will disagree with me. Ƿidsiþ 10:23, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
  • On reflection, I think I agree with you actually. This does seem to be transitive. Also, my head hurts. Ƿidsiþ 10:40, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
If that-clauses constitute nominals and thereby this is a transitive sense, then I think we also need an intransitive sense line for this kind of broadcast warning. Looking at COCA, I found this sense followed by PPs headed by "of", "about", and "against" and infinitives. In addition, it is used following direct speech (eg, "Gun!", he warned.) IOW, this needs more diverse usage examples or citations. Semantically, a warning needs there to be actual or potential recipients of the warning, but grammatically a warning, as to "all and sundry", apparently doesn't need "all and sundry" as an object. DCDuring TALK 11:56, 25 February 2011 (UTC)
I would say TRANSITIVE should be reserved for verbs which license true noun phrases functioning as direct objects. I'll rehearse the main arguments from the CGEL (Chapter 11, §8.3).
  1. Although many verbs that allow that content clauses also license direct objects, there are other situations in which NPs are not licensed, such as after marvel and vouch.
  2. Adverbs cannot typically intervene between a verb and its object, but they can readily intervene between the verb and the content clause.
  3. The semantic relationship between verbs and content clauses and verbs and NP objects is not always the same. (e.g., 1. a. She explained that the planets are in motion. b. She explained the planets's motion/the motion of the planets. 2. a. I understand that he was furious. b. I understand his fury.).
Then there's the problem of what to do with interrogative content clauses like whether she was happy and why she was there. These are not license by the same range of verbs that that content clauses are licensed by.
Overall, then, there's good reason to think that content clauses should be considered a particular type of complement distinct from OBJECT and that verbs should not be called transitive simply by virtue of licensing them.--Brett 00:31, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
I'm glad at least I said "if". Thanks. DCDuring TALK 12:34, 26 February 2011 (UTC)
All authorities seem to agree that ‘verbs of communication’ which take that-clauses are truly transitive; and I find it hard to see the difference between ‘he said that he would come’ and ‘he warned that he would come’. What do you think? Ƿidsiþ 11:04, 27 February 2011 (UTC)
Clearly "all authorities" do not. The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language, for example, does not. The question should therefore be decided on its merits and not on the number of its proponents.
I too see little difference between he said that he would come and he warned that he would come. But there's a big difference between He said it, not me and *He warned it, not me. Moreover, there's a big difference between *He said clearly it and He said clearly that he would not come. The difference is that it is an object, but that he would not come is not.--Brett 12:18, 27 February 2011 (UTC)
While you may well be right about the word under discussion, I'm not sure I agree with all of your analysis there. Your last example in particular confuses me: if you take clearly out (or move it back by one word), then ‘it’ and ‘that he would not come’ seem to fill identical functions. And I'm not sure it follows that the placement of the adverb is the determining factor in the part of speech qualified. Ƿidsiþ 12:26, 27 February 2011 (UTC)
I think the thought that "that" clauses seem to be allowed after many verbs normally considered intransitive in the senses in which "that" clauses appear. Some that seem to do this that arose in a scan of English verbs we deem intransitive include "yearn", "resolve", "digress", "consent", "begin". Some of these would seem to be "reported thought" or "reported decision", which seems distinguishable from "reported speech". "That" clauses seem to behave otherwise than noun-phrase objects. DCDuring TALK 14:17, 27 February 2011 (UTC)
The placement of clearly is exactly the point. As I said above, adverbs cannot typically come between a verb and its object. Yet, they naturally intervene between verbs and that content clauses. This, then, is one good reason to believe that that clauses are not objects.--Brett 14:59, 27 February 2011 (UTC)
Yep, I see your point. Ƿidsiþ 10:15, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
While further discussion may well prove fruitful, the answer to my question seems to be "no". I thank you all.​—msh210 (talk) 15:03, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

Boob Tube

Boob Tube - How did this term come about? I know it dates back to the 60's and likely is related to the tubes in television - but boob? Is it content related or user related?

See boob meaning 2: (informal, pejorative) Idiot, dummy, dork.

on-side kick and onside kick

Which of these two words is the standard spelling and which is the alternate spelling? I initially marked the latter as being alternate, but after checking with Google, it seems it's actually more common. I'd welcome a second opinion. Tempodivalse [talk] 16:24, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

Both google books and news (current) show "onside" to be much more common. Both of these searches range over presumably edited works. I'd go with that. DCDuring TALK 17:00, 25 February 2011 (UTC)

Sunday school student

Is there a word for a person who attends a Sunday school? --Hekaheka 10:52, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

I don't know of one apart from Sunday school student.--Brett 12:20, 27 February 2011 (UTC)
Or "Sunday school pupil". Once the context of "Sunday school" is established a "Sunday School student/pupil" becomes a "student/pupil". Even if there is a single word, I don't think it will be a commonly used one. DCDuring TALK 12:33, 27 February 2011 (UTC)
Thanks. --Hekaheka 21:02, 27 February 2011 (UTC)


The 4th edition of the American Heritage College Dictionary defines "narcissism" as

1) Excessive self-love, together with a lack of empathy for others.

The Wiktionary definition lacks the word "excessive," misleading readers.

Thank you for your attention to this comment.

—This unsigned comment was added by DRPHIL 1017 (talkcontribs) at 20:36, 27 February 2011 (UTC).

Yes, the OED also agrees that the self-love must be excessive so I've modified the entry. Dbfirs 11:12, 28 February 2011 (UTC)


This will be WOTD on March 2. Can someone who knows the pronunciations please add it?​—msh210 (talk) 16:56, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

  • Done. Ƿidsiþ 10:00, 1 March 2011 (UTC)